Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK.I was 8 years old, knew nothing about politics and even less about America. I was just a kid growing up in a small village in England. But I did know the name John F Kennedy and when the evening TV news announced his death I was stunned.

By a strange twist of fate the book that I had checked out of the local library a few days earlier was a glorious and glossy look at American cars. I wanted one! British cars were so small and boring. It would be 15 years later that my dream came true, a 79 T-Bird, the last of the big Birds. But I digress.

Over the years I have read much about the events surrounding the assassination. My guess is more than 20 books. They have ranged from the very serous to crass stupidity. A whole industry has flourished as a consequence of November/22 1963.

At this stage in the game it is unlikely we will ever know the truth. The conspiracies run rampant. Cuba did it, Russia did it, the CIA did it, even that aliens were responsible.

When I ignore the silly ideas I do see a picture emerge. A picture that may not sit well with some people. A recent poll shows that JFK has a 90% approval rating, this is a far higher rating than out current or previous president. But was JFK the knight in shining armor that we are being told? Personally I think not. Lyndon Johnson might have been the Vice President, but he could not take a bathroom break without permission from JFK’s brother Robert.

JFK is not the ‘dove’ that he is made out to be. It could be argued that he was more of a ‘Hawk’ than Ronald Reagan.

Nevertheless it was a sad day 50 years ago. I often wonder what might have happened if the assassination had not occurred.

Simon Barrett

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