JFK50: The Biggest Drama To Ever Play Out On The American Stage - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Executive Producer Josh Kaplan

JFK50: The Biggest Drama To Ever Play Out On The American Stage

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There have been a bunch of postings here focusing on today's anniversary of the assassination of John Kennedy.  It makes sense.  While there had been 3 presidential assassinations before Kennedy, this was the first since the advent of television. So this was the first time that the loss of our national leader was truly a shared experience.

For the better part of 4 days, from the time Walter Cronkite announced the end of Camelot, to the time the JFK was laid to rest, a huge percentage of the American population was  all doing the same thing at the same time. We were glued to our TV sets.  And just like today when a big story breaks, journalists went digging for a piece of the story.  Some of that was simple reportage. The who, what, where, when, and to the extent possible, the why. Some were better than others, but we consumed them all with a thirst driven by our need to understand what had just happened to us.

But there were also the so-called human interest stories, focusing on the lives of the people who had, entirely by coincidence,  become actors in the biggest drama ever to play out on the American stage. I bring all this up because I was listening to a radio show last weekend, hosted by sports writer Mike Lupica. He was talking about his hero, the famous newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin. Lupica talked about 2 columns in which Breslin took tiny slices of the story and captured the essence of those 4 days. I googled them, and Lupica was right. They were written at a time when newspapers were king, and reading these two pieces made me wish they still were. 

One is called "A Death in Emergency Room One" and takes you inside the trauma room, during the desperate effort to save the President's life. The other focused on a man named Clifton Pollard, a grave digger who got the call that Sunday morning, to come to Arlington Cemetery and prepare the grave for the 35th President of the United States. Both columns are great. I think they are both worth a look.

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