The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy fifty years later

This week on Friday November 22 is the fiftieth anniversary of the murder of John F.Kennedy in Dallas ,Texas. Its hard to believe that fifty years have passed.I was seventeen at the time, a first year university student at the University of Manitoba and like many  people at the time an enthusiastic admirer of the President who seemed to embody all the hope , idealism and eloquence of a new generation leading the post-war world toward prosperity, peace and a reduction in the stressful and dangerous tensions of the cold war between the West and the Soviet Union.We had just emerged in my last year of high school from the terrifying Cuban missile crisis when I and my classmates would say goodbye at the end of the school day wondering if we would live to see one another the next day. It was very hard then not to be frightened at the state of the world. But we were very hopeful once that crisis had been resolved that this handsome, bright, progressive and charming person who had narrowly  won the Presidency from a clearly more old school conservative politician, Richard Nixon and who replaced the two term older politician President Dwight Eisenhower would advance the cause of peace and modernity. I had followed the election with great interest including the televised debate and the dramatic election night results. I remember, like everyone who was alive then and who was old enough to be conscious of the news and political events,  precisely where I was when I heard the the horrible unbelievable news that President Kennedy had been shot. Our chemistry professor Dr. Kartzmark somberly cancelled our class and I went home. We were all in a state of shock traumatized by the news. Over the decades that have passed controversy still swirled around the precise events of that terrible day and whether it was, as the Warren Commission claimed ,the work of a lone unbalanced assassin or the result of some sort of conspiracy. The alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald two days later while in police custody was shot down on live television before the eyes of millions.It all seemed like a terrible nightmare. I think in a way the trauma from the day that Kennedy was shot and all the political turmoil and assassinations and wars that followed traumatized many people for many decades. The shock was so enormous and hard to explain to those who were not alive then. JFK became over the years a mythological figure . We now know in addition to his greatness which was demonstrated in his handling of the Cuban missile crisis, the roll back of steel prices, and his backing of civil rights and somehow captured in his forever youthful image he had his human faults and even weaknesses. But for many of us he embodied hope, idealism and progressive aspirations and his murder was a great tragedy from which we have never completely recovered.


About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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