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This week, the nation marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. It's a milestone that's hard to miss, given the dozens of TV specials, documentaries, books, articles and commemorations marking the date. Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever joins us to reflect on what the programming reveals about our cultural connection to the eras that ended and began Nov. 22, 1963.
"For the first time I realized the enormity of what we’d been reporting for a couple of hours anyway. I was announcing the death of this young president of the United States, this horrible death by madness of some individual or group of individuals; we didn’t know yet. I have learned something about myself and drew a very quick comparison, not at that moment but as I had to review the day and how it all went." Hear more from Cronkite's reflection.
"Somebody would come by and offer us coffee or bouillon or a sandwich, and that hardly anybody ate anything. That everybody was wrapped in his own cocoon, sort of, or nightmare or.... And Lyndon was vastly more alert than I was. I remember, suddenly he looked around, and he said, 'This is the President's compartment; let's get out of here.' And so we went back and sat in the body of the plane, and in just a few moments Mrs. Kennedy came in and, of course, went in there." Listen to more of Johnson's recollections.