I wasn’t planning on posting anything to mark the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination (but lord if you’ve seen the Zapruder Film Stabilized…) because I wasn’t alive during the 60s and I don’t think it often contributes much to over-romantisize that particular decade, even at it’s most tragic. What would I say, as I have been doing a lot of reading about it, is that all that reading did lead me back to this: Jacqueline Kennedy’s tour of the State Dining Room, from February 1962:

You look at that, the little girl reciting her lines in an unsteady accent, and, if you’re up to it, then you watch the video of the day her husband was shot sitting next to her and waving, and I (as someone born nearly 20 years after the fact) think that’s the saddest thing. Indeed, if he hadn’t been shot through his head to slump over onto his tragic wife’s lap, would we think about the whole thing in the way we do? Maybe it isn’t the actual legacy or the lost legacy or the missing legacy or the conspiracy legacy but just the fact that Jackie was right next to him, reaching for that piece of his head that landed on the trunk of their convertible limousine.

I just think that perhaps behind every man is a woman, and perhaps it’s the woman that makes us care about the man.