Monday, December 8, 2008

Khrushchev, Kennedy, WW III, & the Great Address

Download this radio program
List all ... & download any ... installments

New World Notes News

Volume 1, Number 22 -- December 9 , 2008

Jacqueline & John F. Kennedy, January 1961; proof sheet by Richard Avedon

This week in New World Notes, #42 -- December 9 & 12:

* * * * *
Khruschev, Kennedy, World War III,
and the Great Address at American University

* * * * *

I had never even heard of John F. Kennedy's Commencement address at The American University (June 10, 1963) until this past year. I first listened to a recording of the address only two or three months ago. I was stunned. In my judgment, this is the greatest speech made by a U.S. President since the Gettysburg Address.

This week and next, New World Notes will broadcast nearly all of this address, coupled with very useful commentary by Jim Douglas. Douglas is writer, historian, and theologian--and author of the recent JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.

Douglas explains the surprising and profound historical events to which this equally surprising and profound speech is a response. He also charts JFK's transformation--by these events--from a typical Cold Warrior to a crusader for peace and disarmament.

So how come--if you're at all typical--you've never heard of the American University address, let alone heard of Kennedy's conversion to an advocate of global disarmament? After all, you’re plenty familiar with parts of his First Innaugural Address. Ask not what your country can do for you. . . .

Well, ask not me. Rather, ask the corporate-controlled mass media and the corporate-controlled school textbook industry. While you're at it, ask them why you can recite Martin Luther King's Establishment-friendly "I have a dream" speech forwards and backwards, but you hear almost nothing about the anti-Vietnam-War and anti-military-industrial-complex speeches he made in the last year of his life.

To many Europeans, the USA ca. 1961 looked less like Camelot than like Hell's
own lunatic asylum. Police brutality, racial strife, sexual license, radioactive
"fallout," and a President of dubious competence with his finger on The Button:
Gerald Scarfe was having none of it.

Funny how powerful popular leaders keep ending up dead soon after they begin denouncing the U.S. War Machine. . . . And did somebody just mention Malcolm X?

Those darn' Crazed Lone-Gunmen Acting Alone! They really ought to unionize and fight for better wages and working conditions. For example, the retirement benefits they've been getting are even worse than Wal-Mart's. James Earl Ray’s were almost as bad as Lee Harvey Oswald’s.

Arch-warmonger Gen. Curtis LeMay--head of the Strategic Air Command
and a leading advocate of preemptively attacking the USSR--discusses U.S.
responses to the Cuban Missile Crisis, October 1962.

For a wonderful brief review of the scary, surprising, and strange historical events that transformed Kennedy, came this close to touching off World War III, and brought about the great American University address--and Kennedy‘s death--see the previous blog entry: “The Story Behind the Greatest Speech You Never Heard” ( ). This page offers concise written history plus no fewer than eight super graphics from the period, including photographs, magazine covers, and political cartoons.

Catch New World Notes . . .

Tuesdays, Noon to 12:30 PM, WWUH-FM 91.3 (West Hartford) &
Fridays, 7:30 to 8:00 AM, WHUS-FM 91.7 (Storrs) &
Any time: Listen to or download any installment ... or subscribe to a podcast ... at A-Infos Radio Project:

Essential graphics:

Nothing attached to the newsletter this week, but do check out the 8 graphics on the Blog page that gives the historical background. It’s OK--honestly!--if you skip the history lesson and just look at the pictures & captions. See the citation, above.

Still more graphics to come next week!

On January 28, 2008, during the presidential Primary campaigns, Sen. Edward
Kennedy (JFK's brother), Caroline Kennedy (daughter), and Rep. Patrick
Kennedy (nephew) chose American University as the venue to announce their
endorsement of Barack Obama. Was this a symbolic statement or just coincidence?

No comments: