JFK: American Experience

JFK: American Experience

Wed, 12/04/2013 - 8:00pm

Credit: Courtest of Douglas Jones, LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection, Library of Congress

Watch as American Experience commemorates the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s death with a look at his life and accomplishments.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE presents JFK, a new four-hour, two-part special in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the president’s death. Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin’s bullet, John F. Kennedy’s presidency has often defied objective appraisal. This new portrait, part of the Peabody Award-winning AMERICAN EXPERIENCE series, The Presidents, offers a fresh assessment of the man, his accomplishments and his unfulfilled promise. Produced and directed by Susan Bellows, JFK features interviews with Kennedy family members and historians including Robert Dallek, Robert Caro, and Evan Thomas. JFK airs in its entirety Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

JFK provides a fresh look at an enigmatic man who remains one of the nation’s most beloved and mourned leaders. Beginning with Kennedy’s childhood years as the privileged but sickly second son of one of the wealthiest men in America, the film explores his early political career as a lackluster congressman, his successful run for the U.S. Senate, and the game-changing presidential campaign that made him the youngest elected president in U.S. history. With the benefit of recently opened archives, the film recounts his struggles with life-threatening illnesses and his efforts to keep them hidden from the public. JFK offers new perspectives on his complicated private life, including his relationship with his wife, his close connection to his younger brother, Robert, and his complex bond with his powerful father. It also reevaluates Kennedy’s strengths and weaknesses in the Oval Office as he navigated some of the most explosive events of the 20th century: the disastrous failure at the Bay of Pigs, the urgent demands of an increasingly impatient civil rights movement, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the escalating conflict in Southeast Asia.