DEARBORN: Rather remembers JFK – News – Press and Guide

3 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on DEARBORN: Rather remembers JFK – News – Press and Guide
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DEARBORN: Rather remembers JFK

Author James Swanson (from left), former Secret Service agent Clint Hill and longtime newsman Dan Rather share a moment Monday night at Henry Ford Museum (photo by Scott Held)

DEARBORN The assassination of President John F. Kennedy might have made Dan Rather, but the longtime newsman hardly mentioned that Monday night.

Instead, Rather and author James Swanson spent most of their time at The Henry Ford museum dwelling on the slain president’s legacy.

“He was young, but also good looking,” said Rather, who was among the first men to broadcast news of Kennedy’s death Nov. 22, 1963, from Dallas. “He had this energy about him, this vigor.”

Rather and Swanson, whose books “End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy” and “’The President Has Been Shot!’: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy” delve deeply into the fateful day and its aftermath, addressed a sold-out crowd to begin The Henry Ford’s observance of the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death.

The 1961 Lincoln Continental that carried Kennedy through the streets of Dallas is one of the most notable pieces in the museum’s vast collection. The speakers sat near it Monday.

Rather, who rose as a correspondent in his home state of Texas, was supposed to be in Dallas only in a functionary role, but vividly remembered having to report the news.

“When it was clear he was dead, it was an emotional earthquake,” he said. “A terrible hammer to the heart.”

Though a good number of those in attendance seemed old enough to remember Kennedy’s assassination a show of hands proved it both men used their time to explain why the president’s death was such a shock.

Rather remembered the first “movie star president,” who understood TV in its infancy and how to use it. He remembered a brief interview with Kennedy shortly after he secured the Democratic Party’s nomination in 1960.

“He had this very strong eye contact,” Rather said of the 4-minute interview. “It was undeniably recognizable that when he was with you, you believed he was in the moment with you. Continued.

“He had this ability to let you know, ‘I’m with you right here.’”

Swanson, who worked for former President Ronald Reagan, was a 4-year-old in Chicago the day Kennedy died. He hoped Friday’s anniversary puts the myriad theories about the president’s death to rest.

“It’s a defamatory outrage,” he said of the speculation that seemingly began moments after the president was shot. “I think it’s time to realize none of these theories ever have been proven.

“I think (Oswald) would be thrilled today to know he was one of the most famous people in the world.”

He said he hoped Friday is a day to remember Kennedy, not the man who killed him.

Swanson, who touched on the former president’s seemingly boundless optimism, included one of Jacqueline Kennedy’s remembrances of her husband during his remarks.

“He believed that one man can make a difference and that every man should try.”

Former Secret Service agent Clint Hill, the man who can be seen leaping onto the rear of Kennedy’s limousine in the Zapruder film, attended Monday’s discussion. He was scheduled to speak last night.

Admission to the museum is free Friday.

DEARBORN The assassination of President John F. Kennedy might have made Dan Rather, but the longtime newsman hardly mentioned that Monday night.

Instead, Rather and author James Swanson spent most of their time at The Henry Ford museum dwelling on the slain president’s legacy.

“He was young, but also good looking,” said Rather, who was among the first men to broadcast news of Kennedy’s death Nov. 22, 1963, from Dallas. “He had this energy about him, this vigor.”

Rather and Swanson, whose books “End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy” and “’The President Has Been Shot!’: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy” delve deeply into the fateful day and its aftermath, addressed a sold-out crowd to begin The Henry Ford’s observance of the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death.

The 1961 Lincoln Continental that carried Kennedy through the streets of Dallas is one of the most notable pieces in the museum’s vast collection. The speakers sat near it Monday.

Rather, who rose as a correspondent in his home state of Texas, was supposed to be in Dallas only in a functionary role, but vividly remembered having to report the news.

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“When it was clear he was dead, it was an emotional earthquake,” he said. “A terrible hammer to the heart.”

Though a good number of those in attendance seemed old enough to remember Kennedy’s assassination a show of hands proved it both men used their time to explain why the president’s death was such a shock.

Rather remembered the first “movie star president,” who understood TV in its infancy and how to use it. He remembered a brief interview with Kennedy shortly after he secured the Democratic Party’s nomination in 1960.

“He had this very strong eye contact,” Rather said of the 4-minute interview. “It was undeniably recognizable that when he was with you, you believed he was in the moment with you.

“He had this ability to let you know, ‘I’m with you right here.’”

Swanson, who worked for former President Ronald Reagan, was a 4-year-old in Chicago the day Kennedy died. He hoped Friday’s anniversary puts the myriad theories about the president’s death to rest.

“It’s a defamatory outrage,” he said of the speculation that seemingly began moments after the president was shot. “I think it’s time to realize none of these theories ever have been proven.

“I think (Oswald) would be thrilled today to know he was one of the most famous people in the world.”

He said he hoped Friday is a day to remember Kennedy, not the man who killed him.

Swanson, who touched on the former president’s seemingly boundless optimism, included one of Jacqueline Kennedy’s remembrances of her husband during his remarks.

“He believed that one man can make a difference and that every man should try.”

Former Secret Service agent Clint Hill, the man who can be seen leaping onto the rear of Kennedy’s limousine in the Zapruder film, attended Monday’s discussion. He was scheduled to speak last night.

Admission to the museum is free Friday.

Contact Scott Held at 1-734-246-0865 or sheld@heritage.com. Follow him on Facebook and @ScottHeld45 on Twitter.

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