Remembering President John F. Kennedy, 50 years after assassination

BY Andy Swab  November 19, 2013 at 11:54 AM EDT

Photo portrait by White House Press Office

PBS NewsHour continues coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Watch the player below on Nov. 21 and 22 for a live stream of events, including a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery attended by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.


And check out events from D.C. to Dallas commemorating the legacy of JFK:


Washington events

Wednesday, Nov. 20: Obamas, Clintons visit grave of President John F. Kennedy and the eternal flame at Arlington National Cemetery

Organizer: The White House
Place: Arlington National Cemetery
Time: TBD
The president and first lady will be accompanied by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former first lady and secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Wednesday, Nov. 20: Bill Clinton receives Medal of Freedom at the White House

Organizer: The White House
Place: White House East Room
Time: 11 a.m.
JFK established the Presidential Medal of Freedom only months before he was killed. President Obama will award Bill Clinton the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday. In addition to Clinton, baseball star Ernie Banks, activist Gloria Steinem, media mogul Oprah Winfrey and several others will receive the medal, the highest honor given to a civilian. The three posthumous awardees are Sen. Daniel Inouye, astronaut Sally Ride and civil rights and gay rights activist Bayard Rustin.

Wednesday, Nov. 20: President Obama delivers speech about JFK

Organizer: The White House
Place: Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Washington
Time: Wednesday evening
President Obama plans to deliver remarks on JFK and his legacy during a dinner, in remembrance of the 35th U.S. president. Some Kennedy family members will also attend.


Nationwide events

Tuesday, Nov. 19: “JFK: Breaking the News”

Organizer: PBS
Where: Nationwide
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST (Check your TV listings for your local PBS station’s schedule.)
A look back at how Dallas reporters covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Included: how the limited technology hindered their efforts; and the journalistic decisions reporters faced when reporting the news. Jane Pauley narrates. This documentary originally aired in 2004.

Tuesday, Nov. 19: “Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?”

Organizer: PBS’ FRONTLINE
Where: Nationwide
Time: 10:00 p.m. EST (Check your TV listings for your local PBS station’s schedule.)
FRONTLINE re-airs its 2003 documentary about Lee Harvey Oswald, who was either the lone gunman in the John F. Kennedy assassination (Warren Commission), part of a conspiracy (House Select Committee on Assassinations) or a patsy (Oswald himself).

Wednesday Nov. 20: “JFK”

Where: Nationwide
Organizer: PBS’ American Experience
This biography provides a fresh look at an enigmatic man who has become one of the nation’s most beloved and most mourned leaders. The newest addition to The Presidents collection, the documentary explores Kennedy’s childhood years as the overlooked second son of a multimillionaire exploding with ambition, his early political career as a lackluster congressman, his subsequent successful run for senate, and the election victory that turned him into the youngest elected president in U.S. history.

Saturday, Nov. 23: JFK Day of Service

Organizer: JFK Day of Service
Place: Nationwide
Time: Starting at 8:00 a.m.
Volunteer for this national day of service and follow the Twitter account @jfkday2013 and the hashtag #JFKDAY to be up to date with the cross-country volunteer efforts of this nonpartisan, citizen-led initiative. Working in counties across the nation, this day of service will be devoted to Kennedy’s call to public service epitomized by his famous quote, “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”


Massachusetts events

Friday, Nov. 22: New exhibit of artifacts from JFK’s funeral goes on display

Organizer: The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Place: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, Boston
Time: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. EST
Visitors will gather in Stephen Smith Hall, a glass pavilion at the Kennedy Library, to watch the musical tribute via live broadcast. In an effort to allow anyone in the world to join this remembrance, this event will be broadcast to an online audience. A new exhibit for the museum will be open called A Nation Remembers, displaying artifacts from the president’s funeral. Additionally, there will be a moment of silence at 2:00 p.m. EST, when the President’s death was announced to the nation 50 years ago.

Friday, Nov. 22: Wreath laying ceremony and press conference

Organizer: John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum Foundation
Place: John F. Kennedy Memorial, Ocean Street, Hyannis, Mass.
Time: 10-11 a.m. EST
The trustees of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum will remember the legacy of JFK.

Saturday, Nov. 23: Wreath-laying ceremony and reflections at the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site

Organizer: John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site
Place: John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, Brookline, Mass.
Time: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. EST
The John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, which includes the house where Kennedy was born, will open to the public on Saturday, Nov. 23 and Sunday, Nov. 24. At 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24, the site will hold a brief memorial ceremony with a wreath-laying, a reading of President Johnson’s 1963 National Day of Mourning Proclamation, reflections by local religious leaders and a rendition of “America the Beautiful,” performed by students from Brookline’s Edward Devotion School


Texas events

Thursday, Nov. 21: President John F. Kennedy memorial concert

Organizer: Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Place: AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas
Time: 8 p.m. CST
The Dallas Symphony, conductor Jaap van Zweden and violinist Joshua Bell pay tribute with Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, Darius Milhaud’s Murder of a Great Chief of State and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica.


Events elsewhere

Friday, Nov. 22: Memorial Service

Organizer: John F. Kennedy University
Place: John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill, Calif.
Time: 10 a.m. PST
John F. Kennedy University, the only university in the country with his name, will hold a memorial Friday that will include an unveiling of a bust of Kennedy and the announcement of a project for students to honor the president’s service legacy.

John F. Kennedy drives by in his motorcade in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963. This picture was taken minutes before he was shot. Photo by Victor Hugo King/Library of Congress

Friday, Nov. 22: View the 1961 Lincoln Continental that President Kennedy was sitting in when shot in Dallas

Organizer: The Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Mich.
Time: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. EST
Take time to reflect and see the limousine the president was riding in on that fateful day in Dallas.The museum offers special programs this week, including sold-out events with newscaster Dan Rather, who covered the assassination, and former Secret Service agent Clint Hill, who was on duty that day in Dallas.

Know of any other events? Share them with PBS NewsHour in the discussion section below.