ABC NEWS SPECIAL: JFK (TV)

Summary

This news special, hosted by Peter Jennings, examines the presidency of John F. Kennedy, twenty years after his assassination. The program features comments from the following individuals, among others: former Press Secretary Pierre Salinger; political scientists Richard Neustadt, James MacGregor Burns, and Stanley Hoffmann; former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara; civil rights leaders James Farmer, Bayard Rustin, and Andrew Young; journalists Ben Bradlee, David Halberstam, and Haynes Johnson; historians Herbert Parmet, Henry Trofimenko, and Henry Graff; presidential advisors Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and McGeorge Bundy; and former Secretary of State Dean Rusk. Topics discussed include the following, among others: Kennedy's impressive campaign promises and the questions that surrounded them; the way his personal appearance and charm seemed to put the public at ease; tactics he used during his campaign, especially in the West Virginia primary; the way his bold predictions attracted skepticism from supporters of presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon; the televised debates between Kennedy and Nixon, which were a turning point in the race; the public's concern over whether Kennedy could fulfill lofty campaign promises; the way his style and glamour seemed to distract the U.S. public from its deep social problems; Kennedy's treatment of television as a friend rather than a foe; the lack of Congressional support for civil rights issues; Kennedy's plans to combat the rising unemployment problem; the way black leaders began to question his commitment to civil rights; his fight to contain communism; Kennedy's staff members, who were dubbed "the best and the brightest"; the goal of removing Fidel Castro from power; Kennedy's show of courage by accepting full responsibility for the Bay of Pigs fiasco; conflicts with the Soviets that threatened to escalate into World War III; his decision to meet Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna to discuss the arms race; the challenge to Kennedy's stance on civil rights in the South, where he was tremendously popular; the Birmingham riots, which made civil rights a priority; Kennedy's decision not to participate in the March on Washington, and his tacit support of it; initial troops that Kennedy sent into Vietnam as advisors; the way the Cuban Missile Crisis made Kennedy prepare for World War III again; his assassination in Dallas at the height of his popularity; and the way judgements on his short presidency will always be debated. Includes clips of Willy Brandt, Arleigh Burke, Tran Van Don, Roswell Gilpatric, Carl Kaysen, John Lewis, Burke Marshall, Mikhail Milshtein, Nguyen Co Thach, Theodore Sorensen, Maxwell Taylor, Harris Wofford. Includes commercials and promos. This program is closed-captioned.

Cataloging of this program was made possible by The Marc Haas and Helen Hotze Haas Foundation, 1998.

Details

  • NETWORK: ABC
  • DATE: November 11, 1983 Friday 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:57:18
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T84:0193
  • GENRE: News
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Assassination
  • SERIES RUN: ABC - TV, 1983
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - Transamerica insurance company^TV - Commercials - Exxon office systems^TV - Commercials - Comtrex multi-symptom cold reliever^TV - Commercials - AT&T communication services^TV - Commercials - Apple personal computers^TV - Commercials - Ford motor company^TV - Commercials - Security Pacific financial brokers^TV - Commercials - Permalens contact lenses^TV - Commercials - Epson personal computers^TV - Commercials - Midas automotive centers^TV - Commercials - Chrysler Laser automobile^TV - Commercials - Canon NP 270F copier^TV - Commercials - Bufferin aspirin^TV - Commercials - Crystal Vanish toilet bowl cleaner^TV - Commercials - Coco's restaurant^TV - Commercials - Volkswagen GTI automobile^TV - Promos - "NCAA Football"^TV - Promos - "ABC News Nightline"^TV - Promos - "The Day After"^TV - Promos - "ABC World News Tonight"^TV - Promos - "ABC Monday Night Football"

CREDITS

    • Pamela Hill … Executive Producer, Writer
    • Andrew Schlesinger … Coordinating Producer
    • Peggy Brim … Coordinating Producer
    • Richard Richter … Senior Producer, Writer
    • Judy Crichton … Senior Producer, Writer
    • For "Introduction, Campaign, & Epilogue":
    • Richard Gerdau … Producer, Director, Writer
    • Joseph Angier … Associate Producer
    • For "The President at Home":
    • Kathy Slobogin … Producer, Writer
    • Richard O'Regan … Associate Producer
    • Consuelo Gonzalez … Director
    • For "The President and the World":
    • Steve Singer … Producer, Writer
    • Thomas Lennon … Associate Producer
    • Pat Cook … Director
    • Inez Rogow … Researcher
    • John Fielding … Writer
    • Michael Joseph Shapiro … Music by
    • Gershon Kingsley … Music by
    • Peter Jennings … Host
    • Kevin Costner … Talent, Apple personal computer commercial
    • James Earl Jones … Talent, Chrysler Laser automobile commercial
    • Ben Bradlee
    • Willy Brandt
    • McGeorge Bundy
    • Arleigh Burke
    • James MacGregor Burns
    • Fidel Castro
    • James Farmer
    • Roswell Gilpatric
    • Henry Graff
    • David Halberstam
    • Stanley Hoffmann
    • Haynes Johnson
    • Carl Kaysen
    • John F. Kennedy
    • Nikita Khrushchev
    • John Lewis
    • Burke Marshall
    • Robert McNamara
    • Mikhail Milshtein
    • Richard Neustadt
    • Nguyen Co Thach
    • Richard M. Nixon
    • Herbert Parmet
    • Dean Rusk
    • Bayard Rustin
    • Pierre Salinger
    • Arthur Schlesinger
    • Sorensen, Theodore (See also: Sorensen, Ted)
    • Maxwell Taylor
    • Henry Trofimenko
    • Van Don, Tran
    • Harris Wofford
    • Andrew Young