Archive for the ‘News’ Category

The nation mourned when word spread like wildfire that JFK was shot and later confirmed dead. This was the first time a presidential assassination was captured on film by amateur cameraman Abraham Zapruder on silent 8mm film. The events that unfolded in the minutes and days after the event gripped the nation and the world.

The assassination of John F. Kennedy happened on Friday November 22, 1963 in Dallas, TX. It occurred at 12:30 P.M. CST. He was fatally shot while riding with his wife Jacqueline in a presidential motorcade. The investigation of the assassination was conducted by the Warren Commission with the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin – a conclusion still held in doubt by many in the world. In fact, the assassination of JFK is one of the biggest conspiracy theories that exist in our time.

Lets examine some of the facts surrounding the event

First, Kennedy came to Dallas for three main reasons: to generate more campaign funds for his 1964 presidential election; to begin his reelection bid; and to mend political fences among several key Texas Democratic Party members who would be needed to deliver Texas to Kennedy in the election.

Against this positive backdrop were concerns about safety in Dallas as recently Adlai Stevenson, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, was been jeered, jostled, struck by a protest sign, and spat upon during a visit to Dallas. And there was great concern amongst the members of the Kennedy contingent that an assassination attempt might be made. This was both in light of the fact of the unstable environment in Dallas at the time and the fact that the motorcade route was described in both Dallas newspapers on November 19, 1963, and a map of the route was published on November 21, 1963.

The motorcade traveled its route to an excited Dallas populace until 12:30 when the Presidential limousine turned and passed the Depository and continued down Elm Street where shots were fired. Many witnesses recalled hearing the shots but assumed that they were firecrackers at the time of the event.

Two shots were fired. The first shot entered Kennedy’s upper back and exited his throat. It also hit Governor Connally who was riding with Kennedy and his wife. The second shot took place as the limo passed in front of the John Neely Bryan north pergola concrete structure. This shot struck his head and did tremendous damage to his scull and brain and was the shot that eventually led to his death.

Kennedy was quickly brought to the Parkland Hospital and declared dead at 1 P.m CST. His death was officially announced by White House Acting Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff at 1:33 p.m. CST.

A few minutes after 2:00 p.m. CST, Kennedy’s body was placed in a casket and taken from Parkland Hospital and driven to Air Force One.

Vice-President Johnson became President of the United States upon Kennedy’s death. At 2:38 p.m. he took the oath of office on board Air Force One just before it departed Love Field to Andrews Air Force Base.

The President’s body was then brought back to the White House for private viewing. On Sunday, his flag-draped closed casket was moved to the Capitol for public viewing. Hundreds of thousands lined up to view the guarded casket.

Representatives from over 90 countries attended the funeral on November 25. After the service, the casket was taken to Arlington National Cemetery for burial.

JFK had an amazing life that was tragically cut short. The documentary Years of Lightning, Day of Drums dramatically captures his accomplishments as President against the backdrop of his funeral. This moving film touches upon Kennedy’s hopes during his presidency and details the “Six Faces of the New Frontier”, the Peach Corps, the Alliance for Progress, Civil Rights, Space Exploration, Disarmament, the pursuit of peace, the Cuban crisis, the Berlin crisis, his journey to Costa Rica, his speech at the Berlin Wall and his visit to the Kennedy ancestral home in Ireland.

Visit for a variety of films and audio recordings about JFK’s Presidency.

One of JFK’s most powerful speeches was delivered from the balcony of the Rathaus Schöneberg in Berlin, Germany. The purpose of this speech was to show the support of the Untied States for the democratic West Germany shortly after the Soviet-supported East Germany erected the Berlin Wall.

The speech and show of support by the United States proved to be a great morale booster for the West Berliners as they were literally surrounded by East Germany and feared occupation at any moment. The famous quote that made the speech so famous is showcased below:

Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was civis romanus sum [I am a Roman citizen]. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’

The concept of Kennedy delcaring himself a Berliner was a last minute inclusion by Kennedy in the speech and he practiced the phrase in German in the office of Mayor Willy Brandt before delivering the speech. He also created a phonetic card for the phrase ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ to ensure he pronounced it correctly during the speech. (The cue card can be viewed here.)

The speech was very well received but Kennedy’s National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy felt the speech was a bit too strong and the text was revised to a softer tone before delivering it to the Free University later that day.

This strong message of defiance was aimed both at the West Berliners as well as the Soviets and represented a clear statement of U.S. policy in the wake of the construction of the Berlin Wall.

Get the DVD: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums and own your own copy of this speech as well as many others in this excellent JFK documatary.

An incredibly moving speech JFK delivered to the people of Berlin, this clip is taken from the Years of Lightning, Day of Drums DVD.

It is hosted on The Historical Archive Youtube Channel but you can also watch it below in a slightly smaller window size than on Youtube.

[youtube width=”350″ height=”288″]GK907TwM7q0[/youtube]

In our modern world, we don’t even give a thought to the tremendous computation power in even the least expensive computers. Here is an interesting look at some of the things one of the very first computer ENIAC could do:

The original press conference announcing the ENIAC was held on 1 February, 1946. The reporters were addressed by Major General Gladeon M. Barnes, head of Research and Development Service of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, Eckert, Mauchly, Brainerd, and Goldstine. Arthur Burks and Kite Sharpless conducted a formal ENIAC demonstration showing five simple problems:

  1. 5,000 additions in one second
  2. 50 multiplications in one second
  3. Generation of squares and cubes
  4. Generation of sine and cosine table, to be tabulated
  5. A more complicated computation

Compared to modern computers, this type of demonstration would be considered a total failure. But it is from these early machines that the knowledge to make modern computers were derived.

1752 By tying a key onto a kite string during a storm, Ben Franklin , proved that static electricity and lightning were the same. His correct understanding of the nature of electricity paved the way for the future.

1800 First electric battery invented by Alessandro Volta. The “volt” is named in his honor.

1808 Humphry Davy invented the first effective “arc lamp.” The arc lamp was a piece of carbon that glowed when attached to a battery by wires.

1820 Separate experiments by Hans Christian Oersted, A.M. Ampere, and D.F.G. Arago confirmed the relationship between electricity and magnetism. Read the rest of this entry »