Friday, November 22, 2013

JFK Assassination Commemorative Publications

by Pa Rock
Shameless Collector

Sometime last summer I came across a magazine dedicated to the assassination of President Kennedy - and more than likely also dedicated to turning a few bucks.  I bought it and spent a couple of hours reading and remembering - and looking at photos of the First Family from my youth and the events of the fateful day in Dallas.  Within a few weeks several other magazines with the same theme had also hit the newsstands, and before I realized it, I had started a collection.  The publications are all in mint condition, and some day I will pass them along to my grandchildren so that they can use them for show-and-tell, or term papers, or peddle them as collector's items on the 100th anniversary of the shooting in Dallas.

My collection includes Kennedy Assassination by A.M. Specials, People Magazine dated 25 November 2013 with the cover story "Jackie's Private Agony," Jack and Jackie:  Remembering Camelot Fifty Years Later - also by People Magazine, and JFK Assassination by HCE Publications.

The pile on my coffee table is also home to a reprint of The Dallas Morning News of 23 November 1963 with big headlines and large photos of President Kennedy and the new President, Lyndon Johnson -  and a contemporary publication from USA Today titled JFK Special Edition.

The Atlantic published a tribute edition with the title JFK In His Time and Ours,  and TV Guide had its own version with a magazine simply called John F. Kennedy.  Time Magazine checked in with JFK:  His Enduring Legacy, and there was even an entry into the commemorative market by Vanity Fair with their special publication:  Kennedys.  The Smithsonian Magazine, always a class act, created a special publication called JFK:  The Ultimate Guide.

There was a magazine put out by a group called i-5 Publishing that bears the title Kennedy:  His Life and Legacy.

My classiest find for this project was a coffee-table boxed book by Life Magazine titled The Day Kennedy Died.  Included with the book is a reprint of the Life Magazine original edition that focused on the assassination of the President.  (I found it at Costco.)

Finally, National Enquirer has had one regular edition dealing with the Kennedys and two special editions - the second of which I found just today.  The regular edition was dated 4 November 2013 and had a cover story (which I have written about before) entitled "Cold-hearted Ambassador Caroline Kennedy Cashing In on JFK Assassination" - in which the supermarket tabloid got apoplectic because Caroline had sold off some of her parents things.  (Been there, done that.  I hope her auctioneer was better than mine!))

The special editions from National Enquirer are both slick and surprisingly nice-looking magazines,  The first deals with the assassinations of John and Bobby Kennedy.  It is titled:  Who Killed the Kennedys?  The second, which I purchased at my local grocery store today, is focused strictly on President Kennedy.   It's title is Kennedy Assassination.  (Both of the Enquirer specials bear the lead "From the Secret Files of the Enquirer."  Those secret files might just be more shocking and titillating  than J. Edgar Hoover's!)

The lady ringing up my purchases today at the store stopped when she came to that magazine.  She held it up and asked, "Where were you that day?"  I replied that I was in high school sitting in the study hall during lunch hour.  "Well," she continued, "How did you learn about it?  Did they announce it over the PA?

PA?  PA indeed!  (The only thing electronic at my little high school were a couple of electric typewriters and the wall clocks.

No, ma'am, they didn't announce it over the PA.  They just emailed the videos to our iPads and life went on!  

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