JFK: American Experience
Marking the 50th anniversary this month of President John F. Kennedy's death, this biography provides a fresh look at an enigmatic man, who remains one of the nation's most beloved and mourned leaders. Beginning with Kennedy's childhood years as the privileged but sickly second son of one the wealthiest men in America, the film explores his early political career as a lackluster congressman, his successful run for the US Senate and the game-changing presidential campaign that made him the youngest elected president in US history. With the benefit of recently opened archives, the film recounts his struggles with life-threatening illnesses and his efforts to keep them hidden from the public.
This 2-part program offers new perspective on his complicated private life, including his relationship with his wife, his close connection to his younger brother, Robert and his complex bond with his powerful father. It also reevaluates Kennedy's strengths and weaknesses in the Oval Office as he navigated some of the most explosive events of the mid-20th century - the disastrous failure at the Bay of Pigs, the urgent demands of an increasingly impatient civil rights movement, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the escalating conflict in Southeast Asia.
Part One (#101) Duration: 1:56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
Follow JFK's rise to power from his birth to his election as president in 1960 - the youngest man ever to be elected to the office. With illuminating interviews from family members including sister Jean Kennedy Smith, niece Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, historian Robert Dallek and author Robert Caro, this episode offers new insight into Kennedy's early years, from his transformation from a sickly youth to Washington's most eligible bachelor to the nation's president.
Part Two (#102) Duration: 1:56:46 STEREO TVPG-L (Secondary audio: none)
Follow Kennedy into the White House through his assassination and the unfulfilled promise of his presidency. Offering fresh assessments of the successes and failures of his tenure, this episode features frank appraisals by administration officials, including John Siegenthaler, Thomas Hughes and Harris Wofford, civil rights leaders Andrew Young and Julian Bond, and journalists Evan Thomas and Richard Reeves.