Friday marks the fiftieth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas. Commonweal followed, with understandable interest, the career of Kennedy from his time in the U.S. Senate through his shortened term as president, as well as his legacy and the political and legal response to his murder.
We've posted a special topic page highlighting stories on Kennedy from the Commonweal archive -- pieces that appeared from the late 1950s through the early '60s, including editorials, essays, and articles, from authors like John Cogley (himself to become a presidential campaign adviser to Kennedy), James O'Gara, and Walter Dean Burnham. Following is an excerpt from a Commonweal editorial written a year after the assassination; though intended as a commentary on the release of the Warren Report, it articulated something that many still seem to want to, fifty years on:
The nation knows better what it knew all along -- that a deranged man can do deranged things... The nation also knows that hatred combined with violence can lead to disastrous results. But if the people did not know that before the assassination, they are not likely to know it much better now; anyway, men forget. The consistent thing about Original Sin is that it is so unimaginative, ever satisfied with repeating itself. President Kennedy tried to establish a new frontier. What he needed, but was not given, was a new humanity.