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The murder of John F. Kennedy

The murder of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, fostered intense national desire to assign blame for the crime and bring those responsible to justice. One view of the assassination was articulated in detail in the 1964 Warren Commission Report (WCR), which anticipated revelation of "all the facts and circumstances surrounding the assassination and the subsequent killing of the alleged assassin" (Warren Commission). Nearly five years later, in 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., was murdered in Memphis, Tenn. The official view of the killing was that James Earl Ray, apprehended weeks after the event, had stalked and murdered King because of racial hatred; he pleaded guilty in 1969 and was sentenced to life imprsonment. About two months after King died, Robert Kennedy, presidential candidate, was murdered in Los Angeles. Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan, apprehended at the scene, was convicted of that crime (Blumenthal and Yazijian passim). Sandwiched between the two assassinations was the withdrawal from politics of President Lyndon Johnson, who had overseen escalation of U.S. involvement in Vietnam since 1964, year of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution--later revealed to have been based on a phony charge that American ships had been attacked by North Vietnam. The resolution gave LBJ latitude to prosecute the war (Schaller, Scharff, and Schulzinger 259). U.S. failure to rout the North Vietnamese became a divisive domestic issue, diverting resources from and polarizing not only Johnson's broad-based New Deal constituency but American popular culture more generally, finally forcing him out of politics altogether and paving the way for the election of Richard Nixon as president. Dislocations of 1968 in addition included the ascendance of black power to fill the void left by Dr. King's death, the Tet offensive, which mobilized U.S. forces in Vietnam but galvanized communist forces, the police riots of the Democratic...

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The murder of John F. Kennedy. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 20:02, June 19, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1689250.html