We Knew JFK: Unheard Stories from the Kennedy Archives


Never-before-broadcast memories from JFK's confidantes recorded just after the assassination. The special is hosted by legendary journalist Robert MacNeil. 
Listeners will hear from JFK colleagues who were with him during his first political race in 1946, until his last days in office.
Famous names and voices wrestle with grief and memory; they provide intimate details on JFK the man, the president and father.

As in Studs Terkel’s work, the characters who tell the JFK story are a diverse and vivid lot. From the blue-collar Boston Irish and Italians who helped a young unknown first get elected to Congress, to the venerable figures of the Thousand Days, they are strange bedfellows in all but one crucial respect — somewhere along the way, they crossed paths with Jack Kennedy, and came away with indelible memories of what was, in nearly every instance, the most important experience of their lives.

Recorded in most cases within a few years or even months of the president’s death, the interviews evoke the Kennedy era with uncanny immediacy. Further, they are unexpectedly, sometimes startlingly, candid – to discourage self-censoring, interviewees were offered the option of sealing their conversations from public view for stipulated periods of time, in some instances for their lifetimes or longer. As many participants accepted the offer, much of the material remained classified for decades. Today, with a few exceptions, the embargos have expired — many of them only recently — making this trove of long buried material available to the public for the first time.