Streams

We Knew JFK: Unheard Stories from the Kennedy Archives

SATURDAY: 6am 93.9FM, 2pm AM820. SUNDAY: 7am AM820, 8pm AM820, 9pm 93.9FM

« previous episode | next episode »

Saturday, November 16, 2013

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.

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [1]

MM from NYC

It is striking to hear the likes of Barry Goldwater speak in respectful and complimentary terms and tones about a president from the opposing party. The contrast to today's political and societal divisiveness and acrimony were captured poignantly and eloquently in Leonard Bernstein's comment in the closing moments of the piece -- that our nation has not since the JFK era has this nation experienced the optimism and hope.

Nov. 17 2013 08:50 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.