Watching The Kennedys
(1) last night took me back to the land of nostalgia. President Kennedy gave an inspiring speech at American University's spring commencement on June 10, 1963. It was less than six weeks after the first global and democratic election of the apex of Baha’i administration. I have been associated with this new world Faith for nearly sixty years. In this speech Kennedy called on the Soviet Union to work with the United States to achieve a nuclear test ban treaty and help reduce the considerable international tensions and the spectre of nuclear war at that time. The Kennedys
series did not make mention of this speech, indeed, much of the background in society in the years 1960 to 1963 were not included in this TV docudrama.
But the series did conclude with the assassination of both brothers, JFK and RFK, in 1963 and 1968 respectively. I pondered yet again what North American society and the world has pondered now for nearly half a century. Why the assassinations? Four years ago The New York Times
published Alan Brinkley’s review of David Talbot’s book Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years.
2 Alan Brinkley is a professor of history and at Columbia University.-Ron Price with thanks to 1ABC1, 8:30-10:00 p.m., 12 June 2011; and 2 Alan Brinkley, The New York Times,
20 May 2007.
You1 explored the conspiracy
scenarios, the vast literature,
David…..You told us how you
thought the Kennedys tried to
change the world……...Well, we
thought we were back then, eh?
We were the hippies, the flower-
power, counter culture and there
was a clash with the forces of the
past…..I survived by the skin-of-my-
teeth and all that Kennedy stuff was
a backdrop music-noise to my battles
with life back then. You said, David….
that “history cracked open” on that
22/11/’63 in a world-changing death2
as I was 1/3rd of the way through first
year of my arts degree and 1/5th of the
way into episodes of a bipolar disorder.
I missed entirely that 10 June ’63 speech3
six weeks after the Baha’is won a unique
victory4 because I was a milk-man, a book
salesman or was it a janitor? It was all a
life-time ago, David, and few Downunder
whom I meet now know or care about it.
1 David Talbot’s book and discussed in Alan Brinkley’s review cited above.
2 A quotation from Talbot’s book.
4 Century of Light
, prepared under the supervision of the Universal House of Justice, Baha’i World Centre, 2001, p. 92.
13 June 2011