Tag Archives: 1963

The Kennedy Assassination: An American Mystery Fifty Years On

Yesterday began the fifty year mystery that is the assassination of United States president John F. Kennedy.

Dallas, Texas November 22, 1963

Dallas, Texas November 22, 1963

On November 22, 1963 President Kennedy was shot during a motorcade campaign run in Dallas, Texas. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested in connection to the assassination and the wounding of Texas Governor, John Connally. Oswald was shot two days later by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby, while being transferred from police headquarters to the county jail. This happened in full view of television cameras broadcasting live.

Five days after Kennedy’s death former Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson commissioned an investigation. This became more widely known as the Warren Commission. The 889 pages of the Warren Commission’s final report was presented to President Johnson on September 24, 1964; it was made public three days later. The report concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy and wounding the Texas Governor. It also concluded that Jack Ruby acted alone in killing Oswald two days later.

The inconsistencies of the Warren Commission and the peculiarities surrounding that day left the Kennedy assassination open to a number of conspiracy theories. As we learned from Joseph Broadbent’s talk on The Culture of Conspiracy Theory & the JFK Assassination—part of our ongoing 2013 Autumn Lecture Series, conspiracy theories arise from human’s want to make sense of the world, to see patterns and logic in the seemingly inexplicable. The contested theories about what happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963 have made the Kennedy assassination one of the greatest and most famous American mysteries of all time.

Fifty years later, conspiracy theories about the assassination continue to bewilder not only the American mind but those of interested parties around the world. If you should find yourself an interested party, the Memorial Library has a wide selection of books concerning the Kennedy assassination and the wider political and historical implications of the Kennedy Presidency. Below you will find just a sample of the books we have in stock but we have many more biographies about both Kennedy and his wife Jackie. Please refer to the library catalogue for more information:  http://norlink.norfolk.gov.uk/02_Catalogue/02_001_Search.aspx

We also have the new edition of Time Magazine which addresses the ‘JFK Conspiracy Industry’ after fifty years. As it is the latest edition, this magazine is available for in library use only.

November 25, 2013 edition

November 25, 2013 edition

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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?: The Writing of Joyce Carol Oates

“Joyce Carol Oates, born in 1938, was perhaps born a hundred years too late; she needs a lustier audience, a race of Victorian word-eaters, to be worthy of her astounding productivity….

She has, I fear, rather overwhelmed the puny, mean-minded critical establishment of this country. Single-mindedness and efficiency rather than haste underlie her prolificacy; if the phrase ‘woman of letters’ existed, she would be, foremost in this country, entitled to it.”

—John Updike, Odd Jobs: Essays and Criticism

On October 8th, we opened our 2013 Autumn Lecture Series on American Life & Culture with a talk by Dr. Rachael McLennan on the career of one of our most celebrated living authors, Joyce Carol Oates.

This year’s Lecture Series focuses on the year 1963, in which the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library opened its doors and in which the University of East Anglia, home to our colleagues in the School of American Studies, welcomed its first wave of students.

1963 is a key point on the timeline of contemporary American Literature as well: with the publication of a short story collection (By the North Gate) in that year, Joyce Carol Oates began a prolific writing career that is still going strong.

A three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and winner of an exhaustive list of other awards, Oates embodies at once the romantic legacy of a bygone literary era (she still writes in longhand) and the energy of an ultramodern professional (she still teaches at Princeton…she’s on Twitter).

Norfolk County Libraries readers can find a great range of Oates in their local branches, searchable in the catalogue here. These are just a few of the titles available:

In the meantime, you can read an early Oates short story, ‘Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?’ on this website from the University of San Francisco. The story was included in The Best American Short Stories of 1967 and was later made into a film. Oates dedicated the story to Bob Dylan, having been inspired by his song ‘It’s All Over Now Baby Blue’. On the same USF website, you can read Oates’s biography, criticism, blog, and also see what she’s working on currently.

Please join us for our next lecture on November 5th in the Curve Auditorium. Illuminating one of 1963’s most momentous events, Joseph Broadbent will present ‘The JFK Assassination and the Culture of Conspiracy’. Tickets, as always, are free. Please call or email us to reserve a seat.

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