Youtube is an interesting part of life in the 21st century because it connects us to the world in an unusual manner. We can see the best of times and the worst of times through there as it makes future stars out of nobodies (see early Justin Bieber video) and dogs (see any goofy mutt video). People will relinquish any loose grip they may have on their dignity in an embarrassing effort to become stars, but sometimes stardom is simply a taped pratfall or misstep away from Youtube viral fame. . .
The Youtube adventure has reconnected me with my own kid TV roots because I can watch ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ and ‘Get Smart’ any time the spirit moves me. I saw a 1956 TV game show sequence that had a 96 year old man who witnessed the Lincoln assassination as a 5-year-old. The old guy misunderstood the events in the theater as a youngster and was concerned with John Wilkes Booth’s health when he hit the stage hard following his leap to escape capture after the shooting.
But somebody recently steered me toward another historical presidential assassination account on Youtube. This one has all-too-familiar photographic evidence – with heavy emphasis on the “graphic” aspect. The famous Zapruder film was digitally enhanced and displays the Kennedy assassination in painfully clear detail.
I am old enough to remember this very dark moment in history as a kid in grade school. The news came to us in the school gym announced by our principal and followed by silence and a prayer for the late president from a bunch of kids in a small Canadian city.
Over the years the Kennedy assassination has ignited much conjecture and debate about the circumstances that surrounded the shooting. Conspiracy theorists can still get tangled up in various hypotheses on the person or persons behind the plot.
Personally I believe that Oswald was a lone gunman. How or why he arrived at his infamous connection to this case is best left to the conspiracy hobbyists. But most experts believe that his rifle shots killed President Kennedy and you will get little argument from me, particularly after I saw the digitally enhanced Zapruder footage.
The experts believe that the Italian Carcano bolt action rifle was used by Oswald for his date with destiny. The rounds were 160 grain round-nosed bullets and they were designed to inflict as much damage as possible upon their intended target. The devastation caused by a bullet built to force its way into a target was graphically evident in the film sequence. The second round that hit Kennedy was a gruesome reminder of the sheer blunt force of the impact. It is ugly to watch and it’s a reminder of the sheer power of a firearm.
Most of the historical footage of the President shows a vibrant living human being whose legacy in American history includes a showdown with the Soviets in Cuba and a call to put a man on the moon before 1970. All of that life and vitality is lost in a heartbeat by a madman with a rifle. It’s a horrific part of history that can be found very easily in the files of Youtube, but I am not sure that I needed to witness this incredibly sad piece of American history.