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Rough Draft = American Reactions of JFK & MLK Assassinations

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Corinne Smith

on 4 December 2013

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Transcript of Rough Draft = American Reactions of JFK & MLK Assassinations

American Reactions of JFK & MLK Assassinations
JFK Assassination Footage
Abraham Zapruder (11/22/1963)
Friday, 11/22/1963 ABC Live
Broadcast of JFK Assassination
Senator Ted Kennedy Year Later
Memorial Service to MLK Assassination
in Memphis (4/4/1969)
Hours after assassination Bobby
Kennedy & Jesse Jackson's public
reactions (4/4/1968)
Walter Cronkite's Public
Announcement of MLK
Assassination (4/4/1968)
JFK Assassination
Friday, November 22, 1963

Dealey Plaza, Dallas Texas

Lee Harvey Oswald = "killer"

Most Americans believe
assassination was a conspiracy
Lonnie Bunch (director of National Museum of African American History & Culture) personal reaction to MLK Assassination (late 1990s)
Live Footage of Public's Reaction
of MLK Assassination (Evening of
4/4/1968)
The American Public's Reaction
to JFK Assassination
Confusion at first
Around the world - shocked
Men & Women wept openly
Lots of praying
Very angry
Worldwide mourning - flag at half mast
Canceled sport events
Many tribute albums to JFK
The American Public's Reaction
to JFK Assassination

2nd anniversary = still saddens 3/4
Americans with grief & sorrow
Often think about it
Dallas residents feel guilty
Trial (year later) - film shocked entire
courtroom with morbid fascination

2001 Poll = 65% of American believe
that the JFK assassination was a result of a conspiracy & that conspiracy is still
kept secret from the American public.
MLK Assassination
6:01 p.m. on April 4, 1968

Room 306 at Lorraine Motel, Memphis Tennessee

James Earl Ray = "killer"

Most Americans believe assassination was a
conspiracy
The American Public's Reaction to the
MLK Assassination
1974 - "The Passion of Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr." world primer tribute by National
Symphony Orchestra (c. 1968) - King &
Jesus quotes in song

1969 - Chicago peaceful with no riots by
African Americans on anniversary - help of
5,000 National Guard (riots earlier = 90
injuries & 275 arrests) & still boarded up
buildings from fire from riots a year ago

1969 Guardsmen use tear gas on youths & memorial services for Dr. King still taking place

Chicago 4/4/1968 - riots = 9 deaths, 500
injuries, & $9 million in property damage

3 Years After MLK Assassination
in Memphis
Many African Americans are still
discouraged - dashed hopes of change &
return of discriminatory patterns ("yes,
things are better, but they still ain't just
right")

Some progress in city for black equality
in the city (40% of city = black & 75% of
them are below the poverty level)

Accelerated Chamber of Commerce
program to strengthen economics of
African Americans in the city - yet still are
getting jobs called "Nigger" jobs

New Jobs for African Americans = 3/14
city councilmen, Criminal Court Judge, &
several members in many authorities &
commissions

Few come to visit site where MLK was
assassinated = mostly white people
Clearly African Americans and white Americans had different and similar reactions to both the John F. Kennedy assassination in 1963 as well as the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, because both were great political and social justice leaders of the 1960s, yet both had different agendas of how they were going to fight for and achieve equal and fair rights for all Americans during the decade. The question is, “What were the similarities and differences between the American public’s immediate and post reactions to the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in regard to American values?” It can be assumed that African Americans had stronger reactions to the assassination of MLK Jr. while white Americans had stronger reactions to the assassination of JFK because they were the public figures of the 1960s that they could most relate to socially and culturally. Multiple YouTube video clips of immediate news casts of both the assassinations of JFK and MLK and multiple newspaper and magazine articles of post reactions to both of the assassinations are examined to determine if this assumption has merit. After completing the data, there indeed appears to be some similarities and differences between the American public’s immediate and post reactions to the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in regard to American values. The results of the investigation suggest that African Americans and white Americans had different and similar reactions to both the John F. Kennedy assassination in 1963 as well as the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, because both were great political and social justice leaders of the 1960s, yet both had different agendas of how they were going to fight for and achieve equal and fair rights for all Americans during the decade.
Abstract of Prezi

Details of the
Assassinations

Immediate Reactions
to the Assassinations

Years Later Reactions
to the Assassinations

How Americans Loved & Hated
JFK & MLK Before they
were Assassinated

American Feelings Toward JFK
American Feelings Toward MLK
Was well liked overall because he was handsome, well educated, and was very
ambitious as a president in his domestic and
foreign affairs such as NASA, Peace Corps,
community health services and Equal Pay
Act.

Many Americans didn't like him because he
was Catholic and they were concerned with
some of his foreign affairs such as in the Bay
of Pigs incident in 1961 and his domestic
affairs regarding the Civil Rights Movement.
Was one of the most loved and hated
man of his time

Many liked him for his nonviolence
beliefs and actions throughout the Civil
Rights Movement (blacks & whites alike)

But mainly Southern whites (mostly
males but many women too) and
policemen hated him because they
wanted the south and the American
country to stay the same and have
African Americans always be under
white regarding equality and rights.
JFK's Family at his
funeral procession
Sailor crying at JFK's
Funeral Procession
The American Public's Reaction
to the MLK Assassination
Thousands burst out into tears when they
heard the sad news - Robert Kennedy tried
to calm Americans through his speech just
minutes after he learned of the news.

Holy Week Uprising - angry and enraged
low and middle class blacks rioted across
the U.S. in anger & rage. Washington D.C.,
Baltimore and Chicago were where the
largest and most destructive riots took
place. Shops were looted and burned to the
ground which resulted in crime to rise in
many of the major cities in America and
thousands of jobs were lost.
Chicago Burning from Riots
50 Years After JFK Assassination
Conspiracy theories still haunt the
the national psyche as well as the
results of the Warren Commission

Still one of the most shocking and
deranging events that occurred in
American history

Still half a century of doubt and
confusion to who/whom killed the
43rd President and how exactly it
happened
Final Results
I discovered that from my hypothesis that I made in my abstract above turned out to be correct. I predicted that African Americans would have a stronger reaction to the assassination on MLK Jr. while white Americans would have stronger reactions to the assassination of JFK, because they were the public figures of the 1960s that they could most relate to socially and culturally. Based on my research from multiple YouTube clips and newspaper articles from immediate and post reactions of both the assassinations, as well pictures from the assassinations, I found this to be true. When Americans learned that the 43rd President was shot and killed, women and men of both races cried uncontrollably and still today, the assassination is up front in the minds of many Americans. When Americans learned that the great Civil Rights leader was killed, both blacks and whites alike cried uncontrollably. Yet many low and middle class African Americans reacted in violence and destruction throughout many of the major cities in the United States of America. Decades later, both assassinations of these 1960s prominent leaders still deeply impact the lives and minds of many, if not all Americans today through sadness, grief and confusion to why these great men were assassinated before their time.
In conclusion, the results of the investigation suggest that African Americans and white Americans had different and similar reactions to both the John F. Kennedy assassination in 1963 as well as the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, because both were great political and social justice leaders of the 1960s, yet both had different agendas of how they were going to fight for and achieve equal and fair rights for all Americans during the decade.
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