John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums (1964)

John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums
 

Released in 1964: A documentary tribute to the life, death and legacy of President John F. Kennedy produced by the U.S. Information Agency for release in foreign countries.

Directed by Bruce Herschensohn

Persons appearing in the documentary: Gregory Peck (narrator), John F. Kennedy (President), Dwight D. Eisenhower (himself, President), Richard M. Nixon (himself, Vice President), Fidel Castro (himself), John Glenn (himself), Lyndon Johnson (himself, Vice President), John Kennedy Jr. (himself, son of President Kennedy), Caroline Kennedy (herself, daughter of President Kennedy), Jacqueline Kennedy (herself, First Lady), Alan Shepard (himself, astronaut), Earl Warren (himself, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court).

 

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President John F. Kennedy Remembered

Papa was a small-town preacher, and in the fall of 1963 he was preaching in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and I was in the seventh grade . . . high school. One fall afternoon I was staying after school with the school chorus to practice for an upcoming concert. Suddenly the principal walked across the stage and whispered frantically in the music director's ear. As we looked on wondering what was up, the music director told us with ashen face that our practice session was over . . . something terrible had happened to the President of the U.S. and we should all go home. It was November 22, and one of those 'do you remember where you were when' moments, and I still remember. Stanley "Bruce" Herschensohn was a young man with a passion for making movies along with a passion for politics. He favored the Republicans, working in the Richard M. Nixon white house as a speech writer, and later he helped the Ronald Regan transition into office. As I write this in 2012 he still holds a position at Pepperdine University, and regularly writes and comments on the politics of the day. In 1964, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy he was an independent film producer who created this documentary on the life, death and legacy of the President. The United States Information Agency occasionally wanted to create motion pictures and Mr. Herschensohn was hired to make them, and this was one that he made for the government to release in foreign countries. Although Mr. Herschensohn was a Republican and President Kennedy was a Democrat, in those days Republicans and Democrats were for the most part friends, friends that could work together through their disagreements for a better America. This documentary offers an unparalleled look at America and the world in the early 1960's and the Presidency of John F. Kennedy. If you lived during those days, or want to see what America was like in those tumultuous days, pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show.

President John F. Kennedy
President John F. Kennedy
White House protestors in 1961
White House protestors in 1961
The six faces of President Kennedy
The six goals of President Kennedy in 1961
White House protestor in 1961
White House protestor in 1961
Astronaut Alan Shepard and wife, with John Glenn looking on
Astronaut Alan Shepard and wife receives an award from President Kennedy, with John Glenn looking on
The Eternal Flame at the grave site of John F. Kennedy
The Eternal Flame at the grave site of John F. Kennedy
The funeral procession of John F. Kennedy, travelling from the Rotunda to Arlington Cemetary
The funeral procession of John F. Kennedy, travelling from the Rotunda to Arlington Cemetary
Jacqueline Kennedy arrives for the inauguration ceremony of her husband, John F. Kennedy
Jacqueline Kennedy arrives for the inauguration ceremony of her husband, John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda in November of 1963
John F. Kennedy lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda in November of 1963
Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy watch on television as Alan Shepard is rocketed into space
Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy watch on television as Alan Shepard is rocketed into space