Nov. 17 - A look at the life of John F. Kennedy as the world marks the 50th anniversary of his death. Mana Rabiee reports.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY DELIVERING HIS INAUGURAL ADDRESS SAYING "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." With those words, John F. Kennedy launched his storied and ultimately tragic Presidency. It was fifty years ago this week, on that fateful November day in Dallas, Texa s that President Kennedy was shot dead. But in life, the youthful Kennedy, along with his wife Jacqueline, forever changed the office of the American Presidency. Kennedy called on Americans to rise to the challenge of a new era. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY BEFORE A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS SAYING: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth." Abroad, he emphasized the power and persuasion of the U.S. as when he told a crowd in West Berlin that he, too, is a Berliner. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED STATES PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY SAYING: "…Ich bin ein Berliner!" In the autumn of 1962, Kennedy guided the country through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the closest the country ever came to flirting with nuclear war. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED STATES PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY SAYING: "…unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is now in preparation on that imprisoned island." But it was his shocking death that forever ingrained Kennedy into the American psyche. On November 22, 1693, 46-year-old Kennedy and the First Lady arrived in Dallas for a five-city re-election fundraising tour. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KBOX RADIO NEWSMAN SAM PATE SAYING: "...Stand by. Just a moment, please. Something has happened in the motorcade route. Stand by…" At around 12:30, shots rang out from the Texas School Depository and Kennedy, along with Texas Governor Connally, were struck. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RADIO NEWSMAN SAYING: "…and the first unconfirmed reports say the president was hit in the head…" (SOUNDBITE) (English) KBOX RADIO NEWS DIRECTOR BILL HAMPTON SAYING: "President Kennedy has been assassinated. It's official now. The president is dead. Women here in shock. Some have fainted. Grown men, Secret Service men, standing by the emergency room tears streaming down their face. There's only one word to describe the picture and that's grief and much of it. It's official as of just a few moments ago, the President of the United States is dead." That weekend, the nation mourned…. …and watched, as his alleged assassin, former Marine Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by a nightclub owner on live television. Today, the eternal flame at Arlington National Cemetery marks the grave of the late President, whose promise was tragically left unfulfilled.