As we observed the 50th anniversary of the death of John F. Kennedy, this week, we’ve also had an opportunity to reflect on the late president’s personal and political life, including the many connections he had with our state. If you’re curious about JFK’s Georgia connections, you can explore a number of unique resources in collections right here at UGA and online through the Digital Library of Georgia. Here’s a short sample.
Georgia Senator Richard Russell, Jr., was a member the Warren Commission appointed by Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, to investigate the president’s assassination. The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies has an extensive collection of related artifacts, photographs, books, and audiovisual materials.
For insight into how the president’s death immediately affected those in his administration, listen online to a clip of Kennedy’s Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, describing his announcement of the president’s death to a plane crowded with Kennedy cabinet members (The Dean Rusk Oral History Collection) at the Russell Library.
Access photographs related to presidential candidate Kennedy’s October, 1960, visit to Warm Springs, Georgia, through the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs Collection in the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG). For political fashion in the 1960 campaign, the DLG gives you a look at what supporters of the Kennedy/Johnson ticket were wearing (from the Tracy O’Neal Photographic Collection).
For historic newsfilm, the Civil Rights Digital Library has Kennedy press conferences and meetings with civil rights leaders, including Atlanta-based WSB-TV newsfilm clips of Kennedy speaking about civil rights demonstrations and the federal government’s support and protection in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, and his historic meeting with leaders of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at the White House, Washington, D.C., in August of 1963.