We Knew JFK: Unheard Stories from the Kennedy Archives

We Knew JFK: Unheard Stories from the Kennedy Archives

Sun, 05/21/2017 - 9:00pm - 10:00pm

Caption: JFK with Ed Berube, a bus driver from Fall River, Mass., who worked in JFK's first campaign for elective office, in 1946.

Credit: PRX

(Rochester, NY) – As we approach the 100th birthday of John F. Kennedy (May 29), AM 1370 is proud to bring its listener an hour-long radio documentary on the life of John F. Kennedy, told in oral history form, through the first-person recollections of those who knew him.

We Knew JFK: Unheard Stories from the Kennedy Archives air Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 9 p.m. on AM 1370. The program is constructed from a remarkable collection of audio interviews, recorded half a century ago and archived at the Kennedy Library in Boston, where they have gone largely unheard by the general public.

The characters who tell the JFK story are a diverse and vivid lot. From the blue-collar Boston Irish and Italians who helped a young unknown first get elected to Congress, to the venerable figures of the Thousand Days, they are strange bedfellows in all but one crucial respect — somewhere along the way, they crossed paths with Jack Kennedy, and came away with indelible memories of what was, in nearly every instance, the most important experience of their lives.

Recorded in most cases within a few years or even months of the president’s death, the interviews evoke the Kennedy era with uncanny immediacy. Further, they are unexpectedly, sometimes startlingly, candid – to discourage self-censoring, interviewees were offered the option of sealing their conversations from public view for stipulated periods of time, in some instances for their lifetimes or longer. As many participants accepted the offer, much of the material remained classified for decades. Today, with a few exceptions, the embargos have expired — many of them only recently — making this trove of long buried material available to the public for the first time.

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