Today marks the 50th anniversary of the nation’s 35th President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. When most people think of Kennedy, they can’t help but think of the event that changed us forever on November 22, 1963 near the grassy knoll of Dallas’ Dealey Plaza. Much has been debated about what really happened on that fall day, but never before have we heard from those who were assigned to handle the President’s security detail until now.
With time moving on and memories fading, former Secret Service agent, Jerry Blaine decided it was time to finally publish the authoritative version of events from those who had the closest view, the U.S. Secret Service detail assigned to handle the president’s security on that fateful day. Though not there in person, Blaine has gone back though notes, records and most importantly his associates who were there on the front lines as the events of the day unfolded to assemble the book, “The Kennedy Detail” with Lisa McCubbin (Gallery Books).
The key witness here is agent Clint Hill, who was assigned to handle security for Jackie Kennedy and who was the one who leapt on the back of the vehicles the shots rang out from the Texas School Book Depository. Certainly, the story holds few surprises, but the amount of detail that Blaine has assembled – who said what to whom, how did the drivers react, what where the relationships of the key players to each other and the Kennedy family, etc. – are all outlined in gripping, sequential and astonishing detail. The effect is somewhere between storytelling and a detailed crime report and is the basis of an upcoming special airing November 22nd on the Discovery Channel.