The Kennedy Detail
Read excerpts, watch videos, get book reviews and more about The Kennedy Detail at Simon & Schuster.

Visit Discovery Channel
WATCH VIDEO CLIPS Cuban Missile Crisis Protecting Jackie Memories ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ex-agent’s book covers death of JFK GJ retiree was on president's security detail

Gerald Blaine of Grand Junction was a Secret Service agent who was assigned to protect President John F. Kennedy. Blaine’s book, which includes input from nearly every agent on the Kennedy Detail, will be released Tuesday.

By Melinda Mawdsley
Thursday, October 28, 2010

The conspiracies and misinformation tied to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination became so crazy for Gerald Blaine to read or hear that he finally decided to do something about… Want to read more?

Saturday, October 30, 2010


The Museum will open at 10 a.m. Monday, November 22, 2010. Saturday, November 20 - 2 p.m.

Q&A and Book Signing with Clint Hill, Jerry Blaine and Lisa McCubbin Moderated by Museum Curator Gary Mack THE KENNEDY DETAIL JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence By Gerald Blaine with Lisa McCubbin Foreword by Clint Hill

After nearly 50 years under a "Code of Silence," many of the Secret Service agents serving on President Kennedy's detail when he was assassinated are speaking out. "The Kennedy Detail" (Gallery Books; November 2, 2010) is the only authoritative account of the events of that day from the men who were there to guard the president's life. Clint Hill, the agent who jumped on the back of the car immediately after the shooting and helped Jackie to her seat, has rarely contributed to any works on the assassination, until now. Program is free but seating reservations are required. To reserve your seat, email or call 214.747.6660. Museum parking is $5.


On November 22, 1963, the Texas School Book Depository building was the focus of world shock, grief, and outrage when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza. Twenty-six years later, John F. Kennedy and the Memory of a Nation opened on the building's sixth floor, where significant evidence was found. Using nearly 400 photographs, 45 minutes of documentary films, and artifacts, this exhibition recreates the social and political context of the early 1960s, chronicles the assassination and its aftermath, and recognizes Kennedy's lasting impact on American culture.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Man Who Did Not Kill JFK

This story is included in The Kennedy Detail with previously undisclosed details. This happened to President-elect Kennedy after eight years of no serious threats against President Eisenhower. It was an ominous start for the new president.

By Bob Greene, CNN Contributor

Editor's note: CNN contributor Bob Greene is a best-selling author whose books include "Late Edition: A Love Story" and "Duty: A Father, His Son, and the Man Who Won the War."

(CNN) -- In a few weeks a noteworthy anniversary will arrive: fifty years since the election of John F. Kennedy as president of the United States.

Much will be made of the fact that half a century has passed. Photographs of the young president and his family will be republished, retrospective essays will be written. Inevitably, as the Kennedy years are freshly examined, the name of the assassin Lee Harvey Oswald will be mentioned in the context of what might have been, if only Kennedy's path and Oswald's never had intersected.

But there is another name that you have likely never heard: a man who might have changed history as drastically and irrevocably as Oswald did. Kennedy was elected in November 1960; a month later, this man came very close to making sure that Kennedy never served a single day in office.

His name was Richard Pavlick.

From an Associated Press dispatch, December 16, 1960, dateline West Palm Beach, Florida:

"A craggy-faced retired postal clerk who said he didn't like the way John F. Kennedy won the election is in jail on charges he planned to kill the president-elect.

"Richard Pavlick, 73, was charged by the Secret Service with planning to make himself a human bomb and blow up Kennedy and himself."

Pavlick came much closer to killing Kennedy than most news reporters realized at the time. He was arrested in Palm Beach on December 15, 1960, in a car loaded with sticks of dynamite. Kennedy; his wife, Jacqueline; his daughter, Caroline; and his son, John Jr., were staying in the Kennedy family mansion in Palm Beach, preparing for the inauguration the next month.

Because Pavlick didn't get near Kennedy on the day he was arrested, the story was not huge national news. The announcement of his arrest coincided with a terrible airline disaster in which two commercial planes collided over New York City, killing 134 people, and that was the story that received the banner headlines and led the television and radio newscasts.

It wasn't until later that the complete story of a first Pavlick assassination attempt, a few days earlier, began to get out. It was that first one that might have changed American history.

Pavlick, who had lived in New Hampshire, spent much of his time writing enraged and belligerent letters to public figures and to newspapers. He resided in Belmont, New Hampshire; Belmont was at one time called Upper Gilmanton, and Gilmanton itself, four miles away, was reputed to be the model for the New England town in Grace Metalious' scandalous 1950s novel "Peyton Place." Thus, Time magazine, in its report of Pavlick's arrest in Florida, headlined the story: "The Man From Peyton Place."

It reported:

"One day last month Richard Pavlick decided to do something worthy of inclusion in 'Peyton Place': he made up his mind to kill a president-elect. He took ten sticks of dynamite, some blasting caps and wire, and began to shadow Jack Kennedy. He cased the cottage in Hyannisport, sized up the house in Georgetown, headed south for Palm Beach." The magazine quoted Pavlick: "The Kennedy money bought him the White House. I wanted to teach the United States the presidency is not for sale."

Here is what was not reported at the time, and was disclosed later by a top U.S. Secret Service official:

On December 11, 1960 -- four days before he was arrested -- Pavlick drove his car to the Kennedy home in Palm Beach. He held a switch wired to the dynamite, which, according to the Secret Service official, was "enough to blow up a small mountain." His plan was to wait for Kennedy's limousine to leave the house for Sunday Mass, then to ram it and blow up both the president and himself.

What stopped him?

Kennedy did not leave the house alone. Instead, he came out the door with Jacqueline, Caroline and John Jr.

Pavlick later told law enforcement officials that he did not want to hurt Mrs. Kennedy and the children. He only wanted to kill Kennedy himself.

So he waited a few days. A postmaster back in New Hampshire, troubled by some postcards that Pavlick had sent, alerted the Secret Service. That is how notification of the license plate of Pavlick's car made it down to Florida -- and that is why he was stopped and arrested on December 15. "I had the crazy idea I wanted to stop Kennedy from being president," he told reporters from his jail cell.

What if Pavlick had gone ahead with his plan on that first day -- what if the sight of Mrs. Kennedy and the two children had not dissuaded him?

As reporter Robin Erb, writing in The (Toledo, Ohio) Blade years later, put it:

"Had Pavlick been successful, [the assassination by Lee Harvey] Oswald and his murder by Jack Ruby would never have occurred. Had Mr. Kennedy been killed, Lyndon B. Johnson would have been sworn in as president in January, 1961. How would he have handled U.S. involvement in Vietnam, the Cuban missile crisis, or the civil-rights movement in the South?"

Next month a book about Kennedy's Secret Service detail in Dallas on November 22, 1963, co-written by a member of that detail, is scheduled to be published; advance publicity for the book has centered on the events surrounding that day in Dallas. It will be interesting to see if the Richard Pavlick story is mentioned, and, if so, if any new light is shed on the events in Florida in December of 1960.

As it was, Pavlick was ordered to be confined to a government mental-health facility. He would die in 1975.

And the Kennedy family remained in Florida during those final weeks of 1960. Allowed to live, they prepared for Christmas. United Press International reported that the tree in their home was donated by the West Palm Beach Optimist Club. The president-elect received, from his family, gifts of cigars and hand-knitted socks. All seemed safe and right in their world.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bob Greene.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Kennedy Detail - Dallas Shoot

Toby Chandler, David Garfinkle, Clint Hill and Jay Renfroe

Toby Chandler, Clint Hill, Win Lawson, Paul Landis


Clint Hill, Win Lawson, Toby Chandler, Jerry Blaine

Jerry and Clint watching roll back

Video Village

The Kennedy Detail Wives

Friday, October 22, 2010 Announces Kennedy Special

JFK Requested Bodyguards to Back Off

Days before he was assassinated in Dallas, John F. Kennedy asked his secret service agents to give him space to campaign.

By Emily Sohn | Thu Oct 21, 2010 05:30 PM ET

Four days before the fateful 1963 motorcade in Dallas when John F. Kennedy was fatally shot in the head, the young president had requested that his secret service agents give him some space.

"President Kennedy made a decision, and he politely told everybody, 'You know, we're starting the campaign now, and the people are my asset,'" said agent Jerry Blaine. "And so, we all of a sudden understood. It left a firm command to stay off the back of the car."

Be sure to tune into "The Kennedy Detail" airing Nov. 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the Discovery Channel.

Blaine's revelations, as well as those from JFK's secret service agents in a forthcoming book, "The Kennedy Detail" and in a series of interviews with the Discovery Channel, reveal how challenging this charismatic president could be to protect and how shaken his murder left those whose job it was to keep him safe.

They were well trained and extraordinarily professional. They were dedicated to the President and especially to the honor of the presidency. Most of all, the Secret Service agents assigned to protect John F. Kennedy were stoic and silent.

They did not talk about their feelings for JFK. And they did not discuss their emotions about his death -- not with each other and not to the world -- until now.

Forty-seven years after the 35th president was fatally shot on Nov. 22, 1963, his bodyguards are sharing their memories about a charismatic man, his glamorous family, and a tragic ending.

Their words offer a new window into an event that transformed not just the nation, but also the men who were supposed to keep him safe.

Investigation Discovery: Explore video, follow the timeline and take a quiz about the JFK assassination.

What emerges from the interviews is a deep sense of grief and remorse. For their jobs and their country, the agents sacrificed sleep, personal freedoms, and time with their families in order to protect the lives of others. They became a tightly knit group. As they reunite with each other and recount their memories of the assassination, many of them unleash tears.

"It was an assault on our country, on every single thing that we stand for," said agent Toby Chandler, who was giving a speech to agents-in-training when the news came in from Dallas. "It was a thing that just must not be allowed to happen. And we were supposed to prevent it. And we failed."

"In our work, and in military work and things like that, you either get the job done or you don't," he continued. "There are very few excuses. You can always say 'Well, you know, it would have been a nice picnic if it didn't rain, but it rained.' And it rained on us. And so we lost a symbol of our country."

Compared to the presidents before him, JFK was a challenge to protect, especially in a motorcade, said agent Jerry Blaine. Eisenhower kept to himself and traveled in a closed-top car, Blaine explained, making him easy to cover.

But Kennedy was charismatic. He wanted to stand up in an open-top car and wave. He wanted to get out and shake hands, unencumbered. He loved crowds. And the crowds were big.

Still, the shooting in Dallas surprised everyone. When agent Paul Landis heard the first shot from his seat in the car behind Kennedy, he continued to scan the buildings and the crowds. But he didn’t see anything.

"I thought, 'Well maybe there was a blow-out or something,'" Landis said. "When the third shot happened, I saw the President's head explode, just like a melon. And well, I knew as soon as he'd been hit, there was no way he was gonna survive that."

For the men who weren't on the scene, shock hit first. But they had jobs to do. So, they pushed aside their emotions and went to work -- moving the children to a home in Georgetown, escorting the President's body to the White House, and later accompanying the First Lady on her powerful, yet dangerous walk from the White House to St. Matthew's Cathedral.

"When all this is going on, your personal feelings are one of a tremendous emotional hit because of the respect you have for that family and for the president," remembered agent Tom Wells, who was escorting young Caroline to her first sleepover when he heard the news that Kennedy had been shot.

Like the other agents, Wells had a deep respect for Kennedy, who knew the names of all his guards, frequently asked about their families, and made them feel like they were a part of his own.

"You've got an upheaval that goes on in your mind and in your gut," Wells said. "There's this unbelievable sympathetic feeling you have. But there's no room for that because the only thing you have got to deal with now is what your role is. So, it is a difficult time. It's a roller coaster, even as detached as I was from the main event."

Eventually, each agent moved on.

"We have a code in the Secret Service called 'worthy of trust and confidence,'" Blaine said. "So I made a decision. You walk away from here. You don’t talk about it. You put it behind you."

As close as they were during the Kennedy administration, many of the agents lost touch with each other in the years following the assassination. Many agonized about what they could have done differently to prevent the shooting. Eventually, they tried to forget.

"Of course, I wish Dallas never happened," said agent Ron Pontius. "Everyone will say that. It was a terrible thing to happen. And I think we're marked for it for the rest of our lives."

Agent Clint Hill was in the motorcade behind Kennedy that day in Dallas. After the fatal shot, Hill jumped on the back of the President’s car and held on as the car raced to the hospital. In the years after the assassination, Hill sunk into a downward spiral of depression and alcoholism. In 1990, when he was pulling his life back together, he finally visited Dallas again.

"I walked in Dealey Plaza for a long time, looking back and forth and up and down, at every angle, for everything possible that I could think of," he said. "How could this have been avoided? What could we have done differently? Where did we go wrong? Why did it happen?"

"I finally came to the conclusion that because of everything that happened that day," he continued, including the weather, the configuration of the streets, and the position of the shooter, "that every advantage had gone to the shooter that day. And we had none."

"So I realized that based on all those conditions, there was nothing that I could have done," he said. "And I finally accepted the fact that what happened was something that I could not avoid. And so that was a great deal of relief to me."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dallas Art News Announces The Kennedy Detail SPECIAL EVENT November 20, 2010 at 2:00 p.m

After Nearly Fifty Years Under Code of Silence, JFK Secret Service Agents Speak Out in New Book

THE KENNEDY DETAIL: JFK’s Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence

By Gerald Blaine with Lisa McCubbin
Foreword by Clint Hill

In THE KENNEDY DETAIL: JFK’S Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Gallery Books; November 2, 2010; $28.00), Jerry Blaine – one of thirty-four Secret Service agents on President Kennedy’s detail when he was assassinated – sets history straight on what really happened that afternoon and in the months leading up to and following the tragedy. Written with award-winning journalist Lisa McCubbin, this insider account includes contributions from many of the Secret Service agents who were serving on the Kennedy Detail, and draws upon their daily reports, expense accounts, personal notes, and vivid recollections.

Clint Hill, the agent who jumped on the back of the car immediately after the shooting and helped Jackie back down into her seat, has rarely contributed to any works on the assassination, until now. As Hill writes in the Foreword, “I don’t talk to anybody about that day…It is only because of my complete faith and trust that Jerry Blaine would tell our story with dignity and unwavering honesty that I agreed to be involved.”

THE KENNEDY DETAIL is the only authoritative account of the events of that day from the men, like Clint Hill, who were there to guard the president’s life.

As Blaine writes, “Every man on the Kennedy Detail would re-live those six seconds in Dallas a million times over. For the rest of their lives, they would be defined by the assassination of JFK, questioned and blamed for failing to achieve the impossible.”

The Discovery Channel is producing a TV special based on The Kennedy Detail that airs in November and features rare footage from The Sixth Floor Museum’s collections.

The Sixth Floor Museum will host a free program with Jerry Blaine, Lisa McCubbin and Clint Hill on November 20, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. Museum Curator Gary Mack will moderate a program and Q&A session, followed by a book-signing. Books can be purchased at the Museum Store + Café for $28.00.

The program is free but advance seating reservations are required. To make your reservation or to purchase a copy of the book, e-mail or call 214-747-6623.

Museum parking is available for $5.00. Visit for more information.

Special Event

Q&A with Jerry Blaine, Lisa McCubbin and Clint Hill
Moderated by Museum Curator Gary Mack
November 20, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
The Sixth Floor Museum, 411 Elm Street, Dallas, TX, 75202

The Sixth Floor Museum

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; interprets and supports the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza; and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history. Located at 411 Elm Street in downtown Dallas, the Museum is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday–Sunday and 12 to 6 p.m. Monday. Audio guides for the permanent exhibit are available in seven languages, and a youth version is available in English. For more information, visit or call 214-747-6660.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Huffington Post

President Johnson Almost Shot By Secret Service Agent Hours After Kennedy Assassination: New Book

by Marcus Baram

A Secret Service agent came close to shooting President Lyndon Johnson just hours after Kennedy's assassination, according to "The Kennedy Detail", a new book that claims to be the first account of the tragedy by members of Kennedy's security detail.

Though Kennedy assassination buffs already have their bookcases full with countless accounts of the assassination, the book by retired agent Gerald Blaine does contain some new revelations.

The night after the assassination, Blaine says he was assigned to protect Johnson's two-story house in Washington when he heard the sound of someone approaching.

Instinctively Blaine picked up the Thompson submachine gun and activated the bolt on top. The unmistakable sound was similar to racking a shotgun. He firmly pushed the stock into his shoulder, ready to fire. He'd expected the footsteps to retreat with the loud sound of the gun activating, but they kept coming closer. Blaine's heart pounded, his finger firmly on the trigger. Let me see your face, you bastard.

The next instant, there was a face to go with the footsteps.

The new President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, had just rounded the corner, and Blaine had the gun pointed directly at the man's chest. In the blackness of the night, Johnson's face went completely white.

A split second later, Blaine would have pulled the trigger...

Blaine struggled to regain his composure as the reality of what had just happened washed over him. Fourteen hours after losing a president, the nation had come chillingly close to losing another one.

Story continues below

The book also includes the first-ever account of the fateful day by Clint Hill, the agent who jumped on the back of the car in the midst of the shooting and pushed Jackie down into the back seat.

And Blaine dismisses speculation about Kennedy's relationship with Marilyn Monroe. He says that he was on duty the night of May 19, 1962, the famous birthday fundraiser at which Monroe sang for the president. Blaine says that Monroe was present later in Kennedy's suite at the Carlyle Hotel, but that she "left before the other guests."

And he says that the only other time Monroe was in the president's company was in Santa Monica in 1961, at the home of Peter and Pat Lawford, where Kennedy took a brief swim before departing.

Friday, October 15, 2010



10/20 CBS News Network Radio – Brief interview at the top of every hour

10/29 KABC/LA, 7:30 am

11/8 ABC Radio Tour, 8:30 - 10:00 am

11/12 Premiere Radio Tour, 8:00 - 11:00 am

11/12 The Leonard Lopate Show (WNYC/NY), 1 pm

11/18 KERA’s “Think!” with Krys Boyd, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

11/19 KDGE The Edge Radio, 11:30 am

11/19 Paul Brandus, West Wing Report, 3:30 pm

11/19 Hugh Aynesworth, Independent

11/30 The Ronn Owens Show (KGO/San Francisco)


11/8 Newsweek – “My Turn” column by Blaine


10/20 Good Morning America (ABC) – News mention/LBJ

10/20 World News with Diane Sawyer (ABC) – News mention/LBJ

11/4 Literati Scene (BNN-TV/Boston, MA) – Interview

11/9 Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (CNN) – Interview

11/11 Morning Joe (MSNBC) – Interview, 8:50 am

11/11 Hardball with Chris Matthews (MSNBC) – Interview

11/12 Fox & Friends (Fox News Channel) – Interview

11/19 Good Day, Texas (KDFW-TV/Dallas, TX/Fox affiliate) - Interview

11/19 WFAA-TV - Interview

11/19 Fox 4 - Rich Ray - Interview

11/22 Discovery Channel – Two-hour special based on the book, 9-11pm EST

11/22 Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (MSNBC) – Interview

12/2 ABC News 10 San Diego - 11 pm - Interview

12/3 Good Morning San Diego – KUSI-TV – 6:215 am - Interview

San Diego 6 Morning News – 7:15 am - Interview

The Mikey Show – KBZT – 9:10 am - Interview

CBS 8 News – San Diego – 3:00 pm


Boston, MA

11/3 Harvard Coop Talk/signing, 7:00pm, 3rd Flr.

1400 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, MA 02138

(617) 499-2000

Washington, DC

11/8 Discovery Channel Sneak Preview

Georgetown/Gaston Hall - By invitation

Discovery will film the event and the footage will be

featured on their website

National Press Club Book Fair & Authors’ Night Signing, 5:30pm

529 14th St. NW, 13th Flr.

Washington, DC 20045


New York

11/11 Barnes & Noble (82nd and Broadway) Talk/signing, 7:00pm

2289 Broadway

New York, NY 10024


Dallas, TX

11/17 Stonebriar Country Club – Private event

11/18 Sixth Floor Museum Oral History Recording 2:30 – 5pm

11/20 Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza Talk/signing, 2:00pm

411 Elm St.

Dallas, TX 75202

(214) 747-6660

San Francisco, CA

11/30 Book Passage Talk/signing, 6:00pm

1 Ferry Building # 42

San Francisco, CA 94111-4231

(415) 835-1020

12/1 Yacht Club – Private event

San Diego, CA

12/3 Warwick’s Talk/signing, 7:00pm

7812 Girard Ave

La Jolla, CA 92037-4287

(858) 454-0347

Los Angeles, CA

12/6 Book Soup– Talk/signing, 7:00pm

8818 W Sunset Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90069-2125

(310) 659-3110

Bakersfield, CA

12/7 Russo’s Books Talk/signing, 6:00pm

9000 Ming Avenue

Bakersfield, CA 93311

(661) 665-4686‎

Denver, CO

12/9 Denver Press Club Talk/signing, 12:00pm

1330 Glenarm Pl

Denver, CO 80204-2115

(303) 571-5260‎

Grand Junction, CO

12/17 Barnes and Nobel Signing, 7:00 pm

2451 Patterson Road

Grand Junction, CO 81505

(970) 243-5113

Pleasanton, CA

12/19 Pleasanton Library Presentation/ signing, 2:00 pm

400 Old Bernal Avenue

Pleasanton, CA

(925) 931-3400

Salem, OR

12/ 27 Boarders Signing, 7 pm

2235 Lancaster Drive, NE

Salem, OR 97305


Cleveland, Ohio

1/7 Barnes & Nobel Signing, 7pm

Eton Chagrin Boulevard

Woodmere (Cleveland), OH 44122

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Richard Johnsen, a Kennedy Detail Secret Service Agent, Passed away last week.

Dick was born in California and graduated from the University of California.

He joined the Secret Service in September 1959 and was assigned to the Eisenhower detail. When President Kennedy was sworn in Dick became a member of the Kennedy Detail.

On November 22 nd, Dick was assigned to the 4:00 PM to Midnight shift and was on post at the Trade Center when word came in that the President had been shot. Dick along with his fellow shift members immediately went to Parkland Hospital to assist in securing the hospital and provided assistance on the trip back to Washington D.C.

He remained on the White House Detail through President Ronald Reagan. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Patricia and his son Erick B. Johnsen and his wife Diane and his grand daughter Isabella.

Dick personified the agents assigned to the Kennedy Detail in dedication to his profession and lived by the values of his generation. Dick provided material for "The Kennedy Detail." He will be missed.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

JFK Library Programs Will Mark 50th Anniversary

By Melanie Eversley and Sara Newman, USA TODAY

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is planning three years of programs to honor the 50th anniversary of JFK's presidency.

The observances will help Americans learn about or remember a presidency shaped by the space program, the civil rights movement, the Cuban missile crisis and other historic developments.
The events will include journalists who covered the Kennedy era and advisers who worked with the late president, among others who would have unique insider perspectives.

"We're trying to have people who lived during those times or covered them," says Thomas Putnam, library director.

It's an important anniversary, and because of this, the library wants to do things right, Putnam says. The three-year-long observance is set up to coordinate with the length of Kennedy's
time in the White House, before his 1963 assassination in Dallas.

"Fifty is oftentimes a bigger deal than other anniversaries," Putnam says. "People will want to look back on these big events that happened in the 1960s."

Last week, the library observed the 50th anniversary of the first of four televised campaign debates between Democrat Kennedy and Republican Richard Nixon. Gathered together for a forum were former Kennedy advisers Ted Sorensen and William Wilson, and veteran journalists Russell Baker, Marty Nolan and Sander Vanocur, who covered the debate. They reflected on the historic event and how debates have changed over the years. Tom Oliphant, a former Boston Globe reporter, moderated.

On Nov. 8, the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's election, the library will host a party with a couple of thousand people that will include a video feed of results offered by late anchorman Walter Cronkite, Putnam says.

And in January, veteran NBC newsman Tom Brokaw will share his memories about JFK's inauguration.

The other theme that will shape the library's observances is modern technology. Twitter, Facebook and the Internet in general will play an integral role in the anniversary events, library staffers say.

In January, the library launched a Twitter feed regularly updated by communications director Rachel Day that issues tweets coordinated with significant events in the Kennedy presidential campaign. The January start-up was timed to coincide with Kennedy's announcement of his candidacy, Putnam says.

"We're trying to re-create that as if people were watching the campaign again," he says.

The museum's Facebook page, which has 4,300 followers, includes quiz questions related to the Kennedy presidency and shares new articles and tidbits related to the anniversary. The library website also includes a daily "diary" that describes what Kennedy was doing each day 50 years ago.

By next year, the library and its foundation will complete much of its effort to create a digital archive of the Kennedy presidency. The records will be accessible to the public via the Web, according to the library website.

"John F. Kennedy was one of the most important presidents of our time," Putnam says. The anniversary "allows us to look back at the signature events of his presidency."