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John F. Kennedy

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of President John F. Kennedy this month HISTORY has an impressive and moving line-up of documentaries celebrating one of the best-loved presidents in American history.

 

60th Anniversary of JFK being awarded the Pulitzer Prize – 06/05/1957

U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy (later U.S. President) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Biography for his book Profiles in Courage.

 

The Kennedy Files

Fridays at 10:30pm AEST from May 5 until July 7 

For the first time in TV history, a full ten hours of The Kennedy Files has been dedicated to Americas most fabled and controversial family.

Through four generations of Kennedy’s and featuring a wide range of interviews (from political analyst Lawrence O’Donnell to JFK Jr’s friends to Ron Galella, America’s most notorious paparazzo) we see great triumphs, but also layers of human frailty, folly, and, most certainly, tragedy. From the hard-nosed streets of turn of the century Boston, through to the corridors of power in Washington, Wall Street, and Hollywood, each episode takes a contemporary spin on the most fascinating events from the family’s rich history.



JFK: The Private President

Saturday May 6 at 5:30pm AEST

In January 1961, a new generation in the guise of John F. Kennedy moved into the White House. All of a sudden, politics were youthful, dynamic and sexy.

During the brief period in which he was in office, the first pop star of politics accompanied America through the darkest days of the Cold War. At the same time, his signal to embark in new directions was eagerly welcomed by younger generations all around the world.

Later on, Jackie Kennedy was to compare his presidency with Camelot – the legendary court of King Arthur.

Yet, there were also dark sides to this popular president’s life. Kennedy had countless affairs. And behind the brilliant politician was a very sick man who needed to take up to 12 medicines a day. If the public had known how ill Kennedy really was, says his biographer Robert Dallek, who has examined Kennedy’s medical records, he would never have become president.

The documentary features reminiscences by Robert Kennedy Jr. and Matthew Maxwell Kennedy, the sons of Robert Kennedy. John F. Kennedy’s friend and campaigner Harry Belafonte, his closest adviser Ted Sorensen, who has recently died, and Sergei Nikitich Khrushchev, the son of the Prime Minister of the USSR.

Rare amateur footage from the private archives of the Kennedys sampled in HD provide an intimate view of the life of the legendary First Family.



JFK

Saturdays at 7:30pm AEST from May 6 until May 27th

Take a fresh look at an enigmatic man who remains one of the nation’s most beloved and mourned leaders.

Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin’s bullet, John F. Kennedy’s presidency has often defied objective appraisal. This new portrait offers a fresh assessment of the man, his accomplishments and his unfulfilled promise. Produced and directed by Susan Bellows, JFK features interviews with Kennedy family members and historians including Robert Dallek, Robert Caro, and Evan Thomas. Beginning with Kennedy’s childhood years as the privileged but sickly second son of one of the wealthiest men in America, the film explores his early political career as a lackluster congressman, his successful run for the U.S. Senate, and the game-changing presidential campaign that made him the youngest elected president in U.S. history.


 

50th Anniversary of launch of the USS John F. Kennedy – 27/05/1967

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy was launched by Jacqueline Kennedy and her daughter Caroline Kennedy. It was the U.S. Navy’s last conventionally powered aircraft carrier and was in service from September 1968 to March 2007. (It is now being stored for possible use as a museum ship and memorial.)


Jackie Without Jack

Saturday May 27 at 9:30pm AEST

In 1963 Patrick Jeudy recorded a series of conversations with Jackie, only a few months after JFK’s assassination.


 

100th Anniversary of the birth of JFK – 29/05/1917

Birth of John F. Kennedy, President of the United States (1961–63).


Race For The White House – 1960 John F. Kennedy Vs Richard Nixon

Monday May 29 at 7:30pm AEST

Young and inexperienced, John F Kennedy battles across America to win his party’s nomination and, during the famous first television debate, redefines how image, as much as substance, could win you the White House.

This episode tells the story of the remarkable, nail-biting campaign between Republican Vice President Richard Nixon and the Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy.  Nixon is well-known, experienced, and admired for his foreign policy expertise. Kennedy is youthful and handsome but inexperienced and hamstrung by his religion – no Catholic has ever won the Presidency. But the young Senator is ruthless in securing his nomination: using underhand tactics to beat his rival, Hubert Humphrey, in the Wisconsin primary; garnering the support of Protestant ministers in a televised address in Houston; and having his brother, Bobby Kennedy, work the Convention floor to defeat his Democratic rivals.

But it’s at the first fully televised presidential campaign in history, when the candidates grace millions of TV screens around the nation, that many voters come to focus on Kennedy and Nixon and their contrasting personalities as much as their policies. Kennedy, who better understands the medium of television, exploits it to deftly address his weaknesses; Nixon, over-confident but exhausted from campaigning, looks uncomfortable against Kennedy.  Radio listeners had the debate dead even but Kennedy won over the much larger television audience, allowing him to draw level with Nixon, before winning what is one of the closest presidential elections in American history.



The Search For Kennedy’s PT109

Monday May 29 at 8:30pm AEST & Monday May 29 at 9:30pm AEST

In August 1943, PT-109, commanded by Lt. Jack Kennedy, was sunk by a Japanese destroyer. Nearly 60 years later, celebrated explorer Dr Robert Ballard attempts to locate the wreckage of this famed boat.