The JFK assassination

It is 50 years since the day President Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November 1963 (23 November in New Zealand.)

You’d think we would all be clear about what happened by now. Instead the waters have been muddied by an official investigation with too many loose ends and endless versions of the truth postulated or imagined in films and books. A recent article to mark the 50th anniversary lists a bewildering array of films and plays which have dealt with the theme, giving it all sorts of twists.

Even our own library has had to publish an explanation of why the Christchurch Star newspaper was able to publish the story so fast, because theorists took it as proof of a CIA plot.

It’s no wonder we’re so confused. I’m not sure if I should consider this as a reflection of the awe in which Kennedy was held, or a sad distraction from his legacy. Either way it has fed the creative imagination of a generation film makers and authors.

Will we ever know the truth? Or will we have to settle with whichever investigation or conspiracy theory that suits us?

The Christchurch Star of 23 November 1963 and the assassination of John F. Kennedy

One of the more curious gems in our collection is The Christchurch Star and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The Christchurch Star’s article on the assassination has become a touchstone of conspiracy theorists:

Preoccupation with the Christchurch Star connection had existed since 1963 but intensified with the release in 1992 of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, which puts forward a conspiracy view of the assassination. It uses, as part of its evidence, the front page of the Christchurch Star of 23 November 1963. There were claims that the Christchurch Star coverage contained information which was pre-packaged by conspirators prior to the assassination taking place and distributed in the US and then sent out to New Zealand very soon after the event. They say Oswald’s background was reported far too quickly and it must have been a CIA-planted cover story.

Find out more on our page on The Christchurch Star and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The Christchurch Star front page, 23 November 1963