The day that the U.S., probably forever, lost it's innocence. The days where Television became the indespensible news item; the days where we united as a nation in a way that only 9/11 can compare with since.
46 Years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. We've discussed, more than a few time on here, if we believe there was a conspiracy or not, and if Lee Harvey Oswald was the gunman or acted alone.
But in this one, let's try to guess at a history that never was: what would have the nation been like had John Kennedy not been murdered on that day? What would have happened with Civil Rights? Vietnam? Our trust (and today, lack thereof) in our government? Our relationship with the Soviet Union and Cuba?
Personally, I don't think we would have ever gotten involved in Vietnam the way we ended up doing under President Johnson. I think our role would have been more or less an advisory role, and maybe some combat airpower, and that's it.
Ironically, Civil Rights legislation might have taken a bit longer that iat did under LBJ, because that legislation was spurred by the death of Kennedy. It would have passed, no doubt, but it might have taken different form.
I do believe without an expanded Vietnam War, and with Kennedy and Kruschchev, after the Cuban Crisis, coming to respect one another and seeing that the arms race was a futile cause, the US and USSR might have reached agreements a lot sooner on Strategic Arms limitations and reductions.
As for trust in government, who knows? JFK did have his secrets, no doubt, but that was more on a personal side than on a political one. Perhaps our faith in government wouldn't be where it is today. Had he lived, there's a good chance that the '68 election would have gone differently, and Watergate would never have happened, That even, along with the war in Vietham, forever soured our faith and trust in our government.