BOSTON (CBS) – Twenty-five years ago, Congress ordered that all the remaining undisclosed files concerning one of the most horrific events in American history be released to the public on October 26, 2017.
And that day has arrived.
If you were old enough to understand what was happening when President John F. Kennedy was murdered on November 22, 1963, you will never forget it.
This wasn’t the first presidential assassination, although it hadn’t happened in more than 60 years. And to have it happen to the youngest elected president ever made it seem especially atrocious.
But since that awful day in 1963, America’s grief has evolved into something nearly as terrible – cynicism and disbelief about the circumstances of Kennedy’s murder. Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone? Or was this the work of a conspiracy, involving foreign actors, the mafia, our own government? Take your pick.
The most recent national poll shows 61 percent of us believe others were involved in the Kennedy assassination. Only 33 percent believe the official version, that Oswald was the lone gunman. , an increase of more than 20 percent over the past two decades.
Why is that number growing?
Experts suggest the failure of conspiracy theorists to prove their case is one factor. More Americans are better educated now than before, and polls show the better educated you are, the less likely to buy into wild speculation.
Or maybe more and more of us are simply preferring to focus on Kennedy’s life and what it stood for, rather than dwell on his death.