Description

JFK presents a fresh look at an enigmatic man who remains one of the nation’s most beloved and mourned leaders, John F. Kennedy. It offers a new perspective on his private life, his relationship with his wife, his close connection to his brother, Robert, and his bond with his father. JFK also reevaluates his strengths and weaknesses in the Oval Office as he navigated some of the most explosive events of the mid-twentieth century.

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Description

JFK presents a fresh look at an enigmatic man who remains one of the nation’s most beloved and mourned leaders, John F. Kennedy. It offers a new perspective on his private life, his relationship with his wife, his close connection to his brother, Robert, and his bond with his father. JFK also reevaluates his strengths and weaknesses in the Oval Office as he navigated some of the most explosive events of the mid-twentieth century.

    • EPISODE 1

    American Experience: JFK, Pt. 1

    From PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Part One follows JFK’s rise to power. With illuminating interviews from family members, including sister Jean Kennedy Smith, historian Robert Dallek, and author Robert Caro, this episode offers new insight into Kennedy’s early years. John Fitzgerald Kennedy is one of nine children born to one of the wealthiest men in America. Unlike his robust siblings, he is haunted by a mysterious illness. Finally diagnosed with Addison’s disease, he will spend his life in and out of hospitals and in constant pain. Jack Kennedy first bursts onto the national stage as a war hero through his courageous rescue of his PT-109 crewmen. When his older brother, Joe Jr., is killed in the line of duty in 1944, the family’s political hopes shift to Jack. Despite the odds, he wins his Grandfather Fitzgerald’s old Massachusetts congressional seat. With his congressional win, Kennedy rises in power and influence, unseating Senator Henry Cabot Lodge in a surprising victory.

    • HD
    • CC
    • 54 Minutes

    From PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Part One follows JFK’s rise to power. With illuminating interviews from family members, including sister Jean Kennedy Smith, historian Robert Dallek, and author Robert Caro, this episode offers new insight into Kennedy’s early years. John Fitzgerald Kennedy is one of nine children born to one of the wealthiest men in America. Unlike his robust siblings, he is haunted by a mysterious illness. Finally diagnosed with Addison’s disease, he will spend his life in and out of hospitals and in constant pain. Jack Kennedy first bursts onto the national stage as a war hero through his courageous rescue of his PT-109 crewmen. When his older brother, Joe Jr., is killed in the line of duty in 1944, the family’s political hopes shift to Jack. Despite the odds, he wins his Grandfather Fitzgerald’s old Massachusetts congressional seat. With his congressional win, Kennedy rises in power and influence, unseating Senator Henry Cabot Lodge in a surprising victory.

    • HD
    • CC
    • 54 Minutes
    • EPISODE 2

    American Experience: JFK, Pt. 2

    From PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Part Two - JFK’s campaign for president is the first to be waged on television, a distinct advantage for the telegenic candidate. Despite his lack of legislative achievements and his Catholicism — which many Americans see as a negative — Kennedy wins the election on the promise that he will stand up to the Soviets and protect American preeminence in the world.

    • HD
    • CC
    • 54 Minutes

    From PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Part Two - JFK’s campaign for president is the first to be waged on television, a distinct advantage for the telegenic candidate. Despite his lack of legislative achievements and his Catholicism — which many Americans see as a negative — Kennedy wins the election on the promise that he will stand up to the Soviets and protect American preeminence in the world.

    • HD
    • CC
    • 54 Minutes
    • EPISODE 3

    American Experience: JFK, Pt. 3

    From PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Part Three - This episode follows Kennedy into the White House, offering fresh assessments of the successes and failures of his tenure. In 1961, the most challenging issue facing the new administration is the spread of communism and continuing Cold War fears. Only a few months into his first term, Kennedy launches the Bay of Pigs invasion, an unmitigated disaster that teaches him a powerful lesson. Nikita Khrushchev proves a stubborn foe, and Kennedy takes a stand against the spread of communism in a country few Americans had ever heard of—Vietnam. On the domestic front, civil rights prove tricky for the administration, as they rely heavily on the support of Southern Democrats. Forced to intervene when Freedom Riders take direct action in Southern states, the administration sends in federal marshals to ensure their safety. Health issues continue to plague the president and pain is a constant companion. Glamorous first lady Jackie captivates the world on her travels, while rumors of the president’s womanizing continue in Washington.

    • HD
    • CC
    • 54 Minutes

    From PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Part Three - This episode follows Kennedy into the White House, offering fresh assessments of the successes and failures of his tenure. In 1961, the most challenging issue facing the new administration is the spread of communism and continuing Cold War fears. Only a few months into his first term, Kennedy launches the Bay of Pigs invasion, an unmitigated disaster that teaches him a powerful lesson. Nikita Khrushchev proves a stubborn foe, and Kennedy takes a stand against the spread of communism in a country few Americans had ever heard of—Vietnam. On the domestic front, civil rights prove tricky for the administration, as they rely heavily on the support of Southern Democrats. Forced to intervene when Freedom Riders take direct action in Southern states, the administration sends in federal marshals to ensure their safety. Health issues continue to plague the president and pain is a constant companion. Glamorous first lady Jackie captivates the world on her travels, while rumors of the president’s womanizing continue in Washington.

    • HD
    • CC
    • 54 Minutes
    • EPISODE 4

    American Experience: JFK, Pt. 4

    From PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Part Four - The final installment follows Kennedy through his assassination and the unfulfilled promise of his presidency. Kennedy faces Khrushchev again in the Cuban Missile Crisis, ignited when Soviet warheads are spotted in Cuba. Negotiating his way out of the crisis proves to be one of Kennedy’s finest hours, and he spends the rest of his term working for nuclear disarmament. Domestically, the issue of civil rights continues and when Governor George Wallace of Alabama refuses to allow African-American students in the state university, Kennedy brings the issue to the nation, calling for the passage of a civil rights act. Looking ahead to the next election, Kennedy knows he must win Texas to have a second term. So he takes a fateful trip to Dallas, with Jackie accompanying him on her first domestic trip. It is there that an assassin’s bullet ends his life, forever enshrining him in myth.

    • HD
    • CC
    • 54 Minutes

    From PBS and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Part Four - The final installment follows Kennedy through his assassination and the unfulfilled promise of his presidency. Kennedy faces Khrushchev again in the Cuban Missile Crisis, ignited when Soviet warheads are spotted in Cuba. Negotiating his way out of the crisis proves to be one of Kennedy’s finest hours, and he spends the rest of his term working for nuclear disarmament. Domestically, the issue of civil rights continues and when Governor George Wallace of Alabama refuses to allow African-American students in the state university, Kennedy brings the issue to the nation, calling for the passage of a civil rights act. Looking ahead to the next election, Kennedy knows he must win Texas to have a second term. So he takes a fateful trip to Dallas, with Jackie accompanying him on her first domestic trip. It is there that an assassin’s bullet ends his life, forever enshrining him in myth.

    • HD
    • CC
    • 54 Minutes
© 2013 WGBH Educational Foundation

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