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50 years after assassination, Kennedy and Johnson legacies examined at Thursday Forum

Lonnie Zingula, Associate Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8613 or lzingula@coe.edu

2013-10-24 14:13:56 - General

As the nation marks the 50-year anniversary since President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963, Coe's Thursday Forum casts light on the legacies of Kennedy and his successor Lyndon Johnson.

The series opens Nov. 7 with an examination of Kennedy's record on domestic issues by Stead Family Professor Emeritus of Sociology Allen Fisher. All of Kennedy's major reform initiatives - including tax reduction, civil rights and Medicare - were stalled in Congress at the time of his death. Yet all of these measures soon came to fruition under President Johnson. So, argues the historian Carl Brauer, perhaps Kennedy "should be judged not so much for what he achieved, but for what he started."

In the second week, attendees will focus on Kennedy's record on foreign policy, including the Cuban missile crisis, a thaw in the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and significant deepening of American involvement in Vietnam.

Fisher will discuss the Johnson presidency in the third session. First, participants will look at the stunning record of domestic legislation passed while Johnson was president, including Medicare and Medicaid, three landmark civil rights acts, immigration reform, the Older Americans Act, and the Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

The final session will focus on the war in Vietnam, which ultimately ended Johnson’s presidency. Fisher will conclude by addressing some larger questions regarding the Kennedy and Johnson administrations; for example, how these two presidencies affected Americans' confidence in the credibility and effectiveness of the federal government.

Thursday Forum lectures are held in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. Each session begins with coffee and pastries from 8:45-9:15 a.m., followed by the class until 11:30 a.m. A luncheon is offered at the conclusion of each series.

The courses are open to all adults. The cost is $30 for a four-week course paid on the first day, or $12 per week. The closing luncheons cost an additional $8. Thursday Forum gift certificates are available. For more information about the Coe College Thursday Forum lecture series, call 319-399-8619.

Thursday Forum schedule:

  • "Fifty Years After Dallas: The Legacies of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson" - Nov. 7, 14, 21, and Dec. 5.
  • "Carmen: Assembling the Pieces to Make an Opera" - Jan. 16.
  • "A Sense of Place" - Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27.
  • "Hollywood’s Vietnam War" - March 6, 13, 20, 27.
  • "Quantum Century" - April 3, 10, 17, 24.