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NBC marks 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination with debut of a 'Tom Brokaw Special: Where Were You?'

by jmaloni

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Fri, Oct 18th 2013 07:00 am

NBC marks the 50th anniversary of JFK's death with a "Tom Brokaw Special: Where Were You?" a two-hour documentary that takes a look back at Nov. 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. By combining archival footage with unique, first-person stories of those who lived through it, "Where Were You?" offers a new perspective on what was and what might have been, since that famous day.

The special airs on NBC Friday, Nov. 22, at 9 p.m.

Just when you thought you knew what happened in Dallas that day, "Where Were You?" examines the effect of President Kennedy's death on America and around the world, and what might have been had he survived. Through politicians, musicians, activists, authors, journalists, filmmakers, historians and ordinary citizens - whose lives were altered by the events put in motion that day - the documentary explores why the loss still reverberates half a century later.

As NBC special correspondent Brokaw observes, "The assassination of this vibrant young president who was changing American politics and expectations for the future was a monumental event in a century filled with epic developments. A half century later we're still bewildered, wondering and trying to cope with who he was and how his death changed us."

Anyone alive on Nov. 22, 1963, including the shoe store manager who helped capture Lee Harvey Oswald, the widow of a Dallas police officer who received a letter from first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and the neurosurgeon who examined the president, will always remember that terrible seismic moment. Almost 50 years later, the thought of it summons the same sharp sense of loss. In a way, the aftershock was worse. One hundred and ninety million Americans were suddenly vulnerable. If this could happen to their president, what could happen to their country, their families, to them?

In early November, NBCNews.com will launch an interactive video experience that invites users to take a deep dive into Brokaw's interviews, featured in "Where Were You?" Divided into sections - from (JFK's) "Life & Legacy," "The Assassination," "Kennedy Mystique," "The Era," "Conspiracy Theories" and "The Impact" - the interactive will also feature footage from the NBC News archives.

A companion book to the two-hour documentary, "Where Were You?" will be released on Nov. 5. "Where Were You? America Remembers the JFK Assassination" was compiled and edited by Gus Russo and Harry Moses, with a foreword by Brokaw. The book features transcripts of participant interviews from the NBC News special.

In addition, leading up to the 50th anniversary, "Today's" Savannah Guthrie goes back to Dallas with former U.S. Secret Service agent Clint Hill; Matt Lauer has an exclusive with the woman who captured a moment in history when she snapped an iconic photo, and then he takes viewers on a tour of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Brokaw and Dan Rather will also be live in studio on Friday, Nov. 22. 

Plus, NBC's "Meet the Press" is producing a half-hour special to commemorate the anniversary of JFK's death and his rise to the presidency, titled "MTP Remembers: JFK - The Presidential Campaign." Pulling from "Meet the Press'" archives, this "MTP Remembers" special will feature three "Meet the Press" interviews with JFK during his 1960 presidential campaign: Jan. 3, July 10 and Oct. 16. The special will be offered to NBC's owned television stations as well as its affiliates nationwide to run during the month of November. "MTP Remembers: JFK - The Presidential Campaign" is part of an ongoing series of archival specials from "Meet the Press," including "Remembering the Dream," which featured an Aug. 25, 1963, interview with Martin Luther King Jr. in honor of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

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