Mysteries of history that will never be solved (5×8 -11/22/13)


Nov. 22, 1963 has been compared to Pearl Harbor and 9/11 for days that changed America. But “Tink” Thompson makes a good point: With Pearl Harbor and 9/11, we know why. We still don’t know why some “nobody” wanted to kill the president of the United States.

Thompson, who wrote Six Seconds in Dallas, thinks were there were three gunmen in Dallas, notes in this Errol Morris mini-documentary, “People continue to go (to Dallas) to think they can figure it out. Maybe you can’t.”

“As history pans out,” Smith Journal asks, “the question ‘if not only Oswald, then who?’ becomes almost less interesting than the fact of its repeated asking. Why won’t this story, world-shifting as it was, shelve itself finally between Bay of Pigs and Vietnam?”

It’s the Zapruder film and its national broadcast in 1971 “kick-started an industry of truth seeking.”

Today, CBS News is streaming its 1963 programming in real time, starting at 12:38 p.m. Local radio coverage from 1963 is available here (h/t: Andy Gifford).

Some of the best recollections of the day came yesterday from Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil, who hadn’t yet met and formed the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour. Lee Harvey Oswald showed one of them where to find a phone, so the news of the assassination could be relayed.

Related: At Dealey Plaza, a lost chance to commemorate history (MPR Commentary).

As he filmed, Abraham Zapruder knew instantly that President Kennedy was dead (Washington Post).

Then and now sliding photos (Boston Globe)

JFK anniversary: The myth and reality (BBC).



So there’s a little snow on the ground today, the commute home was typically slow, and the TV anchors are doing what TV anchors tend to do: Equating snow with an endless evil.

This is Minnesota. There’s a significant part of the economy that depends on snow. Hardware stores need to sell shovels and snowblowers, for example. Hundreds of employees work for manufacturers of snowmobiles here. We have a cold-weather testing industry. And, perhaps most important, we have a tourism industry with people who need a paycheck.

“This is a crucial year for us,” Rene Mattson, Spirit Mountain’s executive director, tells the Duluth News Tribune. “We need to put a good season under our belt for a change. Eventually, we’ve got to have the sort of winter we used to consider normal.”

The ski area, which lost $100,000 last year, has opened for the season.


It’s a tough break (no pun intended) for the Wrenshall, Minn., egg company — Locally Laid — trying to win a contest from Intuit for a free Super Bowl ad.

Just as its grassroots effort to win the contest hits stride, Locally Laid’s competitor in the contest — GoldieBlox — produces a video that goes viral, with 7 million views in just five days.

And today it gets coverage from the New York Times.

“I tell marketers and the ad industry, ‘When you want a video to go viral, this is what you do, you talk to women and girls and you talk to them in the right kind of way,’ ” Ms. Gallop said. “This ad is the absolute paradigm.”

The ad is set to the tune of “Girls” by the Beastie Boys, a decidedly anti-feminist ballad with lyrics that the ad’s creators rewrote.
An ad showing girls creating their own Rube Goldberg machine has gone viral. An ad showing girls creating their own Rube Goldberg machine has gone viral.

The Beastie Boys sang, “Girls to do the dishes/Girls to clean up my room/Girls to do the laundry/Girls and in the bathroom/Girls, that’s all I really want is girls.”


Last Friday’s transformation of San Francisco into Gotham City cost $105,000 to make a 5-year-old cancer survivor feel like a superhero for a few hours. It’ll come out of fees collected at the Moscone Convention Center.

We can’t get enough of BatKid:

Related: 7-year-old cancer survivor drafted to Tufts University men’s lacrosse team (Boston Globe).

Bonus I: Ten observations from my weekend as a semi-famous local indie rock star. From The Current’s Jim McGuinn.

Bonus II:
Nikki Tundel goes all Nikki Tundel on the news 55101 is hipster heaven.

Bonus III: A year in the life of a baby born too soon.

Should the FCC lift restrictions on cellphone calls during airline flights?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Friday Roundtable discussion on the legacy of JFK and his championing of public service.

Second hour: Secrets have become harder to conceal and easier to divulge with the availability of online blogs and other social networks sites as well as open office settings. Secrets can be used as weapons. They represent power, they can generate fear. In the shadowy world of espionage and in our ordinary lives secrets are a currency. But why do we have secrets? And what are the consequences either for holding onto a secret or for giving it away?

Third hour: The declining fitness level of children.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm) – Robert MacNeil hosts “We Knew JFK: Untold Stories from the Kennedy Archives.”

Science Friday (1-2 p.m.) – If the JFK assassination happened today, could we crack the case? Ira Flatow and some high-tech forensics test the magic bullet theory.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Dr. Josephine Fernandez leaves this weekend to help her family near Tacloban recover from the typhoon. We’ll hear what she knows about her family’s present situation and how she hopes to help with while she’s there.

Members of the Winona mosque are trying to raise $200,000 to buy a building that will house a new mosque in this river town. They’ve spent the last two months holding prayer services at various churches and meeting at Winona State University after a September fire destroyed the building that housed their mosque in downtown Winona. MPR’s Elizabeth Baier will have the story.