Generation Y Studies JFK's Life and Times

Forty SMU undergraduates have a unique opportunity to capture the zeitgeist of a turbulent time as the nation prepares to observe the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas on Nov. 22. SMU political science Professor Dennis Simon and senior English lecturer Tom Stone in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences are teaching a special course during fall 2013 that examines the life, times and legend of JFK.

The students and professors are blogging about their experiences here. Learn more about SMU’s experts and archival collections related to the presidency and assassination at

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From class to campus to city

An update from Taylor, a sophomore biochemistry and psychology major:

On October 2, 2013, the Daily Campus printed an article titled “In Dallas, JFK assassination legacy lingers.” It was a month into my class on John F. Kennedy, and we had class the day before this article was printed. In our class, we read “American Tabloid” by James Ellroy, a quasi-fictional story chronicling the story behind the assassination of JFK.

Throughout the class we talked about a few reasons John F. Kennedy could have been assassinated, but it was strange to read the article in the Daily Campus discussing the hatred that Dallas had toward Kennedy, especially in light of my class. I had no idea Dallas citizens weren’t supportive of JFK in general, but it made me less surprised that the assassination did occur in Dallas. We had learned about the varying opinions people had about JFK: some thought he was the golden boy who brought hope to America, while others thought he was a womanizing, sickly and hesitant man who hurt America.

Although I’m still learning about JFK, it was very exciting to me to see something from my class also show up in another form: the newspaper on campus. It makes this class seem more prevalent and applicable to our lives as we learn in the city where JFK’s assassination took place.

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