Tower Center Forum Event | JFK, History and the Politics of Memory

Featuring Edward T. Linenthal and Timothy Naftali, moderated by Jeffrey A. Engel

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 (7:00 PM – 9:00 PM)
The Sixth Floor Museum (map)

As we change, so do our memories. The 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination presents an opportunity to reflect upon how communities understand milestones, the changing nature of history, and our own recollections. How have politics shaped our collective memory about this event? How has our thinking about the tragedy been shaped by the media, ongoing investigations and the passage of time? What does this process tell us about what we choose to remember, what we forget and what we ultimately memorialize? Join two pre-eminent historians of American history for a conversation exploring the role that the politics of memory play in understanding the past.

Edward T. Linenthal is Professor of History at the University of Indiana Bloomington and Editor of the Journal of American History. He has written several books on the role of memory at such sites as Little Big Horn, Gettysbug, Pearl Harbor and Oklahoma City.

Timothy Naftali is a Senior Research Fellow with the New America Foundation’s National Security Studies program. He has written widely about the Cold War in the 1960s and is currently completing a book about Kennedy’s presidency.

Jeffrey A. Engel is founding Director of SMU’s Center for Presidential History and a Senior Fellow in the Tower Center. He has published widely on the Cold War, the Gulf War and national security.

Open only to Tower Center Forum members, SMU students, faculty and staff.

Members, SMU students, faculty and staff please RSVP to

If you are interested in joining the Tower Center Forum, please contact Luisa del Rosal at