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Programs recall the 50 years since JFK


FILE - In this Nov. 22, 1963 file photo, President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, arrive at Love Field airport in Dallas, as a television camera, above, follows them. More than a dozen new documentary and information specials are among the crop of TV commemorations pegged to this half-century mark of a weekend when, as viewers will be reminded again and again, everything changed. (AP Photo/File)


NEW YORK — “Don’t let it be forgot,” goes the plaintive song from “Camelot.”

It won’t be, at least not on TV, where the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and the end of an era posthumously christened Camelot, is being remembered.

More than a dozen new documentary and information specials are among the crop of TV commemorations pegged to this half-century mark of a weekend when everything changed.

● Secrets of the Dead: JFK: One PM Central Standard Time (PBS, 10 p.m. Wednesday) is one of the odder specials on tap. It’s no less a valentine to CBS anchor Walter Cronkite than to Kennedy, as it tries to draw parallels between the two men while portraying Cronkite as the journalist-in-chief of the American press corps.

● As It Happened: John F. Kennedy 50 Years (CBS, 9 p.m. Nov. 16) is anchored by Bob Schieffer, who covered the story in Dallas that weekend.

● The Day Kennedy Died (Smithsonian, 9 p.m. Nov. 17).

● JFK: The Lost Tapes (Discovery, 7 p.m. Nov. 21) supplements the tragic sequence of events with newly released audio recordings from Air Force One and remastered on-the-scene audio from the Dallas Police Department and other sources.

● Lee Harvey Oswald: 48 Hours to Live (History, 10 p.m. Nov. 22).

● Capturing Oswald (Military Channel, 10 p.m. Tuesday) pays methodical tribute to Dallas police for their swift arrest of Oswald, arguably glossing over Oswald’s murder two days later while in the department’s custody.

● JFK: The Smoking Gun (Reelz, repeating throughout November) is based on the work of retired Australian police Detective Colin McLaren and the book Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK by Bonar Menninger. It proposes that a Secret Service agent in the motorcade accidentally fired one of the bullets that struck Kennedy.

● Fox News Reporting: 50 Years of Questions: The JFK Assassination (Fox News Channel, 9 p.m. today), anchored by Bill Hemmer, takes a look at the controversy still haunting the FBI investigation, the autopsy report, and the Warren Commission’s findings.

● NOVA: Cold Case (PBS, 9 p.m. Wednesday) applies modern forensics to the mysteries of the assassination.

● The Assassination of JFK (1963) (CNN, 9 p.m. Thursday) is part of The Sixties, an upcoming 10-part documentary series co-produced with Tom Hanks.

● Kennedy’s Suicide Bomber (Smithsonian, 8 p.m. Nov. 17) tells the story of a would-be assassin who targeted the president-elect a month before he was sworn into office.

● American Experience: JFK (PBS, 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at 9 p.m.) is a four-hour, two-part special that promises “a fresh assessment of the man.”

● Letters to Jackie (TLC, 9 p.m. Nov. 17) invites celebrities to read a few of the condolence letters sent to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and her family.

● JFK Assassination: The Definitive Guide (History, 8 p.m. Nov. 22) offers polling results of thousands of Americans to reveal what they do and don’t believe today.

● Where Were You? (NBC, 9 p.m. Nov. 22), anchored by Tom Brokaw, combines archival footage with first-person accounts.

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