Tonawanda News


November 22, 2013

The black-and-white pentimento

Tonawanda News — My memories are strong enough, in some cases, so that I have no need of any more research. I did not require, for example, the recent PBS biography of Jimi Hendrix to better understand his contribution to society or to my quality of life, so I did not watch it. You get that way as you get older.

Today we note the 50th anniversary of the death of President Kennedy, and will likely do so the way we did it in November 1963, by watching television. Contrary to the thoughts of modern reporters, it was not a day that changed America; contrary to later hordes of finger-wagging conservatives and religious hard-liners, it was not the day all the snakes in the closet of America’s psyche came out, and there followed generations of turmoil.

It was a heck of a day, but America was already on a path of misguided renewal of sorts. Think of what came after Kennedy’s death and before the 1960s ended — Vietnam, the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, colleges as cauldrons of social experimentation, the rise of sport at the expense of art — and note the seeds were planted in the early ‘60s, or earlier.

Aldous Huxley also passed away on Nov. 22, 1963, as did C.S. Lewis and 63 people in a Fitchville, Ohio, nursing home fire, but they weren’t on television. What changed in America was the public approval to turn on the television in times of national crisis. (Or comity; the 1976 bicentennial was broadcast on television as well, as newspaper editors made certain they could spell “joyous,” a word seldom included in headlines.)

After Kennedy’s death, crises seemed to mount in America, largely because of improvements to, and increased stature of, television news. Ratings of Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley and the rest stayed strong after the assassination story wound down. America mourned its fallen president by welcoming the Beatles and taking its news more seriously (which is a way of saying that things have always been this bad, we just know more of it). 

Text Only
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
NDN Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue