An important insider's look at the chaotic first hours after JFK's assassination
Raises questions about the death of a President and the transfer of executive power
THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION: 24 HOURS AFTER - 2-hour special premieres Sunday, October 18 at 9pm ET on HISTORY�
NEW YORK, OCT. 5, 2009 � A crack of gunfire rings out at 12:30 pm on November 22, 1963, and America is changed forever. Since that day in Dallas 46 years ago, the story of President John F. Kennedy's death has focused on the moments leading to the fatal shots. Now, a two-hour premiere special from HISTORY� presents a behind-the-scenes look at the hours after JFK's assassination, from the never-before-seen perspective of his successor. THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION: 24 HOURS AFTER is a world premiere on HISTORY on Sunday, October 18 at 9pm ET/PT.
Using notes only recently made public, the 24-hour timeline is pieced together as it unfolds in Parkland Hospital, on Air Force One, and in the Oval Office, far away from the public view. The Kennedy assassination was the most violent and sudden transfer of political power in American history. This HISTORY special reveals startling new information about the death of the President and the traumatic transfer of power to Lyndon B. Johnson.
� Notes from Parkland Hospital reveal a 40-minute lapse between the time the President is pronounced dead and the time that Vice President Lyndon Johnson is told. Sitting isolated in another part of the hospital, though not far from the slain president, LBJ is kept in the dark � and the United States has no Commander-in-Chief at one of its most vulnerable moments in history. The special looks at why Kennedy's aides may have waited this long to tell LBJ.
� The film challenges the Warren Commission timeline for when doctors were ready to declare Kennedy dead. In addition, using declassified secret service reports, the special reveals new information about when and how Johnson learned that he was President.
� The real story behind the photo of Johnson's presidential Oath of Office reveals the growing challenge that Robert Kennedy would represent for Johnson, as well as the critical role Jackie Kennedy would play on that fateful day.
On his pivotal first day as President, LBJ is put to the test as he contends with the jarring transfer of political power and the daunting challenge of securing the trust of a devastated nation. The film challenges the traditional view of Lyndon Johnson as insensitive and power-hungry and shows him instead masterfully dealing with the crisis.
Steven M. Gillon, resident historian for HISTORY, was the first person to gain access to research and interviews that had been locked up since 1967 when William Manchester's authorized account of the assassination, The Death of a President, was published.
The forthcoming book by Professor Gillon is The Kennedy Assassination � 24 Hours After: Lyndon B. Johnson's Pivotal First Day as President (Basic Books, October 2009). Prof. Gillon is author of numerous books on modern American history and politics, including The Pact: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the Rivalry that Defined a Generation. Other experts in the film include Max Holland, author of The Kennedy Assassination Tapes; Jeff Shesol, former Clinton speechwriter and author of Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud That Defined a Decade; Gary Mack: curator of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and a top authority on the JFK assassination; KC Johnson, author of All the Way with LBJ; and other highly regarded scholars in 1960s history.
Executive producers for HISTORY are David McKillop and Paul Cabana. Produced for HISTORY by Time Travel Unlimited. Produced, written and directed by Anthony Giacchino.
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