November 22, 1963. If you were around back then, you certainly know the significance of that day. Or do you?
We all know that our 35th president was assassinated in Dallas. It's an event that haunts us even today -- nearly fifty years to the moment. It's indelibly imprinted on we survivors -- where we were and how we heard the news.
Yet two other greats died that same day. Within hours of the president. Their loss is hardly mourned, certainly nearly forgotten that it occurred at the same time.
But virtually no one on 22 November 1963 realized—and relatively few realize even now—that that day also saw the departure of the two other major figures, who were also world-shapers in their very different ways.
The two greats that were lost were as far from politics as you can imagine. These two, both men, were visionaries perhaps greater than JFK. Their words were read and their books sold thousands more copies than anything Kennedy wrote, Profiles in Courage included. Their literary works still are great sellers today.
These authors who's passing was glanced over at best, were totally ignored in the big picture despite the fact that they would have made front pages if they had died a day earlier. What is it they say, "Timing is everything?"
The two "ghosts" were C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy) and Aldous Huxley (Brave New World).
Philosophically and sociologically, they were titans. Their passing deserved a bit of recognition but sadly, a more instantly shocking sense of despair overtook this country. The presidents murder understandably overshadowed the more peaceful and orderly passing of these two pillars of future thought.
Death had moved remorselessly westward to claim his scalps. Lewis died first, in his brother’s arms, a few minutes after tumbling with a crash from his bed at the foot of the stairs at the Kilns, his house outside Oxford, at 5.30pm. He was just a week shy of 65. One hour later—12.30pm in Texas—the 46-year-old President was shot. At the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles, Huxley’s second wife Laura, leaving his bedside with his request for an LSD injection, found the doctor and nurses in shock watching the news of the assassination; Huxley died, aged 69, at 5.20pm local time, just under eight hours after Lewis.
So perhaps in a few weeks, after we've tired of all of the Kennedy conspiracy specials and commemorations, we'll take a moment and hearken back to two of life's most interesting writers. As this post began, things in life (and death) seem to happen in three's. So here's three quotes from the other two missing greats.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.
The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.
There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way.'
That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
Maybe this world is another planet's hell.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Wise men of wordsmiths. Come November 22nd, I'll remember their 50th anniversary of passing. Join me?
JFK is the gift that keeps on giving. There's more Kennedy conspiracy theories than Rand Paul excuses for plagiarism. And interestingly as time marches on, the theories get even more and more convoluted. Reelz Channel the other night, in a special called JFK: The Smoking Gun determined that there was a second shooter in the assassination. But it wasn't someone on the grassy knoll.
It was George Hickey, a Secret Service agent riding in the car behind Kennedy. Reelz claims Hickey panicked and a gun he was unfamiliar with accidentally discharged, hitting and actually killing Kennedy. Supposedly he was rushing to restrain Jackie Kennedy when this happened.
Wow. Here's the trailer:
Now, I'm certainly not casting any aspersions on Reelz or anyone else who wants to believe in conspiracies and revisions to history. Especially if their versions are true. That's the interesting part of life -- finding out things you believe for years are not always as they appeared to be.
This time, I'm not so sure. But this was a big week for new revelations on historical mythology.
Joining JFK this week with new revelations on their demise is the ever popular King Tut. It seems scientists this week have come up with a real coffin burner.
Working together with car-crash investigators, a team of British scientists says that the legendary pharaoh Tutankhamen died after being run over by a chariot while on his knees.
Well, aren't we lucky. Both deaths have warranted documentaries. Okay. But who's is more interesting? Before you decide, you have to know this about King Tut. His mystery didn't stop with his being laid to rest. Oh, no. the young pharaoh had to outdo the Kennedy myths.
The new findings, which also include an explanation as to why the remains of the Egyptian king were burnt, will be presented in a documentary that airs in the U.K. on Sunday, the Independent reports.
Studying a piece of Tutankhamen’s preserved flesh, the team found that the body spontaneously combusted while sealed inside its coffin, a chemical reaction between embalming fluids and linen that resulted from a botched mummification.
Holy Smokes!!! Spontaneously combusted?
Is this really science or just a new way to sell an old story? A PR person's wet dream. I don't know, but I can't wait to see what's next. Add these two stories to the movie about Abe Lincoln being a Vampire Hunter and perhaps anything's possible.
Ever wonder what the true skinny was behind the JFK assassination? Was there really a second gunman or was Lee Harvey Oswald really the guy who pulled off this amazing tragedy all by himself.
What would you think if there was proof of a second gunman? And what if this guy worked for the government and was actually one of the secret service agents assigned to protect the president. And what it if was his bullet that was the fatal blow to the president?
Sounds like a case for Jack Bauer on 24.
Well, that's the 411 on the killing of JFK, according to an upcoming special for the Reelz Channel.
A new documentary alleges that a Secret Service agent was the second (and accidental) shooter in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
At the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles on Sunday, producers and investigators behind Reelz Channel's new documentary "JFK: The Smoking Gun"made the claim that George Hickey, a Secret Service agent riding in the car behind Kennedy, accidentally shot the president on Nov. 22, 1963. The film follows veteran police detective Colin McLaren in his four-year investigation of the assassination and points at Hickey, who died two years ago.
Just when you thought things relating to the fifty year old case were finally over, this new story crops up. It's really got to make you ask yourself what took so long to get this angle out there?
At this time, there is no promo available for the Reelz Channel special, but there is some film that supposedly bears this all out, using the Nix and the Zapruder footage. If you have the stomach for it, here it is: