PBS Pays Tribute to President John F. Kennedy. Special Programs ONLINE – Watch Now

A series of NEW programs offering fresh perspective on the life & death of President Kennedy air in observance of the 50th anniversary of the President’s assassination


AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: JFK, presented over two nights, takes a fresh look at an enigmatic man who remains one of the nation’s most beloved and mourned leaders. The events of Nov. 23, 1963 will be explored from a scientific, cold-case perspective; from rapidly unfolding events in a newsroom; from reminisces of Robin MacNeil and Jim Lehrer who were reporting at the time; to a reprise of FRONTLINE’s year-long investigation into the life of Lee Harvey Oswald.

These programs provide viewers with fresh, unbiased perspectives on a defining historical moment of the 20th century, and are part of an ongoing collaboration among PBS documentary, science, news and public affairs programs to bring audiences trustworthy, factual content tied to relevant national conversations.

In chronological order:

– Premieres Monday & Tuesday, November 11 & 12 at 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

NOVA “Cold Case JFK” – (Featuring New Mexican father/son firearms experts, Lucien & Mike Haag, Senior Forensic Scientist at the ABQ Police Dept.)
– Premieres Wednesday, November 13 at 8:00 p.m.

SECRETS OF THE DEAD “JFK: One PM Central Standard Time”
– Premieres Wednesday, November 13 at 9:00 p.m.

FRONTLINE “Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?”
– Premieres Tuesday, November 19 at 9:00 – 11:00 p.m.

Join PBS NEWSHOUR for a special report about former anchors Robin MacNeil and Jim Lehrer and their original reporting on President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

Part 1 – Watch Now
Part 2 – Watch Now

Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin’s bullet, John F. Kennedy’s presidency has often defied objective appraisal. This new portrait offers a fresh assessment of the man, his accomplishments and his unfulfilled promise. Produced and directed by Susan Bellows, JFK features interviews with Kennedy family members and historians including Robert Dallek, Robert Caro, and Evan Thomas. Beginning with Kennedy’s childhood years as the privileged but sickly second son of one of the wealthiest men in America, the film explores his early political career as a lackluster congressman, his successful run for the U.S. Senate, and the game-changing presidential campaign that made him the youngest elected president in U.S. history.

Kennedys Riding in Dallas Motorcade
NOVA “Cold Case JFK”
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Of Special Interest to New Mexicans: Albuquerque Sr. Forensic Scientist Mike Haag and his father Lucien (with 47 years experience) are both included in this program.

Fifty years later, what can science tell us about the Kennedy assassination — and the investigations that followed? The 1963 murder, in broad daylight in front of hundreds of witnesses, was a homicide investigator’s best-case scenario. Yet somehow the JFK assassination became a forensic nightmare, plagued by mishandled evidence, a controversial autopsy and, incredibly, a prime suspect murdered while in police custody before he could be tried–all of it captured on film. Now, NOVA follows a group of experts trying to unravel the lingering mysteries of the assassination: private investigator Josiah Thompson; gunshot wound authority Larry Sturdivan; laser scanning specialist Tony Grissim; medical examiner and forensic neuropathologist Peter Cummings; and firearms experts Lucien and Mike Haag (Senior Forensic Scientist at the APD).

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SECRETS OF THE DEAD “JFK: One PM Central Standard Time”
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Review the story of the reporting from Dallas and the CBS Newsroom in NYC on the day Kennedy died.

This program tells the story of two men: one, the president of the United States — shot in Dallas and rushed to Parkland hospital, his fate unknown — the other, respected CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, knowing he had to get the story right amid the uncertainties of that tragic day. Narrated by George Clooney, and featuring an interview with President Bill Clinton, the special recounts the riveting story of the reporting from Dallas and the New York CBS Newsroom from the moment President Kennedy was shot until Cronkite’s emotional pronouncement of his death at 1:00 p.m. CST. The program features moving memories from the producers, writers and reporters who were there on the day, including Dan Rather, Bob Schieffer, Marvin Kalb and Marianne Means.


FRONTLINE “Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?”
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Review this investigative biography of Oswald, the man at the center of the Kennedy assassination.

FRONTLINE marks the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination with a 2-hour reprise of its investigative biography of the man at the center of the political crime of the 20th century. At the heart of the assassination lies the puzzle of Lee Harvey Oswald: Was he the emotionally disturbed lone gunman of the 1964 Warren Commission report? Was he, as the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded, probably part of a conspiracy on that day in Dallas? Or was he an unwitting fall guy, the patsy, as Oswald himself claimed when he was arrested on November 22, 1963? Twenty years ago, in the most comprehensive attempt on American television to penetrate this enduring enigma, FRONTLINE’s investigative team spent more than a year re-examining Oswald’s life and sifting through the psychological, political and forensic evidence of his role in the assassination. Traveling to Japan, Russia, Europe, Mexico, Canada and across the United States, the team uncovered new witnesses, documents, photographs, video and audio recordings of Lee Oswald, many of which had never before been made public.

Date & Time – TBD

Join PBS NEWSHOUR for a special report about former anchors Robin MacNeil and Jim Lehrer and their original reporting on President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.



Various Story links:

Where were you when you heard JFK had been shot?

5 journalists who got their start covering the JFK assassination

Eyewitness captures Polaroid of moment JFK was shot

Jim Lehrer returns to haunting ‘what if’ in novel on the JFK assassination

The Legacy of President John F. Kennedy – 50 Years Later

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