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AMERICAN EXPERIENCEJFK

Airs Monday, Aug. 8 & Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: President John F. Kennedy speaks during a press conference.

Revisit the lives of six recent presidents—John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush—in films from our award-winning collection. Beginning Aug. 8 on PBS AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin’s bullet, John F. Kennedy’s presidency has often defied objective appraisal. This 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.

Timeline

Browse a chronology of major events that occurred during John F. Kennedy's presidency.

Beginning with Kennedy’s childhood years as the privileged but sickly second son of one of the wealthiest men in America, "JFK" 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.

Part 1 repeats Monday, Aug. 8 at 9 p.m. - Follow JFK’s rise to power from his birth to his election as president in 1960 — the youngest man ever to be elected to the office. With illuminating interviews from family members including sister Jean Kennedy Smith, niece Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, historian Robert Dallek and author Robert Caro, this episode offers new insight into Kennedy’s early years, from his transformation from a sickly youth to Washington’s most eligible bachelor to the nation’s president.

Part 2 repeats Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 9 p.m. - Follow Kennedy into the White House through his assassination and the unfulfilled promise of his presidency. Offering fresh assessments of the successes and failures of his tenure, this episode features frank appraisals by administration officials, including John Siegenthaler, Thomas Hughes and Harris Wofford, civil rights leaders Andrew Young and Julian Bond, and journalists Evan Thomas and Richard Reeves.

THE PRESIDENTS COLLECTION ON DEMAND

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE recently launched The Presidents, an all-new digital portal showcasing more than 750 assets from the Peabody Award-winning collection of films about our nation’s most important leaders. The portal allows viewers to screen full-length films, delve deeper with experts and living witnesses, and examine more than 200 primary source documents. Video galleries on The Presidents site explore how different presidents faced issues including the economy, war, dealing with a crisis, and abuses of power.

You can download The Presidents Collection on iTunes, or buy The Presidents DVD pack at ShopPBS.org.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and you can follow @AmExperiencePBS on Twitter.

The Presidents, 2016

Revisit the lives of six recent presidents -- John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush -- in films from our award-winning collection. Beginning August 8 on PBS American Experience.

JFK Sneak Peek

This new biopic on JFK provides a fresh look at an enigmatic man who has become one of the nation's most beloved and most mourned leaders. Premiering on American Experience PBS November 11 & 12 at 9/8c.

JFK Series Preview

Before that moment, beyond the glamour, behind the charm lies the true story of JFK. Now, see his life as never before in a stunning new portrait from American Experience. Premiering on PBS November 11 & 12 at 9/8c.

JFK's First Lady: Jackie and Culture

Politics unnerved Jackie Kennedy so she found respite in curating a new culture of elegance in the White House. She set out to honor writers and performers, creating what her dress designer dubbed a "Versailles in Washington."

JFK on Policing the World: The Soviet Menace

As soon as he took office, Kennedy became increasingly worried about turning the Cold War into a hot one, resulting in nuclear catastrophe. Nikita Khrushchev continued to aid in the spread of communism around the world and Kennedy wanted to show the American public he would not be bullied by the Soviet premier.

Video

JFK and Crisis: The Cuban Missile Crisis

Over the course of 13 days in Oct. 1962, President Kennedy avoided war with the Soviet Union through a willingness to proceed with caution -- and a gamble that Premier Nikita Khrushchev was just as horrified at the prospect of nuclear obliteration as Kennedy was. The negotiation would come to be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis and would be one of Kennedy's most lasting legacies.

Video

JFK on Policing the World: The Vietnam Question

Kennedy felt buildup of a military arsenal wasn't enough to show the United States would not cower to communism. So he decided to make a stand in a place few Americans at the time had ever heard of: Vietnam.

Video

JFK's First Lady: Jackie and the White House

Raising more than a million dollars for the project, Jackie Kennedy set out to restore the White House and make it a center of art and culture. She debuted her project in a television special called "A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy." When the show producer showed John Kennedy clips of the film, he looked on in adoration.

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