Take a media course in Dallas for May Term 2014

Professor Brian Steffen will be taking students on a 2014 May Term trip to study the President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

November 22, 1963

12:30 p.m.

Dealey Plaza

Dallas, Texas

Fifty years ago this fall, the president of the United States was murdered in a public square, virtually at high noon with his wife at his side.

jfk50 2John Kennedy’s assassination unleashed national waves of shock and anger that have never fully subsided, as well as conspiracy theories that leave up to 2/3 of the American public doubting the official explanation that 1 man acting alone, Lee Harvey Oswald, murdered John F. Kennedy.

jfk50 3The Kennedy assassination also marked in many ways the beginning of the modern media age — the networks breaking in within minutes of the shooting to broadcast the terrible news and Walter Cronkite offering the iconic bulletin while wiping tears from his eyes: ‘The flash — apparently official — President Kennedy died at 1 pm Central Standard Time.’ Many of the methods of today’s modern crisis communication have their roots in the journalism of Nov. 22, 1963.

jfk50 5Simpson College will again offer in May 2014 its popular and experiential CT course, Media & The JFK Assassination, that will put President Kennedy and his murder into the context of the time and give students the ability to critically analyze the media’s coverage of the event and its aftermath. We’ll also teach strategies for critically thinking about conspiracy theories related to the assassination.


Included in this course is up to 3 days of travel to and from Dallas, where Simpson students will:

  • Meet some of the principal figures of Nov. 22, 1963.
  • Retrace the route of the fateful Kennedy motorcade.
  • Visit Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum that curates stories and exhibits of the assassination.
  • Go to the Oak Cliff neighborhood where Oswald lived and where he allegedly shot a Dallas policeman who sought to stop him.
  • Make a stop at the Texas Theater, where Dallas police struggled with and arrested Oswald.
  • Descend into the basement of the old Dallas City Jail where Jack Ruby murdered Oswald 2 days after the president’s assassination — perhaps forever cheating us of the full story of what happened.

Please consider this course as you make plans for May Term 2014 and contact Professor Steffen, if you have questions. We hope to see you within our department next May!

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