By: Roderick T. Beaman

On Friday, November 22, 1963, I was at our Kappa Sigma fraternity house just off the New York University campus in the Bronx with several other members. We were getting prepared for a Thanksgiving party the following evening. The Modern Jazz Quartet was scheduled to appear on campus and there were numerous other campus events scheduled. A little after noon, another member came in from the porch and said, ·gSomebody shot Kennedy.·h He·fd been listening to a radio.

We stopped what we were doing and gathered to listen to WNBC-AM. A voice, above background commotion at Parkland Memorial Hospital, said Kennedy·fs wounds were serious. Suddenly the broadcast went completely silent. I said, ·gHe·fs dead.·h

After a few more seconds, Chet Huntley broke the silence and said, ·gThe President of The United States is dead.·h We were dumbfounded. Although two presidents, Warren G. Harding and Franklin D. Roosevelt, had died in office, no president had been assassinated since William McKinley in September 1901.

After the announcement, yet another fraternity member and I walked back to the campus. We both said that we had chills running up and down our spines. We alerted everyone we saw to the events.

It was so outside our realms of the possible that one student didn·ft believe me despite my repeated insistence. Others did and gradually, numbers of us gathered around cars to listen to radios and follow the developments. As we listened, one student remarked that it was probably some communist who did it.

As the day wore on, details emerged. A man named Lee Harvey Oswald had also killed a Dallas policeman, J. S. Tippit, and was arrested as the President·fs assassin. Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as Kennedy·fs successor, a reality at which we all cringed. John F. Kennedy was admired as a man of principle with Johnson despised as a master of skullduggery. As it turned out, that was all too well proved by his presidency which began another assault upon our personal freedoms and limited constitutional government.

One report cited Oswald as the man who had shot at Maj. Gen. Edwin Walker just six months earlier. Walker had been on a highly visible campaign against communism. He had ties to the John Birch Society, a new right wing group, that we·fd been warned were as dangerous as communists by the establishment.

Lee Harvey Oswald, a former marine, had defected to the Soviet Union because of his commitment to Marxism, so that student was correct. In June 1962, after 32 months, he returned to The United States with his wife, Marina, and their daughter. There is disputed evidence that in late September 1963, he journeyed to Mexico City to try to obtain a visa at the Cuban Embassy to travel to either Cuba or perhaps return to the Soviet Union.

Just two days later, Oswald was shot to death by Jack Ruby, a local night club owner, in the Dallas Police station, as he was being transferred to the county jail, in full view of a national televison audience, a television first.

That Sunday morning, as the word came across the radio at my dormitory, another dorm resident, an overbearing liberal, exclaimed he hoped it was a conservative who had done it! Not horror at another senseless murder. This is the way leftists view history, as a series of events to be exploited, witness Rahm Emanuel today.

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration was infused with communists. Laughlin Carrie, Harry Hopkins and Rexford Tugwell were but three very high ranking officials who communists or sympathizers. Many stayed on when Harry Truman succeeded FDR.

Progressives always have insisted that there is nothing wrong with being a communist but then rail when anyone is called one, an interesting internal contradiction. But to keep progressivism respectable, an anti-communist Left was necessary. It came in the late 40s and early 50s and was typified by Hubert Humphrey, Adlai Stevenson and Joseph R. McCarthy (yes, McCarthy, by his domestic record was a Republican progressive.)

But McCarthy committed the ultimate betrayal of the American anti-communist Left, he acted it and became a pariah. Liberals succeeded in blaming him on the Right as they always do with their irredeemable personnel such as Adolf Hitler, a socialist and icon for progressives of the 1930s.

John and Robert Kennedy were avid McCarthyites. Robert had actually worked on McCarthy·fs subcommittee, the source of his reputation for ruthlessness. Their support for McCarthy nearly torpedoed John·fs presidential campaign in 1960 when an outraged Eleanor Roosevelt tried to block his nomination by New York·fs Liberal Party (LP). Many of McCarthy·fs targets were holdovers from her husband·fs administration. LP support was often the difference in an election in New York. High level maneuvers by LP leaders frustrated Eleanor·fs efforts. JFK secured the LP nomination and went on to win the election.

Meanwhile, several forces had emerged in American politics. The John Birch Society was organized in December 1958 to fight the spread of global communism and return The United States to constitutional government. Founder, Robert Welch, Jr. had written an article accusing Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower of consciously aiding and abetting international communism by his actions and inactions.

In reaction to the forced integration of schools, the Ku Klux Klan had an upsurge. New Minutemen chapters emerged, taking their model the colonial Minutemen. They were motivated by a perceived unconstitutionally expansive federal government and George Lincoln Rockwell had founded the American Nazi Party in the late 1950s which many considered right wing.

Politics makes for some very strange bedfellows and some conservatives and libertarians shared similar positions with them on certain issues. That played right into the hands of the Left. ·gThe danger in America is not from the Left but from right wing extremists·h was their warning. Even today ·gdangerous right wing extremism·h is used to discredit opponents of the Left, witness Hillary Clinton·fs ascription of her husband·fs political problems to a ·gvast right wing conspiracy.·h Right wing extremism and conspiracies were and are the Left·fs salvation, vindication and absolution.

Why lunatic fringe right wingers, led by military types such as Walker, were just waiting to take over America. They said that McCarthy was selling paranoia and had peddled a lie that there were commies under the beds when the real danger was right wingers under the beds! And if you were skeptical of that, you must be one of them and you didn·ft want that suspicion, now did you? And so it has carried into the post-assassination assessment of the truth.

The evidence piled up that Oswald was a Marxist. At age 16, he had written that he was a Marxist. He had looked into membership in the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Labor Party and the Communist Party, USA. He had distributed literature for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

Throughout his life, he was the very picture of a loner, a malcontent, and a drifter having had behavioral problems in school and during his stint in the Marines. His writings reflected delusions of an important destiny which the assassination gave him but probably not of the type he·fd anticipated.

"Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

Dr. Roderick T. Beaman is an osteopathic family physician practicing in Jacksonville, Florida. Born in New York City, he attended New York University as an undergraduate. A recipient of a 2003 Ron Paul Liberty in Media Award, he has had dreams (delusions?) of becoming a writer. He has written a novel that he has given up hope of ever getting published and so has made it available for the asking through  He is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

He can be reached at:

in the February 3, 2013 issue of  Ether Zone.
Copyright © 1997 - 20
3 Ether Zone.

We invite your comments on this article in our forum!