Describing Artifacts from the 1960s Essay

Total Length: 1017 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 3

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The five items found in the time capsule are: 1) a 1964 record by Nina Simone called “Wild is the Wind,” 2) A Time magazine from 1964, with a painting of the face of Lee Harvey Oswald on the cover and a banner saying: “The Warren Commission: No Conspiracy, Domestic or Foreign,” 3) a photograph of Lyndon Johnson and Mathilde Krim 4) the original Orville Nix film of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and 5) the 1969 mugshot photograph of Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, alleged assassin of Bobby Kennedy.

The record by Nina Simone includes the song “Wild is the Wind,” which represents a powerful marriage between classical piano and blues/jazz. Nina’s rich vocals and deep voice give the song a melancholy that couples with resonating romanticism. It is just one song on the record; others are: “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair,” “Either Way I Lose,” and “Break Down and Let It All Out.” With this record Nina reflects a cultural shift in America at the 1960s, moving beyond the traditional parameters of life and music and embracing a new frontier. It also embraces some of the racial tension evident in the culture at the time and describes a soulful need for love in the community and love among people. When compared to the other artifacts in this time capsule, it represents a still, meaningful glance into a human heart that is beating and yearning for love while the world spins out of control into chaos all around it.



That chaos is represented in the time capsule in a number of ways: first, the Time magazine cover representing Oswald as the lone assassin of JFK. The Warren Commission has since been discredited, notably by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (JFK Assassination Records, 2016).
The magazine plays up the story that Oswald acted alone and uses the Warren Commission (which was filled with persons who had a clear conflict of interest in the investigation—such as fired CIA Director Alan Dulles). This artifact is important in defining the era of the 1960s because it focuses on probably the most significant event of the decade—the assassination of the President—and upholds the official narrative of “who did it”—namely that Oswald acted alone and was not in fact the “patsy” he claimed to be.



Then there is the photograph of Lyndon Johnson with Mathilde Krim. On the night the USS Liberty was attacked by Israeli fighters, Krim was sleeping in the Johnson White House. Krim was a former Irgun member and had been married to an Irgun agent. She was, in other words, an Israeli agent—and she was intimately close to Johnson. Johnson dismissed the attack on the Liberty and it was never investigated. Johnson, needless to say, was on much better footing with the Israelis than his predecessor had been. Kennedy had been….....

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References

Associate Press. (2011). Convicted RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan says girl in polka-dot dress manipulated him. Retrieved from http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/04/convicted_rfk_assassin_sirhan_sirhan_girl_polka-dot_dress.html

JFK Assassination Records. (2016). Summary of findings. Retrieved from https://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/select-committee-report/summary.html

Piper, M. C. (2005). Final Judgment. DC: American Free Press.

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