On October 12, 1964, Mary Pinchot Meyer was murdered on the canal towpath in Georgetown. A divorced artist from a prominent family, Meyer was known by insiders to have been President John F. Kennedy’s senior female consort during his White House years, though the story never leaked to the public.
Her murder and the ensuing trial of Raymond Crump, Jr., a black laborer found by the police in the vicinity of the murder, drew a good deal of attention at the time. Crump had been identified by a gas station attendant helping start a car on a road overlooking the canal. Hearing cries of “Somebody help me. Somebody help me” and two shots, the attendant ran to look. Continue reading »
Sometimes a storyteller misses the real meaning of the story.
By all accounts, the Cuban Missile Crisis was the most dangerous episode of the Cold War. The United States and the Soviet Union came frighteningly close to launching nuclear attacks at each other. Only fear, luck, and occasionally inspired negotiating moved them onto the path of resolving the crisis−via a humiliating Soviet withdrawal in the face of U.S. nuclear superiority.
Historians have identified many motives for the initial Soviet decision to place missiles in Cuba. Continue reading »
Unfinished business in a nation’s history can undermine citizens’ trust in government and sense of participating in a meaningful collective life.
In the case of fatal moments such as assassinations and terrorist attacks, the damage adds to the impact of the attacks and helps the attackers achieve their goals of demoralizing the people and fraying the social fabric. Compounding the problem, government agencies and the media often show reluctance to reveal what they learn because they lack 100% assurance of its validity, because they fear the public reaction, or because they are covering up their own mistakes. As a result, people often believe that certain crimes remain unsolved or are even unsolvable when in fact they have already been solved but the information is being denied to the public. Continue reading »