JFK series: The series at a glance

JFK series at a glance:

Many people remember where they were during special events in history, one of them being the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination. Howard Lestrud, political editor for ECM Publishers, has written a series of articles pertaining to Kennedy’s memory and about individuals who were in Dallas on that day. He will speak to the Elk River Rotary Club on Thursday, Nov. 14, in Elk River.

Lestrud began following Kennedy when he was running for president in 1960. Lestrud was a young teenager who remembers going to the Kennedy campaign headquarters in Austin, Minn., and picking up some pins and campaign materials.

When Kennedy was assassinated, Lestrud remembers the next four days clearly and has collected items on Kennedy and on the assassination ever since.

He will share his reflections on interviews he has conducted for the series at the Rotary meeting.

In this week’s Star News, his story on former Isanti County resident Jack Puterbaugh is featured. He was on the advance team for President Kennedy’s visit to Dallas. Puterbaugh was actually in the sixth vehicle (pilot car) ahead of the presidential limousine in the motorcade on that fateful day.

We also have story with Lestrud’s perspective featured here. Lestrud’s series (featured at www.erstarnews.com) also includes:

•Mike Freeman, current Hennepin County Attorney, whose father, Orville Freeman, was Kennedy’s secretary of agriculture. Lestrud tells Freeman’s story of going to a Washington Senators baseball opener in 1962, getting a baseball and later having it signed by President Kennedy.

•Dallas Detective James Leavelle, who first met Lestrud in 1993 on the 30th anniversary of the assassination. He has told his story to Lestrud, having interrogated Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of President Kennedy. Leavelle was also handcuffed to Oswald on the day Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby.

•U.S. District Court Judge John Tunheim, of Stillwater. Tunheim was the chairman of the Assassination Records Review Board that was instrumental in getting many classified records declassified, pertaining to the Kennedy assassination.

•Bob Jackson, Pulitzer Prize winning photographer with the Dallas Times Herald. Jackson, now a resident of Colorado, took that famous photo of Oswald getting shot by Ruby.

Lestrud also plans to cover the anniversary ceremony in Dallas on Nov. 22.

Lestrud said he hopes more people, of all ages, will take an interest in this historic event that forever affected world history.

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