GROVE CITY —
On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, Grove City College President Richard G. Jewell, class of 1967, will offer his take on the crime of the century and what might have happened if John F. Kennedy hadn’t been killed that fateful day in Dallas.
Jewell is set to present the J. Howard Pew Memorial Lecture: “50 Years Later, JFK Remembered,” at 7 p.m. Thursday in Sticht Lecture Hall in the Hall of Arts and Letters on the campus of Grove City College.
Jewell is a longtime student of the assassination and the administration of President Kennedy and he can speak authoritatively on the subject.
His research began with a paper on the Warren Commission Report that he presented in 1967 during his senior year at Grove City College. The commission’s report, which has been refuted and reinforced by thousands of articles and books over the years, concluded that Kennedy was killed by lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald.
Jewell’s study of the assassination continued over the years as he served in the U.S. Army and pursued a career in law and business that took him to Dallas many times and where he’s examined the scene of the crime firsthand.
On a recent trip there he was interviewed by a reporter from Britain’s Guardian newspaper, who found Jewell sitting on the stone wall of Dealey Plaza, pondering the murder of the 35th president of the United States. Jewell noted the distance between the open car Kennedy was riding in through the plaza when he was shot and the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository where Oswald set up a sniper’s nest – 285 feet – and offered this conclusion: “From that window. Three shots. Straight line.”
“In the world of conspiracy, things are not always as they appear,” Jewell told the reporter. “But those three shots sure created opportunity for people to question.”
As well as examining all the available evidence, Jewell also enjoyed a long association with the late former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, who served as a staff attorney for the Warren Commission and is widely credited with the so-called “magic bullet” theory. That connection provided Jewell an insider’s view of the commission’s work and the controversial theory.
Jewell has come to his own conclusions about the assassination and promises a new contribution to the discussion with his campus lecture. He will also offer a vision of the America that might have been had Kennedy survived.
The J. Howard Pew Memorial Lecture is an annual event on the Grove City College campus. Pew, the longtime president of Sun Oil Co. and founder with his siblings of the Pew Charitable Trusts, was a major benefactor of the college and served on its board of trustees for 59 years, 40 of them as chairman, until his death in 1971.
The lecture is presented by the Grove City College Alumni Association and The Center for Vision & Values.