The ironies, coincidences, and conspiracy theories — oh, the conspiracy theories — surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy have never been in short supply. But after 50 years of so many factoids and tidbits, there is little that compares to the tragic last words JFK heard before fatal bullets struck him in Dallas.
"Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you," Nellie Connally, wife of Texas Gov. John Connally, told JFK as they rode in the motorcade through Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Just seconds later, the shots rang out, and those words from the first lady of Texas would be the last ones the president heard.
"Dallas was a dangerous place. John F. Kennedy was warned, 'Don't go to Dallas,'" "Killing Kennedy" screenwriter Kelly Masterson shares in the exclusive Yahoo TV video above. Lyndon Johnson had told JFK that Texas housewives had come out of their homes to spit at the vice president candidate during the 1960 campaign, and JFK had been told by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson that placard had been tossed at him earlier that year in Dallas.
"Danger seemed to be lurking for him in Dallas," Masterson continues. "And yet … that day, Nov. 22, Dallas opened their arms to him."
The heartbreaking story will unfold in Sunday's "Killing Kennedy," National Geographic Channel's movie adaptation of Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard's book of the same name.
Rob Lowe plays JFK, with Ginnifer Goodwin as Jackie Kennedy, Will Rathhaar as assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, and Michelle Trachtenberg as Oswald's wife, Marina, in the film, which covers everything from JFK's presidency and relationship with Jackie to his relationship with brother and fellow politician Bobby to the assassination.
[Related: Check Out Photos From 'Killing Kennedy']
In another exclusive Yahoo TV video interview, Lowe talks about the fast and furious production pace for the movie, which required him, on his first day of filming, to delve into JFK's back problems, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the death of his infant son, and flirting with White House interns.
The actor also shares what he found most surprising about portraying JFK: his untraditional and complicated, but very supportive, relationship with Jackie. "Weirdly enough, though ["Killing Kennedy"] is built as a thriller, it's really a love story," Lowe says.
In a third exclusive video, Will Rathaar takes viewers on a fascinating tour of Oswald's Nov. 22 journey in Dallas, including a look inside the Dallas movie theater where Oswald hid out briefly after killing JFK and the Texas School Book Depository where the killer stationed himself for the assassination.
"The gravity of this moment in time … is in the brick of this building, it's in the pavement outside, it's in the grass, it's in the air," says Rathaar. "You can feel it."
"Killing Kennedy" premieres on Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Lee Harvey Oswald