'JFK: One Day In America' sheds new light on Kennedy assassination ahead of 60th anniversary

The NatGeo docu-series features new interviews with the surviving eyewitnesses

ByGina Sirico OTRC logo
Thursday, November 2, 2023
'JFK: One Day In America' sheds new light on Kennedy assassination
NatGeo's new docu-series 'JFK: One Day In America' recounts the shocking and emotional moments leading up to and after the assassination of President Kennedy.

LOS ANGELES -- It's a day that will live in infamy. On November 22, 1963, the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy Jr. was assassinated with his wife Jackie by his side, as his motorcade drove through the streets of Dallas, Texas.

A new documentary series, called "JFK: One Day In America," immerses viewers in that moment in time 60 years ago. The 3-part series pieces together the final days of Kennedy's life and what happened immediately after his death using archival footage and interviews with the surviving eyewitnesses.

"We were completely moved by the quality of the testimony and how connected everyone still felt to those events and still do, really, and how they continue to impact their lives," series director Ella Wright told On The Red Carpet.

"Our approach was very much putting people in the center of things. So we would find moments in archive that could unfold as a scene that we could then unpack using the testimony from the surviving witnesses."

The team was also given permission to colorize some of the archival footage, getting those colors as accurate as possible as a way, they said, to bring the story to life.

"Seeing Oswald in color, I think it's going to be something new for people. I'm not sure people will have seen that before," Wright said.

What you won't see in this series is the deluge of conspiracy theories that have swirled around Kennedy's assassination for 60 years.

"We were very focused in our decision to kind of focus purely on this kind of emotional present-tense approach. So we don't even touch the kind of conspiracy theories and things," executive producer David Glover said. "If we did, we'd have tried to do too many things at the same time. And our thing is just trying to allow the viewer to kind of experience it emotionally."

And there are plenty of emotional moments. In one scene, Secret Service agent Clint Hill, who jumped onto the President's car after he'd been shot, says sadly, "I wasn't faster than a speeding bullet."

"I think there's an incredible tragedy in that. He was so heroic and so brave," Wright said. "But I felt very much in that interview that it was something that he did still carry with him, something that he thinks about a lot. And it's still very much at the forefront of his mind. And I found that incredibly moving and incredibly sad."

Glover shared the moment that touched him.

"Jackie is asked if she wants to attend the swearing in of LBJ on Air Force One and she appears and she's got blood on her dress. And people say 'do you want to change your clothes?' And she says 'No. Let them see what they have done.'"

"Us documentary makers are only as good as our ingredients and we had this most mesmeric archive of the Kennedys and these incredibly moving and intense interviews," Glover said. "The result is hopefully something that's kind of a different take on the JFK assassination, and maybe allows you to time travel back to that time and experience it in a kind of fresh way," Glover said.

"JFK: One Day In America" premieres on National Geographic Sunday, November 5. It will stream on Disney+ and Hulu Monday, November 6.

Disney is the parent company of NatGeo, Hulu, Disney+ and this ABC station.