100 Photographs That Changed the World:
The Zapruder Film

This might not make a lot of sense without this caveat: I wrote this for a sociology class that induced a worksheet which had specific points to cover – which is included at the beginning of this article. There were a lot of other pictures I wanted to include with this, but for this instance I’m publishing this paper exactly the way it was submitted to the professor...

This might not make a lot of sense without this caveat: I wrote this for a sociology class that induced a worksheet which had specific points to cover – which is included at the beginning of this article. There were a lot of other pictures I wanted to include with this, but for this instance I’m publishing this paper exactly the way it was submitted to the professor...


1) Select a photo that changed the world; this will be done as a class activity viewing the book; all must be present in class on Oct 7, the day this project is scheduled. If you will not be present on Oct 7, see me prior to the date.

2) Research the history of the picture; including the social change that occurred due to exposure of this photo.

3) Select past news articles, or newspaper archives that describes the significance of the issue this photo promotes; that is describe the social movement or change revealed through the media in detail.

4) Relate the issue to EIGHT concepts in sociology; include not only terminology or definitions, but also the concept described in the textbook, and its significance on this issue causing world change. This should be at least one/two paragraphs per concept. APA paraphrasing is required to receive credit. 

5) Find a social movement/charity you would like to support. Write about how you will continue to support this issue.

Prelude To Assassination

The background to The Kennedy Assassination is just as interesting and intriguing as the actual incident itself. In the light of what happened before that fateful day in Texas the death of our chosen leader and the events that lead to November 22nd, 1963 makes for a much more controversial and perhaps disturbing scenario.

Warnings of the Rise of the “Military Industrial Complex”

During his farewell address to the American people, President Dwight Eisenhower warned the American people of a rising danger that could have been far more threatening to the United States than the threat of communism, an internal threat that he called “The Military Industrial Complex.” Former President and former World War 2 general who lead the Normandy invasion was concerned about many factions with-in the country gaining too much power, these factions over-lapped and conspired together to shape economic and political situations to suit their needs. Those organizations that concerned him the most were The FBI under the control of J. Edgar Hoover, The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) The Defense Department  and industrial cooperation’s who were in the business to pursue and then fulfill military contracts such as Bell Helicopter, Grumman, General Dynamics.. Just to name a few.

The 1960 Election:

To this day there is still controversy over the election that was held in November of 1960 when then Vice-President Richard Nixon ran against Senator John F. Kennedy. There have been many accusations that Kennedy’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. “bought” the election via his ties with The Chicago Mob. While Jack Kennedy was a popular President who inspired many Americans with his charisma, speaking skills and all-American good looks, there was a thin cloud of controversy over his tenure in The White House since some citizens believe that he and his family stole the election for him.

The Mafia

It is believed that The Mafia felt betrayed by The Kennedy Administration who they believed helped to get Jack Kennedy elected only to find his brother and United States District Attorney Robert Kennedy pursue them in court and sent many of the mafia leaders to prison.

Lying, Landslide, Bulls!hit Lyndon Johnson

An entire paper could be written about Lyndon Johnson who became Jack Kennedy’s running mate and eventually became President after the assassination.

Then Vice-President Johnson was involved with many scandals through-out his life. While in college he earned the nick-name “Lying Lyndon” or “Bullsh!t Jonson” because of his outright lies to his fellow students, teachers and administrators. He fabricated the story about how his hometown of Johnson, Texas was named after him and how his family was affluent pillars of the community – nothing could be further than the truth. Johnson’s father was considered by many to be a dead-beat con artist by moving his family from town to town and running up bills before creditors would no longer extend credit to him.

His early political career was also riddled with scandal with his possible involvement in the now infamous “Box 13 Scandal” during 1948 Democratic Senate primary against Coke Stevenson. Allegedly, Johnson operatives “stuffed” the ballot for their candidate. Controversy would follow Johnson throughout the rest of his political career thanks to his association with association with Bobby Baker, one of his operatives responsible for the aforementioned ballot stuffing scandal and accused of receiving money on behalf of Senate Majority Leader Johnson in exchange for political favors.

While leading up to the trip to Texas in an effort to unite the Democratic Political party in that state in November 1963, Johnson was on the verge of being the subject of two congressional hearings about his involvement in various scandals, most notably the “TFX Scandal.”

From “JFK Lancer” – “The Don Reynolds Testimony and LBJ”

Literally, at the very moment, JFK was being assassinated in Dallas on 11-22-63, Don Reynolds was testifying in a closed session of the Senate Rules Committee about a suitcase of $100,000 given to LBJ for his role in securing a TFX fighter jet contract for Fort Worth's General Dynamics.


The Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Two of the major crisis’ that President Kennedy had to face during his occupation of The Oval Office involved the island state of Cuba. The first indecent involved a plan set into motion by former President Eisenhower to train, supply and support former citizens of Cuba who were in exile to invade that country as part of the beginning stages of a more involved plan to remove Fidel Castro from power. The plan failed because President Kennedy refused to send it air support after the first wave of the attack.

The second and more critical was the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962. After it was discovered via aerial observation that The Soviet Union was deploying nuclear offensive missiles in Cuba, President Kennedy ordered a blockade of that island and negotiated with Soviet Premiere Nikita Khrushchev to have those weapons removed in exchange of having American tactical nuclear weapons removed from the NATO base in Turkey.

The Assassination

President Kennedy was mortally wounded while in a motorcade in Daley Plaza on November 22nd, 1963. Also wounded in the convertible limousine was then Texas Governor John Connelly. Other occupants in the car were the wives of the two men, Jacqueline Kennedy and Nellie Kennedy. While The Warren Report “officially” concluded that this was the act of a lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, there are many facts such as eyewitness testimony that calls this conclusion into question.

The Initial Impact of the Assignation and Photograph

The most important question asked in this assignment is implied but is nonetheless essential; how did this picture change the world? Before we can answer that, what exactly is the photograph and what event did it depict?

On the surface, the entire armature film created by sportswear manufacturer Abraham Zapruder via his 8mm Bell & Howell Zoomatic Director Series Model 414 PD in Dallas Texas in the afternoon of November 22nd, 1963 documented a horrific act of the President of the United States’ assimilation.

That, in and of-itself was pretty horrific; the leader of the free world killed in broad daylight in front of more than hundred people and the news shocked the world with the mere senselessness and suddenness of it. The Assassination of President was essentially a genuine shock to the entire world, does not happen often, and is disruptive to the routine of societies when their leaders – and their plans for the future – are extinguished. Ask anyone who was alive at the time and they will tell you where they were when they heard that President John Kennedy was killed since it was such a traumatic and life-altering event. The death of the President, in and of itself – was an event that literally changed the world and how people saw it.

American citizens were not the only people affected by the death of President Kennedy. Soviet Premiere Nikita Khrushchev is reported to have wept when he heard the news of his contemporary’s demise and was concerned that a radical faction of the U.S. Government might use that tragedy to reignite The Cold War and bring the world back to the brink of an atomic holocaust. His benefactor in Cuba, Fidel Castro was also moved when he heard the news about what happened to rival Jack Kennedy and had darker concerns…

From “The New Republic.”

Fidel Castro, in the midst of a circle of worried faces. "Now," Fidel said, "they will have to find the assassin quickly, but very quickly, otherwise, you watch and see, I know them, they will try to put the blame on us for this thing.

President Jack Kennedy’s death would later be referred to as the day America lost its innocence and began an era when America’s youth would openly question and defy the leadership and authority of this nation in part to the assassination itself. What compounded the sense of a loss of innocence and pride in the United States was the cover-up and false conclusions by the official investigation initiated by the new President, Lyndon Johnson.

According to the Warren Report, led by then-Chief Justice Earl Warren, the assassination was committed by a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald who had been arrested on the same day as the Kennedy Assassination for the shooting death of Officer J. D. Tippit and as far as we know he was never actually formerly charged with the assignation of the President. Lee Harvey Oswald was never granted access to a lawyer and was shot by Jack Ruby live on national television while Mr. Oswald was being transferred.

Because of the controversy surrounding Oswald and ignored evidence and testimony by witnesses who reported seeing and hearing suspicious activity at another location (behind the wooden fence that separated the ‘grassy knoll’ of Daley Plaza and the rail-road yard) it’s not hard to understand why many Americans (so-called conspiracy theorists) believe that there was a coup d'état against the current president by rouge factions of his own government and domestic enemies of the nation.

The Assassination of President Kennedy via the Zapruder film was a brazen message to the American people that this man Kennedy and those like him were not in total control of this country nor his own fate and could have been seen as a warning to those who followed him not to challenge the true leaders of this nation; The Military Industrial Complex.

Concepts of Sociology and the Assignation of President Kennedy.

1) Solidarity – “The level of connectedness a person feels to others in the environment.”

If there’s one thing to be said about The Assassination Of President Kennedy is that there was for a short period of time a sense of collective loss – after the events of November 22nd, 1963 people stopped being “Republicans” and “Democrats” and became simple American citizens united in a tragic and senseless event.

2) Social Control – The social mechanisms that regulate a person’s actions.

The initial appearance of randomness of this event caused many young people to start question authority, especially in the aftermath of The Warren Report. This event might have also triggered the anti-establishment movement that inspired people to live as if there is no tomorrow, a movement that encouraged “free love,” burring draft cards and other “Tune in, Turn On, And Drop Out” activities.

3) Paradigm – “A theoretical framework through which scientists study the world.”

This might seem like a stretch but it is clear that after the tragic events of The Kennedy Assignation, the “paradigm” of the country changed. People’s view of the world and the country they lived in changed; if “they” could get to The President (the most guarded man in the world) then “they” could reach anyone they wanted.

4) Conflict Theory – the theoretical framework that views society as being a consistent struggle over scarce resources.

Accepting the conspiracy theory of The Military Industrial Complex was responsible for the Assignation of President Kennedy, one could argue that this horrible act was committed to ensure the security of the military contracts that were in place during the beginning of the Vietnam Conflict. If John Kennedy’s plans to withdraw advisors out of Vietnam succeeded than many of the companies who had military contracts would not have made as much money that they were paid throughout the war from 1964 (when Johnson sent the first ground troops to the Indo-China region) to the end of the war in 1975 after The Fall of Saigon.

5) Karl Marx’s Conflict Theory – “.. a German theorist, social activist and writer who analyzed the effects of capitalism – an economic system in which private individuals own businesses and control the economy.”

Taking the theory that The Military Industrial Complex was responsible for The Kennedy Assignation, then it stands to prove that Marx’s theory about the conflict between The Bourgeoisie VS The Proletariat is correct. Individuals who own corporations made choices that effected the lives of every person living in the United States and consequently the lives of the people who lived in the countries we were fighting to keep the war profiteers paid. It could also be said that The Vietnam War perpetuated inequality between the rich and poor and race in this nation since poor black men were disproportionally drafted and sent over-seas.

6) GroupThink: “The term for group decisions that are made without objective thought.”

The definition of “Groupthink” can described in light of The Kennedy Assignation this way; the government gave us an official story and there was a large segment of the population that believed that this official story as detailed in “The Warren Report” is correct and the case is closed. Many ‘conservative’ members of our society choose to allow the leaders to do all the thinking for them rather than look at the evidence for themselves and make up their own mind.

Simply put, anyone who says “I’ve read all the books on The Kennedy Assassination and the conspiracy theories, and I think The Warren Commission got it right…” is –in the opinion of the author writing this report – lying. Bluntly put, if someone has read “all the books,” then how can they rationalize the information that was excluded from The Warren Report? How do they reconcile the evidence that has been gathered by the government and has been kept secret and out of the eyes of the American public until 75 years after this horrific event? How could anyone who declares to have read “all the books” ignore the eyewitnesses who reported seeing and hearing activity coming from locations other than The Book Depository where the official report claims the shots came from?

It’s easier to go along with the GroupThink rather than have to confront the fact that perhaps our government lied to us.

7) Social Control: “…the social mechanisms that regulate a person’s actions”

In this instance, the example of Social Control is The Warren Report. It’s hard to imagine a world where a popular and charismatic leader can be killed without warning or prevention. As stated earlier in this report, if “they” can get to the most protected man in the country, “they” can get to any one of us.

The Warren Report was used as a tool to exercise social control over the masses, a means to explain what happened and admit that yes indeed there was the killing of an American President, but don’t worry… he was working alone! There was no conspiracy and the country is still in control by your elected and appointed leaders.

8) Power “The ability to carry out your will and impose it on others.”

At some point, someone woke up with an idea and said “Today I’m going to make a plan to kill Jack Kennedy.” Someone wanted to get something done for his or her own reasons and make those thoughts a reality.

In the far-fetched chances that Oswald acted alone and killed the President with a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle and could manage to do the impossible by making an inferior gun and fire off three rounds accurately with a magic bullet that was able to kill the President with a shot that came from his back and went through the right-front side of his head… Oswald took power into his own hands. He imposed his will on others and made sure that people would still be talking about him 50 or more years into the future.

In the likily hood that Jack Kennedy was killed by a rouge element in our own government with the help of organized crime, then the men in charge exercised their power and imposed their will on all of us. If he was killed as an act of revenge after betraying the mob who stole an election for him or if he was killed by members of the government who profited by his death and countermanding his orders to end America’s involvement in Vietnam – it was an act of power. Killing Kennedy was a means to an end.

Support The Movement

In 2008, a candidate ran on a platform based on hatred and an over-inflated ego. This man posted on Facebook that he wished a national political candidate dead. In another post, he said that it should be legal for the wives and daughters of a candidate from the opposing political party to be raped to “teach them a lesson.” In yet another social media post, this man said that if elected he would put forth the idea of re-education camps for those who oppose his views.

This man, a democrat, received 107 votes in the town of Rindge. People voted for him for the simple fact that he was “a good democrat” despite the fact that his own party denounced him after making fun of a widow who was campaigning to keep her seat in the New Hampshire House Of Representatives.

People voted for him for no other reason than he was a democrat. Sadly, this happens all the time.

There is no movement to bring Jack Kennedy back from the grave, but there is The Truth Movement. There is a movement throughout the country to get the facts out to the people and deal with those facts regardless of how damaging or uncomfortable those facts might be. Actually, read the news from different sources, not just the biased ones that suit your ideology. Never vote a straight-party ticket, allegiance to a party for right or wrong is the equivalent to treason.

Speak out against the lies being told to us by our leaders, especially if that leader was a candidate you supported and voted for on Election Day. If someone does not live up to their campaign promises and lies (“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it. Period.”) Then it is your obligation as a supporter to make a corrective action.

Finally, this cannot be stated enough – do not believe the media. Do not believe what you are being told about all the good things “The Government” is doing for you. Harass your senators and congressional representatives when a bill is passed and it violates the spirit and the letter of the original law, The Constitution. Do your own reading and research since too often reporters are lazy and get facts wrong or post fabrications because of their own agenda.


The New Republic covers the assassination of JFK - I Was There When Castro Heard the News About JFK |


United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Government Operations. Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum: Cuban Missile Crisis

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