The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


November 18, 2013

World-famous footage seared into our collective consciousness

ENID, Okla. — If you were alive on Nov. 22, 1963, you should remember when you learned of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

Even if you weren’t around 50 years ago, the event is etched into your memory if you’ve seen Abraham Zapruder’s film.

The world-famous footage clocks in at just more than 26 seconds and contains 486 frames shot on Kodachrome II 8mm film.

There’s a scientific explanation for it. According to the American Psychological Association, these “flashbulb memories” are seared into our collective consciousness.

“What makes these events so memorable is the unusual intersection of the personal and the public, so that what becomes salient for you is actually learning about the event, in addition to the facts of it,” cognitive psychologist Dr. William Hirst, a memory researcher at the New School for Social Research, told the APA.

After the arrest and televised killing of suspect Lee Harvey Oswald by Dallas nightclub operator Jack Ruby, more questions arose. Subsequent commissions and media have investigated the assassination well into the 21st century.

Today, polls show a majority of Americans still suspect a conspiracy behind JFK’s assassination. New York Times investigative reporter Philip Shenon told U.S. News the iconic event is “the ultimate homicide case” and “people love detective stories.”

JFK’s assassination marked an important milestone that changed the history of our nation. We won’t forget it.

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