High school students learn about JFK’s assassination

High school students learn about JFK’s assassination on 50th anniversary

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Shannon Hamblen teaches American and world history for seniors and juniors and gave a lesson on Kennedy's assassination to mark the 50th anniversary. Shannon Hamblen teaches American and world history for seniors and juniors and gave a lesson on Kennedy's assassination to mark the 50th anniversary.
"Young people today see the assassination as more of a footnote of history," Knoxville Catholic High School teacher Shannon Hamblen said. "Young people today see the assassination as more of a footnote of history," Knoxville Catholic High School teacher Shannon Hamblen said.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - For several decades following President John F. Kennedy's assassination, teaching students about the killing was very personal. Teachers, parents and at one time even students could remember living through the national tragedy.

Today, there is much more of a distance between the president's death and current high school students.

"Young people today see the assassination as more of a footnote of history," Knoxville Catholic High School teacher Shannon Hamblen said.

Hamblen teaches American and world history for seniors and juniors and gave a lesson on Kennedy's assassination to mark the 50th anniversary.

"A lot of young people today have parents that are my age that weren't around during the assassination," Hamblen said. "When I began teaching in the 1990s, we still had a lot of young people in high school that had uncles maybe older siblings that could barely remember the assassination."

Unlike the presidential assassinations before JFK, the events of Kennedy's killing were documented on film, allowing younger generations to experience it through the media.

"This was in your house on TV," Hamblen told his class Friday. "They can relive the moments and see the interviews."

Hamblen told 6 News he is teaching much more than the what and how of the assassination.

Hamblen said he wants his students to understand the impact Kennedy's life and death have on the American public today.

"President Johnson, who took over the power, was able to use the assassination as a memorial to push for things such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964," Hamblen said. "Thanks to Kennedy, we have the Peace Corps. We have desegregation in the southern colleges."

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