Plus: 8 events more important than the First Thanksgiving |

By Made by History / Produced by Olivia B. Waxman

Each year, for millions of Americans, Nov. 22 conjures up images of the assassination of John F. Kennedy 60 years ago—and reminds the world that conspiracy theories about the murder of the 35th president still abound. So ingrained are such rumors in our culture that a new Gallup poll finds that 65% of U.S. adults believe assassin Lee Harvey Oswald worked with others. But the truth, argue Sharron Wilkins Conrad and Ellen Fitzpatrick in Made by History, is that the horrible images from Dallas, the national mourning that followed, and the conspiracy theories that have lived on for six decades shouldn’t define memories of Kennedy. Instead, Americans should recall another aspect of his last year in office: his advocacy for civil rights. Kennedy's words, and the reaction they stirred in his fellow citizens, helped spark transformational change. Conrad and Fitzpatrick delve into letters that flooded the White House both before and after Kennedy’s death and they reveal the power of his words — which ought to be his true legacy.

8 Historical Moments More Important to Native Americans Than the ‘First Thanksgiving’
By Olivia B. Waxman
These moments in history hold more significance to Native Americans than the 'First Thanksgiving.'
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Rosalynn Carter Hired a Wrongfully Convicted Murderer to Serve as White House Nanny. They Remained Lifelong Friends
By Kathy Ehrich Dowd
Roselynn Carter and her daughter's nanny, Mary Prince, remained close friends for decades, even through Prince's murder conviction.
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Rosalynn Carter, Transformative First Lady and Mental Health Advocate, Dies
By Rachel E. Greenspan and Kathy Ehrich Dowd
Carter is famously considered one of the most involved First Ladies in history
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Column: How a TV Show Changed the Cold War
By David Craig
The story of how an ABC film in 1983 changed President Reagan's mind about the threat of nuclear annihilation.
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Government Shutdowns Were Never Necessary Anyway
By M.A. Davis / Made by History
Government shutdowns only became possible in 1980, when the Attorney General offered a new interpretation of an 1870 law.
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The Critical Need to Teach the History of Mass Incarceration
By Benjamin Weber
Mass incarceration is the clearest afterlife of slavery. We must reckon with this history in order to repair it, writes Benjamin Weber.
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How the Surveillance of Immigrants Remade American Policing
By Matthew Guariglia / Made by History
Modern American policing is rooted in approaches adopted a century ago.
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This week in 1970: Sesame Street

The 1970 TIME magazine cover story on Sesame Street
The Nov. 23, 1970, cover of TIME

“Sesame Street began in February 1966 at a dinner party given by Mrs. Cooney, then a producer for public television in Manhattan. Among the guests was Lloyd N. Morrisett, vice president of the Carnegie Corporation. Recalls Mrs. Cooney: ‘I was complaining about poor children's programming. Something clicked in Lloyd's mind: TV and preschoolers. Was I interested?’ She was, fanatically ­and shrewdly…It was hardly the first occasion that funders had heard such a plea. But it was the first time they had ever met a persuader of Mrs. Cooney's talents. By the time she was through, her Children's Television Workshop had been granted $8,000,000 by the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford Foundation, the U.S. Office of Education, and related Government agencies.

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This week in 1986: Sex education

The 1986 TIME magazine cover story on sex education
The Nov. 24, 1986, cover of TIME

“It took only a single paragraph (four sentences, 91 words) to change the course of an ancient debate. ‘There is now no doubt,’ said Surgeon General C. Everett Koop in his grim report on AIDS last month, ‘that we need sex education in schools and that it must include information on heterosexual and homosexual relationships.’ With characteristic bluntness, Koop made it clear that he was talking about graphic instruction starting ‘at the lowest grade possible,’ which he later identified as Grade 3. Because of the ‘deadly health hazard,’ he said later, ‘we have to be as explicit as necessary to get the message across. You can't talk of the dangers of snake poisoning and not mention snakes.’”

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This week in 2013: The 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination

TIME magazine's cover story on JFK assassination conspiracy theories
The November 25, 2013, cover of TIME

“Amid the shards of all those shattered assumptions, 50 years of doubt was born, a half-century of searching, investigating, theorizing, blame. Most Americans do not believe that what happened in Dallas has ever been properly resolved. Clear majorities--as high as 81% in 2001 and about 60% in a recent Associated Press poll--believe that a conspiracy was swept under a tattered rug. The conclusion of the Warren Commission, that one man alone delivered this devastating blow, got little traction compared with the desperate, at times unhinged, efforts to assemble a more satisfying account.”

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