Bachelor of Arts
Assassination, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, John F. Kennedy, American political culture, Republicanism, Historical memory, The American presidency
Four American presidents have been assassinated: Abraham Lincoln in 1865, James Garfield in 1881, William McKinley in 1901, and John F. Kennedy in 1963. As a traumatic event, presidential assassination has caused Americans to be introspective and reflect on their nation's political past, present, and future. These reflections, which are aggregated and perpetuated by the mass media, reveal a great deal about American political culture. This thesis looks at the New York Times coverage of each assassination. In doing so, it explores the changing discourse about republicanism between 1865 and 1963, how each assassination was mobilized to serve distinct political goals, and how Americans imagined the legacy of each assassinated president.
Alperin-Sheriff, Aliza, "Giving Meaning to Martyrdom: What Presidential Assassinations Can Teach Us About American Political Culture" (2012). Honors Papers. 347.