Degree Year

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

History

Advisor(s)

Renee Romano

Committee Member(s)

Gary Kornblith
Steven Volk

Keywords

Assassination, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, John F. Kennedy, American political culture, Republicanism, Historical memory, The American presidency

Abstract

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.

Included in

History Commons

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