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Normal West Students Take Special Look Back at JFK’s Assassination

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NORMAL – Students at Normal West High School [Illinois Capitol Forum participant] had a big moment in American history come alive.

Seventh period in Jason Klekkenga’s history class took place 50 years to the hour of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas.

Students recreated the motorcade the president was traveling in as well as the account of how JFK died.

Then, they were given different old newspapers to sort through to determine if Lee Harvey Oswald is the killer, or if there are other possibilities.

It’s an exercise that has students buzzing.

“I’m not usually one to question. I trust our government. I’m not one to believe in conspiracy theories, that type of thing. So, I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, as sole assassin,” said Ben Nielsen, a junior.

“Naturally, I kind of go toward the Lee Harvey Oswald theory just because that’s so common, but I’m kind of interested to learn more about what role Ruby played in it and then the Castro theory really interests me because I’d never really thought about that before.” said Clare Stephenson, a senior.

Friday’s lesson focused on the day of the assassination, but over the weekend students can investigate other events surrounding it.

For their assignment, students will also debunk two myths from a list of eight choices about how the president died.