“Political Assassinations of the 1960s”
Conference — April 4-8, 2019
Olney Central College
OLNEY, Ill. — The nation’s foremost experts on the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. will gather April 4-8 for a conference at Olney Central College.
Sponsored by the JFK Historical Group, Political Assassinations of the 1960s will explore, in an academic setting, the deaths of these three iconic leaders focusing on new details, which have emerged more than a half-century later. The conference will feature an outstanding array of authors, researchers, historians, educators and college professors, who possess extensive knowledge on the subjects.
“We are excited to bring together a diverse panel of speakers who will shed light on these events,” said Conference organizer and longtime JFK researcher Professor David Denton. “Enough important events are occurring in these cases which merit closer scrutiny.”
A highlight of the event will be Saturday evening’s banquet featuring keynote speakers Lisa Pease, who spent 25 years researching her book, A Lie Too Big to Fail: The Real History of the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, and Ed Tatro, one of the nation’s preeminent JFK assassination researchers. Both will give other presentations throughout the conference.
Pease’s book, featured prominently in a recent Washington Post article, explores a CIA connection to the assassination of former Attorney General Robert Kennedy during his1968 presidential primary campaign. The story also quotes Robert Kennedy Jr., who believes the intelligence organization played a role in his father’s death. Kennedy recently appeared on The Alec Baldwin Show calling for a new investigation into his father’s death and requesting a new trial for convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan.
Tatro, a dynamic and engaging speaker, was a key contributor to the popular The Men Who Killed Kennedy series featured on the History Channel. He will present new and compelling information and evidence regarding the JFK assassination.
The banquet will begin at 6:15 p.m. at The Holiday in Olney with presentations by Pease and Tatro to follow at 7 and 8 p.m., respectively. The cost for the banquet is $40.
Denton said the National Archives’ release in 2017 and 2018 of previously classified documents related to the JFK assassination have resulted in new revelations making the conference a timely event.
“These recently declassified documents open new avenues into investigations. Although some documents remain classified, because of the recent release more information has come to light that paints a clearer picture of conspiracy in Dallas,” said Denton, who has taught the course, “Political Assassinations of the 1960s,’” for 17 years at Olney Central College. “The fact that Robert Kennedy Jr. has gone on the record questioning the official stories of both his father’s and uncle’s deaths brings renewed significance to these cases. Having this conference in an academic setting, I honestly believe it will bring forth significant information the public has not been aware of up to this point. In particular, I feel we have one of the best lineups of any conference yet associated with the assassination of RFK.”
Calls are also coming for a new investigation into King’s death on the balcony of Memphis’ Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968. On the recent King Holiday, a national petition was circulated requesting the government reopen the case. King’s family has been asking since the 1990s that the circumstances surrounding the civil rights leader’s slaying be re-examined.
“We believe the timing of this conference couldn’t be any better,” Denton added. “The conference activities start on the 51st anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.”
Conference events begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 4 with a showing of Randolph Benson’s film The Searchers, winner of the 2017 Tiburon International Film Festival’s Orson Welles Award. A question and answer session with Benson, an instructor of film and video at Duke University, will follow. A meet and greet with the speakers will run from 9 to 10 p.m.
The first full day of activities will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 5 with presentations continuing throughout the evening. Speakers will include Casey Quinlan, Brian Edwards, David Knight, Ed Tatro, Mal Hyman, Judyth Baker, Chris Fulton, Damon Ise, Lisa Pease and John Barbour.
The conference will resume at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, April 6 with featured speakers Jeff Worcester, Richard Bartholomew, Larry Rivera, Ed Tatro, Kris Millegan, David Denton, Victoria Hawes-Sulzer, Phil Nelson, William Law and Stan Weeber.
On Sunday, April 7, sessions will start at 9 a.m. Speakers include Shane O’Sullivan, Lisa Pease and Ed Tatro. A luncheon and meet and greet with the speakers will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Elk’s in Olney.
On Monday, April 8, John Barbour’s film The American Media and the Second Assassination of President John F. Kennedy will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Barbour is best known as “The Godfather of Reality TV,” for creating and co-hosting NBC’s trend-setting No. 1 hit, Real People. He was chosen by New Orleans’ District Attorney Jim Garrison to be the one to tell his story. The Garrison Tapes won the San Sebastian Film Festival Award in 1992 and the sequel, The American Media and the Second Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, is regarded as the absolute definitive film on the subject. A question and answer session with Barbour will follow the showing.
The cost for the conference is $80. Tickets for the banquet are an additional $40. For more information about the conference or to purchase tickets, please visit www.jfkhistorical.com.