Press Release

Conference will discuss Kennedy era of U.S. history

BANGOR, Maine — Don Colson, retired news anchor for WABI-TV, will lead a discussion of how Americans have responded to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as part of a conference, “Camelot to Chaos: Inventing the Sixties,” 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at  Eastport Hall, 128 Texas Ave. on the Bangor campus of the University of Maine at Augusta.

The public is invited. The conference is free, and a light lunch will be provided.

The humanities faculty at UMA’s Bangor campus is serving as host for the event. The conference is keyed to the Veterans Day holiday on Nov. 11, as well as the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s death on Nov. 22.

Two sessions at 10 a.m. will examine two significant issues of the era — the Kennedy administration’s approach to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, and the Lyndon Johnson administration’s decision-making in 1964 and 1965 on the U.S. role in Vietnam. Marilyn Hudzina and Tom McCord, who teach history at UMA, will lead these sessions.

Jeffrey Sychterz, assistant professor of English at UMA and a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, will lead an 11 a.m. session titled, “Poetry, Protest and the Vietnam Veterans against the War.” Another session, also at 11 a.m., will spotlight “Songs of Protest,” with music performed by Harry Batty and Peter Lodge, who teach at UMA.

Colson, who began working in television news in the 1960s, will lead the keynote session at noon, “Eternal Flame: How Americans Have Responded to John F. Kennedy’s Death.” Participants will have the opportunity to share their experiences.

The conference is free, and free parking is available next to Eastport Hall. Those who plan to attend may call 207-262-7760 and leave a message detailing how many will participate in the lunch.

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