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American Experience: JFK

Premieres Nov. 11 and 12 on WGBH 2

Watch a preview of JFK:

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination — JFK provides a fresh look at an enigmatic man who has become one of the nation's most beloved and most mourned leaders.

The documentary explores Kennedy's childhood years as the overlooked second son of a multimillionaire, his early political career as a lackluster congressman, his subsequent successful run for senate, and the election victory that turned him into the youngest elected president in U.S. history.

With the benefit of newly opened archives and recently released documents, the film re-evaluates JFK's strengths and weaknesses in the Oval Office and looks at how he navigated some of the most explosive events of the mid-20th century. It also provides new insights into his private life — his relationship with his beautiful, accomplished wife, his obsessive womanizing, his reliance on his younger brothers, and his deference to the all-powerful father.

NOVA: Cold Case JFK

Premieres Nov. 13 on WGBH 2

Watch a preview of Cold Case JFK:

Fifty years later, what can science tell us about the Kennedy assassination — and the investigations that followed? The 1963 murder, in broad daylight in front of hundreds of witnesses, might seem to be a homicide investigator’s best-case scenario.

Yet somehow the JFK assassination became a forensic nightmare, plagued by a controversial autopsy and, incredibly, a prime suspect murdered on live television while in police custody, before he could be tried. As a result, today millions of Americans suspect a conspiracy. Now, NOVA launches a fresh investigation into the physical evidence, using state-of-the-art forensics, including laser scanning, new ballistics tests, and a 3D digital reconstruction of the president's skull, all to try to solve the murder of the century.

Cold Case JFK is part of series of specials airing on PBS in November to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s death.