Why is the Kennedy family so often referred to as Camelot?
January 24, 2004 8:32 AM   Subscribe

Why is the Kennedy family so often referred to as Camelot?
posted by yalestar to Society & Culture (6 answers total)
I think you might find the answer here. "Alan Jay Lerner, Kennedy’s Harvard classmate, had penned the hit song "Camelot" for the Broadway musical, a personal favorite of President Kennedy. The tune quickly became the unofficial theme of the Kennedy administration." There's a few more interesting tidbits in that link. Interesting question!
posted by kittyb at 8:42 AM on January 24, 2004

BTW, Camelot doesn't refer to the Kennedy's writ large - it refers to the period of time in which JFK and Jackie, who were widely seen as young, beautiful, and happy, presided over the U.S. in what seemed like the manner of a mythical king and queen.
posted by stonerose at 8:43 AM on January 24, 2004

yup--a "bright shining moment"
posted by amberglow at 8:49 AM on January 24, 2004

it really began after JFK's murder. the Camelot reference comes from Jackie's post-Dallas William Manchester interview. she mentioned the play, Manchester thought it was a great analogy, and there you go

JFK himself would have been the first to roll his eyes at the whole thing's crassness, but what can you do, it was "martyrdom" time in America.
posted by matteo at 9:10 AM on January 24, 2004

In a wholly irrelevent sidebar, the Brit comedy Red Dwarf explains the whole JFK assassination conspiracy mystery.

Basically, Lister in search for a good curry goes back in time and ends up bumping Lee Harvey Oswald out the fifth-floor repository window, foiling the shot. JFK thus continues his presidency, but because of his womanizing indiscretions is blackmailed into letting the Russians nuclearize Cuba. America falls apart and the Russians win the space race, which destroys Lister's original timeline, leaving him stranded.

Ignoring the timeline paradox for the sake of a good story, the show then has Lister jump back in time a bit earlier. He goes to the fifth floor and redirects LHO to the sixth floor. This puts LHO too high for a clean shot: he misses.

Lister then jumps forward in time to JFK's incarceration in this alternate timeline, and convinces JFK that it's better to go out in the age of Camelot, famous and respected through all history, than imprisoned and despised.

Lister and JFK jump back in time to the grassy knoll, where JFK assassinates himself, making up for LHO's missed fifth-floor and sixth-floor shots. The original timeline is restored, and Lister goes back to ship wiser and still hungry for curry.

The conspiracy nuts are driven crazy by the timeline paradoxes, fueling speculation for decades. Even Oliver Stone fails to grasp the true reality!
posted by five fresh fish at 11:14 AM on January 24, 2004

that was a great episode, fff. thanks for reminding me of it.
posted by joedan at 5:36 PM on January 24, 2004

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