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Bruce Herschensohn Film Screening Commemorates 50th Anniversary of JFK Assassination

Years of Lightning, Day of Drums

Pepperdine University Libraries and the School of Public Policy will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination with a screening of the award-winning movie John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums at 2 p.m. on Friday Nov. 22, in the Payson Library Surfboard Room, Malibu. 

The film, a 90-minute memorial tribute released in 1966, was both written and directed by Bruce Herschensohn, a Senior Fellow at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy. Narrated by Gregory Peck and produced by the United States Information Agency, the film features extensive excerpt from Kennedy's speeches, including footage of his swearing in and inaugural address. Herschensohn will provide opening and concluding remarks.

Herschensohn Archives

During the month of November, Pepperdine University Libraries is hosting an exhibit of materials from the Bruce Herschsensohn Papers about the making of John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums. The exhibit is located in Payson Library and explores the making of the film with photographs, memorabilia, correspondence, and other materials. These images document the filming of the worldwide reaction to Kennedy's death, including the funeral proceedings in Washington, D.C., and memorial services around the world; the development of the film script and music; the worldwide release and international acclaim of the film; and the distribution within the U.S.

The materials in the exhibit are taken from the Bruce Herschensohn Papers, which are held by Pepperdine University's Special Collections and University Archives, where they are available for research. A portion of the collection is also available online in the Pepperdine Digital Collections. The collection includes items collected and created by Herschensohn as an independent filmmaker, a director of Motion Pictures and Television at the United States Information Agency (USIA), a member of staff at the White House for Presidents Nixon and Reagan, and a political commentator for the KABC television and radio stations. Materials include correspondence, photographs, video and audio recordings, manuscripts, musical compositions, drawings, newspaper clippings, and other items related to the development of his films.

The cost of the event is free. For more information, contact Ken LaZebnik at (310) 506-6785.

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