This week, we bathe in the golden anniversary of the fourth assassination of an American president. We claim we’re doing this in service of remembering history and of taking stock of milestones because, hey, in this society of kids who can’t pick Jerry Ford out of a lineup, how could there possibly be too many history lessons?

And yet all those magazine covers and books and documentaries are far less about historical accuracy than they are about Baby Boomer self-obsession. And none of the familiar tropes we keep hearing resonate. Here’s why:

1. The assassination is not “The Moment That Changed Everything”

Yes, it was a shocking moment and a tragedy for the Kennedys and the nation. But what exactly would have been so dramatically different had the 35th president lived? Would we have stayed out of the Vietnam War? That’s unclear, but given that the war’s architect, Robert…

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