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I Am JFK Jr -

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(generated from captions) REPORTER: This is the man who,
in the next 24 hours,

may become
President of the United States,

and she, First Lady of the land.

JOHN F. KENNEDY: So now, my wife and
I prepare for a new administration

and for a new baby.

Thank you.

Ask not what your country
can do for you.

Ask what you can do
for your country.

Every degree of mind and spirit
that I possess

will be devoted to the long-range
interests of the United States

and to the cause of freedom
around the world.

REPORTER: Just a moment, please.

Something has happened in the
motorcade route. Stand by, please.

Parkland Hospital...
there has been a shooting.

Parkland Hospital has been advised
to stand by

for a severe gunshot wound.

The flash, apparently official,
President Kennedy died at 1pm,

Central Standard Time.

REPORTER: The President
of the United States is dead.

I have just talked to
Father Oscar Hubert

of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

He and another priest tell me
that the pair of them

have just administered the last
rites of the Catholic Church

to President Kennedy.

President Kennedy has been
assassinated. It's official now.

The president is dead.

REPORTER: As the casket
is returned to the caisson,

there comes a family vignette
that must take its place

with those memories
we hold warm and dear.

A gentle reminder from his mother,

and John John celebrates
his third birthday

with a soldier's farewell
to his father.

It's easy for someone to say,
"Well, I'm going to be me."

Well, that's easy when nobody
gives a damn who you are.

But when somebody has
definite ideas about you,

superlative ones, in John's case...

"You'll be the greatest. You are the
most handsome. You are royalty.

"You are bound and destined
for greatness. Do nothing normal.

"Do nothing pedestrian. You are
better than that and everyone."

That's not easy to have
on your shoulders.

He's the only person we've ever seen

have that kind of greatness
put upon him.

In our culture,
where we don't recognise royalty,

he was the closest thing
we had to a crown prince.

He was the heir.

The heir to the promise
and to the challenge,

"Don't ask what your country
can do for you.

"Ask what you can do
for your country."

That salute of John Jr

is the first extraordinary
celebrity moment

in John Jr's life.

From that moment on,
his life was different.

From the very beginning that,
you know, that little salute,

he was under scrutiny
and pressure.

I think John F. Kennedy Jr's salute

is a defining moment in the
American public, in their psyche.

That we're going to see
more from...from this kid.

Is it tough being a junior?

I don't have a basis of comparison,

I mean, are there ever days you say,
"I wish my name were David?"

No, I'm pretty happy
with what it is.

It's complicated, and it makes
for a rich and complicated life,

but that's, I think, part of the
puzzle to figure out in my life.

For me, it wasn't meeting
the little boy saluting the casket.

I think for my mother,
it would have been that.

For me, it was like, I mean, he's,
like, a hot New York bachelor.

The first time I met him, I was
working out in my gym in Tribeca,

and a mutual friend had brought him
up there while I was working out,

and so I was on the bike,
and we shook hands.

I was just fortunate enough
to meet him and engage with him

and go on just a minute of
a cosmic dust journey with him, was pretty awesome.

You know, his tentacles, his love,
it reaches out from the grave.
It's still here now.

Native Americans say that when
somebody takes your picture,
you lose a piece of your soul.

How he retained his soul after
hundreds of thousands of pictures

is one of his greatest

He had a brilliant capacity

for getting people to
quit looking at the... the balloon of himself
that he was towing overhead.

The sort of Macy's Thanksgiving Day
Parade-sized John F. Kennedy Jr,

to the guy that was standing there
who was remarkable in his own way,

but was, you know,
put his pants on one leg at a time.

You know, one of the things that
John tried to do throughout his life

was be his own man
and go his own path.

He obviously had the whole spectre
of his presidential father

and his very famous mother and a
family that was known for politics,

but, you know,
John was very much his own man.

He...he marched to his own beat.

Like many sons of famous fathers,
there's...there's a legacy.

There's sort of a big
mountain to climb.

So I think he felt like he had to
do something significant.

I mean, he couldn't just get a job.

BARLOW: His being part of
the Kennedy legacy,

the really important thing
to know about John in that regard

was that he was not a Kennedy,
he was a Bouvier.

His mother was THE guiding,
shaping force in his life,

and he looked very much like her,
but he was also very much a Kennedy,

very devoted to his family,
to the name, to the history,

very, very much so.

He couldn't separate
himself from that legacy,
and nor would he want to.

The process of separation becomes
a problem for a presidential child.

Their greatest single challenge
is to find a separate identity.

Who am I?

He called me up one night,
and he said,

"I've been thinking a lot
about great men

"and it occurs to me that it
would be kind of a cakewalk

"for me to become a great man.

"I mean, everybody expects me
to be a great man.

"I'm perfectly positioned."

You know, "If I don't fuck up in
some major way, I can just do it."

And he said, "But I've been reading
a lot of biographies of great men

"all the way through history, and
I'm realising that not one of them

"seems to have been
a good guy at home.

"I mean, even Gandhi
beat his family, you know.

"And my father was...was no model.

"And I wonder if it wouldn't be
a much more interesting challenge
in my position

"to set out at this point and see if
I couldn't make myself a good man."

And that was really paramount to him.

He wanted to be good
in his relationship with his wife.

That was really important.
He wanted it to work.

He wanted to be good
in his relationship with his sister,

who was very important to him.

No schadenfreude at all.
He wanted his friends to succeed.

So I think John Perry Barlow's
comment about him wanting to be good

is really important
in understanding who John was.

I also knew that pressures
were about to enter his life

in increasing force that would make
sticking with that principle

an extremely hard thing to pull off

because everybody in the world was
going to be tugging at his sleeve.

People were going to treat him
like a thing. They already were.

It's difficult to
maintain your goodness

if you're being treated
like a thing.

REPORTER: If you were to have a son,

would you encourage
a political career for him?

I would, definitely.

I would hope he would grow up to be,

if not a politician in the sense
of devoting all of his time,

I would hope
that whatever he did do,

that he would have some sense
of responsibility for what went on.

Over a quarter century ago,
my father stood before you to accept

the nomination for the
Presidency of the United States.


In 1988, John introduced his uncle,
Teddy Kennedy,

to the Democratic
National Convention.

The place went wild.

Thank you.

There's a huge gravitational pull
towards politics

because that's kind of what he...

I mean,
he was just such a natural at it.

John was smart enough
to know "I'm Junior."

"I'm not John F. Kennedy.
I'm not my father."

He did this counterculture.

He didn't want to be what everyone
thought he should be or become,

and I thought
that took a lot of balls.

Having people on him, fawn over him,
since he was a little baby,

especially after what had happened,

so I liked that reserved thing
about him.

Easy to relate to.

John really, for me,
represented someone who had
every right to be a cynic

and decided to be a romantic.

Obviously, John, to everybody,
was a very charismatic person,

because of his name,
because of his family,

but also because of him.

He had this very attractive

part humble, part irreverent,
very handsome, very energetic,

and people projected
all their hopes and dreams

on this son of this family.

You never thought of
running for office?

That had to have come up
in some discussion somewhere.

No, I mean,
I-I've certainly thought about it.

But I think that, you know, there is
this great weight of expectation
and anticipation,

and I think that part of you wants
to sort of address that in some way

and maybe do something different,
but just to sort of engage it.

Most people get into politics

for one of or a combination
of three reasons.

It's for money, it's for power,
or it's for fame.

John had all three
the day he was born.

REPORTER: In Georgetown,

a hopeful crowd waits for a glimpse
of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr,

First Baby to be, who is whisked by,

heavily swaddled against
the sub-freezing weather.

One of the reasons Americans
loved the Kennedys

was because we didn't have
this grandfather Eisenhower

in the White House any longer.

We had this young family.

We had this beautiful young wife
and mother.

We had Caroline,
and, especially, we had John Jr.

We had this exciting,
irascible little boy

running through the White House.

Jackie Kennedy is an extraordinary
figure in this story

because she's very bright.

People think of her as young,
and so young as First Lady

that it hardly registers that
she was a very bright young lady,

and she had done studies
about presidential children.

She was a bit of an expert before
her time on presidential children.

In fact, when the Clintons
were elected president,

one of the first things they did
was brought in Jackie Kennedy
and ask her advice.

LEAMER: His mother understood
the wages of celebrity,

what celebrity does to you.

President Kennedy saw the
advantages of celebrity.



He'd seen the advantages
of his beautiful wife,

what that brought to him

and he saw the advantages
of his children.

We have those great
photos of the kids

scampering around the Oval Office.

That was the president who knew that
"Jackie's not here."

And said to his secretary,
"Go get the kids."

So they brought them from the
mansion over to the West Wing

and had them
scamper around the Oval Office,

and we have those
delightful pictures today.

They never would have happened
on Jacqueline Kennedy's watch.

Instantly, John Jr becomes a star.

He becomes part of the national
fabric of our lives.

Here was this kid who was
sort of America's kid...

Really, a part of royalty in a
country that doesn't have royalty.

If you called John's name in the
White House, as Jack often did,

summoned him,
he didn't come right away,

so often what you'd hear echoing
down the White House halls was,

"John? John? John? John?"

If you wanted to get under his skin,
you'd say, "Listen, John John."

And, you know,
that would be the "argh".

WOMAN: He had a really, really nice
relationship with his mom
and his sister.

You know, I mean,
his mother was incredibly gracious,

but, as John said,
she ran a tight ship.

It was a little...

It looked a little more
free-flowing, you know,

but she was actually very together,
and John was the kind of kid that

needed a lot of assistance getting
his stuff together for a long time,

and probably really
irritating in a lot of ways.

He was an amazing character.

He could remember not only
everybody's name,

but everybody's dog's name,
you know.

He had a natural talent
for being graceful.

I mean, it happened to run
in his mother's family.

There was a strong streak of it.

His cousin, Anthony Radziwill,
had the same thing.

If you were sitting there with
Anthony Radziwill and John,

listening to them,

you would think they were
the worst enemies in the world.

The vicious attacks
they would make to each other...

This was the game they played
constantly with each other.

He had absolutely the best teacher
in the world in his mother,

and she passed that on
seamlessly to him.

They adored each other, all of them,
Caroline and John and their mother.

I mean, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
still is, like... the top-five style icons
that I can think of.

I mean, she's referenced
constantly in fashion.

You know, there's just, like,
an understated chicness,

..which just seemed so effortless,
and it was like...

It was just good taste,

and that, I guess,
really never does go out of style.

The media may overdo how perfectly
classy and perfect she was,

but she was classy.

She was...

She did dress in a tailored,
appropriate, sophisticated manner.

Jackie Kennedy, to anybody from the
outside, was this larger-than-life,

iconic figure,
made so particularly, obviously,

because of what she
so publicly went through.

The globalised grief and tragedy
of the Kennedy assassination and the

fact that this young, beautiful
widow and mother was left.

Everyone in the world admired Jackie
Kennedy. Everybody imitated her.

Everybody felt her pain
and her sadness after 1963,

and everybody watched those children
as if they were their children.

This is a little boy, you know,
born on Thanksgiving Day.

You know,
his father had been elected
President of the United States.

He barely knew his own father.

He lost him in the most violent
and unacceptable of ways.

For the five years after
Jack Kennedy's assassination,

Bobby Kennedy really functioned
as the father to John and Caroline.

REAGAN: The Secret Service
will never forget John F. Kennedy

and the day he was assassinated.

They'll never forget.

The agents will never forget
the day my father was shot.

These guys do a great job.

They train 24/7 to protect us,

but they can't protect us
against the crazies.

When Bobby was gunned down in 1968,

in a sense, John and Caroline
lost their father a second time.

Jackie was devastated.

LEAMER: When Bobby Kennedy
was killed, Jackie said,

"Kennedys aren't safe
in this country.

"Wherever we go, we're victims."

She said, "They're killing Kennedys,

"and my children
are the number-one target.

"And I'm basically out of here."

Aristotle Onassis,
a lot of people don't realise,

had been somewhat close to
the Kennedys for years.

He'd actually been in the
White House to comfort Jackie

in the days following
JFK's assassination.

Aristotle Onassis had a
private island, Skorpios.

He had homes in Paris and London.

And she married Aristotle Onassis.

Aristotle Onassis was not only
fabulously wealthy,

but he also had a 75-man
security force.

She felt it was far superior
to the job that the Secret Service

had been doing for the Kennedys,

and so she felt safe and protected
as long as she was married to him.

John and Caroline were well aware
of the role that Aristotle Onassis

was going to be playing
in their mother's life.

Later on in life, John would say,
"Mr Onassis was a very nice man."

But the key here is that he never
stopped referring to him as
"Mr Onassis."

It was a kind of a charmed life,
in a sense,

but, sadly, it didn't last for long.

Onassis died six weeks after
entering the American hospital here

just outside of Paris.

John's life, as we all know,
was a very complicated life,

from his very early beginning
in the White House, of course,

and then, you know,
after the tragedy of his father,

his mother kept him and his sister
sort of away from a lot of the world,

you know, and a lot of it was driven
by security concerns.

REAGAN: In New York City,
you're recognised everywhere you go,

and so your privacy is completely
taken away from you

when you're in that kind of a
situation with a First Family.

John lived it, I lived it,

that's why I can sit here and say
I know what the life was.

The agents protecting John
and Caroline were always aware,

every single day, that another
assassination could take place,

and they had to be on high alert
at every second.

You know, in the beginning,

he really kind of needed a father
that wasn't a Secret Service agent.

John had gone out of
Secret Service coverage at 16,

and he was really starting to become
a problem around the building.

I mean, he was doing stuff like,
you know,

mixing up a bucketful
of wallpaper paste

and pouring it down the mail shaft.

That's funny, I've got to say.

I'm sure the people at the building
didn't think it was funny.

In search of a strong male figure,

Jackie had heard of a fellow named
John Perry Barlow,

who was a kind of a free spirit

who wrote songs for the Grateful
Dead and owned a ranch in Wyoming.

It was fairly late in the evening

and I was sitting at the
galactic headquarters

of the Bar Cross Land
and Livestock Company

in Cora, Wyoming,

when I get this breathy voice
on the phone that says,

"Hi, this is Jacqueline Onassis."

And I said,
"Well, in the highly unlikely event

"that this isn't some kind of
a joke, what can I do for you?"

Two days later, he was on the ranch.

I had him setting a couple of
big posts around a gate,

and he had the pick-up truck
in between these two posts,

and the doors open on either side.

So he jumps in the pick-up,
throws it into reverse,

and just takes
both of the doors off.

Just popped them. (LAUGHS)

He had his forehead
down on the steering wheel and...

..he finally says, "Is that
really hard to fix?" (LAUGHS)

When it came to John, you know, she
would send him to the far corners

of the earth to avoid having him
spend time with his Kennedy cousins.

And apparently, this was by design,
keeping her children

away from the Kennedy family
after her husband died.

Ethel Kennedy's brood of 11
were out of control, basically.

You know, they had a sense of

They were getting in trouble
with drugs and drinking

and all sorts of reckless behaviour,
in trouble with the law.

They felt they could do anything
they wanted because they were

Young boys, the way they are,

they grow up to be men
because of their mothers.

That's just a fact.

When I open a door for someone
and they say, "Thank you"

I say, "No, thank my mother."

Jacqueline Kennedy
raised her children correctly.

I mean, you really see
the influence of Jackie Onassis.

I was just thinking of it yesterday.

I went through
Grand Central Station.

She saved Grand Central Station

when these barbarians were
ripping down beautiful buildings.

You know, we make fun of the Taliban
for blowing up the Buddhas.

We blew up Penn Station.
She saved that beautiful building.

She didn't come from
a political family.

I think there was a lot about
politics and the life of politics,

especially for young children,
that she thought was, mm...

..heady stuff, and it was better
to have a sense of who you are

and your own place in life
before you really took that on,

so that kind of healthy scepticism,
I think, was an important

part of her parenting, and probably
made my sister's and I life easy.

When it comes to cars,
everyone thinks they're an expert.

SONG: # Everybody's talking at me

# I don't hear a word they're saying

# Only the echoes of my mind... #

But the real experts recently chose

the Hyundai i30

as the Best Small Car in Australia.

# Through the pouring rain... #

Even better - it's now in run out

drive away.

# Suits my clothes... #

to work.
She's driving a short distance get
Do the other insurance companies

a short distance to work,
So if you only drive

leaping through the sky
# I'm a shooting star

# Yes, I'm having a good time
# Don't stop me now

this Christmas
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WIESE: You know, when John enrolled
at Brown University,

it was, you know, pretty big news.

Brown didn't have a Kennedy
School of this or that,

or a Kennedy Library,

and I think he probably liked a
little of that anonymity.

Brown seemed so much more open-minded

in terms of the artsy
side of John, the actor.

I think Brown was certainly

one of the lesser-known Ivy League
schools in the '60s and '70s,

and I think when John went there,

it gave it a prominence
that it had never enjoyed before.

You know, you'd walk around a
football game with, you know,

a sign saying, you know,
"Party after the game at Phi Psi."

And when John joined the frat,

it went from advertising to
restricting people from coming in.

You know, we started getting
lines out the door.

We lived on a house
on Benefit Street in Providence,

beautiful house,
a vertical four-storey house,

and we had the good sense
to have three female roommates.

We had this really fantastic,
very eclectic house,

and I do remember that we had
amazing dinnertime conversation.

I came from a conservative
Republican upbringing,

and he obviously came from
where he came from,

so we kind of had our own
sets of dogmas,

and we kind of worked them out by,
like, shouting at each other.

John would get really animated, and
he'd get incredibly argumentative.

He would not let an argument go.
He had to win.

He'd get right in your face.

He'd harangue you until you,
you know...

If you didn't succumb,
it would just go on endlessly.

Almost certainly, you know, John
would gravitate towards something

having to do with politics.

He knew some of these people
that you were, you know,

reading about in the newspapers
or seeing on the television.

Not that he was blowing his own
horn, because he never was,

but that was in his DNA,
that was who he was.

That was who his mom
brought him up to be.

But he didn't, like,
wear it on his sleeve in any way.

But, there would just be moments
you'd catch him with,

like, for example, at Phi Psi,
when he moved into the fraternity,

he brought his father's chair
from the White House.

So, you know, he had the chair his
father sat in in the Oval Office,

this leather chair, and he would
sit in that chair and lean back,

and that was his chair
that he studied with.

So he had these, like, memorabilia
that were kind of with him.

And he enjoyed it.
I mean, he felt great about it.

At a certain level,
as much as I could relate to John,

there's very few people on this
earth who could relate to

how he grew up
and what was normal to him.

I remember when I was at Brown,
he had been at a Rolling Stones

and he might have even had,
you know, Keith Richards' guitar.

I thought, you know, "Let's face it.

"Most college students, they just
sort of connive their way
into a concert.

"You know, most people aren't going
to be backstage with the Stones."

One night, he took me out revelling
with Hunter S. Thompson.

Can you imagine? With John Kennedy,
Hunter S. Thompson.

And I'm in this fabulous bar,

but I knew that this was special,

and maybe John would
go on to something else.

So I said to him, "So, John, do you
want to be president one day?"

And he said, "Shut up, Kissy."

He just didn't entertain us
going into that area.

You know, Jackie also felt
that he had a destiny to fulfil,

and part of that destiny would
involve his going to law school.

Him going to law school was what
a serious young Kennedy does,

and for a while, John thought
he'd be a serious young Kennedy,

not realising the costs.

John F. Kennedy's
going to find out soon

if all that cramming
he did has paid off.

He began taking his New York bar
exams for the third time today.

The son of the late president
will have to pass this time

if he wants to hold onto
his $30,000-a-year job
as an assistant DA.

I think when I was
running for Congress

and one time I got
bad press on something

and he sort of laughed at me
and he said,

"You have no idea what bad press is

"until you're on the front page
of the New York Post."

We all went through that experience,

but we went through it
in a very private way,

and if we had failed,
our friends and our family
would have been disappointed,

but we would have gone on quietly
and taken it again.

For John, you know,
it became an international story.

Slow news day, I guess, huh?

John, a lot of people
waiting for you here.
How do you feel about...

Is it true that you passed the bar?
Uh, apparently it's true.

I got the official word
not long ago, so it's true.

What do you mean?
Just a few minutes ago?

I got the word.
That's really all that's important.

What many people don't know

is that John had
a reading disability,

and you're supposed to get
more time on the bar exam.

He wouldn't take more time on the
bar exam because he thought people

would think that he was getting
special favour,

and that was a mistake for him,
but that was part of being John.

I'm looking forward to doing
some good things here,

and I'm glad it's behind me.

Are you going to stay
here in the DA's office?
Sure. Absolutely.

What kind of cases are you
looking forward to?
Whatever they give me.

I think it's sort of unfair,

the business about him
failing the New York bar exam.

For one thing,
Hillary Clinton failed it,

and all I hear about
is how brilliant she is,

but, moreover, the bar exam is
something you do have to study for.

It isn't an IQ test.

It's learning specific knowledge,
and here he is, you know,

the sexiest man in the universe,
according to People magazine.

He's young, he's single.
How much studying was he doing?

It sounds very enviable
to have People magazine

pronounce you Sexiest Man Alive
or Sexiest Woman Alive,

and if you're a model, it's great.

It can only help your career.
It's amazing.

If you're a young man who comes from
that Kennedy legacy,

while it might be flattering,
it may also feel like...

..hard to be taken seriously.

You can imagine, among friends,

some of the ribbing he would have,
you know, got.

It was like,
"John, does that mean sexiest ever?"

I mean, we used to tease him.
"Qualify for it."

It turned out to be a really great
way to take the piss out of him.

(LAUGHS) "Oh, do I have the sexiest
man in the galaxy on the phone?"


INTERVIEWER: Did he like to have
his shirt off a lot?

Yeah, sure, he did. I would too,
if I looked like that guy.

Of course,
it's easy to deal with women

when you're People magazine's
sexiest human in the universe.

(LAUGHS) Just smile.
We'll do whatever you want.


He certainly was a hand
with the ladies. (LAUGHS)

No question about that.

None of those were very serious.

They made a lot out of that stuff,
you know.

Sarah Jessica Parker and John had,
you know, no relationship, really,

not really, and Madonna, not really.

Like, maybe one night. Sorry.

Who knows, maybe more.
What do I know?

They were just for the fun of it
kind of thing.

They weren't serious.

There was no real intimacy there,

just running around
in the fast lane.

John really was a serial monogamist,

in spite of the fact that it was
very difficult for his girlfriends

to believe that,

because he was under a continuous
barrage of other opportunities.

The actress Daryl Hannah,
the star of...

At that time, she was
best-known for the movie Splash

but she was in John's circle because
she came from a very wealthy family
of Democratic donors.

But in 1988, the same year he was on
the cover of the People magazine's

"The Sexiest Man Alive,"
they began a relationship,

and this was a serious relationship
that lasted five years.

They are the fun couple of '93,
a paparazzi's dream.

John F. Kennedy Jr
and actress Daryl Hannah

are travelling the world these days.

I know that,
while they were together, you know,

John had a lot of concern for her,
and it was nice, in a way,

that she understood celebrity and
attention in a way that, you know,

other women could not.

This is the JFK
special spotter version.

You probably can get him at the
length of two football fields
easily with this.

I never have seen anyone get
reactions the way he did.

Not the biggest rock star,
not the biggest movie star,

because he wasn't an entertainer.

He was the real deal.

He was the living legacy of the
closest thing to greatness

a big slice of this country thought
that we had ever experienced
in a leader.

That's what Kennedy was.

I remember watching, in sort of
the combination of horror and awe,

the way men and women threw
themselves at him, of all ages.

Even if they physically weren't
throwing themselves at him

they were emotionally throwing
themselves at him.

People would come up to him

and you could see them just shedding
IQ points as they approached.

I mean, the closer... (LAUGHS)

..the closer they got,
the dumber they were.

You knew that they'd been pretty
bright over here someplace,

but by the time they got there,
they were just dumb as bait.

HARE: When I spent time with John
or with John and his mother,
in particular,

you would see the adults
embarrassingly freak out

and just do ridiculous things.

There would periodically be
feeding frenzies,

where people would suddenly find him

in the back aisle of the grocery
store and then just lose it,

and they would lose it collectively
in a way that would be...


He had to be a little more
cautious about things,

and he was less able to interact
with people he didn't know as well.

He was more protective of himself.

John certainly hated to have
that effect on people.

When People magazine came out,

that was somewhat of a
dividing line in his life.

He wasn't being treated as,
you know,

the son of a slain president or,
you know, son of Jacqueline Onassis.

At this point,
I think, with the press,

they felt that everything
was fair game.

That happened to John, like,
every day, everywhere he went,

and even in the biggest city
in America, you could see,

he'd walk down Broadway,
"pop, pop, pop."

That doesn't happen
to normal people.

Doesn't even happen to most actors.

Another layer of John's charm
was that he was a New Yorker.

Welcome to the premiere of
Heart of the City.

Hello. I'm John Kennedy.

There are few places on earth
more fascinating, exciting,

or glamorous than New York City.

He loved this city.
He loved everything about it.

You know,
he was on 1040 Fifth Avenue,

which is right across the street
from the Met,

and so the Met
became his playground.

So we played Frisbee in front of
the Met because there were lights.

You know, it had a little
more lights than normal,

so we'd be playing Frisbee
right across Fifth Avenue,

and every now and then, you'd sort
of bounce it off a taxi windshield,
and try and curve it to each other.

He loved New York.

New York offered him the right
combination of anonymity...

..and...and hugs.

You know, it's the energy
of the city. It's the vibrance.

John, if nothing else,
was an incredibly vibrant,
energetic person.

The guy was peripatetic.
He could not sit still.

Rollerblades were the biggest thing
that ever happened in John's life,
I think,

because he could really go like a
bat out of hell on rollerblades.

He was like some kind of
a superhero.

Funny thing about John was that,
you know, despite the sixpack abs

and the great physique,
which he certainly had,

and he worked hard for
and he deserved,

he was not a great athlete,
despite all the pictures you see

or films you see of him
playing football in Central Park.

He was terrible at touch football.

He played it with such intensity
and seriousness,

but, you know,
they say there's go-to receivers?

John was not a go-to receiver.

Every moment with John
was an adventure.

You know, "Let's go camping.
Let's go rock climbing."

We kayaked out into
the middle of the Hudson

in the middle of the night,
which is, in and of itself,

is an incredible experience.

We would take the subway
together uptown.

You know, he was a regular guy.

He wanted to be treated
like everyone else.

One thing he kept doing in New York
City, he rode a bike around.

He wouldn't lock it,
and it was, like,

"The world must know this
is John Kennedy's bike, right?
Of course nobody will steal it."

It would get stolen within minutes.

I don't know how many bikes he lost.
In New York City.

Here was a guy that everybody knew
his whole story,

and you'd see him,
like, you'd see him ride his bike.

You'd get a glimpse, and it was like
seeing Santa Claus or something.
"Yeah, I just saw Kennedy!"

And he managed to navigate
this really abnormal...

..aura that was around him
and thrust upon him,

and, I think, be a very
normal boy despite it all,

and I do put that down
to his mother,

who was an amazing force in his life.

I remember one day going with him,
you know, to the house,

you know, knock, knock, knock,
on the door.

His mum answered the door, and
I remember her saying, "Oh, angel."

She called him "angel" sometimes,
and it was just so from the heart.

She loved him to bits.

And he was one of the few adult
males who was still very much

attentive to his
mother's expectations.

It mattered to him
to make his mother proud.

When I first heard the news
that Jackie was sick

and she had lymphoma, I was so sad.

So, so, so sad.

And I immediately called up,
and I just wanted to...

..just say that I was thinking of
her and, you know, praying for her.

She said, you know,
"It's alright. This is the good kind.

"We can beat this kind."

ANDERSEN: She says she's gonna
fight this, and she does.

There's chemotherapy, surgery,
and throughout it all,

John is by her side.

John called me and said,
"Mummy's coming home.

"She wants to be at home,
and there's nothing more to be done."

I said, "OK, I'm coming. I'm coming."

So I got on a plane
and I came to New York,

and, on a human level,
there's nothing else to say.

It was a very big tragedy,
a personal tragedy.

Somebody's mum was dying.

Losing his mother was intensely
personal for him,

but, again,
with everything else in his life,

there was these added layers
of significance to it.

Jackie O was sick,

and that meant something
in American culture.

He had to process all that
and deal with all this publicity.

He decided, "Look, I can't be in
this bubble of this anymore

"because I just...I've got
to be me a little bit here.

"I'm having to be too many different
things for too many people."

So he decided to have a football
game right next to her house
in Central Park.

AMANPOUR: When he came out with
a bunch of us friends, you know,

to go into Central Park
and to throw a ball around,

just to get out of that
atmosphere for a little bit,

because they were surrounded
by all these press outside,

and I remember the press running
after him and practically
knocking him down,

and I remember screaming,
"It's his mother! Leave him alone!"

REPORTER: Who is it?
John. It's John.

Oh, my God.

Can you imagine?
How do you live like this?

How did Caroline live like this?
How did John live like this?

How did Jackie live like this?
How do you live like this?

I just never forgave individuals
or members of the press

who didn't have the decency,

especially in the worst,
most painful, most personal,

most private moments,
to give them a little space.

I found it...I found it grotesque.

Especially when they have given you

the courtesy of their best
and their most polite selves.

I remember talking to him
about it there on the field.

You know, "Are you OK? You alright?
You alright doing this?"

He's like,
"No, I need this right now.
I need this right now. Thanks."

Kind of short-changing you on any
kind of need to take care of John.

You know,
John was very sensitive about that.

You know, he didn't need you
to worry about him.

I can't talk about what happened
inside that room or inside
that apartment.

It's private.

But just to say that she was
surrounded by her family,

her friends,
and a huge amount of love.

Last night, around 10:15,
my mother passed on.

She was surrounded by her friends
and her family and her books, uh,

and the people
and the things that she loved,

and she did it in her own way,
on her own terms, and, uh...

And we all feel lucky for that,
and now she's in God's hands.

He announced his mother's death to
the press. Incredibly...dignified.

Holding his emotions in.

So much love went into that
public statement.

There's been an enormous outpouring
of good wishes from everyone,

both in New York and beyond,
and I speak for all of our family

when we say we're
extremely grateful.

Everyone's been very generous,
and I hope now that, uh, you know,

we can just have these next
couple days in relative peace.

John handled death better
than anybody I knew.

He lost...

You know, he lost cousins,
he lost parents,

and he was incredibly unemotional.

Not that he didn't feel it,

but externally was able to hold it
together better than anybody I knew.

I remember saying,
"John, how the hell do you do it?"

Thank you all very much,
and have a good afternoon.

Sorry, John...

And he said, "You know,
I just learned from my family.

"You just don't wallow in death.
You move on.

"You hold it inside."

Her last letter to her son
included the admonition,

"You especially have
a place in history."

And this was a real
departure for her.

Putting any kind of pressure
on him at all,

which she avoided,
she studiously avoided.

She knew in her heart that someday
the stars are going to line up

and he's going to be president,
and the money will be there,

the mood of the nation will be
there, the polls will be there,

the country will be ready for it,
and he will be president...

"And in that time, it looks like
I'm not going to be there."

out the back of the car
# We're living

Do the other insurance companies

parent, we could save you lots.
So if you're a stay-at-home

the office of President of the
United States, so help me, God.

MICHAEL REAGAN: When you think about
it, my father was the 40th President
of the United States of America.

That's an awfully small
group of people

to have lived
that kind of a life,

and John Jr,
myself, Caroline,

my sisters and brother,

really do understand what you
give up to be in that position.

OBERBECK: He spent his life
dealing with that.

It's almost like gravity or
something, like, he couldn't not,

I mean, with such a powerful father,
a powerful legacy.

This is the family that
envisioned...a man on the moon.

This is the family that started
the Peace Corps.

We choose to go to the moon in
this decade and do the other things

not because they are easy,
but because they are hard.

Ich bin ein Berliner.

President Kennedy meant everything
to the world.

He meant everything to the
United States in terms of hope,

in terms of motivation,
in terms of youth,

in terms of a new kind of politics.

I thought he had great and very
important politics in the country.

He was young,
and there was a lot of optimism

about the kind of president
he would be.

You know, this is the inheritance.

Didn't you feel an enormous
amount of pressure, you know,

following in your
father's footsteps?

In your mother's?

No, I mean, it was more a thing of
having, you know, a fulfilling life,

and then the other stuff
takes care of itself I think.

It's a complex thing, right?
You have this legacy.

It's clear. You can't ignore it.

It has great privileges
that come along with it.

It has very difficult things
that come along with it.

There's a lot of pressure,

and yet he had enough confidence
to sort of

want to live out his own life, but
he didn't want to let anybody down.

I mean, yes, it was a complicated
thing just to be that son
of that fallen idol.

We're used to a certain degree
of being watched, and I think that

you're aware of it, even if you're
not consciously aware of it.

Just obsession.
Well, is that what it is?

You know, it's given both of us
great opportunities.

You know, guys like him,
the people make you a king.

He's the uncrowned king,
with king privileges.

And he didn't want 'em. (LAUGHS)

John went to buy a suit at
Calvin Klein,

and he ran into this beautiful,
ethereal blonde woman,

Carolyn Bessette.

John was attracted
to women who...

..were not intimidated
by him.

He liked women with a point of view.

He was quite smitten with her.

He was smitten with her
from the first time he met her.

He was all loved up with Carolyn,
they were dating at the time,

and he lived across the street.

They came in, and, uh...

And on the way out, she was
kind of climbing on his back.

Like, they were in love, you know?
They were being playful.

She was literally... He was carrying
her out. She was on his back.

You know, he could have had, what?

The prim, proper girl from,
you know, some, you know,

girls' school in Manhattan.

She was fun, gregarious, smiling.

She wasn't some girl who was gonna
sit in a corner and do this.

Most of John's girlfriends,
with the exception of Daryl,

up to that point, they'd been pretty
much of the same social caste.

She was very quirky, eccentric,
artistic, bohemian.

I loved her.

Carolyn was hilarious. She was
sarcastic without being mean.

She was funny.

She was engaging and interested
in your life, in your...

..what you were doing
and what was going on with you,

and she was a girl's girl.

You cannot tell in photographs
how beautiful she was in real life.

I never saw a picture of her
that did her justice.

Just like, wake up in the morning
and look at her.

She was just beautiful.

Very intense,
very interested in people's lives

and their psychological life.

Carolyn was enchanting.

There was something about her
that when she focused on you,

you felt like you were
the only person in the world.

CUOMO: Not only did John Kennedy
suffer from a, you know,

a true overabundance of riches
when it came to women

who found him attractive,

but to have a woman
who didn't seem as though

she needed John
to find her attractive,

now, that's the magic right there,

and certainly Carolyn
had that in spades,

and I think that it really
motivated John to be his best self.

As he got older, you know,
the edge started to come in.

Like, OK,
what are you going to do now?

How are you going to leave the
iconic image that we all had of you

and become John Kennedy who you are?

What's your personality?
What are you going to do?

What are you going to accomplish?

He wanted to succeed,

but he also kind of wanted to
succeed on his own terms.

HARE: He'd be on a cover of
a magazine, and he'd say,

"I don't know why I'm getting
this attention.

"I haven't done anything yet."

It took him a while to figure out
what he wanted to do,

and, you know, frankly,
I don't think that really happened

until he did George.

Are you in the market for a magazine
devoted solely to politics?

Big yawn, right?

Now, if I tell you John Kennedy Jr
is the man behind the enterprise,
what happens?

Politics was kind of moving into a
broader realm of American culture.

That gave him the kernel
for George magazine.

And he told me
he had this idea for this magazine
that was gonna popularise politics.

I had an idea,

and been kind of playing with it for
a while in my head, with my partner,

and we thought that
the time was right,

so we just went with it.

In 1995, John launched George.

I don't think that I've seen
as many of you in one place

since they announced
the results of my first bar exam.'s nice to see you all again.

They just had no idea what to expect,
and we kept it really secret.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet George.

The cover was the cover
everyone was waiting for.


Watching John Kennedy Jr

present me as "George"
for his inaugural issue,

I thought that was pretty cool.

Cindy Crawford dressed up as
George Washington. Of course!

I mean, Cindy Crawford was probably
the hottest model in the world.

"No problem. No problem.

"We'll get Cindy Crawford.
No problem."

You know, it is
pop culture meets politics,

so it was Carolyn who said,
"I think you guys should use Cindy.

She's, like, a businesswoman, women
like her, she's hot, men like her,

"she's American, she's beautiful."

I didn't really know the concept or
anything, but of course I said yes,

because it was John Kennedy Jr's
new magazine.

I think we shoved a sock down my,
um, trousers,

and I literally had the balls
to become George Washington.

And I remember those magazines.
They were sexy.

It was like, Cindy Crawford,
you know,

with the George Washington wig.

You had George Clooney, I remember,
as one of the covers.

I mean, it was a cool magazine.

DE NIRO: He asked me to do it.

If I could be of some help
getting the magazine started,

as it was my understanding,
I said, "Let me do it. Sure."

I was completely taken with
the mission of the magazine
from the start.

I had no idea, again, whether it
would work or not.

Mixing politics and pop culture,
and celebrating politics,

and, boy, I was drawn to that.

George was the place where
John could be John.

There was no legacy, there was no...

I mean, he was certainly like,
you know, everyone's mentor

and everybody wanted to be
around him, but it wasn't...

It was a situation where he could be
himself and be really comfortable.

A magazine is very organic,
you know. It has to be.

You get kind of a weird chemistry
with the people that you work with,

and it's a very personal expression.

You know, he kind of breaks that
barrier between a celebrity

and a regular person.

You're walking to the men's room,

and he wrestles you up against the
wall, you know, because he could see

maybe you were a little uptight
or you're something, and he...

Right away, he took that away.

We did this issue called, um,
'Rebels & Revolutionaries'

and so we had all these celebrities
signed up to be various
rebels in history,

like Abbie Hoffman or Rosa Parks,
and people who stood up
for something,

and who was playing Rosa Parks
was Whoopi Goldberg

and he sneaks onto the bus,
and we all just keep working,

we were just kind of in the moment,
and the photographer's snapping,

and John goes up to her,
and he hadn't met her,

and he goes, "Excuse me, miss.

"Would you mind going to
the back of the bus?"

And she... (LAUGHS)
..she just cracks up.

She goes, "Not a chance, buddy,"
you know?

You have to leaven the political
dialogue with funny stuff

and light stuff,
so we may talk about the budget,

we may talk about, you know,
Hillary's hairstylist,

and somewhere in that mix is,
hopefully, an interesting read.

GINSBERG: George more than anything,
reflected John's personality.


It was mischievous...colourful,

He thought politics was too important
to be left to the politicians.

Politics isn't dry, it isn't dull,

so why should a magazine
that covers it be?

What I've found among
presidential children is

if they can't be
president themselves,

they will do what their father said
he always wanted to do,

and with John F. Kennedy Jr,

his father's friends
all told him that

"Your father's dream,
his real desire,

"his original intent,
was to be a publisher."

JFK: The President of a great
democracy, such as ours,

and the editors of great newspapers,
such as yours,

owe a common obligation
to the people.

An obligation to present the facts,
to present them with candour.

There was a sense of awe about,
you know,

the accomplishments of his father
and the magnitude of it all.

John and I went through a really
interesting exploration

about certain elements
of his father's past
when we started George.

You know, he and I went down to
Alabama to interview George Wallace.

And I say segregation now,
segregation tomorrow,

and segregation forever!

He was really interested in
understanding the role
that his father played

in ultimately, you know,
desegregating the
University of Alabama,

The titanic fight
that he had with Wallace.

JFK: The presence of
Alabama National Guardsmen

was required on the University of
Alabama to carry out the final

and unequivocal order of the
United States District Court.

That order called for the admission

of two clearly qualified
young Alabama residents

who happened to have been born Negro.

If you were a black family living
in the city, Chicago, New York,

or wherever, that was your hero.

Kennedy was your hero.

He was the first man that made it
pervasive that we're going
to be citizens here,

no matter what colour,
creed, or religion you are,

and we're gonna treat each other
with dignity and respect

and all that great stuff.

JFK; I hope that every American
will stop

and examine his conscience about
this and other related incidents.

George was really important to John.

His choices of interviews
were really interesting,

whether it was George Wallace,
obvious historic reasons.

Who he met and who he interviewed
really said a lot about him.

He took on those big,
meaty political topics.

You know, he was not just
the editor-in-chief in name.

He was a really hands-on guy.

I mean,
he was up late at nights with us,
he was there early in the morning.

So we only had four months
to basically produce a magazine

that was gonna have
a record number of pages

and a record number of advertising.

The entire first year, the magazine
was this thick - it was huge.

It was was unbelievable.

It was as big and fat and heavy

as the biggest Vogue magazine
that you'd ever see.

It was a monster success,
literally an overnight sensation.

GINSBERG: We were really proud
of what we did.

And I remember saying to him,
"This is as intense as I've ever
worked," and I worked at a law firm,

I worked in the White House,
and the pace here was much faster,

more interesting, but more intense
than anything I experienced before.

John was the type of boss that put
people in a bit over their heads

because he believed people
would rise to the occasion.

It was hard not to want to,
you know, bust your ass for the guy.

You wanted to succeed for him.

You wanted him to succeed,
and you yourself wanted to
succeed in his eyes.

What we've tried to do
with our writing is that...

..our writers, is to really bring
a sensibility to the coverage

of politics that is different than
conventional political magazines.

He believed that if you wanted
to do something innovative,

if you wanted to be, you know,
sort of disruptive,

you had to bring people in who were
not rank-and-file magazine people.

Ann Coulter, who you'd think,
"What is she doing
in this magazine?"

My family was not
a Kennedy-fanatic family,

so I never really distinguished
one Kennedy from the rest,

so I knew he was at least the
good-looking one of this motley crew.

He was certainly fair to Republicans,
and no other magazine was.

He seemed to want to give
some of those right-wing wackos

their voice of the day.

The media, it doesn't matter
who you are, it is a very, uh...

..competitive place, where your
competition is your critic base.

Your family's
famous for sticking together.

Can we expect some tough
stories about Uncle Ted?

Never. (LAUGHS)

What I have decided, with regard to
my family, that I will recuse myself

and let my editor make the choices,

with the one reminder that we have
to work together in the future.

WOMAN: In September's George
JFK breaks ranks.

"Two members of my family became
poster boys for bad behaviour.

"Perhaps they deserved it. Perhaps
they should have known better."

Mr Oliphant, you think that
this is sophomoric. Why?

The interesting thing is that what
you just read is all there is.

There was now a larger
number of people

who wanted to see him struggle.

Even though John was seen
as an exalted figure,

now he got into the business.

Standards for public discussion
ought to be high, and I think

John Kennedy doesn't come close to
even meeting minimal standards.

John takes that kind of criticism
like water off a duck's back.

He thinks philosophically.
He understands his product well.

Washington really rewards

You really can't colour
outside the lines.

You know, in Washington, the big
phrase is, "Suck up and piss down."

I never once saw him do that.
Never once.

George magazine
was definitely his magazine,

and the fact that there are no other
magazines like that, to this day

there's no other magazine like it,
kind of proves the point.

He understood, to a certain extent,

that it was trading
on his celebrity.

I mean, there was no one
who would not return his call,

so he could get almost
anyone on the cover.

He could do almost any major
interview that he wanted to do.

We were supposed to shoot
Jack Nicholson over a weekend
for George magazine.

Jack Nicholson was replacing
Marlon Brando as "Bad Santa."

He couldn't do it during the week
because he was filming,

and he'd agreed...

You know, his person and I were on
the phone for weeks in planning it

and when and where,
and we had a studio booked,

and he just disappeared,
he just never showed up.

Matt Berman was pacing the floor,
going, "What time? What time?"

I'm like, "I don't know yet.
I'm trying to find out."

And then Biz Mitchell and Matt Berman
are scouring New York City

to try and find Jack Nicholson
and begging me to call John

and ask him to call Jack Nicholson.

"You have to call John.
You have to be able to reach him."

And I said, "I'm sorry, not this...
I can't this time. Not this weekend.

"You know I would any other time,
but not this weekend.

"I just can't reach him. I'm sorry."

John F. Kennedy Jr,

long regarded as the world's most
eligible bachelor, is a married man.

CHERMAYEFF: The wedding was great.
The wedding was really, really nice.

It was beautiful, and it was
a beautiful little church.

AMANPOUR: His family was there,
and nobody knew till the end,
and how fabulous is that?

What a great sense of freedom.

So uncomplicated,
so un-grand, so simple.

So simple.

They released one picture,
and that was that.

Planning that wedding
was the most nerve-racking,

terrifying thing
I have ever encountered in my life.

It was so important to them
that the wedding be private.

One had to be quite strategic
in making sure that you told people

enough to get it done,
but you didn't give the secret away.

I only had a week's notice

because he was afraid
I would blab it to my mother,

then it would be, like, all over,
and I would screw everything up.

He had called most people and said
they were going to have a party,

and come to Cumberland Island, and,
you know, it's all a surprise party,

and this and that, but he hadn't
told anybody that they were
getting married,

but he said he had to tell me

because he had to convince me
to get up and come from Europe,

and if he told me that it was
just for a party, I wouldn't come.

I said, "You're right, I wouldn't
have come, but...I'll come."

And then I said, and then I said,
"John, but you know,

"if I have a breaking news emergency,
I'm not going to be able to come."

And he said,
"Kissy, if you don't come,

"I'm going to have a
breaking friend emergency."

Beautiful woman,
but it was the energy that she had,

it was she brought out in John,

it's what he drew from her that
really made that relationship
what it was.

The complementary aspects
on the outside were nothing

compared to what they
shared on the inside.

I saw a very, very romantic side
of their, you know, newlywed life.

They'd really get affectionate and
talk in private name talk, you know,

whatever they called each other.

You know, it would get embarrassing,
where I'd be like,

"I'll get that thing at the
Xerox machine," and slip out.

They had a friendship as well
as a marriage,

and that was really sweet and nice.

This woman has, in one swell swoop,

become the greatest celebrity,
you know, of the last 10 years.

Carolyn got, you know, dumped into
the deep end of the celebrity thing,

you know, pretty unceremoniously.

Nobody got the attention that
this guy got. He was unique.

He wasn't an actor,
he wasn't an entertainer.

He wasn't someone who was seeking
your approval for his profit,

and yet he had to put up with it,
but the rule still applied.

You do what you want with him.

If it spills over onto
those he cares about

whom he does not think deserve that,
now you've got a problem.

She could have never anticipated
the intensity

that would then be transferred
onto her,

because now it's not just,
"You're hanging out with this guy
we all care about,"

it's "Wow, you're the one?
You're the one?"

So it became this combination

of everything you would have to deal
with if you were dating a rock star,

with...that rock star
also happens to be royalty.

Carolyn Bessette was not prepared

for life as the wife
of John F. Kennedy Jr.

I mean,
photographers were everywhere.

They hounded her every step.

Carolyn didn't smile ever,
because she was terrified.

She wasn't used to it.

She was being bombarded with cameras
and paparazzi

and people screaming horrible things
at her to try and get a reaction.

People were cruel to her, and the
media could be really cruel to her,

and I think some of it
had to do with the fact

that they were miffed
that he was married,

because he was supposed to be
the most eligible bachelor

and the sexiest man alive
for the rest of his life.

John Kennedy was sweet and nice,
but he was no pansy.

He was a big, strong guy,

and he was very comfortable
with himself in confrontation,

and sometimes the paparazzi, when
they crossed the line, they knew it.

Good evening. the Federal Governmentisation
asylum seekers who arrive by boat
will be banned from entering Australia forever. The brother of a Brisbane bus driver
killed in a shocking attack arrives from India. And Hillary Clinton comes out
swinging at the FBI's renewed investigation
into her emails, more news on our website. Good night.

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his car as much as he used to.
He's retired so he doesn't use

so he doesn't use his car much.
He works from home

a short distance to work.
She's only driving get
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leaping through the sky
# I'm a shooting star

# Yes, I'm having a good time
# Don't stop me now

and she couldn't take it,

and John was so worried that he held
a special press conference

in which he asked the press
to back off.

How was the honeymoon, John?

Getting married is a big adjustment,
and for her, who was a...

..a private citizen up until about
two weeks ago, it's even more so.

I don't think she quite
appreciated just how intense it was
going to be.

I don't think anybody
could have appreciated it.

I don't buy what people say, that
she knew what she was getting into.

No-one knows what they're
getting into until they're in it.

How was the honeymoon, John? Hold
it, please, for us. Look this way!

Oh, we're not getting it.
We're not getting it, John.

Are there any little Johns
on the way?

John, we're not getting it.

John. Whoa, whoa.

Thanks, John.
Too quick.

It kind of caused her to unravel
a little bit.

She felt it was so oppressive,
having those people out there.

She just would not leave the house.

I took her out at one point,
and I said,

"Listen, you know, there's only
one way around this,

"which is to reduce
the value of the currency

"by making it more plentiful."

One more time.
How was the honeymoon, John?

Great. Honeymoons are great.
I recommend them.

Any little Johns on the way?
Little Johns?

"I mean, you've just got to go out
there, and be out there, you know,

"enough so that you don't
go on being like

"the Howard Hughes of brides."

Nobody else was in his situation.

It can't be said enough.

There is no celebrity, even today,

who knows what it's like to have
the constancy and the intensity

of interest in their life on all
strata of society as John Kennedy.

I never saw John as somebody who was
caught up in expectation.

I think he lived his life
the best way he could

as things came his way.

There was a lot in his world
that he couldn't control.

All John's life,
he wanted to be free.

He wanted to fly above celebrity.

He wanted to fly above this
attention and be his own person,

and the ultimate way to do that
was to fly,

and from the time he was a boy,
he wanted to do that.

John was serious
about becoming a pilot,

and he went down
to the famous academy in Vero Beach

to learn to fly,
where only professional pilots go.

I'm a private pilot, and had a plane
that I was using a lot on the ranch.

He always wanted to go along
on that, and I eventually said,

"Obviously you want to know
how to drive one of these things.

"It's not that hard.
Let me teach you," and so I did.

He was always fascinated
with aviation,

and it goes back to his youth,

because that's when
the whole space program

really took off, under his father,

and that had a major influence
on his life.

He would tell me about
his great ideas about flying.

He just didn't seem rational to me,
you know?

Some people are...

Some people are different,
and that's what you have to respect.

In my wildest dreams, I would never
want to fly a plane by myself.

All my life,
I wanted people to wait on me.

That's why I worked so hard.

I don't want to fly the plane!
I want YOU to fly the goddamn plane!

On Memorial Day of 1999,

John took up this contraption
that he had bought

called a Buckeye powered parachute.

I was not thrilled about the Buckeye.
I would not go up in the Buckeye.

It was a kite
with a lawnmower attached to it.

I remember one time
we were out in Hyannis Port
and he was flying it around.

He's like, "You wanna give it a
shot?" I was like, "Absolutely not."

I was afraid to fly that thing,

and, you know, I'm not afraid
to fly much of anything,

but that was
a very treacherous aircraft.

And he was flying around up
there by himself,

and Caroline said,
"He's all alone up there.

"He couldn't be happier."

And he'd fly it
on Martha's Vineyard,

where, you know, you didn't have
much leeway for landing.

He went up in that thing,
and then something went wrong,

and he came down,
and he came down with a crash,

and we all went running
to go see him,

and the first ones to get there
was my husband, holding my son,

but he was so conscious
of not freaking out.

He was like, "No, no, Phinney,
I'm going to be fine."

Phinney was like,
"What's the matter, John?"

He was like, "No, I'm fine. I hurt
my leg. I'm gonna go get it fixed."

He survived the crash,
but he broke his left ankle,

and for the next several weeks
he was wearing a cast.

It's an emotional thing -
you break your leg,

it's the beginning of the summer...

It's sort of like a symbolic
just...everything's broken down.

That was a very emotional time,

because Anthony was sick
at that time.

LEAMER: Anthony Radziwill
was dying of cancer.

This had gone on for years.
He was in and out of hospitals.

He seemed to be cured,
and back he would go again,

and John was at the hospital
so often.

He said to me,
"I know why this happened.

"This is because I am gonna spend
the summer in a rocking chair,

"sitting next to Anthony.

"I'm going to keep him company.

"I'm not gonna be able
to go anywhere.

"We'll be like two grumpy old men,

"and this is why
this happened to me -

"because I'm meant to be with him
until he dies."

And he was amazingly devoted to
Anthony during his illness.

It was...the central thing
that was going on in John's life

was...was dealing with the fact
that Anthony,

who was the person that he felt
most akin to, was dying.

I have accepted responsibility
for what I did wrong
in my personal life,

and I have invited
members of congress to work with us

to find a reasonable, bipartisan
and proportionate response.

I was so deep in the impeachment.

I was working at the White House,
and I was on the impeachment team,

and there was a moment...

I'm sitting in my office,
I had a private fax,

and the thing starts whirring,

and it spits out a one-page note -
hand written.

It says, "Dear Mr President,
I've been under that desk.

"There's barely room
for a three-year-old,

"much less a 22-year-old intern.

"Cheers, JK."

I have to say I took that thing
into the Oval Office,

and Bill Clinton laughed so hard,

It was a great release.
It was a great moment.

Now, what did I do with it?
I don't know.

Maybe it's somewhere in the Clinton
library, or I threw it away.
I know I didn't save it.

But being able to see the absurdity
in a constitutional crisis,

and also to sort of playfully mock
one of the iconic images
of his life

is...was pretty amazing.

I don't think John was a big fan
of impeaching President Clinton

over an alleged affair.

He may have had
a specific personal interest

in that particular ground
for impeachment.

His father, of course, famously...

..was not, you know, the model
of morality in the White House.

If John had made the Clinton
impeachment scandal his,

made it George's,

the magazine could have been
the go-to magazine of the time.

It should have been in the
front pages of George every month.

It wasn't,
because it embarrassed John.

It brought back his father
and the scandals with his father.

It was a witch hunt, it was,
and it was a time of witches,

and I just don't think
John was really interested
in setting people on fire

because of their
sexual peccadilloes.

John liked to be edgy
in many, many ways.

He was edgy by inviting Larry Flynt
as the George guest

to the White House
Correspondents' Dinner.

Larry Flynt, America's
most celebrated pornographer.

So, the White House Correspondents'
Dinner is a chance for Washington

to kind of pretend
that they're Hollywood

and to dress up and feel like
they're celebrities,

and over the years it's grown into
this, you know, big prom, basically,

and different news organisations

compete for
the highest-profile guests.

I got a call in my office,

and he wanted me to go to the
White House Correspondents' Dinner

as a guest of his.

I told him, I says,

"John, you can find
a lot of other people

"that will probably do you
more good than me," and that.

And he said, "No."
He says, "You come on."

"We will have a lot of fun.
It'll be good for both of us."

And we got a lot of coverage just
being there inside at the time.

It was what all the buzz
was about, so he...

..he knew what he was doing.

LEAMER: If not for Larry Flynt,

Bill Clinton
probably would have been impeached.

Good afternoon.

Larry Flynt hired Dan Moldea,
a Washington investigative reporter,

to dig up dirt on Republicans.

He was responsible
for finding devastating information

on many of these Republicans.

That's when the Republicans
backed off, and John got it.

Americans to this day
don't realise the extent

that Dan Moldea and Larry Flynt

saved Bill Clinton
from impeachment.

But he did, and John recognised it.

To invite Larry Flynt to the
White House Correspondents' Dinner

shows a really remarkably open mind,

a real refusal
to cling to grievances.

You know, his family had been really
done wrong, I think, by Flynt.

In, uh...

..1975, I published nude photographs
of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

ANDERSEN: These photos
were published in Hustler magazine

and caused a sensation.

Hustler had not
gotten off the ground yet.

A young guy named Larry Flynt
had just started it.

That was a bonanza for us.

We made millions
off of those photographs.

You know, Hustler was real porn.

I mean, compared to today,
it's nothing,

but at the time, you know,
it was scandalous,

but John never really gave a shit

about what polite society
thought about him.

If it's me, I'm saying, "John, what
are you doing talking to that guy

"who's spent his whole life,
you know, debasing

"the idea of what it is to be female
and to be a woman?"

But he would have laughed at me
and told me,

"Oh, Kissy, don't be so...
Don't take yourself so seriously."

He would have said it
in slightly more vulgar terms,

but he would have said that.

But whether it's Larry Flynt
or Fidel Castro or George Wallace,

that's what he did.

He went to different parts
of the spectrum.

That was part of why
John was such an interesting guy

is that even in his friendships,

he picked
really unconventional friends,

just because for whatever...

He found something interesting
in them.

Mike Tyson received a jailhouse visit
last night from John F. Kennedy Jr.

Kennedy says it was
a visit between friends.

Can you tell us
why you're here tonight?

Yeah, I'll do it on my way out,
if that's alright.
Alright, sure.

You know, he paid this visit
to the prison in May of '99,

two months before he died,
and at that point,

Tyson was not a popular figure,

but John
had a relationship with him,

and John felt
a personal compassion for the guy.

He said, "The only reason you're in
this jail is because you're black,"

and I...and that could have been,
but I kind of disagreed
at that moment.

I was really... I was pretty much
an irritant back then.

I got into a car accident,
a fender-bender, and I was mad,

and I struck the people in the car.

They gave me two years.

He thought it was outrageous.
He came down.

I think he's a man who really was
putting his life back together,

has an opportunity to do so in
the future, has a strong family.

He has kids.

He has a wife
that really looks out for him,

and, you know, I hope, you know,
perhaps coming here

and telling folks that,
people might start to believe it.

John wound up striking a very
pure bargain with the media

and the rest of the culture,

which was "OK, I get it.

"You find me interesting.

"Great, come on in,

"but I'm going to be doing things
that I think are important.

"I'm not going to be rollerblading
around with my shirt on

"or taking a swim.

"I'm going to be taking you places
and talking about things

"and showing you people and places
that matter to me,

"and you're going to be there
because I am."

And it worked really well.

The only danger for him was -
that he would care about -

is that he was dancing very closely
into politics now,

and that was obviously
a very loaded proposition

for somebody with his name
and his legacy.

What he gave to the magazine
that no-one could replicate

was not only the vision
but, yes, of course, it was true

that any little event he did...

He just throws a little lunch
over at the Four Seasons.

Well, he's going to be there,
so every newspaper in town
is there to cover it

because he's going to be there.

Now, that's the kind of publicity
your average editor... (LAUGHS)

..cannot pull off, at least without
expending large amounts of money,

and even then can't do it.

GINSBERG: He put his ass on the line
for this magazine,

and he knew that he was
going to be judged

by the quality of this product.

Part of what drove him so intensely
was the need to succeed at this.

I think the expectation of George

was so much higher than
any other magazine that started

because it was his, but also
because of the hype around it.

Is there a conflict in your own
mind about your role in all of this?

It will succeed, in part,

because it's also
the selling of John Kennedy.

I mean, I understand
that I compromise
a measure of my own privacy

by doing something like this.

This is a commercial venture,
and I'm out here selling my magazine.

TERENZIO: The ad pages
in the first two issues, you know,

it was thick as a phone book,

I think that people expected that
to keep going, you know.

They expected every issue
to be packed with ads,

and I think we kind of
expected that too a little bit,

and it was tougher than we thought
to keep it going

and to keep people interested and
to keep the advertisers coming back,

and it was important
not to use John for that

but to really have the integrity
of the magazine stand for itself.

I think it was ahead of its time,

I think John saw something
that today is taken for granted -

this idea of the melding of politics
with culture.

You know, I guess, you know,
people didn't really care

what Cyndi Lauper had to say
about Israeli politics.

I mean, it was a goofy maga...
I mean, it was...

If you thought about it,
it was like, "You know what?

"Well...I don't know
if people really care."

After the initial thrill,
the sales began to decline,

advertisers began to back out,
and he was left trying,

really pedalling fast
to try and save his magazine.

He had been told that Hachette
was going to basically, I think,

pull back on its funding.

It was up to him now
to keep it alive,

but he certainly wanted
to go out, you know, on his terms,

as opposed to Hachette's terms.

AMANPOUR: John was going to try
to get some more funding,

and try to breathe new life
into George,

which was suffering from
some of the economic realities

around the publishing industry
at that time.

I personally think it's incredibly
important for someone like him

that was, I think, destined
for this amazing future,

to know what it's like
to go around and beg for money,

and he wasn't getting the money.

He felt a real responsibility
to his staff and to his readers

to do everything he could
to keep it alive.

He was not going to
abandon that venture

and go off and do something else.

Is this your life, magazine editor,

or is politics
somewhere down the road?

I'm here for a good long time.

And then?
And then we'll see.

He earned his own kind of place
in the world and respect,

so with that,
he could have done anything.

A public career is..., uh, it's a lot to bite off,
and you'd better be ready for it

and you'd better have your life
set up for it

and be prepared to do it
for the long haul.

I actually think that John
was more interested in politics

than he let on sometimes, you know.

Outwardly, he would say,
"George magazine is my compromise.

"This is what I'll do.

"It's political
without my being in politics,"

but I think that the older he got,

the more he recognised
the purpose of service.

He was kind of born to be president,

Certainly after his dad died,

everyone assumed that at some point
that would be his ultimate journey.

You know, it's like a great musician
or something.

He was just very talented
at dealing with people,

and so he had all the natural skills
to be a very successful politician.

It's in the family, it's in
the blood, and it was in him.

out the back of the car
# We're living

his car as much as he used to.
He's retired so he doesn't use

so he doesn't use his car much.
He works from home

a short distance to work.
She's only driving get
Do the other insurance companies

every day.
Because we're out there with you

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CRAWFORD: I do remember
my mother had, like,
a shoebox full of mementoes,

and as a kid, finding that,

and one of the things
that I found in that shoebox

was the newspaper clipping, little
John John saluting the casket,

and it was in with, like,
this very small box of things

that she chose to hold on to.

It made the whole country anticipate

that he had a destiny
and a role to play.

There was always this sense,
this constant reminder,

that his father had been murdered,

you get conditions in the summer
where humidity will be so intense

that the horizon
will just disappear into it.

He took off from a New Jersey
airport last night,

heading eventually for
his cousin Rory's wedding

at the family compound
in Hyannis Port,

after stopping first
in Martha's Vineyard.

BARLOW: I spent a couple of hours
trying to convince myself

that what they'd done was to...

..was to run away.

So I thought, "Gosh, maybe they've
pulled this off. Maybe they'll..."

(CHUCKLES) "They'll go off
and get plastic surgery

"and disappear from the face
of the earth, and..."

But that was
a pretty optimistic view.

You know, I held out hope
for a while

that he would be stranded somewhere,
like, swimming there or whatever.


Not in a million years did I think
that there was any way possible

that that plane had gone down.

I just thought,
"He's somewhere else."

You know, to be honest,
I don't think I'll ever really grasp
what happened.

And a friend of mine called

and said that he had heard
that John's plane was missing,

and so I called John's house because
I knew Rosemarie was staying there,

and I called Rose - I said,
"Rose, this is not true, right?"

and she broke down and said,
"Yeah, it's true.

"We can't find the plane," and, um...

..that's how I found out.

A dark day for America.

John F. Kennedy Jr, his wife Carolyn
and her sister, Lauren Bessette,

still are missing tonight,

and it does now seem certain
that they went down

in the crash
of a single-engine plane

that Kennedy was flying last night
to Martha's Vineyard,
off Massachusetts.

As that news spread across America
throughout the day,

there was a common reaction -

"This is unbelievable.
That family truly is cursed."

CLINTON: For more than 40 years now,

the Kennedy family has inspired
Americans to public service,

our faith in the future,

and moved our nation forward.

Through it all, they have
suffered much, and given more.

Someone comes up to me
and said, "Oh, well, they found

"some of the luggage
washed up on shore,"

and, you know...when they say the
stages of grief, you know, denial,

I mean, I was, like,
definitely in denial.

Part of me, in a very strange way,
was kind of mad at him

for getting himself
into the situation.

It just shouldn't have happened.

And I have to say,
I immediately knew he was dead.

John Kennedy Jr's plane
was not going to go missing.

The funeral here in the city was
very moving and incredibly beautiful.

Once you went inside the barriers,

which was however many blocks
around Park and Madison Avenue,

there was silence.

I remember looking down
and seeing Muhammad Ali

sitting on the end of one pew,
and I was like...

I smiled, you know?

I was like, "John, you would have
loved this," you know?

John liked a good show, and I think
he would have looked at it and said,

"I was treated quite well here."

BARLOW: We talked for a long time
on the phone

about two weeks before he died.

I said,

"You remember that conversation
we had about being a good man?"

And he said, "Of course.
I think about it a lot,"

and I said,
"Well, I just want you to know

"that you have wildly,

"achieved that objective.

"I mean,
you are as good a man as I know.

"You are as clear a case
of what I consider to be virtue
in an adult male

"that I can think of."

That's not going to make the cover
of People magazine, you know?

"Galaxy's Most Virtuous Male".

Doesn't somehow have the same ring.


I challenge anybody to come up
with any among us,

at that time
and of his generation...

..and say that he wasn't a fine man.

I miss not having that future
to look forward to.

I believe
that he had greatness in him,

and I don't give a damn if that
meant anything about politics.

He cared about doing things
in the world.

He was unique in terms of what
he represented in our culture,

and that's gone,
and it has not been replaced,

and I don't think it ever will be.

Captions by Ericsson Access Services
(c) SBS Australia 2016

every inhabitant of this planet

must contemplate the day
when this planet

may no longer be habitable.

Every man, woman and child

lives under a nuclear
sword of Damocles,

hanging by the slenderest
of threads,

capable of being cut at any moment

by accident or miscalculation

or by madness.

WOMAN: We were all aware of
the dangers of nuclear.

I mean, all of us were frightened.

None of us really knew
what the situation was.

MAN: Society has almost become
comfortable with the bomb, and, to my mind, we should be
very UN-comfortable with the bomb. The more they build
of these weapons, the more they condemn us all
to destruction.

MAN: It's an indiscriminate weapon. It gets everybody in its way. I could say it's like
the explosion of a bad dream.

MAN: Nevil Shute brought
an unthinkable concept, an appalling concept,
the most appalling concept of all, to a mainstream audience. He took it out of the hands
of science-fiction fantasists and turned it into the stuff of
everyday life and ordinary people, and that was an extraordinary
literary accomplishment.

There seems no doubt to me
that 'On the Beach' is the most important
Australian novel of all.

He would have loved
the technology around today. The computers, the cell phones,
the iPads, the this and the that - he would have just loved
all of that, I'm sure of that.

MAYFIELD: He was born in Ealing,
which is a suburb of London, and he was born in 1899. His dad was a civil servant.

My dad did not care for
the school that he was at. He stammered,
and he stammered quite badly. He grew out of it as he grew older, but as a child, apparently,
his stammer was almost debilitating. He was teased unmercifully
at his school, and, so, one day
he just sort of took off.

HAIGH: His first experience,
or his first encounter, with science and engineering that were to form the great
consuming interest of his life was playing truant as a schoolboy in the Science Museum
in West Kensington, where he was first exposed to
the great flying machines that were on display there. It was the great consuming
fascination of Shute's life.

a wonderful time there. And then the school
kind of caught up with him and they contacted
his dad or his mother, and said, you know, "Where's Nevil?" "Well, he's with you, isn't he?" "Uh-uh. No, he's not."

HAIGH: Nevil was devoted
to his older brother, Fred, who was four years his senior. But at the onset of war, Fred enlisted in the Duke
of Cornwall's regiment, he went to Sandhurst
for officers' training, he went to the Western Front and he was blown to bits
about two weeks later. And Shute, in his autobiography, talks about
how much of his education seemed to be a general preparation for the idea that one would one day
enlist and go to France, do one's patriotic duty and die.

Perhaps if he wrote
with a throb of kinship about people on the brink of death,
that shouldn't surprise us.

MAYFIELD: I think he kind of
felt that he was sort of fodder for the German guns. He didn't think that he was
going to live very long...

..because of this. I guess, a lot of people
were being killed at that time.

He went to Balliol in about 1920, maybe a little bit
earlier than that, and studied engineering.

HAIGH: He joined De Havilland,
first of all, and in 1924, he became
involved in the project for the first 'lighter than air'
airship developed by the British, the R100.

MAYFIELD: And that was
his whole life for many, many years.

a successful flight over to Montreal and back again.

That was probably
the only successful flight of a British airship.

HAIGH: There was also the R101 that was basically a state project run by an overmighty
minister of aviation and a series of meddlesome
bureaucrats. MAYFIELD: It took off, I believe,
in bad weather and it went over to France,
in bad weather the whole time, and because it hadn't been
properly tested, it just sort of crashed
and everybody was killed.

HAIGH: The thing that would have
struck Shute as particularly galling was the fact that the R100 was
a highly successful project and, yet, it was basically destroyed
by forces beyond its control because the airship went
sharply out of fashion after the misadventures of the R101
and also the Hindenburg.

He himself went and formed
his own aerospace company, called Airspeed Limited, which was quite a significant and quite an adventurous company
in the 1930s. In particular,
it was responsible for the first monoplane
with retractable undercarriage developed in Britain, which Shute actually
managed to design simply by looking at a photograph
of one from America and devising the aircraft
from first principles. So, he was quite a remarkable
and quite an innovative engineer.

By the time he'd come to parting
ways with Airspeed in 1938, he had time to devote
to the literature, which he'd begun to pursue
as kind of an amusement, a recreation for his own
entertainment. MAYFIELD: He had always felt
the need to write, and he wrote a little bit
when he was in Oxford - sort of mainly short stories,
I believe a poem or two. And he started writing novels
in those days too. All his manuscripts are marked with
the day on which he began them and the day on which
he finished them. It was almost like he approached
them like an engineering project. My dad definitely felt that he was
an engineer rather than a novelist, and his friends tended
to be engineers. He was very good
at compartmentalising his life. As an engineer, he was Nevil Norway, as a writer he chose
his first two names - Nevil Shute.

HAIGH: And he wrote, basically,
adventure stories in a kind of a John Buchan-esque
fashion, many of them based in
the aviation industry of which he had
first-hand knowledge. Some others involving
commercial activities, some others involving
military exploits. But he always looked upon himself
as primarily an engineer. He thought that writing was
what he called a "pansy" occupation.

MAYFIELD: He met my mother
at the Royal Aero Club in York. My mother was a doctor and she had come to the aero club
to learn how to fly. That is where they met
and fell in love.

She was adventurous, like he was. I think it was a good match.

HAIGH: Well, Shute enlisted in
the Royal Navy Reserve at the outbreak of
the Second World War, but he was eventually seconded
to the admiralty, where there was a group of boffins called the Department of
Miscellaneous Weapons Development.

MAYFIELD: He had been
the commander of a ship, at the beginning part of the war. But then the government discovered that he had a pretty good
engineering, inventive brain and, so, they took him and put him in the Miscellaneous
Weapons Development.

HAIGH: The project that he was
chiefly associated with is quite a famous -
almost infamous - project called the Great Panjandrum, which was a weapon designed
for the D-day landings. It was a 4,000-pound
high-explosive charge between two giant chariot wheels which were propelled
by cordite rockets. It was as eccentric
and as extraordinary as it sounds. And the idea was that you set
these fireworks alight and then pushed this enormous,
great, big cartwheel down the beach, and the idea was that it was
to terrify all the Germans who were supposedly coming along up
the beaches to invade England. But in the trials, this Grand
Panjandrum had a mind of its own and it didn't want to
go down the beach, so it did a right-hand turn and it chased the admiral's dog. And the dog went away, yipping
and yipping and yipping, chased by this enormous,
great, big cartwheel thing.

That was the end of that.

I don't really know
what kind of work he would have been doing up there. It was all pretty secret. He did write a book at that time, in
fictional form, what he was doing, but that book was censored and it
was not allowed to be published until two or three years
after the war. And, so, I don't know. He would have obeyed
the censorship rules. It was an interesting and
instructive experience for Shute, who obviously had an experience
of a failed super-weapon. It's ironic that his later...
he later became associated with a novel that was based on
a weapon working all too well.

MAN: The Manhattan Project
was the code word for the project
to build an atomic weapon. President Roosevelt
was approached by scientists who were aware of the possibility
of building an atomic weapon based on nuclear fission. And Einstein wrote to the President and urged him to launch
some sort of scientific effort to establish whether the
construction of a nuclear weapon was possible, was feasible.

The kind of bomb tested at Trinity
was the gun-fired uranium bomb - a fissile reaction,
forcing the neutrons to break apart from the atom and fire off
in every different direction, smashing into other atoms, and unleashed billions of neutrons
instantaneously. These are highly penetrating,
radioactive material - could get through concrete
and steel. And the whole atmosphere
in the desert at the time was instantly blanketed
in radiation. Any living creature was killed
within several kilometres. They were whooping and celebrating
and congratulating themselves, but then there was
a more sober reaction and a realisation
of what they'd done. And there was the use
of biblical metaphors, of "This is..." You know, "The wrath of God
is upon us, perhaps." And this is... "What are we
to do with this power?" And "Now we have
complete control of nature," little realising, really, that
nature now had control of them, or us.

whose job was to decide when and where and how
to drop the bomb. Not "if" or "whether"
or "Should we?" But simply the practical decision
of how we use the bomb.

The target committee in Washington drew up a target list
of five cities. They were Hiroshima, Nagasaki,
Kyoto, Kokura and Nagata.

The essential criteria
were that these were large enough to show off the bomb's
spectacular power. In other words,
it couldn't be a small town or it couldn't be
an already destroyed city, which ruled out 66 of the biggest that had already been destroyed
by conventional firepower.

And they had to also be
on a flat plain so that the bomb's
incredible power would spread and destroy as much of the city
as possible. That's one of the reasons
why Hiroshima was chosen.

MAN: Having found the atomic bomb,
we have used it.

We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy
Japan's power to make war.

It is an awful responsibility
which has come to us.

We thank God that it HAS come to us instead of to our enemies, and we pray that he may guide us
to use it in his ways and for his purposes.

Flying from London, Prime Minister Attlee
arrives in Washington. During his stay,
the British Prime Minister will discuss the
atomic bomb situation and other matters
concerning world security with President Truman
and Canada's Mackenzie King. MAYFIELD: After the war, the British government
turned over to a Labour government. Attlee came along
in replacing Churchill, and that did not please my father because he was a fairly
high wage earner at that time. By the mid-1940s, Shute had become
such a successful novelist that he was earning
a considerable income, and a Labour government came
to power in 1945, in England, that operated
quite a punitive tax regime. So, a lot of his income was
claimed by the Attlee Government.

So, I think he was casting
around for kind of new frontiers and one of the adventures that he
decided to have for himself was he decided to fly his private
plane, a Percival Proctor, to Australia in September 1948, which he did with a young English
novelist called James Riddell. Their flight takes this
wonderfully improbable route through the Middle East,
through Cyprus, through Iraq, through Pakistan, through Burma - all those places that at the time
still had a touch of pink, the Imperial pink, on the world map. And his final destination
was Australia.

This is Australia, the world's largest island
and its smallest continent. It's a great, broad land, roughly 3 million square miles
in area, almost exactly the same size
as the United States.

MAYFIELD: He went around the outback and, to a certain extent,
into the cities, revisiting friends that he had made and sort of making new friends,
and this sort of thing.

is an air of Old World charm about many aspects of life
in Melbourne, there are other aspects which
portray an aggressive modernity. Melbourne is Australia's
second-largest city, with a population of
well over a million. Shute really warmed to it, and particularly to Melbourne, which he thought had
a very civilised edge to it and quite a prosperous
and quite a promising edge to it. So he began to think about Australia as a place that would have
an interesting future and potentially one where
he might like to bring his family.

And when he came back,
he said, you know, "This is where we're going to live." (MAN AND WOMAN SING LIVELY SONG)

HAIGH: In the middle of 1950,
it was actually announced on the front pages of
Australian newspapers - this is how important a man
he was by this stage - that he would be bringing his family
to Australia because it was a place where new
and interesting things would happen. It was a place for a successful man
to make his way.

The other thing that Shute found
really interesting about Australia was the Englishness of the place. He found that when he introduced
himself as English in Australia, he was made to feel
immensely welcome. Australians constantly referred
to their English heritage and tended to always be
disparaging of Americans, almost to a fault. So he felt that, in some senses, England contained all the old
and decrepit aspects of Englishness, whereas Australia held forth the promise of a new kind
of Englishness in the Southern Hemisphere.

MAYFIELD: Well, I arrived in
the middle of summer, of course, and so my first impression
of Australia was of heat, and I wasn't used to heat like that. Second impression,
I think, probably, was that there were so few people.

It was so empty.

HAIGH: The first full day
he was in Melbourne was a Sunday, and he comments in his diary
that he walked out the door and there was absolutely
nothing open at all. There weren't even steam trains

MAYFIELD: When we came to Australia,
we settled first of all in Frankston and my dad purchased a...about
a 30-acre farm in Langwarrin and we built a house there. And, meanwhile, he bought
a few more surrounding farms so that we had, eventually,
about 200 acres. My dad loved that farm,
he really did. He spent some of his happiest times,
I think, going around the farm
in the afternoon. He was able to combine
the role of novelist in the morning, from about 9:00 in the morning
till 1:00 in the afternoon, with gentleman farmer
in the afternoon. It was kind of his ideal lifestyle. He was also a prodigiously
productive writer. His novels never took him
more than six months to write. In fact, if they lasted
longer than six months, he believed that he was doing
something wrong. The main characters are often
simply ordinary people placed in extraordinary situations. He was constantly on the lookout
for raw material for his novels, and I think, as time went on,
he became more and more ambitious for those novels because they became front
and central in his own life.

MAYFIELD: My father felt that
he was writing for the public, for the people. He did not care
what the reviewers thought. Several times, I remember him saying that it is the job of a critic
to criticise.

And, so, he didn't care
what they thought. He had his audience and he knew,
I think, what would please them, what they wanted to read from him. He must have done,
to have become so successful.

My dad did have a number of
heart attacks during his life. When he had his first one, he was in
his late 30s, something like that. But whether or not
that sort of gave him an intimation of his own mortality and, therefore, sort of that very strong theme
in 'On the Beach', that I don't know.