Jump to content

Best cartoon about the JFK assassination

John Simkin

Recommended Posts

I think the best cartoon that reflects the trajedy of the assassination of JFK is by Bill Mauldin in Chicago Sun-Times on 23rd November, 1963.

Especially considering that Lincoln was also killed due to a conspiracy involving rogue elements in the Government and Military - complete with a lone nut.

The message to Lincoln from Garrett was: "Leave our cotton pickers alone."

The message to Kennedy from Draper was: "Leave my cotton spinners alone."

Did you know that Lincoln's wife Mary Todd Lincoln married another Draper right after she

recovered from the shock of losing her husband?

Did you know that the Garrett from The Pioneer Fund was related to the Garrett

who owned Garrett's Farm where John Wilkes Booth hid out after the Lincoln hit?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, John, we have found another one of our few points of agreement.

And how about that poignant song, "Abraham, Martin and John", circa 1968? I am not sure how many other songs there were only about the assassinations but IMO that was certainly the best!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The story is told that, one or two days after Appomattox, Lincoln attended a victory celebration at which a military band was playing Union hymns and marching songs to the joyous crowds' satisfaction.

The band leader approached and asked, "Mr. President, do you have any requests?"

Lincoln paused, deep in thought.

"Yes," he answered quietly. "Play 'Dixie.'"

Abraham Lincoln understood that we are all mortal.

So too did John Kennedy.

Such spirits represent mortal threats to those for whom the favored construction is, "we are all venal."

And so they were extinguished.

This, Dr. Lattimer, is the only Lincoln-Kennedy parallel that matters.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill Mauldin is an interesting character. While in his early teens Mauldin decided he wanted to become a professional cartoonist and after school attended the Academy of Fine Art in Chicago. He joined the United States Army in 1940 and began producing cartoons for the 45th Division News. In 1943 he took part in the invasions of Sicily and Italy. The following year he became a full-time cartoonist for the Stars and Stripes. His cartoons often featured two infantrymen called Willie and Joe.

After Ernie Pyle, America's most popular journalist in the Second World War, wrote an article about the work of Mauldin, he was picked up by United Feature Syndicate in 1944 and his cartoons began appearing in newspapers all over the United States. He later recalled that: "I drew pictures for and about the soldiers because I knew what their life was like and understood their gripes. I wanted to make something out of the humorous situations which come up even when you don't think life could be any more miserable."

Mauldin's cartoons often reflected his anti-authoritarian views and this got him in trouble with some of the senior officers. In 1945 General George Patton wrote a letter to the Stars and Stripes and threatened to ban the newspaper from his Third Army if it did not stop carrying "Mauldin's scurrilous attempts to undermine military discipline."

General Dwight D. Eisenhower did not agree and feared that any attempt at censorship would undermine army morale. He therefore arranged a meeting between Mauldin and Patton. Mauldin went to see Patton in March 1945 where he had to endure a long lecture on the dangers of producing "anti-officer cartoons". Mauldin responded by arguing that the soldiers had legitimate grievances that needed to be addressed.

Will Lang, a reporter with Time, heard about the meeting and questioned Mauldin about what happened. Mauldin replied, "I came out with my hide on. We parted friends, but I don't think we changed each other's mind." When the comment appeared in the magazine George Patton was furious and commented that if he came to see him again he would throw him in jail.

In 1945, Mauldin's cartoons on the Second World War won the Pulitzer Prize. The citation read: "for distinguished service as a cartoonist, as exemplified by the series entitled "Up Front With Mauldin". Mauldin, the youngest person to be awarded the prize, was now one of the best-known cartoonists in the United States. His book, Bill Mauldin's Army, was published in 1951.

As a member of the United Feature Syndicate Mauldin's cartoons attacking racism, the Ku Klux Klan and McCarthyism appeared in newspapers all over the United States. Mauldin's cartoons were unpopular with the newspapers in small towns and he had difficulty getting them published.

Disillusioned, Mauldin gave up cartooning. He returned in 1958 when he replaced the retiring Daniel Fitzpatrick at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. This newspaper was willing to publish his strong views on racism. In 1959 he won another Pulitzer Prize for his cartoon, I won the Nobel Prize for Literature. What was your crime?

In 1962 Mauldin moved to the Chicago Sun-Times where he worked with another radical cartoonist, Jacob Burck. His drawing of a crying Abraham Lincoln on the death of John F. Kennedy, became one of the most famous cartoons in American history.

During his career Mauldin wrote and illustrated more than twelve books. This included Up Front (1945), Back Home (1947), Mud and Guts (1978), Hurray for B.C. (1979), Bill Mauldin's Army (1983) and Let's Declare Ourselves Winners and Get the Hell Out (1985).

Bill Maudlin died of respiratory failure at a nursing home in Newport Beach, California, on 22nd January, 2003.

Here is a great cartoon Maudlin did about McCarthyism in 1947.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Create New...