LBJ

Fifty years ago Thursday President Lyndon Johnson lit the National Christmas Tree and said quote, ``These are the most hopeful times in all the years since Christ was born in Bethlehem.’’ Those words would come back to haunt him. It’s documented in a book by former Brown University professor James Patterson, Eve of Destruction.

Despite the assassination of President Kennedy a year earlier, Americans were prosperous and optimistic. But in Just a few months, that would all start to erode.

Abbie Rowe, White House Photographs / John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

As we continue our coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, we try to peer into the future.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Scott MacKay talks with historian and author James T. Patterson about what might have been had Kennedy lived for a second term.

Patterson is Professor of History emeritus at Brown University and author of several books, including "The Eve of Destruction How 1965 Transformed America."