CARBONDALE — For nearly 50 years, the debate over the details of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has raged.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday in the SIU Student Center Auditorium, that debate will take center stage.

John McAdams and David Wrone are the featured debaters, each firmly planted on opposite sides of the argument.

McAdams is an associate professor of political science at Marquette University. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Wrone is a recently retired professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

McAdams maintains The Kennedy Assassination home page, a website dedicated to sorting through the theories surrounding the assassination.

On the home page, McAdams states the mission of the site.

“This website is dedicated to debunking the mass of misinformation and disinformation surrounding the murder of JFK. If you are believer in Oswald as a lone gunman, you are likely to enjoy this website, since most of that misinformation and disinformation has come from conspiracists.

“But if you are a sophisticated conspiracist, you likely understand that the mass of silly nonsense in conspiracy books and documentaries does no service to the cause of truth in the assassination, and simply buries the ‘case for conspiracy’ under layers of bunk.”

Wrone is the author of “The Zapruder Film: Reframing the JFK Assassination.” In the book, Wrone says the film proves there was more than one gunman involved in the assassination.

The debate is a part of the ongoing Remembering JFK series at SIU, which began Oct. 3 and concludes on the anniversary of the assassination, Nov. 22.

Nick Rion, an SIU graduate student and coordinator of the series, said Wrone and McAdams are the perfect people for this debate.

“They’ve approached it as scholars,” he said. “Here you’ve got well-educated people … looking at this thing, and they can come to such varying conclusions.”

Rion said one of the goals of the series is to educate the next generation about what happened Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas and how it affected the world we live in. He said many college students are unaware of the events surrounding Kennedy’s assassination.

“There are people that believe the United State changed forever (that day),” Rion said.

The debate will be moderated by Gary Metro, editor of The Southern Illinoisan.


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