You're looking at, just possibly, the greatest news magazine cover that never was, but we wish it had been.
This mashup art is from the new book, Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas? by author Bryce Zabel, out just in time for the 50th anniversary of the tragic events in Dallas. JFK and the Beatles are on a lot of people's minds today because the 2013 Emmy Awards put them out there on Sunday night.
It was all part of a tribute to the power of television in covering the death of President John F. Kennedy and the life brought back to the country when the Beatles came to America with all their exuberance. Lots of people saw it on the Emmy awards Sunday night, put on by CBS and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
In case you missed it, Don Cheadle hosted the segment that took TV viewers back 50 years to 1963 when JFK was killed in an ambush on the streets of Dallas, Texas. There's no doubt that TV played a crucial role in the nation's grief back then. Just over two months later, when America needed to smile again, the Beatles came to America for the first time and played to a massive TV audience on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The Emmy segment tied the two events together. Cheadle's copy read: “National tragedy gave way to another event, and a dark cloud was suddenly lifted, making it okay to experience joy again."
The copy read more than a little treacly and the sequence didn't work all that great. The point was made somewhat more confusing when Carrie Underwood was brought on stage to sing the Beatles' "Yesterday," a song from 1965 that's all about nostalgic pain, hold the joy. There went the whole 50 year connection. Oh, well...
But imagine that JFK had survived 50 years ago. Two months after a close call on the streets of Dallas, Texas, the President would have been in the opening days of his 1964 re-election campaign when the Beatles came to America. It might have been too tempting to resist one of the greatest photo ops of all time. Charisma times charisma equals fantastic. Here's a short book excerpt from the chapter that tells the story of the unlikely JFK-Beatles meeting on February 9, 1964.
The graphic art for this wonderful cover comes from Lynda Karr of Lynda Karr Design. Click on it to see if full-size in all its glory.
Read all about this alternate-history pop culture event in Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas?