“I shouted out, Who killed the Kennedys…”

Sixty years ago today.

November 22, 1963.

Anyone who is, say, sixty-eight or older knows where they were that afternoon. (I was in class. Ninth grade, I think.)

Some dates just stick in the mind. June 6, 1944. September 11, 2001. And November 22, 1963.

Supposedly, the original lyrics were “…who killed Jack Kennedy.” But during the extended recording sessions that produced “Sympathy for the Devil,” RFK was killed, and Mick Jagger changed the lyric.

I’m sure people have written alternative-history stories of that day. But I think the most interesting alternative history might be something other than the theories of whether Kennedy would, unlike Johnson, have kept expanding the Vietnam War or whether he could have pushed the Civil Rights Act the way LBJ did, or even whether he would have tried to.

Rather, the biggest tipping point might have been the conspiracy theories, and the easy way Americans took to accepting them rather than using their brains to examine facts and probabilities.

Still, it’s true that Jack Kennedy is alive and well in the basement of a pizza parlor in DC. Hanging with Elvis, probably.