USC to Light Olympic Torch at L.A. Memorial Coliseum on 50th Anniversary of JFK Assasination

November 21, 2013

USC experts available for interviews on assassination of former President Kennedy and the findings of the Warren Commission

Contact: Merrill Balassone at (213) 740-6156 or

USC, with Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, will light the Olympic Torch in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for 24 hours beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday in tribute to former President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy gave the 1960 Democratic National Convention nomination speech in the Coliseum in July of 1960.

Said LaBonge: “Earlier in the week, I got a call from Congresswoman Janice Hahn from our nation’s capital suggesting that the torch be lit. I quickly called USC President C. L. Max Nikias, and I am now joined with Councilmember Curren Price and the entire City Council in thanking USC for this tribute. John F. Kennedy forever lives in our minds everyday.”

USC experts are also available to discuss the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, including:

NICHOLAS CULLprofessor of public diplomacy with the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, is an expert on images of former President John F. Kennedy.

“Oswald was not merely a murderer, he was an iconoclast shooting at an image,” Cull said. “The death of Kennedy became a media event in its own right. We remember Kennedy because he was the first president of the TV age and one of the few this century to leave office with his reputation intact.”

Cull can be reached at 821-4080 (office), or (310) 374-2536 (home).

DAVID SLAWSON is a USC law emeritus professor and was an assistant counsel to the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. As a Warren Commission staffer, Slawson was assigned to investigate the possibility of a foreign conspiracy. He can discuss the Warren Commission’s investigation and how the conclusions have held up over time.

“In the end, we concluded that Oswald and Ruby acted alone. We had evidence that the KGB had considered Oswald for a possible agent, but found that he was too unstable and undependable,” Slawson said.

To set up an inteview, please contact Gilien Silsby, (213) 740-9690 (office), (213) 500-8673 (cell) or