Jennifer D. Wade Journal

Welcome to my online diary, enjoy your stay!


Back in the day, when I was in school (by which I mean K-12), my American history education pretty much stopped at WWII.  Korea and Vietnam were only touched on, and we weren't very current on current events.

Back in November 1978, a current event would have been the mass killing at Jonestown.  Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary.  I don't recall remembering much about it.  Maybe a front page picture in the local newspaper of all the bodies.  And, of course, I remember seeing a picture of Jim Jones in his trademark glasses.

With yesterday being the actual anniversary, CNN and MSNBC have been running documentaries about Jonestown.  I've seen them both, and I think they were both very well done. First, I watched CNN's special, "Escape from Jonestown."  HERE is a link.  Soledad O'Brien talked to people who had first-hand accounts of what happened - among them, an aide to a congressman who was killed at Jonestown, and a woman who was only a child when she saw her mother shot to death.  The program had good information and lots of emotion.

MSNBC's special, "Witness to Jonestown," (link is HERE) had, I think, a little less emotion but better information.  It provided a deeper background into the Peoples Temple and a more clear timeline of the events that culminated on November 18, 1978.  But, it did not have as much of a first-person feel as the CNN special because many of the people featured in the MSNBC doc weren't actually at Jonestown when the mass murder/mass suicide happened.

Here's a clip from each:

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