A Wounded Nation

A Loyola New Orleans University Honors Program 
Undergraduate Research Display

New Orleans Mint: November 21st - 24th, 2013

To tell the story of John F. Kennedy's assassination, the University Honors Program presents a non-partisan exhibit illuminating the events surrounding that fateful date, November 22, 1963, when an assassin's bullets wounded a nation.  The key storytellers for our display are documents, manuscripts, and letters on loan from a private collection.  

These works will be on display at the Old US Mint in the French Quarter, November 21st to the 24th, 2013, with an opening reception, Thursday, November 21st from 6-8 p.m. 

ABC's News Coverage

[John F. Kennedy] original fine presentation print in a blue leather folder titled, The President's Club 1963,  with the name of the original owner, James O' Dea, Jr.,  in gold at the bottom.  The presentation folder includes vintage PT109 pin and a   Black and White photograph  of John F. Kennedy with a facsimile print of his signature.

Prelude: The Space Race and the Cuban Missile Crisis
Anatoly Vasilyevich Filipchenko (Анато́лий Васи́льевич Фили́пченко), born on February 26, 1928, in Davydovka, Voronezh Oblast, RSFSR, was a Soviet cosmonaut of Ukrainian descent. He flew on the Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 16 missions. After leaving the space program in 1982, Filipchenko became the Deputy Director of the OKB in Kharkiv.  Here he signs United Nations FDC featuring John F Kennedy and USSR officials.

During the Eisenhower administration, the Apollo program was conceived and planned as a follow-up to Project Mercury.  Although Eisenhower opposed a manned mission to the Moon, his successor, John F. Kennedy, had an open mind, despite his advisers' view that a Moon flight would be prohibitively expensive. Kennedy appointed Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had worked diligently in the US Senate to create NASA, chairman of the U.S. Space Council. 

Kennedy, in his January 1961 State of the Union address, proposed Soviet and US cooperation in space but Premier Khrushchev declined, holding Russian rocketry and space capabilities cards close to his vest. Three months later, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to fly in space, demonstrating that, in space technology, the US was far behind the Soviet Union. Kennedy, eager for the U.S. to be a competitor in the Space Race, surprised everyone in a speech to a Joint Session of Congress on May 25, 1961,  by proclaiming the goal of landing a man on the moon:

"First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish."[232] Full text Wikisource has information on "Special Message to the Congress on Urgent National Needs"

Kennedy followed up on his announcement in a speech at Rice University on September 12, 1962:

"There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency."

The following month, in a cabinet meeting with NASA administrator James E. Webb, Vice-President Johnson assured the President  that lessons learned from the costly space program would have important scientific value. The projected $40 billion cost of the Apollo program, Johnson also maintained, was not just an expenditure to enhance US international prestige but would be of great military value. 

[Nuclear Test Ban Treaty] - Cosmonaut Dzhanibekov signed vintage printing of the Nuclear Test Ban treaty  just above John F. Kennedy's signature.  Vladimir Aleksandrovich Dzhanibekov  (Владимир Александрович Джанибеков) was born May 13, 1942 in the remote area of Iskandar in Tashkent Province, Uzbekistan.  Cosmonaut Dzhanibekov made five flights: Soyuz 27, Soyuz 39, Soyuz T-6, Soyuz T-12 and Soyuz T-13. In all he had spent 145 days, 15 hours and 56 minutes in space over these five missions. He had also performed two EVAs with a total time of 8 hours and 35 minutes. 

In April, 1961, Kennedy supported a failed mission by anti-Castro Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs. The next year, the Soviets put nuclear missiles in Cuba, but withdrew them after Kennedy imposed a naval blockade. 

After the Cuban Missile Crisis in October, 1962, President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev realized that they had come dangerously close to nuclear war.  Both leaders sought to reduce tensions between their two nations. Kennedy and Khrushchev agreed to begin negotiating a nuclear test ban treaty, originally conceived by Adlai Stevenson in his 1956 presidential campaign.  In their Vienna summit meeting of June 1961, Khrushchev and Kennedy had reached an informal understanding against nuclear testing, but the Soviet Union began testing nuclear weapons that September. The United States responded by conducting tests five days later. 

The Cuban Missile crisis revived new interest in a Nuclear Test Ban agreement.  Khrushchev described it, "The two most powerful nations had been squared off against each other, each with its finger on the button." JFK remarked at a White House meeting, "It is insane that two men, sitting on opposite sides of the world, should be able to decide to bring an end to civilization." In a series of private letters, Khrushchev and Kennedy reopened a dialogue on banning nuclear testing.

In his commencement address at American University on June 10, 1963, Kennedy announced a new round of high-level arms negotiations with the Russians.  He boldly called for an end to the Cold War. "If we cannot end our differences," he said, "at least we can help make the world a safe place for diversity." The Soviet government broadcast a translation of the entire speech, and allowed it to be reprinted in the controlled Soviet press.

In July 1963, Kennedy sent Averell Harriman to Moscow to negotiate a treaty with the Soviets.  The introductory sessions included Khrushchev, who later delegated Soviet representation to Andrei Gromyko. It quickly became clear that a comprehensive test ban would not be implemented, due largely to the reluctance of the Soviets to allow inspections that would verify compliance.  Ultimately, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union were the initial signatories to a limited treaty, which prohibited atomic testing on the ground, in the atmosphere, or underwater, but not underground; the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty and Kennedy signed it into law in October 1963. France was quick to declare that it was free to continue developing and testing its nuclear defenses.

Loyola New Orleans University Honors Students preparing ephemera for the JFK: A Wounded Nation Exhibit  - ABC's News With A Twist TV Coverage
Assassination:  The Warren Commission Narrative of Events

At 11:40 a.m. CST, on Friday, November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy,  Mrs. Kennedy, and their party arrived at Love Field, Dallas, Tex. Behind them was the first day of a Texas trip planned 5 months before by the President, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, and John B. Connally, Jr., Governor of Texas. After leaving the White House on Thursday morning, the President had flown initially to San Antonio where Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson joined the party and the President dedicated new research facilities at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. Following a testimonial dinner in Houston for U.S. Representative Albert Thomas, the President flew to Fort Worth where he spent the night and spoke at a large breakfast gathering on Friday.

Planned for later that day were a motorcade through downtown Dallas, a luncheon speech at the Trade Mart, and a flight to Austin where the President would attend a reception and speak at a Democratic fundraising dinner. From Austin he would proceed to the Texas ranch of the Vice President. Evident on this trip were the varied roles which an American President performs--Head of State, Chief Executive, party leader, and, in this instance, prospective candidate for re-election.


[Kennedy Assassination] -Four Days The Historical Record of the Death of President Kennedy - American Heritage Publishing Company, Inc., USA, 1964. Hard Cover, with introduction by author and historian Bruce Catton who has inscribed this edition "To Bill Warford, all the best, as always, Bruce Catton."

This book is is a documentary study of the four historic days during which President Kennedy was killed on a Friday in Dallas and then buried by the nation on Monday in Washington in 1963. The text is written by the reporters of United Press International and editors of American Heritage magazine. The work is a full presentation of the events of those four days including Black and white and color photos, articles by newsmen, statements by columnists, reports by historical writers, comments from around the world. Includes eulogies, reflections and resolutions of Congress, and more.
The Dallas motorcade, it was hoped, would evoke a demonstration of the President's personal popularity in a city which he had lost in the 1960 election. Once it had been decided that the trip to Texas would span 2 days, those responsible for planning, primarily Governor Connally and Kenneth O'Donnell, a special assistant to the President, agreed that a motorcade through Dallas would be desirable. The Secret Service was told on November 8 that 45 minutes had been allotted to a motorcade procession from Love Field to the site of a luncheon planned by Dallas business and civic leaders in honor of the President. After considering the facilities and security problems of several buildings, the Trade Mart was chosen as the luncheon site. Given this selection, and in accordance with the customary practice of affording the greatest number of people an opportunity to see the President, the motorcade route selected was a natural one. The route was approved by the local host committee and White House representatives on November 18 and publicized in the local papers starting on November 19. This advance publicity made it clear that the motorcade would leave Main Street and pass the intersection of Elm and Houston Streets as it proceeded to the Trade Mart by way of the Stemmons Freeway. 

By mid-morning of November 22, clearing skies in Dallas dispelled the threat of rain and the President greeted the crowds from his open limousine without the "bubbletop," which was at that time a plastic shield furnishing protection only against inclement weather. To the left of the President in the rear seat was Mrs. Kennedy.  In the jump seats were Governor Connally, who was in front of the President, and Mrs. Connally at the Governor's left. Agent William R. Greer of the Secret Service was driving, and Agent Roy H. Kellerman was sitting to his right. 

Directly behind the Presidential limousine was an open "follow-up" car with eight Secret Service agents, two in the front seat, two in the rear, and two on each running board. These agents, in accordance with normal Secret Service procedures, were instructed to scan the crowds, the roofs, and windows of buildings, overpasses, and crossings for signs of trouble. Behind the "follow-up" car was the Vice-Presidential car carrying the Vice President and Mrs. Johnson and Senator Ralph W. Yarborough. Next were a Vice-Presidential "follow-up" car and several cars and buses for additional dignitaries, press representatives, and others.

President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy , and Governor John Connally in the presidential limousine, just before the assassination from Four Days The Historical Record of the Death of President Kennedy.
The motorcade left Love Field shortly after 11:50 a.m., and proceeded through residential neighborhoods, stopping twice at the President's request to greet well-wishers among the friendly crowds. Each time the President's car halted, Secret Service agents from the "follow-up" car moved forward to assume a protective stance near the President and Mrs. Kennedy.  As the motorcade reached Main Street, a principal east-west artery in downtown Dallas, the welcome became tumultuous. At the extreme west end of Main Street the motorcade turned right on Houston Street and proceeded north for one block in order to make a left turn on Elm Street, the most direct and convenient approach to the Stemmons Freeway and the Trade Mart. As the President's car approached the intersection of Houston and Elm Streets, there loomed directly ahead on the intersection's northwest corner a seven-story, orange brick warehouse and office building, the Texas School Book Depository. Riding in the Vice President's car, Agent Rufus W. Youngblood of the Secret Service noticed that the clock atop the building indicated 12:30 p.m., the scheduled arrival time at the Trade Mart.

Aerial map of Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, showing the route of President John F. Kennedy's motorcade on November 22, 1963. The red X's indicate his locations when he was shot. The blue dots indicate the locations of amateur filmmakers who filmed the assassination. Adapted from Warren Commission Exhibits 359 and 876.

The President's car, which had been going north, made a sharp turn toward the southwest onto Elm Street. At a speed of about 11 miles per hour, it started down the gradual descent toward a railroad overpass under which the motorcade would proceed before reaching the Stemmons Freeway. The front of the Texas School Book Depository was now on the President's right, and he waved to the crowd assembled there as he passed the building. Dealey Plaza--an open, landscaped area marking the western end of downtown Dallas stretched out to the President's left. A Secret Service agent riding in the motorcade radioed the Trade Mart that the President would arrive in 5 minutes.

[Kennedy Assassination] - Typed letter signed to George C. Mumford, Jr., Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington DC from J. Edgar Hoover regarding illustrations for the Warren Commission's Report: 
Dear Mr. Mumford,   
It is indeed a pleasure to inform you that the excellent manner in which you have discharged your responsibilities during the past year, with regard to your work in helping to prepare numerous visual aids for  The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, has merited the approval of a quality within grade salary increase.   
This increase from $9830 per annum to $10,125 per annum in Grade GS 11 will be effective November 8, 1964.  I wish to express my sincere appreciation for your conscientious devotion to the work of the Bureau.  
Sincerely yours, 
J. Edgar Hoover.
Hoover, for the past 50 years, has been unceasingly criticized with failure to work adequately to uncover the truth behind Kennedy's assassination.  Veteran investigative reporter Philip Shenon  in his 2013 book,  A Cruel and Shocking Act writes: 
 "Most recently Very early on, I mean, within 48 hours of the assassination, FBI Director Jay Edgar Hoover determines, in his own mind, that Oswald acted alone, there was no conspiracy, there's not much to investigate here. And the FBI within two weeks produces this 400-page report which is supposedly a thorough review of all that is known about the assassination and about Oswald. The commission looks over the report and sees how inadequate it is and how, in many ways, incompetent the FBI investigation is and then moves on with a much more thorough investigation of its own."
Seconds later shots resounded in rapid succession. The President's hands moved to his neck. He appeared to stiffen momentarily and lurch slightly forward in his seat. A bullet had entered the base of the back of his neck slightly to the right of the spine. It traveled downward and exited from the front of the neck, causing a nick in the left lower portion of the knot in the President's necktie. Before the shooting started, Governor Connally had been facing toward the crowd on the right. He started to turn toward the left and suddenly felt a blow on his back. The Governor had been hit by a bullet which entered at the extreme right side of his back at a point below his right armpit. The bullet traveled through his chest in a downward and forward direction, exited below his right nipple, passed through his right wrist which had been in his lap, and then caused a wound to his left thigh. The force of the bullet's impact appeared to spin the Governor to his right, and Mrs. Connally pulled him down into her lap. Another bullet then struck President Kennedy in the rear portion of his head, causing a massive and fatal wound. The President fell to the left into Mrs. Kennedy's lap.

Secret Agent Clinton Hill signed photo of him nestling against the fastback of the presidential limousine 
Secret Service Agent Clinton J. Hill, riding on the left running board of the "follow-up" car, heard a noise which sounded like a firecracker and saw the President suddenly lean forward and to the left. Hill jumped off the car and raced toward the President's limousine. In the front seat of the Vice-Presidential car, Agent Youngblood heard an explosion and noticed unusual movements in the crowd. He vaulted into the rear seat and sat on the Vice President in order to protect him. At the same time Agent Kellerman in the front seat of the Presidential limousine turned to observe the President. Seeing that the President was struck, Kellerman instructed the driver, "Let's get out of here; we are hit." He radioed ahead to the lead car, "Get us to the hospital immediately." Agent Greer immediately accelerated the Presidential car. As it gained speed, Agent Hill managed to pull himself onto the back of the car where Mrs. Kennedy had climbed. Hill pushed her back into the rear seat and shielded the stricken President and Mrs. Kennedy as the President's car proceeded at high speed to Parkland Memorial Hospital, 4 miles away.

At Parkland, the President was immediately treated by a team of physicians who had been alerted for the President's arrival by the Dallas Police Department as the result of a radio message from the motorcade after the shooting. The doctors noted irregular breathing movements and a possible heartbeat, although they could not detect a pulse beat. They observed the extensive wound in the President's head and a small wound approximately one-fourth inch in diameter in the lower third of his neck. In act effort to facilitate breathing, the physicians performed a tracheotomy by enlarging the throat wound and inserting a tube. Totally absorbed in the immediate task of trying to preserve the President's life, the attending doctors never turned the president over for an examination of his back. At l p.m., after all heart activity ceased and the Last Rites were administered by a priest, President Kennedy was pronounced dead. Governor Connally underwent surgery and ultimately recovered from his serious wounds.

[Kennedy Assassination] -Drawing depicting the posterior head wound of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The hand at the top is holding a portion of his scalp in place. Made by medical illustrator Ida G. Dox from an autopsy photograph, and published as Figure 13 on page 104 of volume 7 (Medical and Firearms Evidence) of the Appendix to Hearings Before the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives (1979).

Upon learning of the President's death, Vice President Johnson left Parkland Hospital under close guard and proceeded to the Presidential plane at Love Field. Mrs. Kennedy, accompanying her husband's body, boarded the plane shortly thereafter. At 2:38 p.m., in the central compartment of the plane, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States by Federal District Court Judge Sarah T. Hughes. The plane left immediately for Washington, D.C., arriving at Andrews AFB, Md., at 5:58 p.m., e.s.t.. 

Secretary Robert McNamara autographed page from his memories of the day President Kennedy was assassinated, in full:
On Friday afternoon, November 22, 1963, as President Kennedy rode to a speaking engagement in Dallas, I met in a conference room adjoining my Pentagon office with my senior associates, Mac Bundy, Kermit Gordon of the Budget Bureau, and science adviser Jerome Wiesner. We were reviewing the defense budget that the White House had planned to submit to Congress in January. This budget review was part of my effort to define department objectives and make certain that they would be coordinated with the president's foreign policy goals. After the meeting, I planned to fly up to Hyannis Port with Joint Chiefs Chairman Max Taylor to present my proposals to the president over the Thanksgiving weekend.
In the midst of our discussion - at about 2:00 P.M. - my secretary informed me of an urgent, personal telephone call. I left the conference room and took it alone in my office. It was Bobby Kennedy, even more lonely and distant than usual. He told me simply and quietly that the president had been shot.
I was stunned. Slowly, I walked back to the conference room and, barely controlling my voice, reported the news to the group. Strange as it may sound, we did not disperse: we were in such shock that we simply did not know what to do. So, as best as we could, we resumed our deliberations. 
A second call from Bobby came about forty-five minutes later. The president was dead. Our meeting immediately adjourned amid tears and stunned silence.
Not knowing what had prompted the assassination or what might follow, I met immediately with the Joint Chiefs. We agreed U.S. military forces worldwide should be placed on alert, a standard procedure in times of crisis. A few minutes later, Bobby called again. 
He asked Max and me to accompany him, later in the afternoon, to nearby Andrews Air Force Base to meet the plane returning his brother's body. 
Once Bobby arrived at the Pentagon, the three of us boarded a helicopter and headed toward Andrews.  We crossed the Potomac and looked silently out the windows.  We were already remembering.  There was nothing that could be said.
Shortly after we arrived at Andrews, the blue and white presidential jet slowly taxed up to the terminal, its landing lights still on.
Bobby turned and asked me to board the plane with him.  It so clearly seemed a moment of intimacy and privacy for a family in shock and sorrow that I refused.

The President's body was taken to the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, where it was given a complete pathological examination. The autopsy disclosed the large head wound observed at Parkland and the wound in the front of the neck which had been enlarged by the Parkland doctors when they performed the tracheotomy. Both of these wounds were described in the autopsy report as being "presumably of exit." In addition the autopsy revealed a small wound of entry in the rear of the President's skull and another wound of entry near the base of the back of the neck. The autopsy report stated the cause of death as "Gunshot wound, head" and the bullets which struck the President were described as having been fired "from a point behind and somewhat above the level of the deceased."

[Kennedy Assassination]  - President Kennedy Shot Dead; Lyndon B. Johnson Is Sworn In, and Body Flown Back Here; Gov. Connally of Texas Wounded by Gunman, "He was shot at 12:30pm, CST today by an assassin, who sent a rifle bullet crashing into his right temple.  The 46-year-old Chief executive, youngest man ever elected to the august office and the fourth holder of it to be martyred by an assassin, was shot as he was riding in an open automobile through downtown Dallas.  By Edward T. Folliard, Washington Post, Saturday, November 23, 1963
At the scene of the shooting, there was evident confusion at the outset concerning the point of origin of the shots. Witnesses differed in their accounts of the direction from which the sound of the shots emanated. Within a few minutes, however, attention centered on the Texas School Book Depository Building as the source of the shots. The building was occupied by a private corporation, the Texas School Book Depository Co., which distributed school textbooks of several publishers and leased space to representatives of the publishers. Most of the employees in the building worked for these publishers. The balance, including a 15-man warehousing crew, were employees of the Texas School Book Depository Co. itself. 

Several eyewitnesses in front of the building reported that they saw a rifle being fired from the southeast corner window on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. One eyewitness, Howard L. Brennan, had been watching the parade from a point on Elm Street directly opposite and facing the building. He promptly told a policeman that he had seen a slender man, about 5 feet 10 inches, in his early thirties, take deliberate aim from the sixth-floor corner window and fire a rifle in the direction of the President's car. Brennan thought he might be able to identify the man since he had noticed him in the window a few minutes before the motorcade made the turn onto Elm Street. At 12:34 p.m., the Dallas police radio mentioned the Depository Building as a possible source of the shots, and at 12:45 p.m., the police radio broadcast a description of the suspected assassin based primarily on Brennan's observations. When the shots were fired, a Dallas motorcycle patrolman, Marrion L. Baker, was riding in the motorcade at a point several cars behind the President. He had turned right from Main Street onto Houston Street and was about 200 feet south of Elm Street when he heard a shot. Baker, having recently returned from a week of deer hunting, was certain the shot came from a high-powered rifle. He looked up and saw pigeons scattering in the air from their perches on the Texas School Book Depository Building. He raced his motorcycle to the building, dismounted, scanned the area to the west and pushed his way through the spectators toward the entrance. There he encountered Roy Truly, the building superintendent, who offered Baker his help. They entered the building, and ran toward the two elevators in the rear. Finding that both elevators were on an upper floor, they dashed up the stairs. Not more than 2 minutes had elapsed since the shooting.

[Kennedy Assassination] - Sixth Floor Book Depository Pictures of Kennedy Assassination Evidence - Report of the Warren Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy,  United States Government Printing, (1964), Octavo, original blue cloth and signed by President Gerald R. Ford Commission member. 
When they reached the second-floor landing on their way up to the top of the building, Patrolman Baker thought he caught a glimpse of someone through the small glass window in the door separating the hall area near the stairs from the small vestibule leading into the lunchroom. Gun in hand, he rushed to the door and saw a man about 20 feet away walking toward the other end of the lunchroom. The man was empty handed. At Baker's command, the man turned and approached him. Truly, who had started up the stairs to the third floor ahead of Baker, returned to see what had delayed the patrolman. Baker asked Truly whether he knew the man in the lunchroom. Truly replied that the man worked in the building, whereupon Baker turned from the man and proceeded, with Truly, up the stairs. The man they encountered had started working in the Texas School Book Depository Building on October 16, 1963. His fellow workers described him as very quiet--a "loner." His name was Lee Harvey Oswald.

Within about 1 minute after his encounter with Baker and Truly, Oswald was seen passing through the second-floor offices. In his hand was a full "Coke" bottle which he had purchased from a vending machine in the lunchroom. He was walking toward the front of the building where a passenger elevator and a short flight of stairs provided access to the main entrance of the building on the first floor. Approximately 7 minutes later, at about 12:40 p.m., Oswald boarded a bus at a point on Elm Street seven short blocks east of the Depository Building. The bus was traveling west toward the very building from which Oswald had come. Its route lay through the Oak Cliff section in southwest Dallas, where it would pass seven blocks east of the rooming house in which Oswald was living, at 1026 North Beckley Avenue. On the bus was Mrs. Mary Bledsoe, one of Oswald's former landladies who immediately recognized him. Oswald stayed on the bus approximately 3 or 4 minutes, during which time it proceeded only two blocks because of the traffic jam created by the motorcade and the assassination. Oswald then left the bus. A few minutes later he entered a vacant taxi four blocks away and asked the driver to take him to a point on North Beckley Avenue several blocks beyond his rooming house. The trip required 5 or 6 minutes. At about 1 p.m. Oswald arrived at the rooming house. The housekeeper, Mrs. Earlene Roberts, was surprised to see Oswald at midday and remarked to him that he seemed to be in quite a hurry. He made no reply. A few minutes later Oswald emerged from his room zipping up his jacket and rushed out of the house. 

Approximately 14 minutes later, and just 45 minutes after the assassination, another violent shooting occurred in Dallas. The victim was Patrolman J. D. Tippit of the Dallas police, an officer with a good record during his more than 11 years with the police force. He was shot near the intersection of 10th Street and Patton Avenue, about nine-tenths of a mile from Oswald's rooming house. At the time of the assassination, Tippit was alone in his patrol car, the routine practice for most police patrol officers at this time of day. He had been ordered by radio at 12:45 p.m. to proceed to the central Oak Cliff area as part of a concentration of patrol car activity around the center of the city following the assassination. At 12:54 Tippit radioed that he had moved as directed and would be available for any emergency. By this time the police radio had broadcast several messages alerting the police to the suspect described by Brennan at the scene of the assassination -- slender white male, about 30 years old, 5 feet 10 inches and weighing about 165 pounds. 

At approximately 1:15 p.m., Tippit was driving slowly in an easterly direction on East 10th Street in Oak Cliff. About 100 feet past the intersection of 10th Street and Patton Avenue, Tippit pulled up alongside a man walking in the same direction. The man met the general description of the suspect wanted in connection with the assassination. He walked over to Tippit's car, rested his arms on the door on the right-hand side of the car, and apparently exchanged words with Tippit through the window. Tippit opened the door on the left side and started to walk around the front of his car. As he reached the front wheel on the driver's side, the man on the sidewalk drew a revolver and fired several shots in rapid succession, hitting Tippit four times and killing him instantly. An automobile repairman, Domingo Benavides, heard the shots and stopped his pickup truck on the opposite side of the street about 25 feet in front of Tippit's car. He observed the gunman start back toward Patton Avenue, removing the empty cartridge cases from the gun as he went. Benavides rushed to Tippit's side. The patrolman, apparently dead, was lying on his revolver, which was out of its holster. Benavides promptly reported the shooting to police headquarters over the radio in Tippit's car. The message was received shortly after 1:16 p.m.

As the gunman left the scene, he walked hurriedly back toward Patton Avenue and turned left, heading south. Standing on the northwest corner of 10th Street and Patton Avenue was Helen Markham, who had been walking south on Patton Avenue and had seen both the killer and Tippit cross the intersection in front of her as she waited on the curb for traffic to pass. She witnessed the shooting and then saw the man with a gun in his hand walk back toward the corner and cut across the lawn of the corner house as he started south on Patton Avenue. 

At 1:29 p.m., the police radio had noted the similarity in the descriptions of the suspects in the Tippit shooting and the assassination. At 1:45 p.m., in response to Mrs. Postal's call, the police radio sounded the alarm: "Have information a suspect just went in the Texas Theatre on West Jefferson." Within minutes the theater was surrounded. The house lights were then turned up. Patrolman M. N. McDonald and several other policemen approached the man, who had been pointed out to them by Brewer. 

McDonald ordered the man to his feet and heard him say, "Well, it's all over now." The man drew a gun from his waist with one hand and struck the officer with the other. McDonald struck out with his right hand and grabbed the gun with his left hand. After a brief struggle McDonald and several other police officers disarmed and handcuffed the suspect and drove him to police headquarters, arriving at approximately 2 p.m.

At 7:10 p.m. on November 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald was formally advised that he had been charged with the murder of Patrolman J. D. Tippit. Several witnesses to the Tippit slaying and to the subsequent flight of the gunman had positively identified Oswald in police lineups. While positive firearm identification evidence was not available at the time, the revolver in Oswald's possession at the time of his arrest was of a type which could have fired the shots that killed Tippit. 

The formal charge against Oswald for the assassination of President Kennedy was lodged shortly after 1:30 a.m., on Saturday, November 23. By 10 p.m. of the day of the assassination, the FBI had traced the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository to a mail order house in Chicago which had purchased it from a distributor in New York. Approximately 6 hours later the Chicago firm advised that this rifle had been ordered in March 1963 by an A. Hidel for shipment to post office box 2915, in Dallas, Tex., box rented by Oswald. Payment for the rifle was remitted by a money order signed by A. Hidell. By 6:45 p.m. on November 23, the FBI was able to advise the Dallas police that, as a result of handwriting analysis of the documents used to purchase the rifle, it had concluded that the rifle had been ordered by Lee Harvey Oswald.

[Kennedy Assassination]  - Leftist Charged In Kennedy Assassination, Evening Star, President, Saturday, November 23, 1963 and  Prosecutor to Seek Death Penalty For Oswald as Kennedy's Assassin, Washington Post, Saturday, November 24, 1963


Meanwhile, in Dallas, throughout Friday and Saturday, the Dallas police released to the public many of the details concerning the alleged evidence against Oswald. Police officials discussed important aspects of the case, usually in the course of impromptu and confused press conferences. Some of the information divulged was erroneous. Efforts by the news media representatives to reconstruct the crime and promptly report details frequently led to erroneous and often conflicting reports. At the urgings of the newsmen, Chief of Police Jesse E. Curry, brought Oswald to a press conference in the police assembly room shortly after midnight of the day Oswald was arrested. The assembly room was crowded with newsmen who had come to Dallas from all over the country. They shouted questions at Oswald and flashed cameras at him. Among this group was a 52-year-old Dallas nightclub operator--Jack Ruby.

On Sunday morning, November 24, arrangements were made for Oswald's transfer from the city jail to the Dallas County jail, about 1 mile away. The news media had been informed on Saturday night that the transfer of Oswald would not take place until after 10 a.m. on Sunday. Earlier on Sunday, between 2:30 and 3 a.m., anonymous telephone calls threatening Oswald's life had been received by the Dallas office of the FBI and by the office of the county sheriff. Nevertheless, on Sunday morning, television, radio, and newspaper representatives crowded into the basement to record the transfer. As viewed through television cameras, Oswald would emerge from a door in front of the cameras and proceed to the transfer vehicle. To the right of the cameras was a "down" ramp from Main Street on the north. To the left was an "up" ramp leading to Commerce Street on the south.

The armored truck in which Oswald was to be transferred arrived shortly after 11 a.m. Police officials then decided, however, that an unmarked police car would be preferable for the trip because of its greater speed and maneuverability. At approximately 11:20 a.m. Oswald emerged from the basement jail office flanked by detectives on either side and at his rear. He took a few steps toward the car and was in the glaring light of the television cameras when a man suddenly darted out from an area on the right of the cameras where newsmen had been assembled. The man was carrying a Colt .38 revolver in his right hand and, while millions watched on television, he moved quickly to within a few feet of Oswald and fired one shot into Oswald's abdomen. Oswald groaned with pain as he fell to the ground and quickly lost consciousness. Within 7 minutes Oswald was at Parkland Hospital where, without having regained consciousness, he was pronounced dead at 1:07 p.m.

WEEPING LINCOLN. The original vintage print of the great cartoonist's response to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  This 14 inch high by 10 inch wide black & white print was published and distributed by the Chicago Sun-Times just after the newspaper publication's of the image on the back cover of its November 23, 1963 issue.  This is the original print published by the Chicago Sun- Times in 1963 and NOT the 2007 restrike. Bill Mauldin's evocative editorial cartoon tribute to the martyred president depicts the Lincoln Memorial with Abraham Lincoln leaning forward, his hands covering his face, crying over news of President Kennedy's assassination. 

Bill Mauldin's name and the Sun-Times credits are printed within the image at bottom right. On the left, Mauldin has inscribed "For Mike Sherman with regards from a friend Bill Mauldin."    The print was Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin's response to the assassination of president Kennedy. According to Ralph Otwell, Executive Vice-President of the Chicago Sun-Times: 

"Back at his cubicle [Bill Mauldin], took a snort of Jack Daniels from a bottle in a filing cabinet and went to work. What he produced in a short time was a drawing that the news desk instantly recognized as a must-carry cartoon. The back page, historically reserved as the paper's primary showcase for the day's major sports stories, was pre-empted for Mauldin. Many newsstand operators displayed the back page instead of the front page."  

The editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin (1921-2003) was a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He is perhaps best known for his World War II cartoons depicting the archetype of the American GI, Willie and Joe. He worked for Stars and Stripes and, after the war, turned to political cartoons.

John F. Kennedy's body was flown back to Washington,  and on arrival, it was taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital for the autopsy at the request of First Lady Jackie Kennedy. 
 John F. Kennedy's body was flown back to Washington,  and on arrival, it was taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital for the autopsy at the request of First Lady Jackie Kennedy.

[Kennedy Autopsy]  JFK's Death - The Plain Truth From The Mds Who Did The Autopsy JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, Lunderg, George D. (Editor), Trade Paperback - JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association May 27, 1992 vol. 267 no. 20.

The two pathologists, Dr. James J. Humes and Dr. J. Thornton Boswell, said there was no doubt about the nature of the gunshot wounds to Kennedy and denied there had been any interference with the body by military or political officials, a major contention of conspiracy theorists. The pathologists, who retired from the Navy in the late 1960's, said the bullets were fired by a high-velocity weapon. 

"We documented our findings in spades," Dr. Boswell said. "It's all there in the records," which include X-rays from head to toe and 52 photographs. Dr. Humes said, "No significant aspect of the autopsy was left unphotographed." 

"In 1963, we proved at the autopsy table that President Kennedy was struck from above and behind by the fatal shot," Dr. Humes said, adding, "I am tired of being beaten upon by people who are supremely ignorant of the scientific facts of the President's death." The autopsy results have been independently confirmed several times.

The Funeral

President  Kennedy had no funeral plan in place, so most of the planning rested with the commanding general, Philip C. Wehle,  of the Military District of Washington.  House Speaker John W. McCormack reported to the Press that the president's body would be brought back to the White House to lie in the East Room and then taken to the Capitol to lie in state in the rotunda all day Sunday. 

[Kennedy Assassination]  - President Johnson Takes Over, Kennedy Lies in White House, and THE LAST ARRIVAL, They Were Waiting At The Airport Evening Star, President, Saturday, November 23, 1963
The body of President Kennedy was returned to the White House at nearly 4:30 a.m., Saturday, November 23. After the casket was placed in the East Room, Jacqueline Kennedy, still wearing the blood-stained raspberry-colored suit she had worn in Dallas, declared that the mahogany casket would be kept closed for the duration of the viewing and funeral. Once the casket was situated in the East Room, and decorated with black crepe, the former First Lady retired to her private quarters after requesting that two Catholic priests remain with the body until the official funeral. That evening, President Lyndon B. Johnson, issued a Proclamation declaring Monday as a national day of mourning. The President read the proclamation from the White House on a nationwide radio and television broadcast at 4:45 p.m.

[Kennedy Assassination]  - Kennedy's Body Lies In White House; Johnson At Helm With Wide Backing; Police Say Prisoner Is The Assassin, New York Times, Sunday, November 24, 1963
Lying in repose, where Lincoln had lain one hundred years earlier, President Kennedy remained in the East Room for 24 hours. A private Mass was celebrated for family members in the East Room at 10:30 a.m.   After Mass, friends, and other government officials, including former U.S. Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, came at specified times to pay their respects.  President Herbert Hoover, however, was too ill to attend. 

[Kennedy Assassination]  - Rotunds Gets A Housecleaning Before Kennedy Casket Arrives and Wife's Kiss on Deathbed described, The Sunday Star,  November 24, 1963
On Sunday afternoon a horse-drawn caisson, which had borne the bodies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and of the Unknown Soldier, carried Kennedy along Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol Rotunda to lie in state.   Kennedy was the first Democrat to lie in state at the Capitol.  Prior to Kennedy,   Chief Justice William Howard Taft, in 1930, had been the last President to lie in state.

During the public viewing, hundreds of thousands lined up in near-freezing temperatures to view the casket.  Some 250,000 people, in a 10-person wide line that stretched 40 blocks, over nearly 10 miles,  personally paid their. Capitol police officers directed mourners to move along in two lines that passed on either side of the casket before exiting the west side of the building on the National Mall. 

[Kennedy Assassination]  -  Nation's Great file past Kennedy Bier - De Gaulle, Others to Arrive: Burial Will Be in Arlington  Washington Post, Sunday, November 24, 1963

The original plan was for the rotunda to close at 9:00 p.m. and reopen for an hour at 9:00 the next morning.  Because of long lines however, police and military authorities decided to keep the doors open. At 9:00 p.m., when the rotunda was supposed to close, both Jacqueline Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy returned to the rotunda again.  More than half the mourners came to the rotunda after 2:45 a.m., by which time 115,000 had already visited.  Military officials doubled the lines, first to two abreast, then to four abreast. 

As Kennedy lay in state, foreign  heads of state and government, members of royal families, and other dignitaries  started to arrive in Washington to attend the state funeral on Monday.  By November 24th, the gathering of dignitaries was already the largest in US History.  Secretary of State Dean Rusk  and his State Department staff went to both of Washington's commercial airports to personally greet foreign dignitaries.    

Kennedy's death resulted in the largest gathering of foreign dignitaries at a state funeral since that of King Edward VII in London in 1910.   Blair House manager, Mary Edith Wilroy, was charged with the A list of dignitaries and provided with this official State Department Document titled, "Government Leaders Expected to Attend President Kennedy's Funeral 6:00 AM Monday November 25.”   

Some of the dignitaries who arrived on Sunday to attend the funeral included Soviet First Deputy Premier Anastas Mikoyan,  French President Charles de Gaulle, Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson,  British Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Irish President Éamon de Valera, and Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.  Queen Frederika of Greece, and King Baudouin I of the Belgians were just two of the members of royalty attending.  The Duke of Edinburgh represented Queen Elizabeth II, who was pregnant with Prince Edward.

Meanwhile, in Dallas, throughout Friday and Saturday, the Dallas police released to the public many of the details concerning the alleged evidence against Oswald. Police officials discussed important aspects of the case, usually in the course of impromptu and confused press conferences in the third-floor corridor. Some of the information divulged was erroneous. Efforts by the news media representatives to reconstruct the crime and promptly report details frequently led to erroneous and often conflicting reports. At the urgings of the newsmen, Chief of Police Jesse E. Curry, brought Oswald to a press conference in the police assembly room shortly after midnight of the day Oswald was arrested. The assembly room was crowded with newsmen who had come to Dallas from all over the country. They shouted questions at Oswald and flashed cameras at him. Among this group was a 52-year-old Dallas nightclub operator--Jack Ruby.

On Sunday morning, November 24, arrangements were made for Oswald's transfer from the city jail to the Dallas County jail, about 1 mile away. The news media had been informed on Saturday night that the transfer of Oswald would not take place until after 10 a.m. on Sunday. Earlier on Sunday, between 2:30 and 3 a.m., anonymous telephone calls threatening Oswald's life had been received by the Dallas office of the FBI and by the office of the county sheriff. Nevertheless, on Sunday morning, television, radio, and newspaper representatives crowded into the basement to record the transfer. As viewed through television cameras, Oswald would emerge from a door in front of the cameras and proceed to the transfer vehicle. To the right of the cameras was a "down" ramp from Main Street on the north. To the left was an "up" ramp leading to Commerce Street on the south.

The armored truck in which Oswald was to be transferred arrived shortly after 11 a.m. Police officials then decided, however, that an unmarked police car would be preferable for the trip because of its greater speed and maneuverability. At approximately 11:20 a.m. Oswald emerged from the basement jail office flanked by detectives on either side and at his rear. He took a few steps toward the car and was in the glaring light of the television cameras when a man suddenly darted out from an area on the right of the cameras where newsmen had been assembled. The man was carrying a Colt .38 revolver in his right hand and, while millions watched on television, he moved quickly to within a few feet of Oswald and fired one shot into Oswald's abdomen. Oswald groaned with pain as he fell to the ground and quickly lost consciousness. Within 7 minutes Oswald was at Parkland Hospital where, without having regained consciousness, he was pronounced dead at 1:07 p.m.

Signed Photo of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald while handcuffed to James Leavelle  

The man who killed Oswald was Jack Ruby. He was instantly arrested and, minutes later, confined in a cell on the fifth floor of the Dallas police jail. Under interrogation, he denied that the killing of Oswald was in any way connected with a conspiracy involving the assassination of President Kennedy. He maintained that he had killed Oswald in a temporary fit of depression and rage over the President's death. Ruby was transferred the following day to the county jail without notice to the press or to police officers not directly involved in the transfer. 

[Kennedy Assassination]  -  300,00- Join In Tributes To President Kennedy and  Scores of Leaders to Attend Rites - Kings Presidents and Premiers Here: "Kings presidents, and prime ministers were arriving in Washington yesterday to pay homage  to the young President they knew and admired." By Julia Duscha,  Washington Post, Monday, November 25, 1963

In Washington, dignitaries continued to arrive for the late President's funeral. 

Although the state funerals of Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1969 and Ronald Reagan in 2004 had large gatherings of foreign dignitaries, the funeral of Kennedy was the largest gathering of foreign dignitaries at any funeral in the United States, drawing 220 foreign dignitaries from 92 foreign nations, including 19 heads of state and government.  

Eisenhower's funeral drew 191 from 78 nations, while Reagan's drew 218 from 165 nations.

As people were viewing the casket, military authorities and staffers held meetings at the White House, at MDW headquarters, and at Arlington National Cemetery to plan Monday's events.  

Unlike Sunday's procession from the White House to the Capitol,  Monday's was expanded to include  military units from all branches of the armed services.   Military officials also agreed to requests from Kennedy's widow, Jacqueline Kennedy.  It is estimated that one million people lined the route of the funeral procession, from the Capitol back to the White House, then to St. Matthew's Cathedral, and finally to Arlington National Cemetery. Blair House Manager, Mary Edith Wilroy's "Funeral Services of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Late President of the United States, Monday November 25, 1963" provides the official State Department directive for the procession:

 [Kennedy Funeral] - Blair House Manager, Mary Edith Wilroy's Official State Department  "Narrative of Events - 25 November 1963."
1.  Approximately 50 minutes after leaving from the front of the Rotunda, the Marine element of march, which directly precedes the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Caisson, will have arrived on Pennsylvania Avenue directly opposite of the Northeast gate of the White House.  At that point, one platoon of the Marine company will detach itself from the main body and enter the Northeast gate and will be followed by all elements in their rear, i.e., the Joints Chiefs of Staff, the Personal Flag, the Caparisoned Horse and the car bearing Mrs. Kennedy and the Attorney General.
2.  The column that has entered the White House grounds will proceed on the drive, NOT passing under, but keeping to the right of the portico, until the head of the platoon of Marines reaches the Northwest gate, which is on Pennsylvania Avenue.  There it will be halted.  Mrs. Kennedy's car will pull under the portico roof and halt at the front steps of the White House, at which point she will dismount with the Attorney General.  Upon her leaving the car, it should be backed up 10 or 15 yards.
3.  It is presumed Mrs. Kennedy will mount the steps with the Attorney General and be met by members of the Presidential staff.
4.  The entire driveway in the White House grounds will be cordoned by Navy enlisted men, bearing State and Territorial Flags.  They will render the appropriate honors upon the passage of the Caisson.
5. It is presumed that the Presidential Military Aides will remain in column behind the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  If the Aides decide they wish to enter the White House, it is their responsibility to position themselves back in the column prior to Mrs. Kennedy's leaving the White House to follow the Caisson on foot.
6.  It is assumed that the foreign dignitaries have been formed in the proper column inside of the White House, extending from the East Room down the hall to te North Entrance.  When Mrs. Kennedy mounts the steps and has been met by the Presidential staff, she will be told by a member of that staff when the entire group within the White House is ready to move off. Mrs.  Kennedy is then free to move down the steps and to the left along the drive towards the Northwest gate on foot.
7.  On descending to the driveway Mrs. Kennedy will find the Caisson followed by the Caparisoned Horse some 20 - 30 yards to the left and on the driveway.  As she approaches the Caisson, the Marine platoon, halted at the Northeast gate, will move the column off so that Mrs.  Kennedy will not have to halt behind the Caparisoned Horse.  The normal distance for marching ehind the Caparison Horse is approximately 10 to 15 yards.  The dignitaries, already formed at the White House, will move out immediately behind Mrs. Kennedy.  It is presumed that Mrs. Kennedy will be escorted by her brother-in-law, the Attorney General.  It is further presumed that the other mourners and dignitaries on foot will keep about a five (5) yard distance in rear of Mrs. Kennedy and her escort.
8.  The mourners behind Mrs. Kennedy and her escort should maintain a five or six man front.
9.  As the Marine Platoon moves out of the Northwest gate the Black Watch will move in following the Marine Platoon and immediately in front of the Joints Chiefs of Staff.
10.  The Naval Academy Choir, positioned on the lawn opposite the North portico, will begin to sing as the Caisson enters the Northeast gate.  They will sing three hyms only.

This ceremonial transfer of the president's coffin by caisson from the Capitol rotunda to St. Matthew’s Cathedral, where the funeral mass was celebrated by Richard Cardinal Cushing, and on across the Potomac River for burial at Arlington National Cemetery, was viewed by almost the entire population of America. Television coverage began at 7:00 A.M. EST with scenes from DC, where all evening mourners had been filing past the coffin in the Capitol rotunda. At 10:38 A.M. the coffin was placed on the caisson for the procession to St. Matthews Cathedral. Those who watched the funeral on television were the only ones who saw the complete ceremony, as the three networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) used at least 50 cameras for the joint coverage in order to allow viewers to follow the proceedings in their entirety from the Capitol to Arlington. Blair House Manager, Mary Edith Wilroy's "Funeral Services of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Late President of the United States, Monday November 25, 1963" provides the official State Department's directive for the funeral, its procession, and internment at Arlington Cemetery:"

[Kennedy Funeral] - Blair House Manager, Mary Edith Wilroy's Official Department of State  "Funeral Services of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, late President of the United States - 25 November 1963."
Procession departs the Capitol at 11:00am
Mrs. Kennedy and the Attorney General in an automobile will join the military formation to proceed to the White House.
Members of Congress who will participate in the funeral ceremonies (except "The Leadership") proceed directly to St. Matthews Cathedral to be seated by 11:45am.
The military formation will proceed down Pennsylvania Avenue past the White House and pause in the intersection of 17th and Pennsylvania.  In the meantime, the caisson will have entered the North Gate and proceed to the North Portico followed by Mrs. Kennedy and the Attorney General.  They will leave the automobile at this point and be joined by other dignitaries who will proceed with them on foot behind the caisson.  The caisson will move forth and the procession will proceed to St. Matthew's via Connecticut Avenue. 
The following will assemble at the White House at 11:15am preparatory to joining Mrs. Kennedy and Family on the walk from the White House to the Cathedral:
The President 
Chiefs of State 
Heads of Government and Chiefs of Special Delegations. 
The Chief Justice 
Former Presidents 
Justices of the Supreme Court 
Members of the Cabinet 
Congressional Leadership 
The Joint Chiefs of Staff 
Personal Assistants to President Kennedy 
Close friends 
Those that are not in the procession but who have been invited to attend the requiem Mass at the Cathedral should proceed directly to the Cathedral and be in their place at approximately 11:45am.   
[Kennedy Assassination]  -  Nation Buries Its Martyred President; Million Form Lane to Arlington Grave, Dignitaries of 91 Countries Join Requiem for Kennedy, US Inquiry Is Ordered By Johnson, and Mighty World Rulers Pay Humble Tribute - "A procession of nobility and power humbily walked Washington;s grief stricken streets yesterday.  A king, an emperor, a queen, princes, princesses, presidents, premiers, prime ministers, foreign ministers and generals strode silently behind the body of John F. Kennedy for the half-mile from the White House to St. Mathew's Cathederal."  By Julia Duscia, Washington Post, Tuesday, November 26, 1963
While the funeral was in progress, the House of Representatives convened as follows:

House of Representatives - The House met at 12 o'clock noon.

Designation of Speaker Pro Tempore:  The Speaker Pro Tempore laid before the House the following communication from the Speaker:

The Speaker's RoomNovember 25, 1963
I hereby designate Honorable Jim Wright to act as Speaker Pro Tempore today.
John W. McCormackSpeaker of the House of Representatives

Congressional Record, Proceedings and Debates of the 88th Congress First Session, Volume 109, Number 191, Washington, Monday, November 25, 1963, House of Representatives, Commencement and Prayer.


The Chaplin, Rev. Barnard Braskamp, D.D., offered the following prayer:

Revelation 14: 13: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth, yea saith the spirit that they may rest from their labors and their works follow them.
Most merciful and gracious God, we humbly acknowledge that in the life of each of us there are times of events and experiences when all our thoughts and feelings seem to impose silence.
As we assemble for prayer at this noon hour, we are not turning our eyes upon the ground whence no help can come but we are lifting them heavenward and unto Thee.
We thank thee for the life and character and service of John F. Kennedy who walked and worked with us here in this Chamber and who know dwells with Thee in heavenly blessedness for thou hast open unto him the gateway to the larger life and received him into Thy nearer presence.
Thou didst not loose him when Thou gavest him to us and so we have not lost him by his return to Thee and even though his sun went down while it was yet day we believe it has risen for him.

On this day, when his body is being carried to Arlington National Cemetery we are not saying "Farewell" but only "Goodnight" for this is our faith that someday we shall dwell together in hallowed union and be forever with our blessed Lord in that fairer land whose language is music and where there is eternal  joy. 
We pray that Thou wilt give unto the members of his bereaved family and friends and to president Johnson and Speaker McCormack and to all Members of Congress that strong faith which does not murmur or complain but which trusts and ties in courageously and confidently with the consolations of Thy grace and love and will enable them to carry on in faithfullness and fortitude. 
Hear us through the merits and mediation of our blessed Lord. Amen

Congressional Record, Proceedings and Debates of the 88th Congress First Session, Volume 109, Number 191, Washington, Monday, November 25, 1963, House of Representatives Eulogies and Adjournment. 


Mr. Multer: Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the business in order for today shall be in order on tomorrow, and that special orders in order for today shall be transferred to tomorrow.

There was no objection

Mr. Multer: Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent  that the eulogies to our late President delivered in the rotunda on yesterday be printed at this point in the RECORD.

There was no objection

Senator Mike Mansfield’s Eulogy For President Kennedy

There was a sound of laughter; in a moment, it was no more. And so she took a ring from her finger and placed it in his hands.
There was a wit in a man neither young nor old, but a wit full of an old man’s wisdom and of a child’s wisdom, and then, in a moment it was no more. And so she took a ring from her finger and placed it in his hands.
There was a man marked with the scars of his love of country, a body active with the surge of a life far, far from spent and, in a moment, it was no more. And so she took a ring from her finger and placed it in his hands.
There was a father with a little boy, a little girl and a joy of each in the other. In a moment it was no more, and so she took a ring from her finger and placed it in his hands.
There was a husband who asked much and gave much, and out of the giving and the asking wove with a woman what could not be broken in life, and in a moment it was no more. And so she took a ring from her finger and placed it in his hands, and kissed him and closed the lid of a coffin.
A piece of each of us died at that moment. Yet, in death he gave of himself to us. He gave us of a good heart from which the laughter came. He gave us of a profound wit, from which a great leadership emerged. He gave us of a kindness and a strength fused into a human courage to seek peace without fear.
He gave us of his love that we, too, in turn, might give. He gave that we might give of ourselves, that we might give to one another until there would be no room, no room at all, for the bigotry, the hatred, prejudice, and the arrogance which converged in that moment of horror to strike him down.
In leaving us — these gifts, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President of the United States, leaves with us. Will we take them, Mr. President? Will we have, now, the sense and the responsibility and the courage to take them?
I pray to God that we shall and under God we will.
Earl Warren, Chief Justice autographed engraving. 

EARL WARREN, Chief Justice of the United States Eulogy For President Kennedy

There are few events in our national life that unite Americans and so touch the hearts of all of us as the passing of a President of the United States.
There is nothing that adds shock to our sadness as the assassination of our leader, chosen as he is to embody the ideals of our people, the faith we have in our institutions and our belief in the fatherhood of god and the brotherhood of man.
Such misfortunes have befallen the Nation on other occasions, but never more shockingly than 2 days ago.
We are saddened; we are stunned; we are perplexed. 
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, a great and good President, the friend of all men of good will, a believer in the dignity and equality of all human beings, a fighter for justice, an apostle of peace, has been snatched from our midst by the bullet of an assassin. 
What moved some misguided wretch to do this horrible deed may never be known to us, but we do know that such acts are commonly stimulated by forces of hatred and malevolence, such as today are eating their way into the bloodstream of American life. What a price we pay for this fanaticism. 
It has been said that the only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn. But surely we can learn if we have the will to do so. Surely there is a lesson to be learned from this tragic event. 
If we really love this country, if we truly love justice aqd mercy, if we fervently want to make this Nation better for those who are to follow us, we can at least abjure the hatred that consumes people, the false accusations that divide us, and the bitterness that begets violence. Is it too much to hope that the martyrdom of our beloved President might even soften the hearts of those who would themselves recoil from assassination, but who do not shrink from spreading the venom which kindles thoughts of it in others? 
Our Nation is bereaved. The whole world is poorer because of his loss. But we can all be better Americans because John Fitzgerald Kennedy has passed our way, because he has been our chosen leader at a time in history when his character, his vision, and his quiet courage have enabled him to chart for us a safe course through the shoals of treacherous seas that encompass the world.And now that he is relieved of the almost superhuman burdens we imposed on him, may he rest in peace.

JOHN W. McCORMACK, Speaker of the House of Representatives Eulogy For President Kennedy
As we gather here today bowed in grief, the heartfelt sympathy of Members of the Congress and of our people are extended to Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy and to Ambassador and Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy and their loved ones. Their deep grief is also self-shared by countless millions of persons throughout the world, considered a personal tragedy, as if one had lost a loved member of his own immediate family. 
Any citizen of our beloved country who looks back over its history can-not fail to see that we have been blessed with God's favor beyond most other peoples. At each great crisis in our history we have found a leader able to grasp the helm of state and guide the country through the troubles which beset it. In our earliest days, when our strength and wealth were so limited and our problems so great, Washington and Jefferson appeared to lead our people. Two generations later, when our country was torn in two by a fratricidal war, Abraham Lincoln appeared from the mass of the people as a leader able to reunite the Nation. 
In more recent times, in the critical days of the depression and the great war forced upon us by Fascist aggression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt-later, Harry S. Truman-appeared on the scene to reorganize the country and lead its revived citizens to victory. Finally, only recently, when the cold war was building up the supreme crisis of a threatened nuclear war capable of destroying everything-and everybody-that our predecessors had so carefully built, and which a liberty-loving world wanted, once again a strong and courageous man appeared ready to lead us. 
No country need despair so long as God, in His infinite goodness, continues to provide the Nation with leaders able to guide it through the successive crises which seem to be the inevitable fate of any great nation. 
Surely no country ever faced more gigantic problems than ours in the last few years, and surely no country could have obtained a more able leader in a time of such crises. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy possessed all the qualities of greatness. He had deep faith, complete confidence, human sympathy, and broad vision which recognized the true values of freedom, equality, and the brotherhood which have always been the marks of the American political dreams. 
He had the bravery and a sense of personal duty which made him willing to face up to the great task of being President in these trying times. He had the warmth and the sense of humanity which made the burden of the task bearable for himself and for his associates, and which made all kinds of diverse peoples and races eager to be associated with him in his task. He had the tenacity and determination to carry each stage of his great work through to its successful conclusion. 
Now that our great leader has been taken from us in a cruel death, we are bound to feel shattered and helpless in the face of our loss. This is but natural, but as the first bitter pangs of our incredulous grief begins to pass we must thank God that we were privileged, however briefly, to have had this great man for our President. For he has now taken his place among the great figures of world history. 
While this is an occasion of deep sorrow it should be also one of dedication. We must have the determination to unite and carry on the spirit of John Fitzgerald Kennedy for a strengthened America and a future world of peace.

Mr. MULTER:  Mr. Speaker, I offer a resolution.
The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:
House Resolution 571
In the House of Representatives, U.S.,

Resolved, That the House of Representatives has learned with profound regret and sorrow of the tragic death of the late President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, illustrious statesman and leader in the Nation and in the 
Resolved, That as a token of honor and in recognition of his eminent and distinguished public services to the Nation and to the world the Speaker of the House shall appoint a committee of one hundred Members of the House to join a similar committee appointed on the part of the Senate to attend the funeral services of the late President.
Resolved, That the House tenders its deep sympathy to the members of the family of the late President in their sad bereavement.
Resolved, That the Sergeant at Arms of the House be authorized and directed to take such steps as may be necessary for carrying out the provisions of these resolutions and that the necessary expenses in connection therewith be paid out of the contingent fund of the House.
Resolved, That as a further mark of respect to the memory of the late President the House do now adjourn. 
The SPEAKER pro tempore.  Without objection, the resolution is agreed to.

Congressional Record, Proceedings and Debates of the 88th Congress First Session, Volume 109, Number 191, Washington, Monday, November 25, 1963, US Senate - Prayer.
The Senate met at 12 o'clock meridian, and was called to order by the President pro tempore.

Amendment of the Senate Journal and Congressional Record.

Mr. Metcalf:  Mr. President, the sudden and tragic death of the President of the United States since the adjournment of the Senate Friday last made it highly important and desirable that certain action should be taken by the Senate prior to 12 o'clock noon today -- the hour to which the Senate on Friday adjourned.

An informal meeting of Senators, called by majority leader, the Senator from Montana [Mr. Mansfield], was held at 10 o'clock am, in connection with arrangements for the funeral ceremonies of the late President of the United States, John F. Kennedy.

The meeting was called to order by the President pro tempore.

The Chaplin, Rev. Frederick Brown Harris, DD, offered the following prayer:  
God of the living and of the living dead:  As in this hour we bow in the shadow of a people's grief, Thou dost hear the sobbing of a stricken nation.  But we come with the comfort that Thou knowest what is in the darkness, and that the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee.
For the stewardship in the brief but epochal years of the young and gallant captain who has fallen at his post, we give thanks to Thee, the Master of all good workmen.  In the profile of courage, of vision, and of faith which John F. Kennedy etched upon the darken sky of these agitated time, in his exalted place of leadership, we behold the image of our America which alone will make sure the survival of our freedom.
And now that the valorous sword has fallen from his lifeless hands, he seems to be calling us in the unfinished tasks which remain.
Others will sing the songFinish what I beganWaht matters I or theyMine or another's daySo the right word be saidAnd life the purer made.
In the Nation's poignant loss, may there come to those whose hands are at the hem of this dear land of our faith and love the vision which fortified Thy prophet of old as he bore witness: "In the year that King Uzaiah died I saw the Lord high and lifted up.
So in this year of a tragic death, may there be granted to us vision of the preeminent spiritual verities which abide and undergird and outlast the life and death of any mortal servant of great causes who toils for a while in these fields of time in the sense of the eternal, and then falls on sleep.
We pray in the name of the risen Christ who hath brought life and immortality to light. Amen.
Congressional Record, Proceedings and Debates of the 88th Congress First Session, Volume 109, Number 191, Washington, Monday, November 25, 1963, US Senate - Kennedy Resolution and Everett Dirksen speech.  

Death of  John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States.

Mr. Mansfield:  Mr. President, due to the sudden and tragic death of the President of the United States, a former colleague of ours in this body, it has been necessary to call this extraordinary meeting of the Members of the Senate before the hour formally appointed upon the adjournment of the Senate last Friday.

S. Res. 228 was read as follows: 
Resolved, That the Senate has learned with profound sorrow and deep regret of the tragic death of Hon. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, late the President of the United States and a former Representative and former Senator from the State of Massachusetts.
Resolved, That in recognition of his illustrious statesmanship, his leadership in national and world affairs, and his distinguished public service to his State and the Nation, the Presiding officer of the Senate appoint a committee, to consist of all the Members of the Senate to attend the funeral of the late President at noon today.
Resolved.  That the Senate hereby tenders its deep sympathy to the members of the family of the late President in their bereavement.
Resolved, That the Secretary communicate these resolutions to the House of Representatives, and transmit an enrolled copy thereof to the family of the late President.

After the formal reading of the resolution concluded, Everett Dirksen was then recognized and he delivered this speech:

Mr. president, the memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy lingers in this forum of the people.  Here we knew his vigorous tread, his flashing smile, his ready wit, his keen mind, his zest for adventure.  Here with quiet grief we mourn his departure.  Here we shall remember him best as a colleague whose star of public service is indelibly inscribed on the roll of the U.S. Senate.
And here the eternal question confronts and confounds us.  Why must it be?  Why must the life of an amiable, friendly, aggressive young man, moved only by high motives, lighted on his way by high hopes, guided by broad plans, impelled by understanding and vision, be brought to an untimely end with his labors unfinished?  And why, in a free land, untouched by the heel of dictatorship and oppression, where the humblest citizen may freely utter his grievances, must that life be cut short by an evil instrument, moved by malice, frustration, and hate?  This is the incredible thing which leaves us bewildered and perplexed.  
One moment there is an ecstasy of living when one can hear the treble cries of scampering children over the White House lawn, the pleasure of receiving a Thanksgiving turkey which I presented to him but 3 days before the evil deed, the pleasure of conversation over many things, including his hopes for the future, the exciting fact of sunshine and green grass in late November, the endless stream of citizens coming to the President's house, the strident voice of the city rising from the hum of traffic, the animation of saluting crowds, and then the sudden strangling death rattle of dissolution.  Who shall say, save that there is a divinity which shapes our ends and marks our days?
As the tumult and grief subside, as the Nation resumes and moves forward, and his own generation measures his works and achievements, what shall we say who knew him well -- we in the forum, where he spent 8 years of his life -- we who knew him best not as Mt. President but simply Jack?
We saw him come to this body at age 35.  We saw him grow.  We saw him rise.  We saw him elevated to become Chief Magistrate of this Nation.  And we saw him as the leader of both branches of this Republic assembled to deliberate over common problems.
In this moment when death has triumphed, when heads are chastened,when the spirit reels in sheer bewilderment, what do we say now that the Book of Life has been closed?
Let me say what we have always said when he was alive, gay, happy, friendly. ambitious, and ready to listen.
He had vision that went beyond our own.  Hos determination to effectuate a test ban treaty is a living example.
He was his own profile in courage.  His unrelenting devotion to equality and civil rights attests that fact.
He was devoted to our system of constitutional government.  His attitude toward the separation of church and state looms like a shinning example.
He had great virtue of spiritual grace.  If at any moment he may have seemed frustrated over a proposition, it was so transitory.  If he showed any sign of petulance, it was so fleeting.  There were no souring acids in the spirit of John Kennedy.
If at any moment he may have seemed overeager, it was but the reflection of a zealous crusader and missioner who knew where he was going.
If at any moment, he seemed to depart from the covenant which he and his party made with the people, it was only because he believed that accelerated events and circumstances did not always heed the clock and the calendar.
If his course sometimes seemed at variance with his own party leaders or with the opposition, it was only because a deep conviction dictated his course.
On the tablets of memory, we who knew him well as a friend and colleague can well inscribe this sentiment.
"Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who became the 35th President of the United States -- young, vigorous, aggressive, and scholarly -- one who estimated the need of his country and the world and sought to fulfill that need -- one who was wedded to peace and vigorously sought this greatest of all goals of mankind -- one who sensed how  catastrophic nuclear conflict could be and sought a realistic course to avert it -- one who sensed the danger that lurked in a continuing inequality in our land and sought a rational and durable solution -- one to whom the phrase "the national interest" was more than just a string of words -- one who would disagree without vindictiveness -- one who believed that the expansion of the enjoyment of the living by all people was an achievable goal -- one who believed that each generation must contribute its best to the fulfillment of the American dream."
The te deums which will be sung this day may be wafted away by evening breeze which caresses the last resting place of those who served the republic, but here in this Chamber where he served and prepared for higher responsibility, the memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy will long linger to nourish the faith of all who serve that same great land.
The President pro tempore:  Is there objection to the present consideration of the resolution?

There being no objection, the resolution (S. Res. 228) was considered and unanimously agreed to.

The President pro tempore:  The Chair appoints the entire membership to proceed to the bier of our late President John F. Kennedy.

Mr. Mansfield: Mr. President, I ask Senators to join the leadership and proceed in a body to the bier on which our late departed colleague is now resting.

Mr Mansfield: Mr. President, as previously ordered, the Senate will meet at 12 o'clock noon.  I now move that this extraordinary meeting of the Members of the Senate be now adjourned. 

The motion was agreed to; and at 10:19 am the informal meeting of the Senate was adjourned.
   The Senate proceeded in body to the bier of the late President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Congressional Record, Proceedings and Debates of the 88th Congress First Session, Volume 109, Number 191, Washington, Monday, November 25, 1963, US Senate - Adjournment  with House and Senate Summary.  
Mr. Metcalf:  Mr. President, as a further mark of respect to the memory of the late beloved President of the United States, I move that the Senate adjourn until tomorrow.
The motion was unamiously agreed to; and at 12:03 o'clock  the Senate adjourned until tomorrow, Tuesday, November 26, 1963, at 12 o'clock meridian.

During the mass, with the US Senate in attendance, the president's first inaugural quote, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country,"  was broadcast on the cathedral's loudspeakers with the three networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC cameras turning to a shot of the flag-draped coffin.  The commentators reminded viewers, as the casket exited the cathedral,  that this day marked the president's son's third birthday.  Outside the church, as the caisson passed by little John F. Kennedy, Jr., the first son saluted his fallen father. The dramatic scene was further marked by stallion Black Jack, a riderless steed with boots pointed backwards in the stirrup, spiritedly kicking up as if to defy the presidential march to internment. Even the network commentators were quiet and restrained, which allowed the millions to be entranced by the moving image and its series of eloquent sounds of drums and bagpipes, hoof beats, the  honor guard's cadent march, all culminating at the Arlington burial site with a bugle playing a most remorseful  "Taps." 

[Kennedy Funeral] - Blair House Manager, Mary Edith Wilroy's Official Department of State "Motorcade to the Gravesite from St. Mathews Cathedral - 25 November 1963." 

Upon the conclusion of the ceremonies at the Cathedral, those attending the Mass enter their cars and join the procession from the Cathedral to Arlington National Cemetery in the following order of precedence:
Mrs. Kennedy and Members of the immediate family 
The President and his Party 
Chiefs of State, Heads of Government and Chiefs of Special Delegations. 
The Chief Justice and the Supreme Court 
Members of the Cabinet 
Leadership of the Senate 
[Kennedy Assassination]  -  Rose Placed on Kennedy's Desk. Senators Salute Former Colleague,  "The Senate yesterday poured out unshamed its grief at the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy joined in a bipartisan salute to his courage.  The high tribute was paid in a special 19-minute memorial meeting that was later made part of the Senate record"By Robert C. Albright, Washington Post, Monday, November 25, 1963
Governors of the States and Territories 
Leadership of the House of Representatives 
The Joint Chiefs of Staff 
Personal Staff of President Kennedy 
Close friends and family
Others attending the funeral are invited to Arlington Cemetery.
The procession upon arrival at the site of the interment will halt and passengers will leave their automobiles and proceed to the grave site.  After the interment ceremonies  those participating will return to their cars and return to the city.
The quiet power of the televised spectacle was masterminded by CBS's Arthur Kane, who was assigned the task of directing the coverage and coordinating over 60 cameras stationed strategically along the funeral route. NBC took charge of feeding the signal relaying the broadcast through a communications satellite to twenty-three countries around the world. Even the USSR, in a broadcasting first, utilized a five-minute segment sent via Telestar.  The colossal televised achievement came with a $40 million price tag and a $22,000,000 loss in advertising revenue for the four days. Amazingly, Nielsens calculated record prime time hour viewers during the Black Weekend as follows: NBC at 24, CBS at 16, and ABC at 10. Nielsen also estimated that  93% of televisions in the United States tuned to the coverage but no one cared about ratings.  

[Kennedy Assassination] - Kennedy Laid To Rest In Arlington;  Hushed Nation Watches And Grieves; World Leaders Pay Tribute At The Grave;  A Hero's Burial -- Last Journey Begins,  "The body of John Fitzgerald Kennedy is borne on a caisson drawn by six horses as his funeral procession leaves the Capital, Members of the armed services form lines on the Capitol steps down which the flag-draped coffin was carried.  Graveside: Those facing the camera include Mrs. Rose Kennedy, Mr. Stephen Smith, behind her Mrs. Peter Lawford, Mr. Smith, Robert Kennedy, mostly hidden; Mrs. John F. Kennedy, Edward Kennedy."  -  New York Times, Tuesday, November 26, 1963
Mary McGrory of the  Washington Evening Star,  wrote:
Of John Fitzgerald Kennedy's funeral it can be said he would have liked it."It had that decorum and dash that were in his special style.  It was both splendid and spontaneous.  It was full of children and princes, of gardeners and governors.  Everyone measured up to new Frontier standards.  A million people lined every inch of his last journey.  Enough heads of state filed into St. Matthew's Cathedral to change the shape of the world.  The weather was superb, as crisp and clear as one of his own instructions. His wife;s gallantry became a legend.  His two children behaved like Kennedys.  His 3-year-old son saluted his coffin.  His 6-year-old daughter comforted her mother.  Looking up and seeing tears, she reached over and gave her mother's hand a consoling squeeze.     

[Kennedy Funeral] - He Would Have Liked It: The Funeral Had That Special Kennedy Touch, By Mary McGrory, Washington Evening Star, November 26th, 1963.

Shortly after the  interment, dignitaries began an exodus from Washington. Former President Harry Truman, who stayed at his former Executive House, took the time to inscribe a photo of himself for his "Hostess with the Mostest," - Blair House manager, Mary Edith Wilroy.  President Truman had utilized the Blair House, from 1949 to 1952, as his home during the White House reconstruction.   Wilroy writes of the funeral and Harry Truman:

US Presidency and Political Hospitality Exhibit
Inside the Blair House, An Intimate Look At Life Behind The Door Of The Presidents Guest House, by Mary Edith Wilroy and Lucie Prinz, Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1982.
In the process of an extension renovation of the Blair House on November 22, 1963 the phone rang.  “My younger daughter calling me from St. Francis College in Pennsylvania. ‘I can’t believe Mom’ I could tell she was crying. ‘I can’t believe the President was dead.’  I had no idea what she was talking about.  We had been too busy to hook up any television sets and we hadn’t thought of turning on the radio.  ... I immediately called the department and the news was confirmed.  Someone got a radio and plugged it in, and in a while someone hooked up one of our portable television sets.  So like everyone else in the country, we sat stunned while the terrible events were replayed in front of our eyes.  I was numb.  But it suddenly dawned on me. ‘They’re going to need this house,’ I said to Ingrid.  ... Several times in the late afternoon I spoke to Robin.  ‘If you need the house,’ I told her ‘it will be ready for you.’  That evening when I got home she called me ... ‘Several of the Kennedy’s close friends would like to come over tomorrow at about eleven thirty before going to the White House.  You’re sure you can accommodate them?’ I assured her that I would be ready. 
I had heard from Mr. West at the White House that President Johnson had invited former President Truman and his family to stay at the Blair House during the days of the funeral.  They were coming at about three the next afternoon.  ... By eleven-thirty the little army of people we had assembled had managed to get the first floor completely set up.  There was a table of refreshments, and parlor maids and butlers in their black and white uniforms were on hand to serve. ... ... The Nosegay had prepared several especially beautiful flower arrangements.  The floors were clean, if not sparkling, and the rugs and furniture were in place ... The workman who had accomplished this miracle were now hard at work on the second floor ... they were getting the bedrooms ready for the Truman’s party’s arrival.  At eleven thirty Robin and her guests appeared.  She couldn’t believe her eyes.  After about an hour we all went over to the White House. 

President Kennedy’s flag-draped casket rested on a catafalque covered in black velvet and standing in the center of the room.  Two lighted candles were placed at the head of the closed coffin.  The honor guard stood at rigid attention ate the four corners of the catafalque.  With a large crowd of other visitors I walked past the coffin and said a prayer. Then I had to return to the Blair House, where there was work to be done.  As I walked back across the street I saw literally hundreds of people outside the White House fence and clustered in Lafayette Park.  It was pouring, but they stood there as if somehow just being near the White House would ease their pain and grief. 

A short time after I returned to the Blair House a car pulled up to the front entrance and President Truman, with his two military aides and his friend Frank Gavin, got out.  The funeral procession passed by the Blair House.  We stood on the steps, tears running down our cheeks.  The sight of Mrs. Kennedy walking firmly, flanked by her husband’s two brothers, her head held high amid all the foreign dignitaries, was heart breaking.  ... I felt enormously proud of her dignity and strength.  I can still hear the mournful wail of the bagpipes that seemed to echo what all of us were feeling.  ... As I stood on those steps I couldn’t help remembering the day ... when I had watched our young, handsome President running up the steps towards me, bareheaded and so much alive, while his young, girlish-looking wife tried to keep up with him.  It was hard to imagine that anything would ever be the same again.

Inscribed Photo: Best Wishes to Mary Edith Wilroy,  Harry S. Truman, 11-25-1963

One week after the assassination of her husband Mrs. Kennedy requested that T. H. White visit her at Hyannisport for an interview.  On November 29th, 1963 Jackie Kennedy evoked her late husband's fondness for Camelot stating:
At night, before we go to sleep, Jack liked to play some records: and the song he loved most came at the very end of this record.  The lines he loved to hear were "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot." 
There'll be great Presidents again -- and the Johnsons are wonderful, they've been wonderful to me -- but there'll never be another Camelot again. 
Once, the more I read of history the more bitter I got.  For a while I thought history was something that bitter old me wrote.  But then I realized history made Jack what he was.  You must think of him as this little boy, sick so much of the time, reading in bed, reading history, reading the Knights of the Round Table, reading Marlborough. For Jack, history was full of heroes.  And if it made him this way --- if it made him see heroes -- maybe other little boys will see.  Men are such a combination of good and bad.  Jack had this hero idea of history, the idealistic view. 
"Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot"  -- and it will never be that way again. 

For President Kennedy: An Epilogue - For One Brief Shining Moment, By Theodore H. White, Time, Inc., Distributed by United Press International, Washington Post, December 1, 1963.
The Warren Commission

On the same day of the Camelot interview, President Lyndon B. Johnson formed The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. Known unofficially as the Warren Commission, it was established to investigate the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy that had taken place on November 22, 1963.  The members of the commission's  Committee  were:
Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States (chairman) (1891–1974)Richard Russell, Jr. (D-Georgia), U.S. Senator, (1897–1971)John Sherman Cooper (R-Kentucky), U.S. Senator (1901–1991)Hale Boggs (D-Louisiana), U.S. Representative, House Majority Leader (1914–1973)Gerald Ford (R-Michigan), U.S. Representative (later 38th President of the United States), House Minority Leader (1913-2006)Allen Welsh Dulles, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (1893–1969)John J. McCloy, former President of the World Bank (1895–1989)  The General counsel was J. Lee Rankin (1907-1996) 

In the two weeks following the Warren Commission's formation and the "Camelot Interview," Memorial Services were held in the House of Representatives on  December 5, 1963 and in the Senate on December 11, 1963.  These and other eulogies were published by an Act of Congress in 1964.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy 1917-1963 Late President of the United States Memorial Addresses Delivered in Congress, Washington,D.C. Government Printing Office, 1964, Hardcover, 911 pages, with gilt lettering and seal. This book, autographed by a Congressman, is a collection of the Memorial Services in the US Senate (December 11, 1963), the House of Representatives (December 5, 1963), and other Congressional family tributes that include poems and letters with many written by children.
On September 24, 1964, the Warren Commission completed its report and submitted it to President Lyndon B. Johnson. The Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy and wounding Texas Governor John Connally and that Jack Ruby also acted alone when he killed Oswald two days later. The Commission's findings have proven controversial and have been both challenged and supported by later studies.

Transmittal letter from the Report of the Warren Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy,  United States Government Printing, (1964). 
Text of the Warren Commission's Conclusions:

The shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired from the sixth floor window at the southeast corner of the Texas School Book Depository. This determination is based upon the following:
(a) Witnesses at the scene of the assassination saw a rifle being fired from the sixth floor window of the Depository Building, and some witnesses saw a rifle in the window immediately after the shots were fired.
(b) The nearly whole bullet found on Governor Connally's stretcher at Parkland Memorial Hospital and the two bullet fragments found in the front seat of the Presidential limousine were fired from the 6.5- millimeter Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository Building to the exclusion of all other weapons.
(c) The three used cartridge cases found near the window on the sixth floor at the southeast corner of the building were fired from the same rifle which fired the above-described bullet and fragments, to the exclusion of all other weapons.
(d) The windshield in the Presidential limousine was struck by a bullet fragment on the inside surface of the glass, but was not penetrated.
(e) The nature of the bullet wounds suffered by President Kennedy and Governor Connally and the location of the car at the time of the shots establish that the bullets were fired from above and behind the Presidential limousine, striking the President and the Governor as follows:
President Kennedy was first struck by a bullet which entered at the back of his neck and exited through the lower front portion of his neck, causing a wound which would not necessarily have been lethal. The President was struck a second time by a bullet which entered the right-rear portion of his head, causing a massive and fatal wound.
Governor Connally was struck by a bullet which entered on the right side of his back and traveled downward through the right side of his chest, exiting below his right nipple. This bullet then passed through his right wrist and entered his left thigh where it caused a superficial wound.
(f)There is no credible evidence that the shots were fired from the Triple Underpass, ahead of the motorcade, or from any other location.

Clay Shaw Conspiracy Theory:

On March 1, 1967, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested and charged New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw with conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy, with the help of Lee Harvey Oswald, David Ferrie, and others. The charges were:

  • Clay Shaw was the "Clay Bertrand" who purportedly contacted New Orleans attorney Dean Andrews, to see whether Andrews would be interested in representing Oswald at trial. 
  • Witnesses testified that they saw Oswald with Clay Shaw and David Ferrie in Clinton, Louisiana just two months before the JFK assassination. 
  • Vernon Bundy testified that he saw Lee Oswald and Clay Shaw together, on the seawall along Lake Pontchartrain, in New Orleans during July 1963. He said that Shaw spoke with Oswald and gave Oswald some money. 
  • Perry Russo testified that Clay Shaw, Oswald, and David Ferrie were present at a party at Ferrie's New Orleans apartment in September 1963, during which they discussed the assassination of JFK, including the "triangulation of crossfire" and the need to have an alibi for that day

Vintage Photo of Clay Shaw and Jim Garrison date stamped March 1, 1969,  by the Weekly Intelligencer on the verso .
On January 29, 1969, a trial was held in Orleans Parish Criminal Court on these charges. The jury, with clay Shaw present,  took less than an hour to find him not guilty. This is the only trial held in a court of law for the assassination of President Kennedy.

House Select Committee on Assassinations Second Gunman Theory:

In 1976, The United States House of Representatives established a Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) to investigate the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. The Committee investigated until 1978 and issued its final report. This Commission concluded that Kennedy was very likely assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. Additionally, the Committee concluded that the governments the Soviet Union, Cuba, or an organized crime group, nor any anti-Castro group were not involved in the conspiracy. 

Dr. Cyril Wech  quote signed from his testimony before the House Select Committee on Assassinations"Based upon the findings in this case, it is my opinion that no bullet could have caused all these wounds, not only 399 but no other bullet that we know about or any fragment of any bullet that we know about in this case."  Cyril Harrison Wecht (born March 20, 1931) is an American forensic pathologist. He has been the president of both the American Academy of Forensic Science and the American College of Legal Medicine, and currently heads the board of trustees of the American Board of Legal Medicine. He served as County Commissioner and Allegheny County Coroner & Medical Examiner serving metro Pittsburgh.  In 1978, Dr. Wecht testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations as the lone dissenter on a nine member forensic pathology panel re-examining the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Dr. Wecht was the only forensic pathologist who disagreed with the Warren Commission conclusion that both the single bullet theory and Kennedy’s head wounds are mutually consistent.

I. Findings of the Select Committee on Assassination in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
  • I.A. Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots at President John F. Kennedy. The second and third shots he fired struck the President. The third shot he fired killed the President
  • I.B. Scientific acoustical evidence establishes a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy. Other scientific evidence does not preclude the possibility of two gunmen firing at the President. Scientific evidence negates some specific conspiracy allegations
  • I.C. The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The committee was unable to identify the other gunmen or the extent of the conspiracy
  • I.D. Agencies and departments of the U.S. Government performed with varying degrees of competency in the fulfillment of their duties. President John F. Kennedy did not receive adequate protection. A thorough and reliable investigation into the responsibility of Lee Harvey Oswald for the assassination was conducted. The investigation into the possibility of conspiracy in the assassination was inadequate. the conclusions of the investigations were arrived at in good faith, but presented in a fashion that was too definitive

The John F. Kennedy Library stands by the Warren Commission's findings and  refutes the House Select Committee on Assassinations conclusion of a second gunman stating: 

Point 1B ... to the findings of the 1979 House Select Committee on Assassinations states that the committee had found "a high probability that two gunmen fired" at the president. This conclusion resulted from the last-minute “discovery” of a Dallas police radio transmission tape that allegedly provided evidence that four or more shots were fired in Dealey Plaza. After the report appeared in print, acoustic experts analyzed the tape and proved conclusively that it was completely worthless—thus negating the finding in Point 1B.

[Kennedy Autopsy]  - The three pathologists who performed the autopsy on President John F. Kennedy on the night of November 22, 1963, were photographed days later by the US Navy Medical School - from left: US Navy Commander J. Thorton Boswell, MC, US Navy Commander James Joseph Humes, MC and US Army Lt. Colonel Pierre Finck, MC.  In 1992 they broke their 29 year silence on this famous case with Doctors Humes (left bottom) and Boswell being interviews by JAMA in April 1992.   ----  JFK's Death - The Plain Truth From The Mds Who Did The Autopsy JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, Lunderg, George D. (Editor), Trade Paperback - JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association May 27, 1992 vol. 267 no. 20.

In 1986, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wrote Blair House Manager, Mary Edith Wilroy on the occasion of her illness:

December 2nd, 1986, typed letter signed to Mary Edith Wilroy on the occasion of her illness. In 1963, Mrs. Wilroy hosted numerous dignitaries for the First Lady at Blair House during President Kennedy’s funeral.

1040 Fifth Avenue   
December 2, 1986
Dear Mrs. Wilroy,
I was most distressed to learn of your illness and want you to know that you are in my thoughts at this time.  I know how difficult these days are for you but you must continue to have courage and spirit.
I shall never think of Blair House without thinking of you.  You were so admired and respected by all those who worked or visited there.  I am sure they remember you with the greatest affection just as I do. 
With deepest friendship,
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos, Director
Loyola University New Orleans University Honors Program 
568 Monroe Hall 
Campus Box 75 
6363 St. Charles Avenue 
New Orleans, Louisiana 70118

DIRECT PHONE: (504) 864-7330
FAX NUMBER: (504) 864-7275
E-MAIL ADDRESS:  yavneh@loyno.edu

The Congressional Evolution of the United States of America 

Continental Congress of the United Colonies Presidents 
Sept. 5, 1774 to July 1, 1776

September 5, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 26, 1774
May 20, 1775
May 24, 1775
May 25, 1775
July 1, 1776

Commander-in-Chief United Colonies & States of America

George Washington: June 15, 1775 - December 23, 1783

Continental Congress of the United States Presidents 
July 2, 1776 to February 28, 1781

July 2, 1776
October 29, 1777
November 1, 1777
December 9, 1778
December 10, 1778
September 28, 1779
September 29, 1779
February 28, 1781

Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to March 3, 1789

March 1, 1781
July 6, 1781
July 10, 1781
Declined Office
July 10, 1781
November 4, 1781
November 5, 1781
November 3, 1782
November 4, 1782
November 2, 1783
November 3, 1783
June 3, 1784
November 30, 1784
November 22, 1785
November 23, 1785
June 5, 1786
June 6, 1786
February 1, 1787
February 2, 1787
January 21, 1788
January 22, 1788
January 21, 1789

Presidents of the United States of America

D-Democratic Party, F-Federalist Party, I-Independent, R-Republican Party, R* Republican Party of Jefferson & W-Whig Party 

 (1881 - 1881)
*Confederate States  of America

Chart Comparing Presidential Powers Click Here

United Colonies and States First Ladies

United Colonies Continental Congress
18th Century Term
09/05/74 – 10/22/74
Mary Williams Middleton (1741- 1761) Deceased
Henry Middleton
05/20/ 75 - 05/24/75
05/25/75 – 07/01/76
United States Continental Congress
07/02/76 – 10/29/77
Eleanor Ball Laurens (1731- 1770) Deceased
Henry Laurens
11/01/77 – 12/09/78
Sarah Livingston Jay (1756-1802)
12/ 10/78 – 09/28/78
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
09/29/79 – 02/28/81
United States in Congress Assembled
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
03/01/81 – 07/06/81
07/10/81 – 11/04/81
Jane Contee Hanson (1726-1812)
11/05/81 - 11/03/82
11/03/82 - 11/02/83
Sarah Morris Mifflin (1747-1790)
11/03/83 - 11/02/84
11/20/84 - 11/19/85
11/23/85 – 06/06/86
Rebecca Call Gorham (1744-1812)
06/06/86 - 02/01/87
02/02/87 - 01/21/88
01/22/88 - 01/29/89

Constitution of 1787
First Ladies
April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797
March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
Martha Wayles Jefferson Deceased
September 6, 1782  (Aged 33)
March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817
March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829
December 22, 1828 (aged 61)
February 5, 1819 (aged 35)
March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
April 4, 1841 – September 10, 1842
June 26, 1844 – March 4, 1845
March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849
March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850
July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853
March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
February 22, 1862 – May 10, 1865
April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
January 12, 1880 (Aged 43)
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
March 4, 1889 – October 25, 1892
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913
March 4, 1913 – August 6, 1914
December 18, 1915 – March 4, 1921
March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1929
March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969
January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974
August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
January 20, 2009 to date

Capitals of the United Colonies and States of America

Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
September 27, 1777
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
October 6, 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790
Dec. 6,1790 to May 14, 1800       
Washington DC
November 17,1800 to Present

Book a primary source exhibit and a professional speaker for your next event by contacting Historic.us today. Our Clients include many Fortune 500 companies, associations, non-profits, colleges, universities, national conventions, PR and advertising agencies. As a leading national exhibitor of primary sources, many of our clients have benefited from our historic displays that are designed to entertain and educate your target audience. Contact us to learn how you can join our "roster" of satisfied clientele today!

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Primary Source Exhibits

727-771-1776 | Exhibit Inquiries

202-239-1774 | Office

202-239-0037 FAX 

Dr. Naomi and Stanley Yavneh Klos, Principals


Primary Source exhibits are available for display in your community. The costs range from $1,000 to $35,000 depending on length of time on loan and the rarity of artifacts chosen. 

Website: www.Historic.us

U.S. Dollar Presidential Coin Mr. Klos vs Secretary Paulson - Click Here

The United Colonies of North America Continental Congress Presidents (1774-1776)
The United States of America Continental Congress Presidents (1776-1781)
The United States of America in Congress Assembled Presidents (1781-1789)
The United States of America Presidents and Commanders-in-Chiefs (1789-Present)

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