Where were you on November 22, 1963?
Today marks 53 years since John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated while riding in his motorcade in Dallas, Texas.
The president embarked on a two day trip to Texas which began in San Antonio on November 21st for a dedication speech for U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base, followed by a testimonial dinner at the Rice Hotel in Houston honoring Congressman Albert Thomas. From then, he went to Forth Worth. The next morning, November 22nd, President Kennedy gave a Chamber of Commerce speech at the Hotel Texas.
President Kennedy, along with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and his presidential entourage, arrived at Dallas Love Field where they would begin their journey to the Trade Mart where the president was scheduled to give a speech during a luncheon, then off to Austin for a fundraising dinner.
As the president’s motorcade made a left turn on Elm Street en route to the luncheon, with the First Lady and Governor John Connolly and his wife also in the car, three shots were fired (soon discovered to be from Lee Harvey Oswald) from the Texas School Book Depository.
The last shot mortally wounded President Kennedy and he was pronounced dead at 1:00PM CST, with the official announcement at 1:30PM CST, unbeknownst to the American public, until 2:38 PM EST when CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite made that somber statement which confirmed the president’s death.
A mourning nation tuned in to watch President Kennedy’s state funeral which took place in Washington, D.C. three days following the assassination.
John F. Kennedy was our president for less than three years. He gave Americans a sense of purpose and hope to look forward to, despite the difficulties citizens faced at that time. He was not perfect and had political setbacks, but he always kept the faith that our country would continue to move towards greatness.
President Kennedy’s life was cut way too soon, and he will forever be etched in our minds as the handsome and charismatic 46-year-old man who had so much more to accomplish, but he is known as one of the greatest presidents of the United States.
For a photo timeline of President Kennedy in Texas, check out Newsday’s article here.