News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay

Rediff.com  » News » Remembering The Day JFK Died

Remembering The Day JFK Died

By REDIFF NEWS
November 22, 2023 08:05 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

On a sunny Texas day in November 60 years ago, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the president of the United States, and his elegant wife Jacqueline Lee 'Jackie' Bouvier Kennedy touched down in Air Force One at Dallas' Love Field just before noon.

She was pretty in pink from head to toe, including a fetching pink pillbox hat perched on her head. He, dashing as always, standing 6 ft 1, was outiftted in a grey suit and blue tie. They made a stunning couple.

The Kennedys got into the back seat of a black 1961 Lincoln Continental convertible limo with John Connally, then governor of Texas, and his wife Nellie and a posse of secret service agents. Their motorcade, flanked by plenty of police, whizzed off for a lunch engagement at a wholesale trade centre, the Dallas Market Center, downtown.

It was a 16 km ride and the route was charted out to give President Kennedy plenty of mileage to wave, greet and smile at the friendly Dallas folks.

As the cars took a left onto Elm Street through Dealy Plaza, near a warehouse for school textbooks, the Texas School Book Depository, Nellie Connally pleasantly remarked: 'Mr President, they can't make you believe now that there are not some in Dallas who love and appreciate you, can they?'

The 35th president of the United States of America, probably smilingly, said his last four words at 12.30 pm CST on November 22, 1963: 'No, they sure can't'.

He turned to wave at the crowds on his right and three fatal shots, fired by an assassin acting indepedently, Lee Harvey Oswald, from the depository, hit him -- the first entered his back, exiting his larynx and he slumped, the next hit his head and ended his life. Jackie held him muttering forlornly repeatedly: 'They have killed my husband...'

It was the fourth time in US history that an American president had been assassinated and killed.

 

IMAGE: Jackie and JFK arrive at Love Field in Dallas, Texas, less than an hour before his assassination on November 22, 1963.
This photo was taken by White House photographer Cecil Stoughton obtained from the John F Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. Photograph: JFK Library/The White House/Cecil Stoughton/Reuters

 

IMAGE: JFK greets crowds at a political rally in Fort Worth, Texas, several hours before his assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
This photo was taken by White House photographer Cecil Stoughton and was obtained from the John F Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. Photograph: JFK Library/The White House/Cecil Stoughton/Handout/Reuters

 

IMAGE: Born outside Boston, in Brookline, to a wealthy political family, Kennedy went to Harvard, graduating cum laude and served in the Pacific during World War II.
He worked as a journalist and then won a seat in the House of Representatives in 1947, serving the house for six years and the Senate for about seven years after that, before running for the presidency.
He married Jackie in 1953 and they had two children, John and Caroline.
He is seen here with his young son, John F Kennedy Jr, as they sit in a rowboat on the beach in Newport, Rhode Island. John Jr later died in an air crash and only Caroline survives. Photograph: JFK Presidential Library/The White House/Robert Knudsen/Reuters

 

IMAGE: Kennedy at a political rally in Fort Worth a few hours before his assassination in nearby Dallas. Photograph: JFK Library/The White House/Cecil Stoughton/Reuters

 

IMAGE: Speaking at a rally in Fort Worth.
This photo was taken by White House photographer Cecil Stoughton and was obtained from the John F Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.
Texas governor John Connally, who was seriously wounded in the assassination, is looking over the president's shoulder at right. Photograph: JFK Library/The White House/Cecil Stoughton/Reuters

 

IMAGE: Kennedy, Jackie, Connally, left, and his wife Nellie ride in the presidential motorcade through Dallas in this handout image taken on November 22, 1963. Photograph: Victor Hugo King/Library of Congress/Handout/Reuters

 

IMAGE: JFK's coffin, guarded around the clock, lies in melancholy repose in the East Room at the White House. Photograph: Kind courtesy Abbie Rowe/Wikimedia Commons

 

IMAGE: The grieving family in black: President Kennedy's brother Robert F Kennedy, sister Patricia Lawford, daughter Caroline Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy and his son John Jr depart the US Capitol, Washington, DC, after accompanying the president's casket to the Capitol rotunda in this November 24, 1963 photo. Photograph: Kind courtesy Wikimedia Commons

 

IMAGE: The slain president's coffin is taken from the US Capitol to St Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, DC for a funeral mass on November 25, 1963, that was attended by 1,200 US and interational dignitaries from 90 countries.
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit represented India. Photograph: Kind courtesy US Capitol/Wikimedia Commons

 

IMAGE: JFK was laid to rest at the Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, where an eternal flame was lit for him in 1967.
In this picture, Jackie Kennedy and their two children arrive at the US Capitol, the day before, with his brother Robert F Kennedy, who was assassinated too, five years later in Los Angeles. Photograph: Kind courtesy Abbie Rowe/Wikimedia Commons

 

IMAGE: An inscription reading RIP JFK adorns a slat of the wooden picket fence at the top of the 'Grassy Knoll' in Dealy Plaza in Dallas, November 22, 2013 on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.
The picket fence plays a major role in many conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination, with some theorists believing that one or more gunmen may have fired on the president from behind the fence in addition to suspect Lee Harvey Oswald who was in the Texas Schoolbook Depository building behind the president. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters

 

IMAGE: 50 years later: The Dallas Police Department Honorary Color Guard and the US Naval Academy Men's Glee Club pose in front of a giant JFK banner at the conclusion of ceremonies commemorating the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination in Dealey Plaza. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters

 

IMAGE: Members of a Dallas police department honor guard at the invocation in Dealey Plaza during ceremonies that marked the 50th anniversary ceremony. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters

 

IMAGE: Then Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick requests a moment of silence during a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination at the John F Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, November 22, 2013.
The moment of silence came at 1.58 pm, the time President Kennedy was declared dead in Dallas in 1963. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

 

IMAGE: People listen to the American national anthem during ceremonies commemorating the 50th anniversary of JFK's death at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, November 22, 2013. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters

Photographs curated by Manisha Kotian/Rediff.com

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
REDIFF NEWS
 
CHINESE CHALLENGE - 2022

CHINESE CHALLENGE