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Kennedy Assassination

November 25, 1963

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Kennedy Assassination

November 22, 1963
November 23, 1963
November 24, 1963
November 25, 1963
Lee Harvey Oswald

Kennedy Family Tree

Single Bullet Theory

Kennedy Gravesite

Personal Accounts

John F. Kennedy's
Inaugural Address

Kennedy, Lincoln similarities

Inaugural Address (13 MB )
"Ask not..." excerpt
Official death announcement
Cronkite - Kennedy shot
Cronkite - Kennedy dead
Oswald shot NBC TV
Oswald shot CBS TV

Monday, November 25, 1963
Page One

This was John F. Kennedy Jr.'s third birthday and the day began with his sister Caroline and nanny Maude Shaw singing "Happy Birthday" to him.

.At 10:50 a.m. The Kennedy family assembled at the Capitol to be with John F. Kennedy on his final journey. The servicemen from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard worried. The coffin was especially heavy and downhill is difficult. They practiced all night.
John F Kennedy coffin
Coffin bearing the body of John F. Kennedy is carried down Capitol steps. Kennedy family at left, above gun carriage.

As the President's body was borne down the steps the band played a slow version of "Hail to the Chief" and "the Navy Hymn."

The cortege carried President Kennedy to the White House, where President and Mrs. Johnson, more family members, friends, Congressional leaders, Joint Chiefs and world diplomats and heads of state had assembled to escort the slain Kennedy to St. Matthews Cathedral for his funeral Mass. The mourners were to walk behind the cortege.

Kennedy Funeral
Six matched grays draw the caisson. In military tradition, the right side horses are saddled but riderless.

The entire trip, from Capitol to White House, to St. Matthews Cathedral to Arlington would be six miles. An estimated one million people lined the route.

Bobby Kennedy jackie Kennedy
From Left. Jackie Kennedy's half brother, James Auchincloss, Lady Bird Johnson, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Sargent Shriver Jacqueline Kennedy, brother-in-law Stephen Smith and Senator Edward Kennedy.

Above is one of the images indelibly impressed on the collective memory, the mourners walking the eight blocks from the White House to St. Matthews Cathedral. If the Kennedy family was as close as America gets to royalty, then indeed Jackie Kennedy presented a regal appearance. Her face etched in pain visible even behind the veil, her demeanor never waivered and her step never faltered.

Among the world leaders in attendance were Britain's Prince Philip and Prime Minister Douglas-Home, France's President Charles de Gaulle, Greece's Queen Frederika, Japan's Crown Prince Akihito, Belgium's King Baudouin, Russia's Deputy Premier Mikoyan, Ethiopia's Emperor Haile Selassie, Ireland's President De Valera, Canada's Prime Minister Pearson, Germany's Chancellor Erhard, and the Philippine's President Macapagal.

Martin Luther King, who would fall to an assassin's bullet in April of 1968 was in attendance.

Over 90 national flags would go to half-staff in their native countries. The Panama Canal would briefly close. Athens policeman stopped traffic.

This pageantry was a security nightmare. 4,000 armed men protected the route. It is a miracle that no incident occurred.

Richard Cardinal Cushing blesses the coffin before services.
Although Caroline and John-John had riden to the Cathedral in a limousine, once at the steps they returned to their mother's care.

The pontifical requiem mass was performed by Richard Cardinal Cushing, who had officiated at the marriage of John and Jackie Kennedy, spoken at his Inaugural, and christened the children. Per Mrs. Kennedy's request, it was a low mass.

Joining dignitaries was the Kennedy family save for the ailing patriarch Joseph.

Jackie Kennedy had asked that Secret Service Agent Clint Hill, the one who had climbed aboard that limousine in Dallas, sit directly behind her in the church.

John salutes
John F. Kennedy Jr. salutes his father's coffin
Luigi Verna of Boston sang Ave Maria as he had at their wedding.

Philip Hannan, Auxillary Bishop of Washington, at the Kennedy's family request read Bible passages they had chosen and excerpts from the Inaugural Address.

But the most poignant moment was yet to come. On the steps outside St. Matthews Cathedral, we saw Jackie Kennedy lean over and whisper to young John-John.

Smart and crisp, John F. Kennedy Jr. saluted his father's departing coffin.
John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address
January 20, 1961

"And so, my fellow Americans
Ask not what your country can do for you
Ask what you can do for your country"
Audio clip of this excerpt

For complete text & audio, click below
Kennedy Inaugural Address

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