U.S. #1287 – For many Americans, his administration gave hope for a better future.

President Kennedy Killed

On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated while campaigning in Dallas, Texas.

John Kennedy brought an air of optimism to the White House and the country. He seemed to be made for the age of television, and the media and public were interested in his presidency and young family. His first year in office was difficult and some of his decisions accented his lack of political experience.

U.S. #1246 pictures Kennedy an the eternal flame at Arlington.

The failed Bay of Pigs invasion and dealings with Soviet leader Khrushchev gave critics an opportunity to judge his presidency as a failure while it was in its early stages. Kennedy later showed strength and restraint during the Cuban Missile Crisis, which could have led to nuclear war. Instead, the President forced the Soviet Union to remove their missiles from Cuba. This determination was displayed again during successful negotiations of a partial nuclear test ban treaty.

Item #81606 – Cover cancelled on the anniversary of Kennedy’s death in Dallas, Texas.

By the fall of 1963, Kennedy was planning his re-election campaign and knew Texas votes would be crucial in order to win a second term. In November 1963, he began a tour of five cities to gain support and try to bring feuding Democrats together. On the morning of the 22nd, he and Mrs. Kennedy arrived in Dallas and began a 10-mile trip in a convertible Lincoln Continental. Along the way, rifle shots hit the President. He was pronounced dead within minutes. The nation immediately began to mourn and news stations provided continuous coverage. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the crime, but was never brought to trial. He was shot and killed while being transferred by police.

Item #97704 – Commemorative medal cover honoring Kennedy’s birthday.

After Kennedy’s death, plans were made to bury him in Massachusetts near his parents and infant son (who had died in August, just days after birth). Instead, it was decided the President’s grave would be at Arlington National Cemetery. On Sunday, November 24, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy requested an eternal flame be added to the grave site. The Army Corps of Engineers worked through the night to construct a temporary flame. The next day, Mrs. Kennedy lit the flame using a candle, then Kennedy brothers Robert and Edward symbolically lit it after her. The grave was just temporary, and it would be years before a permanent site was in place.

U.S. #1503– Johnson was sworn in as President immediately following Kennedy’s death. He later passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act in Kennedy’s honor.

Work began immediately on a permanent grave that would be a fitting memorial for the popular President, without detracting from the overall atmosphere of the cemetery. The design was made public almost a year after Kennedy’s death. It included a simple grave with a headstone set flat in the ground. Taken from a quarry on Cape Cod where the President spent his summers, fieldstones surrounded his grave.

After more than two years of work, the site was finally completed in March 1967. The memorial was dedicated on the 15th in a ceremony presided over by Cardinal Cushing of Boston. More than 50,000 people visited Kennedy’s burial site in the first few years. It continues to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in Washington, D.C., and has brought many visitors to Arlington.

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  1. Mrs. Kennedy lit a flame for her fallen husband, but for me, a young 21 year old idealist, a flame died in my heart on November 22, 1963. Many more tragedies followed as the 1960s progressed.

  2. Great President and human he was and most friendly with our Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
    He visited India and showed his interest towards India’s development.

  3. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Camelot was over! I had just landed from a morning flight and we were called into the briefing room to the announcement that the President had been shot in Dallas. Our alert status was upgraded. Later we learned that he had died. It was Thanksgiving week-end and everyone stayed glued to there TV to watch the events surrounding his death and funeral. We were shocked when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswalt right there on live TV. It was a day that changed history forever.

    1. Again I enjoy these mini history lessons, I’m always learning something new. In January 1965, I was in the Air Force, just married, and we were on our way from Boston to Mc Dill AFB. We stopped for the night around Washington and in the mornng we visited Arlington with the specific purpose of seeing Kennedy’s grave. Over the years I never realized we were visiting a temporary grave site. Now I will have to go back and see the permenant memorial. Thanks again Mystic!

  4. As a former member of the the “Old Guard” thus day always reminds me of the loss felt by the entire world.

  5. I remember this like it was yesterday. My future husband and I were Freshmen in high school.The announcement was a shock—what happened ?? No one could believe it or did we know what to do with the news.We came home from school and turned on the TV. It stayed on through the funeral on Monday !! My parents took my sister and I to Washington on that Friday. We saw the eternal flame
    on the Presidents grave. All the flowers around the grave site and the white picket fence that keep the flowers from being disturbed from ALL the people who came to see him. Since that day my family has been to Arlington to see the finished grave site…This still brings me to tears……………

  6. I will never forget where I was when these four events took place in my world. (1) The assassination of President Kennedy, (2) The explosion of the shuttle Challenger during takeoff , (3) The breakup of the shuttle Columbia during reentry and (4) the horrible 9/11 attacks.

  7. I was a sophomore in high school and we were in history class when our teacher was called from the room and came back a few minutes later in tears. School was cancelled and we all went home and were glued to the TV for the rest of the weekend. What a tumultuous decade the sixties were: the cold war, nuclear brinksmanship, assassinations, civil rights, riots, VietNam — to name a few. Thanks for TDIH, Mystic.

    1. I was stationed over in Germany in the Army when my Commander-in-Chief was assassinated. It was an unbelievable event. All the men in our unit were saddened by this. The next day we payed a ceremonial tribute to him with a 21 gun salute and taps was bugled. Very befitting for our President.

  8. “The faith, the devotion, which we lend to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so my fellow Americans, Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

  9. A day I would never forget. I was in my third year in college and I was traveling through Dallas on my way for an interview at the medical school in North Carolina. As a college student, he President was my admiration and idolization. The unfortunate event gave me pains in my hear till today.It was unbelievable that it happened again 5 years later, while I was living in Los Angeles, my hope for a great President was shattered when Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in the city I resided. These two American tragedies live in my memory till this day.

  10. This tragic event will always be very vivid in my memory. My father, was at Carswell AFB in Fort Worth and saw the President both land and take-off for Love Field in Dallas that day. My mother was at the breakfast for President and Ms. Kennedy in Fort Worth that morning then from her office in downtown Dallas watched as the motorcade passed below her window. They were invited to the President’s fund raising dinner in Austin that was to be hosted by our family friend Gov. John Connally that evening. I was in the 8th grade and in English class when the announcement was made over the school PA system at 1pm and went home immediately. All the teachers and grils were crying. I was a newspaper carrier for The Fort Worth Star Telegram, delivered the huge special edition paper to everyone on my 6 mile paper route. My mother’s boss Mr Story was named to the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination. Neither he nor any of our family were ever satisfied with the conclusions reached by the commission. There were and still are too many unanswered questions about who was behind the assassination and who all were involved. I think about that every year at this time. Similar to Lincoln’s, I do not believe Americans will every know the real truth.

    1. One day when the last of those who have been killing the folks who have been telling the truth, are dead and gone, the truth of the multiple shooters, and the folks like LBJ, Allen Dulles, George HW Bush, several mafia and CIA operatives who knew about it before it happened, will be known. This is one of the longest running deceptions, in world history, and many witnesses have been killed to keep the truth from being revealed, but a tipping point will come. When it does, the list of bad guys in American history will have the new names of those indicated above.

  11. Mike Schaffer apparently is one of those nut cases who has to have a conspiracy behind every event in history…Pearl Harbor, Kennedy assassination, King assassination, 9/11 Twin Towers, etc.

  12. As a radio operator, RCN, serving on a frigate in the Pacific I copied many, many, many, words and speeches of President Kennedy during the Cuban Missile crisis. All done with a pencil copying down those words, in morse code. At age 21 I was sure we were going into a real rough period.

    As a radio operator, RCN, I was serving in a destroyer. We arrived in San Diego and were securing to a jetty when the assassination occurred. My first thoughts were likely “Here we go again; maybe this will be rough!”

    Now retired, my stamp collection reminds me of some of my life challenges.

    Today we need a Kennedy who would realize this new “terrorist” war has only one solution – winning at all costs. His strength is not being displayed.

  13. I can remember where I was at when the news hit the radio. It was like cutting my heart out of my body. I went on to work. The city where I lived and worked of 165,000 was almost totally shut down. One of the saddest days of my life. Thanks Mystic for these daily posts.

  14. Life is so precious and on that day I was home from school for my grandfather’s funeral. I was already feeling empty and when the news came over the radio that the President had been shot, it drove that empty feeling even deeper. President Kennedy had given hpoe and courage to strive for a better country. My prayer is for our leaders is to come togeather and once againt rekindle the that hope and courage that I had felt from the Presidents leadership. For my generation, we did lose our innocents at what happened in Dallas. I have read the President’s book (Profiles in Courage) and have tried to instill in my children, grandchildren the courage to put the good of our country forward and to help all to be better people.

  15. While NEVER advocating murder, it’s hard to believe a dedicated man of the people like JFK was assassinated while the joker who claims to be president today does nothing but torture his people with an agenda that benefits Communism, Socialism, and the destruction of America. God Bless you John. Consider yourself lucky. You wouldn’t like what’s being done to your country and its people these days!

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