On the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy '40, Flyby presents a special collection of news stories from The Crimson's archives. Click on the headlines below to see more of The Crimson's coverage of the assassination and its aftermath, in Dallas and D.C., and at Harvard.
November 22, 1963: Kennedy Assassinated
The President of the United States was shot and killed early this afternoon in Dallas, Texas.
John F. Kennedy '40 was riding in a motorcade with Texas Gov. John Connally when three rifle shots rang out from the large crowd gathered in down-town Dallas.
The President slumped over on the seat of his car, blood pouring from a wound in his right temple. He was rushed to the emergency room of Parkland Hospital, where he died about 2 p.m. (EST). Gov. Connally was also shot and rushed to an emergency operation.
Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the thirty-sixth President of the United States at 2:39 p.m. (EST) on the Presidential plane at Dallas' Love Field. He was preparing to fly to Washington to take office.
November 22, 1963: Death of President Shocks Cambridge
People in Cambridge were finishing lunch when they heard that President John F. Kennedy was shot, and at 2:15 they know that he was dead.
On Massachusetts Avenue groups clustered by car windows to hear the radio. Transistor radios were everywhere. Students greeted each other with "He's dead," and in the restaurants the few diners spoke in low voices.
In Harvard Square of students were standing by the Kiosk, waiting for the extras to begin to arrive. A man in painter's overalls was arguing with a policeman about putting the flag over the Coop at half-meet.
The flags hanging in front of the brick final clubs were all at half-mast, and in Freedom Square a "Poonie told a friend he had just sent someone to buy two flags for the Castle.
November 22, 1963: J.F.K. Graduated Cum Laude, 1940
"Brave officer, able Senator, Son of Harvard; loyal to party, he remains stead-fast to principle." So read the inscription on the honorary Doctor of Laws degree conferred by Harvard on the then junior Senator from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy '40, at the 1957 Commencement ceremonies.
November 23, 1963: Editorial: President Kennedy
When John Fitzgerald Kennedy took the oath of the President of the United States on a snowy Spring day in 1961, he knew that the long, twilight struggle against tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself would not be finished in the first one hundred days, nor in the first one thousand days, It is not' yet one thousand days since he informed the world of the energy with which he would prosecute that struggle. But his part in it, though incomplete, is tragically done.
The shock of mourning for his brutal death cannot conceal his successes in that struggle. The old men dreamed dreams; the young men had visions. His vivid image of a peaceful revolution of hope animated his most active and effective role in the politics of this hemisphere. Knowing that a free society which cannot help the many who are poor, cannot save the few who are rich, he created the Alliance for Progress and the Peace Corps. He led the way to freer international trade for the United States and a greater economic unity for Europe. And in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, he concluded an historic treaty that remits the slow, agonizing enervation of mankind by the atom, that postpones a little longer man's destruction of himself.
November 23, 1963: President Assassinated in Dallas; University Mourns Kennedy's Death
It was reported from Dallas early this morning that Oswald has been charged by police with the murder of President Kennedy.
The President of the United States was shot and killed early yesterday afternoon in Dallas, Texas.
November 23, 1963: JFK Established Brilliant Record of Gov't Service
The assassination yesterday of President John F. Kennedy ended a brilliant public career. Born May 29, 1917, into a family with deep-rooted political interests, Mr. Kennedy achieved distinction as a naval officer and as a congressman and senator from Massachusetts. He became at 43 the thirty-fifth President of the United States and the youngest man ever elected to the Presidency. He was also the sixth alumnus of Harvard to attain the nation's highest office.
President Lyndon B. Johnson met briefly in Washington last night with top advisers to the Kennedy Administration, cabinet officers, and Congressional leaders of both parties and asked them all for "unity" in the time of national crisis.
November 23, 1963: Pusey: 'All of Us Are Stunned'
Leaders of the Harvard academic community and friends of the late President expressed grief and shock at yesterday's tragedy. Below are a few of their comments:
President Pusey: All of us are stunned by the death of President Kennedy. It is impossible to estimate what his passing means to our nation and people everywhere. He was one who made wise and effective use of the world of learning and we mourn him as a friend. His only ambition was to serve his country and he gave his life for it.
Classes in all branches of the University have been cancelled today. The action, taken in memory of the late President, is unprecedented in Harvard's history.
Following President Lyndon B. Johnson's proclamation of a day of national mourning, Harvard officials announced that none of the University's nine graduate schools or the College would hold classes. Widener, Lamont, and all main libraries will be closed.
The Harvard Yale football game, postponed following the President's assassination, was rescheduled for Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in New Haven, but The Game will not be televised. Today's meeting of Harvard's Board of Overseers has been postponed to Dec. 2.
All hour exams scheduled for today have been either postponed or cancelled.
—Compiled by Amy L. Weiss-Meyer