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.

In Widener, a girl sobbed hysterically in the front lobby while her friend tried to comfort her. Upstairs students gathered in little groups across the reading room. One boy was asleep with his head on the table; across from him two others discussed whether or not to wake him.

In the doorways of dormitories in the Yard, freshmen sat on the stops listening to radios. Only Lamont Library seemed unperturbed; students with afternoon classes studied on.


Soon the bells at Memorial Church were tolling, and the flag at University Hall was at half-mast. A Student stood on the grass in the Yard, pounding a tree softly with his fist.

A man, his hat on the ground beside him, lay on his stomach crying. The men washing down the steps of Widener Library had stopped, and sat .

Outside the Yard, the beginning of a long stream of townspeople were entering St. Paul's Cathedral. Candles were lit, and thirty people, heads bowed against the pews, were praying.

A small boy stopped a reporter to ask if we would get another President.