On November 22nd, 1963, John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States was assassinated while driving in a motorcade on the streets of Dallas. I strongly believe in marking these types of dates and trying to take something from them. Our past should always serve to remind us of something.
What I’m going to take from it this year is to remember that at the end of the day, despite our vast differences of opinion on the direction of the country and how to handle and deal with all the issues our country faces, we are still one country. When JFK was assassinated I believe that there were no Republicans or Democrats or Liberals or Conservatives that day. There were only Americans. The country mourned as one and we were shocked as one.
Here are some quick facts from Wiki
President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, at 12:30 p.m. CST on November 22, 1963, while on a political trip through Texas. He was struck by at least two bullets. Texas Governor John Connally, seated ahead of Kennedy, was also struck by a bullet, but survived.
Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested in a theatre about 80 minutes after the assassination and charged at 7:00 p.m. for killing a Dallas policeman by “murder with malice”, and also charged at 11:30 p.m. for the murder of Kennedy (there being no charge for “assassination” of a president at that time). Oswald denied shooting anyone; he claimed that he was being set up as a “patsy“, and that photographs of him holding the alleged murder weapon were fabrications. Oswald was fatally shot less than two days later in a Dallas police station by Jack Ruby, in front of live TV cameras. Consequently, Oswald’s guilt or innocence was never determined in a court of law, and some critics (such as New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, and conspiracy researchers Mark Lane and David Lifton) contend that Oswald was not involved at all and that he was framed.
Five days after Oswald was killed, President Lyndon B. Johnson created the Warren Commission—chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren—to investigate the assassination. It concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin. A later investigation in the 1970s by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) also concluded that Oswald was the assassin. The assassination was captured on Super 8 mm film by Dallas dress manufacturer Abraham Zapruder. The film shows President Kennedy clutching his throat after a bullet struck him. Shortly after, it shows the effect of the second, fatal blow to the head. There is visible blood spatter, and then the president slumps to his left onto the seat.
Kennedy suffered from a various amount of health problems, even during his years as president. He believed he did not have much time to live and wanted to accomplish what he could as soon as possible, thus gaining his way to the presidency at a young age.
Through 2006, Kennedy was the last President to die while still in office.
Through the election of 2004, Kennedy was the last Democrat from outside the South to be elected, and the last president to be elected while serving in the U.S. Senate.
Through 2006, at age 43, Kennedy was the youngest person ever elected President of the United States, but he was not the youngest ever to serve as President. (Theodore Roosevelt, while Vice-President and at age 42, was elevated to the Presidency following the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901. Roosevelt was subsequently elected to a full term as President in his own right when he was 46).
Kennedy was the first person born in the 20th century to serve as President of the United States. Four subsequent presidents were born before him (also in the 20th Century): Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Reagan.
Kennedy was a collector of scrimshaw carvings made by sailors from bones of whales and other marine mammals. His interest in scrimshaw helped to popularize this particular folk art.
Through 2006, Kennedy had the shortest life span of any President, and was the only US President to have been survived by both of his parents.
When Ruby was arrested immediately after the shooting, he told several witnesses that his killing of Oswald would show the world that “Jews have guts,” that he helped the city of Dallas “redeem” itself in the eyes of the public, and that Oswald’s death would spare Jacqueline Kennedy the ordeal of appearing at Oswald’s trial. Later, however, he claimed he shot Oswald on the spur of the moment when the opportunity presented itself, without considering any reason for doing so.
You can watch the actual assassination here, but be warned, it’s graphic.