Monday, November 18, 2013


It was 50 years ago, on Friday, November 22, 1963, that President John Kennedy was killed as he rode in a motorcade through downtown Dallas, Texas.

  Before... The motorcade in Dallas: President & Mrs. Kennedy; 
    Governor & Mrs. John Connally of Texas are seated in front of them

                                   After...         JFK Lying in State

The president's body lay in state first at the White House in the East Room, then at the Capitol on November 24. Mourners were to be able file past the body and pay their respects till 9:00 p.m., but it was necessary to keep the room open all night long; in all, more than 250,000 people filed past President's Kennedy's casket.

                     Procession, front of the Capitol Building:
                Kennedy's two little children are on the far right of this picture.

                               Procession going down Pennsylvania Ave.

    Part of the funeral procession included Blackjack, the riderless horse:
 note the boots are in the stirrups backwards.

His family intended for his oldest brother, Joe, to run for President one day. When he died in World War 2, John or "Jack" was their next choice, although his brothers Ted and Robert (Bobby) also served in public offices.

John Kennedy served in the Navy during World War 2, and saved his crewmates after their boat was sunk. Read more about JFK and his boat, PT-109, at:

He began the Peace Corps in 1960, which is still active today.

                               Peace Corps volunteers work all over the world.

He supported our space program, vowing to land a man on the moon by the end of the 1960's, and indeed we accomplished that. Unfortunately, he didn't live to see it happen (what year was that???)

He worked to achieve civil rights for minorities, and increased the minimum wage of that time. He and his wife, Jackie, brought more culture into the White House with guest performances and artwork. Recognizing the White House as an important part of American history, Jackie supervised some restoration of it and brought back furniture from the early years of the White House that had been in storage. Here are some pictures:

JFK only served 1,063 days as the President. He was the youngest elected president, at age 43, and the first president born in the 20th century. He was extremely wealthy, so he donated his wages as president ($100,000 at the time) to charity.

Technology was much less advanced: there were no cell phones-reporters scrambled for a pay phone or some way to call in their information- TV cameras had to warm up before they were ready to use, and there was no internet; but  this event was one of the first to have non-stop television coverage. It included the announcement of the assassination, the arrival of the body in Washington, and the funeral, but also the murder of the suspect, Lee Oswald, as people watched on national TV.

There was a great deal of speculation as to whether there was a conspiracy involved in Kennedy's death, and the Warren Commission Report was highly controversial-many still don't believe the report is accurate. This was a topic that remained in the news for years afterwards.

What difference did his assassination make? Why does it have anything to do with us today?

In a strictly historical sense, it's rare to have a President assassinated, but we should also take note of what the world was like at that time. What do you know about the Cold War? Who was Nikita Khruschev? What is the Bay of Pigs? What did Kennedy do for the Civil Rights movement? Do you think he might have handled U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia differently than his successor, Lyndon Johnson?  How did his death permanently influence the mood of our country? Is his death the point at which we became less trusting of our government? Why?

Read about the Bay of Pigs here:  

And about the Vietnam War here: 

If you were around at the time Kennedy was assassinated and remember those days, be sure to talk to younger people about it. If you are a young person, ask a parent or grandparent what it was like.

Triogenius uncovered some  surprising coincidences between President Kennedy and President Abraham Lincoln. Did you know....?

Both of them were second children and were named for their grandfathers
Both had friends named Adlai E. Stevenson
Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.
Lincoln was elected President in 1860. Kennedy was elected president in 1960.
Both of their names have 7 letters.
Both were over 6' tall.
Both of their Vice Presidents were named Johnson.
Lincoln's VP, Andrew Johnson, was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, Kennedy's VP, was born in 1908.
Kennedy had a secretary named Evelyn Lincoln.
Kennedy was riding in a Lincoln (part of Ford automobiles)when he was shot; Lincoln was attending Ford's Theater.
Both were killed on a Friday.
Both were killed with their wives sitting next to them.
Both were in the company of another couple; both of the other men were also wounded.
Both assassins were killed before they could be brought to trial.
Lincoln's murderer killed him in a theater and was apprehended in a warehouse/shed; Kennedy's murderer killed him from a warehouse and was apprehended in a theater.
Both had sons who died while their fathers were in office.

You may also find it interesting to note that Clint Hill, the bodyguard for Jaqueline Kennedy, is a graduate of Concordia University.

Visit the the JFK National Historic Site  online at:

JFK was the 2nd president buried at Arlington Cemetery--see the Triogenius 5-20-2013 post.
JFK's Inaugural Speech including the words:                
              "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

We should not let our fears hold us back
 from pursuing our hopes.
               -John F. Kennedy
               35th President, United States of America

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