city where john f kennedy was assassinated

The 35th President of the United States was assassinated in 1963 while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. On a historical note, Kennedy. The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 was a Department's transfer of Oswald from the city jail to the county jail. On November 22, 1963, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated while to the crowds as his motorcade moved from the airport through the city.

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: City where john f kennedy was assassinated

City where john f kennedy was assassinated
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365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4

John F. Kennedy and the 'return' of multilateralism

By Alessandro Gisotti

“We pray to God that the sacrifice of John Kennedy may be made to favor the cause he promoted and to help defend the freedom of peoples and peace in the world”. With these moving words, on 23 November 1963, Pope Paul VI recalled the figure of the President of the United States who had been brutally murdered in Dallas the day before. The Pontiff thus emphasized that combination of peace and freedom by commemorating the first Catholic president he had received in the Vatican, only months before his assassination.

Significantly, every year analyses and reflections on the “interrupted presidency” are made as we approach the anniversary of JFK’s death, a sign that despite the fact that almost 60 years have gone by, that political experience still holds a strong fascination and a value that goes beyond the borders of the United States. This year, for example, as we witness a “return” of multilateralism in international relations —  albeit not always with exciting results (see the Glasgow Climate Conference) — the contribution  John F. Kennedy offered during his thousand days of presidency in favor of a less unipolar international policy, one that was more inclined to dialogue and to multilateral instances, was recalled.

Speaking to L’Osservatore Romano, Agostino Giovagnoli, professor of Contemporary History at the Catholic University of Milan, said “Kennedy’s foreign policy was contradictory, as are often the foreign policies of many countries, especially in contemporary times, when the problems to be faced are many and complex. However, with his image of the New Frontier, he contributed to a climate of hope that is always the best ally of peace. In other words, he partly responded to the aspirations of peoples for international collaboration, something that was very strong in the early 1960s and whose main protagonist was Pope John XXIII, who did much to dissipate the leaden climate of the Cold War, to prevent a ‘hot’ war — for example on the occasion of the Cuban crisis — and to favor a more intense multilateralism, centred on the great international organizations, starting with the UN. Those were the crucial years of decolonization — 1961 was called the ‘year of independence’ — and it seemed that the world would be different with the presence of so many young peoples on the international scene”.     

“Kennedy was certainly an internationalist — underlines Ambassador Pasquale Ferrara, professor of Diplomacy and Negotiation at LUISS in Rome — but the sense of this political choice must be clarified. His phrase “let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate” is famous. He was not a city where john f kennedy was assassinated to the bitter end, but he believed in negotiation. He signed the first partial nuclear test ban treaty with the Soviet Union, a landmark agreement on arms control in the atomic age. I don’t know if you can call Kennedy a ‘multilateralist’ in today’s meaning of the term. The truth is that there were not many choices then. Today, while maintaining a strong commitment to the UN, the United States is very interested in creating thematic and selective coalitions on major global issues. In the Kennedy years, the fundamental objective of the USA remained that of making the Security Council and the Atlantic Alliance work: two multilateral institutions in their own right”.

One of the fathers of Europe, Jean Monnet, considered Kennedy an American president who was particularly sensitive to the process of European unification. After all, JFK was also the proponent of a closer Atlantic partnership, meeting, as is known, the opposition of Charles De Gaulle, in particular to the United Kingdom’s entry into  the European Community. Therefore, what remains today of the Kennedy presidency in the relationship between Washington and Brussels? “Kennedy — Professor Ferrara replies — tried to relaunch the political unity of the West. He went as far as proposing a collective Atlantic nuclear force, associating the European powers, starting from Great Britain, to its management. Today it is curious to note once again the disengagement of England from the EU and a trend towards a bilateralisation of security arrangements (as in the recent agreement between Greece and City where john f kennedy was assassinated. Not to mention the tensions on the eastern borders (Belarus, Ukraine), very different from those of the Cold War, but no less worrying. Kennedy’s legacy suggests that the ‘Europe of nations’ is much more fragile than the Europe of integration, both on the strategic and security level, and on the symbolic one, as a common political space”.

What is certain is that, even after more than half a century, the diplomatic solution to the Cuban crisis remains the highest and most dramatic moment on the international scene of that presidency. Agostino Giovagnoli is convinced of this. “John Kennedy — underlines the historian — made an important contribution to détente in the context of the Cold War. This was especially the case city where john f kennedy was assassinated the Cuban crisis of 1962, when the world was one step away from nuclear war: that danger induced the United States and the Soviet Union to stop before the irreparable and to start a dialogue that led to the dismantling of their respective missile bases in various countries — including Italy — and to develop a negotiation for the containment of nuclear weapons. In 1963, Kennedy visited Berlin — where a Wall that divided the city in two had been built in 1961 — and pronounced the famous phrase: Ich bin ein Berliner (“I am a Berliner”), which on the one hand expressed the full Western solidarity towards Berliners, but on the other hand, it recognized the Wall as a fait accompli that could no longer be questioned”. Kennedy, John xxiii, Khrushchev. The figure of the American president is often compared to the other two protagonists of those years. The themes of peace, dialogue and nuclear disarmament were certainly central to the Kennedy presidency, which also initiated military escalation in Vietnam. Lights and shadows, therefore, while the international appeal of the figure of the president killed in Dallas remains intact. “Kennedy’s appeal — Giovagnoli observes — was largely linked to the aspirations of a Western world that was increasingly more distant from the tragedy of the Second World War, that was archiving the asphyxiating climate of McCarthyist anti-communism, that was experiencing growing prosperity and dreaming of unlimited progress. It seemed possible that modernization and justice could be more and more closely linked”.

A charisma that was also linked to the “open” vision that Kennedy had of the world and international relations, after the horrors of World War II, which he had experienced first-hand as a naval officer stationed in the Pacific. “Compared to Kennedy’s time — Pasquale Ferrara points out —  the international context has changed profoundly. But one lesson remains highly relevant. Kennedy said that if we cannot iron out our differences, we can however create a world in which diversity does not necessarily constitute an insurmountable problem.  And today the theme of confronting the Western system with alternative systems is at the top of the international agenda”.


1963: Kennedy shot dead in Dallas

The President of the United States has been assassinated by a gunman in Dallas, Texas.

John F Kennedy was hit in the head and throat when three shots were fired at his open-topped car.

The presidential motorcade was travelling through the main business area of the city.

Texas Governor John Connally was also seriously injured when one of the unknown sniper's bullets hit him in the back.

The men were accompanied by their wives, who were both uninjured.

Vice-president Lyndon Johnson - who was following in a different car - has been sworn in as the new US leader.

The presidential party was driving from Dallas airport to the city centre when witnesses said shots were fired from the window of a building overlooking the road.

The president collapsed into Jackie Kennedy's arms, who was heard to cry "Oh no". Seconds later Governor Connally was also hit.

Dallas Times Herald photographer Bob Jackson was in the motorcade close behind the Democrat leader's car and heard the shots as it entered Dealey Plaza.

"As I looked up I saw a rifle being pulled back from a window - it might have been resting on the windowsill - I didn't see a man," he said.

Mr Kennedy's limousine was driven at speed to Parklands Hospital immediately after the shooting.


On this day in history: John F. Kennedy assassinated

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CP, The Canadian Press

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On this date, Nov. 22, in history:


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In 1718, the English pirate Blackbeard was killed during a battle off the Virginia coast. Blackbeard, whose real name was thought to be Edward Teach, and his gang of pirates had terrorized sailors on the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea for two years. They ambushed ships at dusk or dawn, when the pirates’ ship was hard to see.

In 1784, Parrtown was made the capital of New Brunswick. The name was changed to Saint John the following year, and the capital was moved to Fredericton in 1786.

In 1806, Le Canadien, the first all-French-language newspaper in Canada, and the Royal Gazette, the first newspaper in Newfoundland, were printed.

In 1852, Canadian Frederick Gisborne laid the first submarine cable in North America across the Northumberland Strait using an insulated wire that could not be damaged by salt water. It ran from Carleton Head, P.E.I., to Cape Tormentine, N.B.


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In 1890, French president Charles de Gaulle was born in Lille, France.

In 1906, the “S-O-S” distress signal was adopted at the second International Radio Telegraphic Convention in Berlin, replacing the call sign “CDQ,” sometimes explained as “Come Damn Quick.” The letters “SOS” are not an abbreviation or acronym but were selected because they are easy to transmit. Over the years though, it had been used as a mnemonic associated with such phrases as “Save Our Ships” or “Save Our Souls.”

In 1915, Canada issued a war loan of $50 million which was oversubscribed and later raised to $100 million.

In 1922, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair first opened its gates in Toronto. It since has been held annually, except during the Second World War years. Considered the largest indoor agricultural show in the world, the fair also signalled the emergence of the Royal Horse Show, one of Canada’s premier international equestrian events.


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In 1935, a flying boat named the China Clipper took off from Alameda, Calif. It carried more than 100,000 pieces of mail on the first trans-Pacific airmail flight.

In 1943, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek met in Cairo to discuss Second World War strategy against Japan.

In 1957, the first ship passed through the Iroquois Lock of the St. Lawrence Seaway at Cornwall, Ont. It is the most westerly of the seaway’s seven locks built on the 217-km stretch of the St. Lawrence river between Iroquois and Montreal. The other six were completed two years later when the seaway was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth on June 26, 1959.

In 1963, U.S. President John F. Kennedy was shot as he rode in a presidential motorcade in Dallas. He died minutes later in hospital and Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as president. The Warren Commission was appointed to investigate Kennedy’s murder and concluded Kennedy was killed by a single bullet fired by Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald himself was shot and city where john f kennedy was assassinated two days after the assassination by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby, while being transferred between jails.


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In 1963, C.S. Lewis, Anglican scholar, novelist and Christian apologist, died. Lewis was well-known for his children’s classic The Chronicles of Narnia.

In 1967, the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling on Israel to withdraw from territories it captured during the Six Day War the previous June. Resolution 242 also implicitly called on Israel’s adversaries to recognize the Jewish state’s right to exist. The resolution remains the basis of Middle East peace proposals.

In 1969, a group of Harvard scientists chemically isolated a single gene for the first time.

In 1973, in a TV address, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau asked City where john f kennedy was assassinated to voluntarily restrict their consumption of fuels and predicted an energy rationing program at the retail level would not be needed if Canadians co-operated.


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In 1975, Juan Carlos was proclaimed King of Spain following the death of longtime dictator Francisco Franco.

In 1977 British and French Concorde airliners made their first flights with fare-paying passengers to New York.

In 1980, Jules Leger, governor general of Canada from 1974-79, died at the age of 67.

In 1981, the Edmonton Eskimos won the Grey Cup, defeating the Ottawa Rough Riders 26-23 to become the first team to win the CFL championship four years in a row. The Eskimos made it five in a row the following year, beating the Toronto City where john f kennedy was assassinated 1986, Elzire Dionne, mother of the world famous Dionne quintuplets, died in North Bay, Ont., at the age of 77.

In 1986, Mike Tyson defeated Trevor Berbick by a knockout in the second round to win the World Boxing Council’s heavyweight championship in Las Vegas. At age 20 years and five months, he was the youngest heavyweight champion in history.


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In 1989, Lebanese President Rene Muawad was assassinated only 17 days after he was elected.

In 1990, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced her retirement after 11 years in the job. She had failed to win re-election to the Conservative party leadership on the first ballot by MPs. Thatcher was succeeded by John Major.

In 1993, a public inquiry into Canada’s blood system opened under Justice Horace Krever. The inquiry was charged with discovering how more than 1,000 hemophiliacs and blood transfusion patients contracted the AIDS virus from contaminated blood between 1980 and 1985.

In 1994, Romeo LeBlanc was named the first Acadian Governor General of Canada and the first from the Atlantic provinces.


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In 1995, the Senate passed Canada’s toughest gun-control legislation, making it mandatory to register all firearms, ban the importation and sale of a variety of handguns and impose a minimum four-year jail sentence for serious crimes committed with a gun.

In 1998, the CBS News program 60 Minutes aired videotape of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, an advocate of assisted suicide, administering lethal drugs to Thomas Youk, a terminally ill patient. (Kevorkian, who challenged prosecutors to charge him, was later convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 10 to 25 years in prison. He was released in 2007 after serving eight years.)

In 1999, skier Nancy Greene was voted Female Athlete of the Century in a survey of newspaper editors and broadcasters by The Canadian Press.


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In 1999, Wayne Gretzky was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame along with former referee Andy Van Hellemond and former referee-in-chief Ian (Scotty) Morrison.

In 1999, Larry Fisher was found guilty in the 1969 sex slaying of Saskatoon nursing assistant Gail Miller — a slaying for which David Milgaard was wrongly convicted and spent 23 years in prison. Fisher was later sentenced to life. (Fisher died in prison on June 9, 2015 at age 65.)

In 2001, Texas-based cosmetics magnate Mary Kay Ash died at age 83.

In 2003, the Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers played at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton in the first-ever outdoor NHL game, with Montreal winning 4-3. Earlier in the day, retired players from each team faced off in a 30-minute “Heritage Classic” match won by Edmonton 2-0.


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In 2004, Ralph Klein’s Progressive Conservative party won its 10th consecutive majority in the Alberta general election but with 11 seats less than what they took in a 2001 vote. (Tories 63, Liberals 15, NDP 5, Alliance 0.)

In 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper introduced a motion in Parliament that would recognize the Quebecois as a nation in a united Canada. The motion easily passed on Nov. 27 by a vote of 222-16.

In 2010, a stampede by thousands of panic-stricken festival-goers on an island in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, left 353 dead and nearly 400 more injured. People who tried to flee over a narrow bridge were crushed underfoot or fell over its sides and into the Bassac River below.

In 2010, Cincinnati City where john f kennedy was assassinated first baseman Joey Votto, of Toronto, was named the National League MVP.


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In 2013, 54 people, including three firefighters, were killed when sections of a supermarket’s roof collapsed during late afternoon shopping in Riga, Latvia.

In 2013, the city of Dallas unveiled a new monument at Dealey Plaza marking 50 years to the day since the assassination of U.S. president John. F. Kennedy. The plaque features the last paragraph of the speech he was set to give at a luncheon.

In 2016, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 19,000 for the first time.

In 2018, a Winnipeg man was sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for at least 10 years for sending letter bombs to his ex-wife and two lawyers in 2015, one of whom suffered serious injuries. Guido Amsel, 52, had earlier been convicted on four charges of attempted murder and numerous other offences.


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In 2018, Toronto’s St. Michael’s College School announced the principal and board president had resigned so the prestigious private all-boys Catholic school could move forward without distraction as it dealt with multiple allegations of assault and sexual assault by students. The resignations of principal Greg Reeves and board president Father Jefferson Thompson followed a wave of criticism after the school failed to promptly report the alleged incidents to police.

In 2018, Raj Grewal announced his immediate resignation as the Liberal MP for the Ontario riding of Brampton East, citing unspecified personal and medical reasons. The Prime Minister’s Office later said the resignation was prompted by a gambling problem.

In 2018, Montreal skier Erik Guay announced his retirement. The three-time Olympian earned 25 World Cup medals and captured three world championship medals, including two gold, over his career. He retired as Canada’s most decorated alpine skier.

In 2018, Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was named the most outstanding player at the CFL’s awards banquet in Edmonton. Mitchell had first won the award in 2016.

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On November 22nd, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas while traveling with his wife in a presidential motorcade. The reactions and repercussions of the assassination are flawlessly expressed in an interview of Ambassador Brandon H. Grove, Jr.:

“Much has been said about the shock and grief that followed not only in our country but all over the world. Kennedy was the post-war symbol of a revitalized America, a leader determined to move forward at home and abroad on the issues of his day.

His style, wit and elegance, his wife and children, captivated the media who made him larger than life and ignored his foibles….When he died, so, once again, did American innocence and a large piece of our native optimism….As individuals, we seem to have shorter time for being young.”

–Brandon H. Grove, Jr., Former Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo

Below, diplomats describe both their experiences with the assassination overseas and the reactions of the countries they were stationed it. William Bodde, Jr. was interviewed by Charles Stuart Kennedy in October 1998; Lucian Heichler was interviewed by Susan Klingaman in February 2000; Fisher Howe was interviewed by Kennedy in February 1998; James D. Phillips was interviewed by Kennedy in May 1998; Wells Stabler was interviewed by Kennedy in February 1991.

Elden Erickson was interviewed by Kennedy in June 1992; Robert Theodore Curran was interviewed by Kennedy in November 1998; Caroline Sure Dillon was interviewed Ruth Kahn in October 1990; Thompson R. Buchanan was interviewed by Charles Stuart Kennedy in March 1996; Ralph E. Lindstrom was interviewed by Kennedy in October 1994; William M. Rountree was interviewed by Arthur L. Lowrie in December 1989; Lawrence P. Taylor was interviewed by Charles Stuart Kennedy in April 1998.

Go here to read about JFK’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech.


Austria — William Bodde, Jr.

Jack Kennedy was assassinated while we were in Vienna and there was a tremendous outpouring of grief and sympathy….Austrians tend to be emotional, and the outpouring of sympathy was tremendous. Thousands of people came to the embassy to sign the condolence book….One of my most vivid memories of that time was the memorial mass for Kennedy held in St. Stephen’s Cathedral. As protocol officer I was very involved. Austrian Cardinal Koenig officiated at the mass. The huge church was packed. I sat next to the Nobel Prize author John Steinbeck. He wept throughout the ceremony.

Germany — Lucian Heichler

Like most people I remember exactly where I was when we got the news of the assassination. The cultural affairs officer was giving a reception for returning Fulbright students, to which I was invited. And a few minutes after the reception began, we got the news on the radio that Kennedy had been shot. And very quickly thereafter came confirmation that he had been killed. Well, the reception broke up instantly, as did everything all over Berlin. It was amazing. Theaters closed. Movie houses closed. Restaurants closed. Bars closed. The city died.…

I went to the “bunker” – a situation room we had at headquarters which was used for emergency situations – spent the night there with colleagues from the mission and the military, mostly trying to figure out what to do — protocol matters. Nobody knew what the protocol is when a sitting president dies. So we occupied our minds with that, and somebody was sent out to buy condolence books and this and that and the other thing, and it was a good way to keep from being emotionally overwhelmed. Nobody — but nobody — was prepared for the reaction of the Berliners — that once these condolence books had been placed in strategic locations, people would line up for days on end and blocks on end to sign them, millions of signatures. We got condolence notes from strangers, from neighbors, from waitresses who had once worked a cocktail party for us.

The Netherlands — Fisher Howe

We were having cocktails before a white-tie big diplomatic dinner dance when [Ambassador to Germany] George [McGhee] got word of the Kennedy assassination. The people all heard it and all knew that the party would be off….We got into a car, drove back immediately to the Netherlands, to Hague. It was a three-hour drive at least from Bonn to the Hague.…We went immediately to the embassy to make sure that things were in order, that the [condolence] book had been put out and all the rest of it. It was all well arranged. There was a line for 200 yards in front of the embassy of people — and here it was 1:00 in the morning — lined up to come in and sign the book. Everybody in The Hague had heard about it and came and needed to sign the book. I went out so see the line and there, well down the line, just standing like anybody else was the minister of agriculture who was a friend. A very moving experience.

France — James D. Phillips 

I was at a dinner party [in Paris] the night he was shot, November 22nd. Somebody at the party came late and said the radio reported the President was injured. I left city where john f kennedy was assassinated party to get more news. I walked to the Champs Elysées, close to the Arc de Triumph, at 11:00 p.m. to see if I could get an early edition newspaper. As I got close to the drug store just across the street from the Arc I could see several hundred people milling about outside and they were all sobbing, these were French people, and I thought the news must be really bad. Of course by then they knew he was dead. So that is how I learned. Everyone remembers where they were that day. I was moved by the French reaction, by the outpouring of grief. I was at the requiem mass at Nôtre Dame which de Gaulle attended. It is indelibly etched in my mind.

Wells Stabler 

It was interesting to see the lack of certainty on suntrust online banking login sign in part of the Gaullists as to what they should do. I happened to be in Nice [France] at the time that Kennedy was assassinated attending the Gaullists’ – UNR’s [Union for the New Republic party] – National Congress….The next morning I went to a plenary session of the UNR in a huge big hall and as I walked down to my seat it was interesting to me to see who amongst my French Gaullist friends would stop and say something to me and which would somehow look the other way….

It was the whole question of the relationship of the United States. They were mixing up their human sentiments with their belief that somehow the Gaullist party was not all that close to the United States. This was even more apparent on the stage of this hall where there was a flag pole of one sort or another. When I came in the French flag was flying right up at the top. One could see that there was a discussion going on, which seemed to relate to the flag. It was only during the course of the morning that they apparently resolved their problem and brought the flag down to half staff.

Again this was this sort of love/hate relationship. Some obviously said what did this have to do with us, this is the Gaullist party congress and why should the French flag take into account at all what’s happened. They did resolve this but it obviously took them some time to do so. This, I think, was not untypical of the dichotomy in their thinking in terms of the Gaullists at different levels. I think in the case of de Gaulle that he would not stoop to be quite so petty about something of this sort. I mean the grand gesture was part of his makeup. There was an extraordinarily beautiful Memorial Service for Kennedy in the Cathedral of Notre Dame which my wife and I attended. De Gaulle came and it was really a very emotional moment in which de Gaulle most willingly participated. Of course that was in 1963.

USSR — Thompson R. Buchanan

I was at the French commercial counselor’s smoking a large Cuban cigar, which was making me increasingly green when the Agence France Press correspondent went to the phone and came rushing back and told us the shocking news. I was happy to be able to dash out of the room at that point. The Russians treated this as though we had killed their leader. In a certain sense he was, for he was their ideal, the sort of young leader they would have liked to have had. So, there were recriminations from people in the streets of how could we have allowed this to happen. Khrushchev came and signed the condolence book at the embassy. It was a very moving period.

Consular affairs, of course, had a flap to find out what they could on Oswald, pull out the file. But the Soviet press didn’t publish it for obvious reasons. We, on the political side never thought this was a KGB plot to kill Kennedy. We just thought Oswald was a nut.

Ralph E. Lindstrom 

I remember learning about it on the Voice of America [while in Moscow]. Roger Kirk was living in the same building with me and he came up to tell us that Kennedy had been assassinated. We rushed down and listened to the commentary on Voice of America. And insofar as the Soviets were concerned, Khrushchev personally came over and signed the condolence book in the embassy and was crying. They’re very impressed by death, perhaps because at that time they didn’t believe there was any place else to go. I think insofar as the man on the street was concerned, I was traveling at that time, and we talked to city where john f kennedy was assassinated drivers, and the typical line was that Kennedy had been a great man. They didn’t say so while he was alive. But then they’d say that [Lyndon] Johnson is a very bad man. No real basis for that, just something they didn’t like about Johnson’s looks. It seemed to be almost a standard thing you’d pick up all across the Soviet Union. But they clearly seemed to be very sorry to see Kennedy perish that way.


India — Ernestine S. Heck

President Kennedy’s death had a tremendous impact [on India]….I for the next three years was the deputed person to go out and meet Indians of all types and levels of society and education, who came in bearing the most extraordinary range of gifts for Mrs. Kennedy usually, sometimes for the United States in general. These were almost always things that were handmade, and they were about President Kennedy or pictures of President Kennedy, articles about President Kennedy, poems to Mrs. Kennedy or to the children. I have seen his face woven into cloth, painted on things, wood-crafted, just an extraordinary range from the sublime to the ridiculous, but all very heartfelt.

We had a memorial service for him in the Anglican cathedral in town. The mob was tremendous. The church was absolutely packed, and there were people outside, and everyone wearing white. White in India is the color of mourning. People stopped you on the street to say how sorry they were. No, the outpouring from India was absolutely tremendous. President Kennedy grabbed the imagination of the world, certainly of the Asian world in a way that perhaps no one else had done, as far as I know, up till that time….We were joined by the love of many, many thousands of people in Bombay over the death of President Kennedy.

Japan — Elden B. Erickson

I was going to be the chief rapporteur for the Japan-U.S. Ministerial Conference. I had just gotten to Tokyo the day before and was staying with a USIA friend. He was called during the night and told about the attempted assassination–at that point he hadn’t died. He and I went down to the press club and watched the tickers come in. It was really a very exciting moment. The conference was canceled and I immediately went back to Osaka. There was the most remarkable outpouring of sympathy I have ever seen in my life. The Japanese, who never show emotion, would come up to you and cry and say how sorry they were to hear about the President. We had a service in Osaka and one in Kobe. Absolutely jammed packed. It is hard to think that the Japanese who are unemotional normally, would express themselves like that.

Middle East

Yemen — Robert Theodore Curran

I was in Aden [Yemen]…the morning we heard about it. The first reports were that he’d been shot but not killed, and by the time we got back to Taiz, we knew that the President was dead. Not only were the Americans struck, but the Yemenis were terribly, terribly affected. And we had a condolence book at the chargé’s house, Jim Cortada’s house, and I think it took us three days to accommodate all the people who wanted to express their grief.

Guests cried and tore their hair. I suppose there were two reasons. One is that they saw America as kind of being the “great hope of the world,” as it were. And I think Kennedy came across generally to the world as a new spirit in international relations.

So it was a very, very sad time, and the Yemenis were casting around for some way to honor the fallen President, and they fixed on the city water system for Taiz. And after a city where john f kennedy was assassinated, the Kennedy family agreed, so there exists still in Taiz the John F. Kennedy Municipal Water System.


Sudan — William M. Rountree

It came as a surprise to me that so many Sudanese all over the country felt a sense of personal loss in the death of City where john f kennedy was assassinated Kennedy. It became evident, not only in the Sudan but throughout the world, that the impact of John Kennedy had been much greater than Americans had imagined. In the Sudan I was attending a basketball game, an American team playing a Sudanese team, sitting next to President Abboud.

One of my embassy officers leaned over my shoulder and told me that my secretary was on the phone saying that the President had been assassinated. I said that couldn’t be true, the President was there. He said, “No, she means the President of the United States”. I left immediately for the Embassy and turned on the radio….Even as I listened to those early reports before President Kennedy’s death was actually confirmed, Sudanese — this was late at night — came to the Chancery door to express condolences. Many of them were weeping.

Within hours, every taxi in Khartoum had a black banner on its radio aerial. It was evident that people were not merely giving lip service, but felt his death very deeply and emotionally.

Latin America

Guatemala — Dr. Dorothy Dillon 

The Guatemalans started to pour into our office in USIA and pour into the embassy expressing their condolences and asking what had happened and could we explain it. It was simply a tremendous outpouring of sorrow and shock in the country. I didn’t leave Guatemala till January of 1966, and between November of ’63 and January 1966, I cannot tell you how many ceremonies and inaugurations I attended of schools, libraries, clubs, etc., all named in honor of John F. Kennedy.

Colombia — Lawrence P. Taylor 

It hit me like a sucker-punch in the solar plexus, but what was, I think, more interesting is the effect it had in the community. I’ll never forget it. I think that community and every community I knew of or later heard about in rural Colombia seemed to be as affected by that event as America was, and I still remember the endless lines of mules and horses and people that walked out of the countryside to come in and tell us, who were the only Americans they knew, how sorry they were and that in this Catholic country they all burned candles on the night after, when people knew that he had died.

The whole countryside, as far as an eye could see, was full of candles. There’s no electricity out there, but every little hut for as far as the eye could see had lit a candle in remembrance of President Kennedy. It was, in a depressing sense, kind of a magical moment.


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