#OnThisDay: John F. Kennedy Assassination

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

On this day, fifty-four years ago, then-President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in a motorcade parade in Dallas, Texas. To this day, Kennedy’s assassination has been shrouded in mystery and controversy.

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He became the fourth U.S. President assassinated in office and first since President William McKinley in 1901. Kennedy was rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital; however, he was pronounced dead at 1:00 PM (Wallenfledt, 2017).

The alleged murder, Lee Harvey Oswald, was arrested for shooting the president. Oswald was “… a former U.S. Marine who had embraced Marxism and defected for a time to the Soviet Union” (Wallenfledt, 2017). Two days later, Oswald did not tell his side of the story because his life was cut short. On live television, Dallas nightclub owner, Jack Ruby, shot and killed Oswald; he was convicted of the murder of Oswald but his conviction was overturned. While Ruby was awaiting his new trial, he died of cancer in 1967 (History.com Staff, 2011).

Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on November 25, 1963, in Washington, D.C. (“Arlington National Cemetery”, 2017).

Like the JFK assassination, the University Archives and Special has numerous collections focusing on politics such as the Ralph Gray, Harry Thompson, Charles LaFollette, and many other collections. Located in the Rice Library Digital Collection, there are numerous photographs in of the Sonny Brown collection when President Kennedy when he visited Evansville in 1960.


Arlington National Cemetery (2017). Retrieved on November 6, 2017, from http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Explore/Monuments-and-Memorials/President-John-F-Kennedy-Gravesite

History.com Staff (2011). Jack Ruby. Retrieved on November 6, 2017, from http://www.history.com/topics/jack-ruby

Wallenfledt, J. (27 October, 2017). Assassination of John F. Kennedy. Retrieved on November 6, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/event/assassination-of-John-F-Kennedy

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