On This Day, Nov. 22, 1963 – The Death of a President

JFK paper

1963 – President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. 

On November 21, the president and first lady departed on Air Force One for the two-day, five-city tour of Texas.

President Kennedy was aware that a feud among party leaders in Texas could jeopardize his chances of carrying the state in 1964, and one of his aims for the trip was to bring Democrats together. He also knew that a relatively small but vocal group of extremists was contributing to the political tensions in Texas and would likely make its presence felt — particularly in Dallas, where U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson had been physically attacked a month earlier after making a speech there. Nonetheless, JFK seemed to relish the prospect of leaving Washington, getting out among the people and into the political fray.

On Nov. 22, his procession left the airport and traveled along a ten-mile route that wound through downtown Dallas on the way to the Trade Mart where the President was scheduled to speak at a luncheon.

Crowds of excited people lined the streets and waved to the Kennedys. The car turned off Main Street at Dealey Plaza around 12:30 p.m. As it was passing the Texas School Book Depository, gunfire suddenly reverberated in the plaza.

Bullets struck the president’s neck and head and he slumped over toward Mrs. Kennedy. Texas Gov. John B. Connally was also hit in the chest.

The car sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital just a few minutes away. But little could be done for the President. A Catholic priest was summoned to administer the last rites, and at 1:00 p.m. John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead. Though seriously wounded, Governor Connally would recover.

Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson was then inaugurated as the 36th U.S. President.


1699 – A treaty was signed by Denmark, Russia, Saxony and Poland for the partitioning of the Swedish Empire.

1718 – English pirate Edward Teach (a.k.a. “Blackbeard”) was killed during a battle off the coast of North Carolina. British soldiers cornered him aboard his ship and killed him. He was shot and stabbed more than 25 times. Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina

1880 – Lillian Russell made her vaudeville debut in New York City.

1899 – The Marconi Wireless Company of America was incorporated in New Jersey.

1906 – The International Radio Telegraphic Convention in Berlin adopted the SOS distress signal.

1909 – Helen Hayes appeared on stage for the first time. She was a member of the cast of “In Old Dutch.”

1910 – Arthur F. Knight patented a steel shaft to replace wood shafts in golf clubs.

1928 – In Paris, “Bolero” by Maurice Ravel was first performed publicly.

1935 – The first trans-Pacific airmail flight began in Alameda, CA, when the flying boat known as the China Clipper left for Manila. The craft was carrying over 110,000 pieces of mail.

1942 – During World War II, the Battle of Stalingrad began.

1943President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek met in Cairo to discuss the measures for defeating Japan.

1950 – The lowest scoring game in the NBA was played. The Fort Wayne Pistons (later the Detroit Pistons) defeated the Minneapolis Lakers (later the Los Angeles Lakers) 19-18.

1967 – The U.N. Security Council approved Resolution 242. The resolution called for Israel to withdraw from territories it had captured in 1967 and called on adversaries to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

1972President Richard M. Nixon lifted a ban on American travel to Cuba. The ban had been put in place on February 8, 1963.

1974 – The U.N. General Assembly gave the Palestine Liberation Organization observer status.

1975 – Juan Carlos I was proclaimed King of Spain upon the death of Gen. Francisco Franco.

1977 – Regular passenger service on the Concorde began between New York and Europe.

1983 – The Bundestag approved NATO’s plan to deploy new U.S. nuclear missiles in West Germany.


1984 – Fred Rogers of PBS’ “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” presented a sweater to the Smithsonian Institution.

1985 – 38,648 immigrants became citizens of the United States. It was the largest swearing-in ceremony.

1986 – Attorney General Meese’s office discovered a memo in Col. Oliver North’s office that included an amount of money to be sent to the Contras from the profits of weapons sales to Iran.

1986 – Mike Tyson became the youngest to wear the world heavyweight-boxing crown. He was only 20 years and 4 months old.

1988 – The South African government announced it had joined Cuba and Angola in endorsing a plan to remove Cuban troops from Angola.

1989 – Rene Moawad, the president of Lebanon, was assassinated less than three weeks after taking office by a bomb that exploded next to his motorcade in West Beirut.

1990 – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced she would resign.

1993 – Mexico’s Senate overwhelmingly approved the North American Free Trade Agreement.

1998 – CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired a tape of Jack Kevorkian giving lethal drugs in an assisted suicide of a terminally ill patient. Kevorkian was later sentenced to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder.

2005 – Angela Merkel was elected as Germany’s first female chancellor.

 

Source: JFKLibrary.org; On-This-Day.com