November 23, 2019

Preview of our 2019 special offers for the holidays

Last night we made a video announcing our holiday offer of a choice of six different gifts for orders made before midnight Eastern on Monday, December 2. This coming Monday, November 25, we'll post the video and send out email to everyone, but I wanted you to know in advance.

In fact, we made a second video for you, our biggest supporters.  I wanted to tell you not only about those holiday offers, but also highlight four special products that we're almost out of so you'll have the first chance at them: 

So watch the video, and you'll find additional details on the six free gifts here.

And finally, our newest gift: The gift of History Camp with a gift certificate good for any History Camp. Next year History Camps will be held in Boston, Holyoke, MA, Philadelphia, Fairfax, VA, Des Moines, and Denver. The gift recipient can pick their camp and the year they want to attend. They will get a History Camp t-shirt, full registration to any one of these History Camps or any History Camp in the future, and merchandise from The History List store.

Thanks for your continued support of The History List. 

Happy Thanksgiving.

— Lee Wright  |  Founder  |  The History List  |  History Camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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April 11, 2019

Patriots Day events for this year

1775

Much of the information below was compiled and published by the Battle Road Organization on their site. The volunteers who compiled it deserve all of the credit for pulling it together and our thanks for bringing to life these events every year. The groups that make up the Battle Road Organization are listed below. We've updated links, added information from the National Park Service and others, and organized it in a way that to makes it easy for folks planning their outing. 

Additionally, J. L. Bell has a good write up on some of the events here on his outstanding site, Boston 1775.

The information below focuses mainly on activities in Lexington and Concord, if you are in another community that is holding Patriots Day events, send us a link to your event listing and we'll include that link on this page.  Also if you have questions, corrections, or suggestions, please send us a note. If you'd like to receive an easy-to-scan list of history events and exhibits throughout New England every week, subscribe here.

You may also watch a part of last year's Patriots Day weekend activities taken at Minute Man National Historical Park in our Youtube channel.

 

Lee Wright  |  Founder  |  The History List History Camp

 

 

April 13 — Saturday

→ Information on parking around Minute Man is at the bottom.

The "Battle Road" event will focus on Parker’s Revenge, near the Route 2A Visitors Center and the Whittimore House in Lexington.

  • Parker’s Revenge - 9:30 am at Lexington Battle Green. Lexington Minutemen gather on the Battle Green to reenact the second call to arms for Captain John Parker. Following this event, the Minutemen march up Mass Ave to Fiske Hill before continuing on to the Parker’s Revenge site in the Minute Man National Park for a skirmish reenactment.
  • Caught in the Storm of War: Civilians of April 19th - From 9:30 am - 12:15 pm at  Captain William Smith House, Lincoln. Learn about the local civilians on April 19, 1775. Once the refugees leave the Smith house, you may encounter them along the Battle Road Trail heading towards Lexington and the Minute Man Visitor Center just prior the Parker’s Revenge Scenario.
  • Buckman Tavern Tours & #Alarmed!: 18th Century Social Media exhibit - From 9:30 am - 4:00 pm across from the Battle Green. This exhibit explores how news of the Battle of Lexington went viral 250 years ago, and lets visitors imagine how colonials might have made use of our modern media tools to kick start a revolution. Free with admission to Buckman Tavern.
  • Explore Bloody Angle – Starting at 10:00 am at Bloody Angle, Lincoln, MA. Parking at Hartwell Tavern parking lot.  A walking tour of Bloody Angle with park volunteer Ed Hurley as Edmund Forster.  See Events at Minuteman National Park for details.
  • Parker's March and Wreath laying - Starting at 12:00 pm at Battle Road near the Minute Man National Park Visitor Center. Lexington Minutemen lay a wreath at the site of the Parker’s Revenge skirmish, which occurred when the Lexington Militia Company under Capt. John Parker ambushed the retreating Redcoats near the Lexington-Lincoln town line.
  • “Parker’s Revenge” Battle Demonstration – Starting at 12:45 pm at Battle Road Trail behind Minute Man Visitor Center, Lexington. Limited parking is available at Minuteman Regional High School. Watch as a procession of civilian evacuees fleeing their homes before the fighting begins. This will be immediately followed by a battle demonstration as hundreds of British and colonial Reenactors engage in a tactical weapons demonstration with musket firing and fast-paced battle action along a stretch of the actual Battle Road of 1775.
  • Patriot Fife and Drum at Paul Revere House – Starting at 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. Enjoy a concert of the lively music that colonists marched to during the Revolutionary War.   Small admission fee applies.
  • Re-enactors assemble at Munroe Tavern from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Munroe Tavern, Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington.  British troops arrive on the retreat from Concord and occupy the Tavern, tending to their wounded and planning their next steps.
  • Tower Park Fife and Drum Performance by the Third US Infantry Regiment – Starting at 3:00 pm at Munroe Tavern and Tower Park, Mass Ave. Performed by the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army, serving the nation since 1784.
  • Tower Park Battle from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Munroe Tavern and Tower Park on Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington. A battle in the American Revolution will be demonstrated for the public in this natural amphitheater site. Contact: Lexington Minutemen or the Tenth Regiment of Foot.
  • Tours of Lexington sites
    • Jason Russell House in Arlington will be open for tours from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  Contact the Arlington Historical Society for further information.
    • Buckman Tavern  - self-paced audio tours
    • Hancock Clarke House - guide-led tours every half-hour starting at 10am
    • Munroe Tavern - self-guided and guided tours starting at 12 noon
    • Whittemore House - Kids can try on colonial children's clothing, gather ingredients for a meal, and listen to stories about the Whittemore family and their experience on April 19, 1775.

 

April 14 — Sunday

  • Tough Ruck - Starting at 7:00 am at Old Manse field. Military personnel in partnership with the Boston Athletic Association (Boston Marathon organizers) will march for 26.2 miles along the Battle Road Trail in memory of our fallen soldiers.  "Step off" is at the Old Manse field, next to the North Bridge. Come out and support them! Captain David Brown's Company of Minute Men will fire a musket volley at the start of the march. More info: Tough Ruck website
  • Jason Russell House Battle Re-enactment at noon: Battle Re-enactment open for house tours through the afternoon. Contact the Menotomy Minutemen or Arlington Historical Society.
  • Warlike Preparations and the Search of the Barrett Property at Colonel Barrett House from 1 to 4 pm:  Visit the Col. Barrett House, experience the intense military preparations and search by British soldiers that launched America into the Revolutionary War.  448 Barrett’s Mill Rd, Concord. See Events at Minuteman National Park for details.
  • Arlington Patriots Day Parade at 2:00 pm. Starts at Mass Ave and Brattle Street, and marches east along Mass Ave to Walgreens in East Arlington - Bands, fire engines, and many minutemen, militia, and community groups march in the parade.
  • Lincoln Salute: Festival of 18th Century Fife & Drum Music Pierce Park, 17 Weston Road, Lincoln, MA  2:00 pm - 3:30 p.m. The Lincoln Minute Men host fife and drum groups from as far away as Michigan in a musical performance for your enjoyment. Stirring and fun. Bring your picnic basket and lawn chairs for rousing entertainment.
  • Robbins' Ride from 5:00 pm - The Acton Minutemen will portray the spreading of the alarm throughout Acton with a horse and rider galloping past the homes of Acton’s 4 militia leaders. At the historic Faulkner Homestead, Colonel Faulkner himself will fire 3 alarm shots into the air with his musket, and those shots will be repeated again and again off in the distance, illustrating how the alarm was spread.
    • 5pm at the Robbins' Home site - soccer fields at bottom of Concord Rd.
    • 5:20 at the Isaac Davis Homestead - 39 Hayward Road
    • 5:40 at the Faulkner Homestead - 5 High St. in So. Acton (corner of Rte. 27)
    • 5:55 at the Liberty Tree Farm - 24 Liberty St., also in So. Acton
  • "House of Hancock" at 7:00 pm at Lexington Depot. History at Play presents a revolutionary musical about the life of John Hancock and with the thrill of Broadway's Hamilton.  Admission tickets available at Buckman Tavern.
  • Paul Revere Row at 7:00 pm at Charlestown Navy Yard Visitor Center. At 8:35 pm from Pier 1, witness the hanging of two lanterns atop Old North Church. Shortly after, witness Paul Revere being rowed across the harbor before riding off into the night for his famous ride. See Boston National Historical Park for more details. Updated April 11: We've heard that this is cancelled and the event does not appear on the  Boston National Historical Park calendar.
  • Old North Church in Boston at 7:00 pm: Lantern Lighting Service with Paul Revere and William Dawes. Limited space - Tickets required.
  • Paul Revere Ride Reenactment at 11:30 pm at Hancock-Clarke House. A dramatic reenactment of the arrival of Paul Revere at the Hancock-Clarke House in Lexington after his famous ride. Contact: Lexington Historical Society

 

April 15 — Monday — Patriots Day observed 

Marching from other towns

  • Chelmsford @ 4:00 am: Chelmsford-Concord March
    The Chelmsford Minuteman Company, accompanied by Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and town residents, walk from the Town Common to Minuteman National Park, Old North Bridge, Concord, arriving at about 9 a.m. Total walk is about 10 miles. With Chelmsford and Carlisle police escorts.
  • Stow @ 4:15 am: Stow Minutemen Patriots Day Trail March
    The Stow Annual Trail March and Parade starts from Stow Lower Common. The air is cool and quiet, but not for long as the sounds of the fifes and drums and the firing of the muskets awaken the townsfolk along the route. The Minutemen arrive at the North Bridge around 9 am then join up with the Concord parade. Contact: Stow Minutemen
  • Westford @ 4:45 am: Col. John Robinson Trail March
    Every year members of the Westford Colonial Minutemen walk the route travelled by the Westford militia and minute companies as they answered the alarm on April 19th, 1775. The public is in invited to join them in the 10-mile walk that ends at Concord's North Bridge.  Contact: Westford Minutemen.
  • Boxborough @ 5:30 am: Commemoration of Patriot’s Day at the Boxborough Museum
    The Boxborough Minutemen will convene at the Museum and, after the company cannon is fired, they will embark on a march to the Boxborough North Cemetery for a ceremonial musket volley.
  • Acton @ 5:30 am: Isaac Davis March to Concord at the Isaac Davis Homestead, 37 Hayward Road, Acton.
    The Acton Minutemen will make their annual march to the North Bridge in Concord, arriving at 9:00 am, where they will lead the fight against the British regulars across the Old North Bridge. Contact: The Acton Minutemen
  • Lincoln @ 6:40 am: Minute Men Dawn Tribute and the March to Concord outside Bemis Hall, 15 Bedford Road, Lincoln.
    The Lincoln Minute Men will salute the patriots buried in the Old Meetinghouse Cemetery. Roll call is read, fifers play a lament, minute men mysteriously emerge from the morning mists in the cemetery, and a musket salute is fired. The Minute Men begin their march along Sandy Pond Road toward Concord with colonial music and musket fire. All ages welcome to walk along. The Concord Parade steps off at 9:00 a.m. Contact: Lincoln Minute Men
  • Boston @ 9:00 am: City Hall Plaza in Boston
    Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company Patriots Day Parade, starting with a flag raising at City Hall Plaza, and proceeding to King's Chapel Burying Ground, where a wreath will be placed on the tomb of William Dawes, a member of this Company and its Clerk in 1789. The Company will then parade to the Old Granary Burial Ground and lay a wreath at the grave of Paul Revere. The parade continues to the Paul Revere Mall on Hanover Street in the North End. The parade concludes with a reenactment by the National Lancers of Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride on the Paul Revere Mall in front of Old North Church & Historic Site. The Company will escort His Honor Martin J.Walsh, Mayor of the City of Boston, during these ceremonies.
  • North End @ 10:20 am: Paul Revere Ride Reenactment
    The Massachusetts Lancers stage the rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes. From their start in the North End near the Old North Church, each ride through Boston making stops along the way to greet people until they reach the Minute Men Statue at Lexington Green. See below for details from the National Lancers.

The Battle on Lexington Green

  • The Battle on Lexington Green at 5:30 am in Lexington Center.  This event recreates the historic skirmish in Lexington on the first day of the American Revolution. Following the ringing of the bell in the Old Belfry, members of the Lexington Training Band (now known as the Minutemen) gather on Lexington Green to await the column of British Regulars as they march into the town center. A shot rings out, the skirmish follows, and the British column marches on towards Concord leaving dead and wounded behind.  Contact: Lexington Minutemen.  Please see the Town of Lexington’s Schedule of Events for important details and restrictions on backpacks, large containers, and ladders.

    The Lexington Historical Society recommends arriving between 4 am and 5 pm: "The Battle Reenactment starts very early in the morning with the bell in the Belfry ringing at 5:30 am and the battle following at 6:00 am (the actual time the historic battle occurred). Plan to arrive between 4:00-5:00 am to pick a viewing spot." Their site has additional information on activities planned by the Society.

The March to Concord and Commemorations at North BridgePatriots Day at Minuteman National Park - North Bridge Ceremony - 2010

  • Commemoration of the Battle at North Bridge from 8:45 am. The peace of the Concord countryside will once more be shattered musket fire as British and colonial reenactors, park rangers and volunteers commemorate the fateful morning of April 19, 1775 - the first time that colonists were ordered to fire upon British soldiers that became known as "the shot heard 'round the world." Contact: Minute Man National Historical Park

Community events throughout the day in Lexington and Concord

  • Pancake Breakfasts - in Lexington
    • St. Brigid Church, 2001 Massachusetts Avenue, sponsored by Boy Scout Troop 160. 6:00 am to 10:00 am. Nominal cost.
    • First Baptist Church, 1580 Massachusetts Avenue (across from the police station). 6:00 am to 10:00 am. Nominal cost..
    • Church of Our Redeemer, 6 Meriam Street. 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Nominal cost.
  • Lexington Sunrise Youth Parade - starting at 7:30 am at Munroe Cemetery driveway, Massachusetts Avenue.
    Contact: Lexington Town Celebrations Committee, 781 862-0500 x708
  • Concord's Patriots Day Parade - starting at 9:00 am in Concord Center. Contact: Concord Chamber of Commerce via email or at 978 369-3120.
  • Lexington’s Patriots Day Road Race, starting at Lexington Green at 10:00 am.
  • Lexington Minute Men/Daughters of the American Revolution 109th Wreath Laying Ceremony - starts at 10:30 am. Wreath laying at several of the war monuments around the Battle Green, including the Revolutionary Monument where the Lexington soldiers killed on April 19, 1775 are buried.
  • USS Lexington Memorial Ceremonies - 11:00 am
  • Patriots' Day Handbell Concert of American Music - 11:15 am to 12 noon, Hancock Church, 1912 Mass Ave, Lexington (the stone church across from the Battle Green). You’ll find yourself swaying to upbeat music of America, including patriotic favorites, spirituals, ragtime, marches and more. The music is rung on 5 octaves of English handbells by ringers of all ages in a program that is light-hearted and family-friendly. Suggested donation is $3 per person. The sanctuary is handicapped accessible. Come sit down and enjoy this fun concert carefully timed to follow the morning Road Race. Contact: 781-862-4220 or handbells@hancockchurch.org.
  • “What Really Happened That Day.” starts at 12 noon in First Parish Church. Lexington Minute Man Dan Fenn gives a half-hour talk on what really happened on April 19, 1775.
  • ​​​​​​Jason Russell House Open House from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Contact the Arlington Historical Society.
  • Paul Revere's Arrival at Lexington Green - 1:00 pm in Lexington center. See below for details of his ride from from Boston.
  • Lexington Patriots Day Parade - stepping off at 2:00 pm – Massachusetts Avenue through East Lexington and Lexington Center.

Paul Revere's Ride

  • North End around 10:20 am
  • Revere Park in Charlestown around 10:35 am
  • Foss Park in Sommerville at 11:20 am
  • Arlington Town Hall at 11:55 am
  • Arrives at the Gaffy Funeral Home in Medford at 12:00 pm
  • Paul Revere arrives at Lexington Battle Green at 12:45 pm

William Dawes' Ride

  • Arrives at John Eliot Square in Roxbury at 9:00 am
  • Departs John Eliot Square around 9:20 am
  • Arrives at the Edward Devotion House in Brookline at 10:05 am
  • Arrives at Hill Memorial Church in Allston at 10:35 am
  • Arrives in Cambridge at 11:05 am
  • Arrives at the Town Hall in Arlington at 12:05 pm
  • William Dawes arrives at Lexington Battle Green at 12:55 pm

April 17 - Wednesday

  • The Patriot Vigil, 7:45 pm - 8:45 pm at North Bridge, Concord. The evening ceremony will feature a lantern-light procession, poetry, music, and a recitation of the names of the Patriots who gave their lives on that “ever-memorable” 19th of April. Please note, if you would like to participate in the lantern procession at 7:50 p.m. please gather at North Bridge Visitor Center, 174 Liberty St. Concord. We ask you bring your own enclosed candle lantern - no flashlights in the procession please.

April 19 — Friday — The anniversary date

  • Sudbury March to Concord at 3:45 am in Wayland center and 5:45 am in Sudbury Center
    Show your fortitude and love of our history with this annual march through Wayland and Sudbury to Concord, arriving at the North Bridge at approximately 11:30 am. Contact: Sudbury Companies of Militia and Minute
  • Dawn Salute at the North Bridge at 6:00 am at Minute Man National Historical Park, Monument Street, Concord. The Concord Minute Men, the Concord Independent Battery and the Old Guard Fifes and Drums observe the opening battle of the American Revolutionary War in a moving musket and cannon salute to America's past. Following this, join Park staff and volunteer for a wreath laying and historical speeches. Contact: Minute Man National Historical Park
  • Remembering the Ladies, 10:00 am (approximately) at North Bridge, Concord. In commemoration of the brave Daughters of Liberty, the Molly Cutthroats, a living history group dedicated to the role of women in the Revolution, will fire a ceremonial volley of musketry from North Bridge.
  • Arrival of the Sudbury MilitiaNorth Bridge, Concord11:30 a.m. (approximately).  The Sudbury Companies of Militia and Minute will make their annual march to North Bridge from the Town of Sudbury, in honor of their fellow townsmen who made a similar march on April 19, 1775. They will fire three musket volleys from North Bridge as a soldierly salute.
  • The British Redcoat, Minute Man Visitor Center, 1:00 - 3:00 pm. A Park Ranger presents a 20-minute program on the experiences of British soldiers in 1775, and concludes with a musket-firing demonstration.

April 20 — Saturday

  • After the Battle - The War Has Begun, from 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm at Hartwell Tavern, North Great Road, Lincoln. War between the people of Massachusetts and Governor Gage and the British regulars has just broken out. Thousands of men are preparing to leave home for the front lines around Boston. Whole communities are faced with numerous challenges demanded by this frightening new reality. Step back into the year of 1775 and get involved. Admission: Recommended donation: $5 per person, $10 per family. Children wearing a Junior Ranger badge will be admitted free.

April 28 — Sunday

  • Old Burial Ground Tribute, Lincoln, MA at 2:00 pm, the Lincoln Minute Men will assemble at the Pierce House and at 2:30 pm march to the Town Cemetery on Lexington Road. The Minute Men will be accompanied by clergy, honored guests, and a contingent of British Regulars accompanied by a bagpiper. There will be gravesite ceremonies honoring both the Lincoln patriots of the Revolution and the five British soldiers who were killed in Lincoln on April 19, 1775, and buried there. Following the ceremonies, the Minute Men and their guests will march back to the Pierce House, where refreshments will be served to all, courtesy of the Lincoln Historical Society. For further information, contact the Lincoln Minute Men at press@lincolnminutemen.org.

Parking

Based on recommendations of the National Park Service:


Parkers Revenge Saturday, April 13, 2019
Arrive at the Minute Man Visitor Center on Route 2A early by 10 am. The earlier you arrive, the better chance of finding a good spot close to or in the park. But, unless you park well outside of Minute Man Visitor Center, you will not be able to leave with your car for quite a while.
The demonstration takes place at 1:00 p.m., however, the Minute Man Visitor Center is open until 5:00 p.m. 

North Bridge Events on Monday, April 15, 2019
Arrive by 7:30 am; the earlier, the better. If you park in Concord Center, roads will close around 8:30 am and won't re-open until after the parade, sometime between 11:00 a.m. and 12 :00 p.m.  The reenactment takes place around 9:00 a.m.; the ceremonies and parade follow.


The Battle Road Organization

Thanks to all of the hardworking volunteers who make these events come to life every year, and as noted above, for compiling the information published above.

 

The photos were taken at Patriots Day events in 2010 by Lee Wright and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License

 


 

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November 22, 2018

The 55th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963

November 22, 2018 marks the 55th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.  He was the fourth president martyred. (Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, and William McKinley were the three previous presidents killed by assassins.)

President Kennedy planned a two-day, five-city tour of Texas in advance of the presidential election in 1964. Jackie was with him. It was The First Lady's first extended public appearance since the death of their son in August.

Kennedy stopped in San Antonio and Fort Worth before arriving in Dallas. As the motorcade drove through downtown Dallas, at 12:30 pm shots were fired that struck the president and Texas Governor John Connally, who was seated in front of the president in an open limousine.  

The president was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1 pm.  

At 2:38 pm, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office aboard Air Force One, becoming the 36th President of the United States. Jackie, her suite stained with her husband's blood, stood nearby.

Choosing the location for burial

The Arlington National Cemetery site puts the selection of the cemetery for his grave in historical context:

There are only two U.S. presidents buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The other is William Howard Taft, who died in 1930.

Though Kennedy is buried at Arlington, at the time of his death, many believed that he would be buried in Brookline, Mass. Woodrow Wilson was the only other president besides Taft who had been buried outside of his native state and in the National Capital Region. President Wilson is buried at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, in consultation with Robert F. Kennedy and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, approved burial of the president at Arlington National Cemetery with the gravesite below Arlington House.

On Nov. 25, 1963, at 3 p.m., the state funeral of President Kennedy began.

Among the mourners at Kennedy's grave site were President Charles de Gaulle of France, Chancellor Ludwig Erhard of the Federal Republic of Germany, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and Prince Philip of the United Kingdom. Overhead, 50 Navy and Air Force jets flew past the gravesite followed by the president's plane, Air Force One, which dipped its wing in final tribute.

The initial plot was 20 feet by 30 feet and was surrounded by a white picket fence. During the first year often more than 3,000 people an hour visited the Kennedy gravesite, and on weekends an estimated 50,000 people visited. Three years after Kennedy's death, more than 16 million people had come to visit the Kennedy plot.

Because of the large crowds, cemetery officials and members of the Kennedy family decided that a more suitable site should be constructed. Construction began in 1965 and was completed July 20, 1967. Lighted by Mrs. Kennedy during the funeral, the Eternal Flame burns from the center of a five-foot circular flat-granite stone at the head of the grave.

Recollections from newsmen there that day

At the time, legendary newsmen Bob Schieffer was working for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Jim Lehrer was working for the Dallas Times-Herald. In this video, Lehrer describes the "bubble top" that sometimes covered the limousine and Schieffer recalls getting a call from Oswald's mother, who asked for a ride to the police station.

While the official report on the assisnation is known as the Warren Commission Report (full text), more than 40,000 books have been written on the assassination. The Guardian reviewed some of them last year.

Museum and historic sites

 

— Larisa Moran, Regional Editor, The History List


For more major history events, see our History Lists section of the site.

 

 

Posted By on


November 22, 2018

The 55th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963

November 22, 2018 marks the 55th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.  He was the fourth president martyred. (Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, and William McKinley were the three previous presidents killed by assassins.)

President Kennedy planned a two-day, five-city tour of Texas in advance of the presidential election in 1964. Jackie was with him. It was The First Lady's first extended public appearance since the death of their son in August.

Kennedy stopped in San Antonio and Fort Worth before arriving in Dallas. As the motorcade drove through downtown Dallas, at 12:30 pm shots were fired that struck the president and Texas Governor John Connally, who was seated in front of the president in an open limousine.  

The president was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1 pm.  

At 2:38 pm, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office aboard Air Force One, becoming the 36th President of the United States. Jackie, her suite stained with her husband's blood, stood nearby.

Choosing the location for burial

The Arlington National Cemetery site puts the selection of the cemetery for his grave in historical context:

There are only two U.S. presidents buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The other is William Howard Taft, who died in 1930.

Though Kennedy is buried at Arlington, at the time of his death, many believed that he would be buried in Brookline, Mass. Woodrow Wilson was the only other president besides Taft who had been buried outside of his native state and in the National Capital Region. President Wilson is buried at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, in consultation with Robert F. Kennedy and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, approved burial of the president at Arlington National Cemetery with the gravesite below Arlington House.

On Nov. 25, 1963, at 3 p.m., the state funeral of President Kennedy began.

Among the mourners at Kennedy's grave site were President Charles de Gaulle of France, Chancellor Ludwig Erhard of the Federal Republic of Germany, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and Prince Philip of the United Kingdom. Overhead, 50 Navy and Air Force jets flew past the gravesite followed by the president's plane, Air Force One, which dipped its wing in final tribute.

The initial plot was 20 feet by 30 feet and was surrounded by a white picket fence. During the first year often more than 3,000 people an hour visited the Kennedy gravesite, and on weekends an estimated 50,000 people visited. Three years after Kennedy's death, more than 16 million people had come to visit the Kennedy plot.

Because of the large crowds, cemetery officials and members of the Kennedy family decided that a more suitable site should be constructed. Construction began in 1965 and was completed July 20, 1967. Lighted by Mrs. Kennedy during the funeral, the Eternal Flame burns from the center of a five-foot circular flat-granite stone at the head of the grave.

Recollections from newsmen there that day

At the time, legendary newsmen Bob Schieffer was working for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Jim Lehrer was working for the Dallas Times-Herald. In this video, Lehrer describes the "bubble top" that sometimes covered the limousine and Schieffer recalls getting a call from Oswald's mother, who asked for a ride to the police station.

While the official report on the assisnation is known as the Warren Commission Report (full text), more than 40,000 books have been written on the assassination. The Guardian reviewed some of them last year.

Museum and historic sites

 

— Larisa Moran, Regional Editor, The History List

 


For more major history events, see our History Lists section of the site.

Posted By on


November 22, 2018

The 55th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963

November 22, 2018 marks the 55th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.  He was the fourth president martyred. (Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, and William McKinley were the three previous presidents killed by assassins.)

President Kennedy planned a two-day, five-city tour of Texas in advance of the presidential election in 1964. Jackie was with him. It was The First Lady's first extended public appearance since the death of their son in August.

Kennedy stopped in San Antonio and Fort Worth before arriving in Dallas. As the motorcade drove through downtown Dallas, at 12:30 pm shots were fired that struck the president and Texas Governor John Connally, who was seated in front of the president in an open limousine.  

The president was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1 pm.  

At 2:38 pm, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office aboard Air Force One, becoming the 36th President of the United States. Jackie, her suite stained with her husband's blood, stood nearby.

Choosing the location for burial

The Arlington National Cemetery site puts the selection of the cemetery for his grave in historical context:

There are only two U.S. presidents buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The other is William Howard Taft, who died in 1930.

Though Kennedy is buried at Arlington, at the time of his death, many believed that he would be buried in Brookline, Mass. Woodrow Wilson was the only other president besides Taft who had been buried outside of his native state and in the National Capital Region. President Wilson is buried at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, in consultation with Robert F. Kennedy and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, approved burial of the president at Arlington National Cemetery with the gravesite below Arlington House.

On Nov. 25, 1963, at 3 p.m., the state funeral of President Kennedy began.

Among the mourners at Kennedy's grave site were President Charles de Gaulle of France, Chancellor Ludwig Erhard of the Federal Republic of Germany, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and Prince Philip of the United Kingdom. Overhead, 50 Navy and Air Force jets flew past the gravesite followed by the president's plane, Air Force One, which dipped its wing in final tribute.

The initial plot was 20 feet by 30 feet and was surrounded by a white picket fence. During the first year often more than 3,000 people an hour visited the Kennedy gravesite, and on weekends an estimated 50,000 people visited. Three years after Kennedy's death, more than 16 million people had come to visit the Kennedy plot.

Because of the large crowds, cemetery officials and members of the Kennedy family decided that a more suitable site should be constructed. Construction began in 1965 and was completed July 20, 1967. Lighted by Mrs. Kennedy during the funeral, the Eternal Flame burns from the center of a five-foot circular flat-granite stone at the head of the grave.

Recollections from newsmen there that day

At the time, legendary newsmen Bob Schieffer was working for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Jim Lehrer was working for the Dallas Times-Herald. In this video, Lehrer describes the "bubble top" that sometimes covered the limousine and Schieffer recalls getting a call from Oswald's mother, who asked for a ride to the police station.

While the official report on the assisnation is known as the Warren Commission Report (full text), more than 40,000 books have been written on the assassination. The Guardian reviewed some of them last year.

Museum and historic sites

 

— Larisa Moran, Regional Editor, The History List


For more major history events, see our History Lists section of the site.

 

 

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