Immediately after JFK got to the hospital, doctors and nurses sprang into action. They knew he was coming, they knew he suffered from bullet wounds, and the medical staff all wanted to do anything they could to save the president. As they were placing IV’s into JFK in the trauma room, they examined his skull and realized there was little hope. On top of this, an EKG showed no signs of heart activity. However, they refused to announce JFK’s death until a Catholic Priest had performed JFK’s last rites. He was officially pronounced dead 12 minutes after arriving at the hospital.
15. Local Texas Officials Wanted To Conduct The Autopsy, But Secret Service Refused
While Jackie and the Secret Service were still in a state of shock over the assassination of JFK, they also had to act quickly and get JFK back to the White House. Jackie refused to leave the hospital or Dallas, Texas, without her husband and the Secret Service refused to leave without Jackie or the body of the president. However, a Texas Medical Examiner stopped Secret Service in the trauma room and told them it was state law they perform the autopsy. Secret Service refused, reportedly drawing their guns in order to get the medical examiner out of their way.
14. The World Was In A State Of Shock And News Reporters Became Emotional
While most of the United States knew of the shooting before the announcement of his death came, rumors were running wild. Around 2 PM, most television stations switched to watch Walter Cronkite, who gave everyone updated reports on JFK’s assassination. It was around 2:38 PM when Cronkite received the message the JFK had passed away. As Cronkite delivered the news, he started to break down. He had become a friend to the president and highly respected him. This sadness was the same type of emotion which most of America felt as they heard the news.
13. Lyndon B. Johnson Became The New President As The World Heard JFK Was Dead
At the same time Walter Cronkite read the report that officially announced John F. Kennedy’s death, Lyndon B. Johnson was being sworn in as the new President of the United States. While the transition of presidents needed to get done quickly, it happened sooner than the Secret Service wished. Johnson also refused to take the oath of office unless Jackie Kennedy stood next to him, as this was a sign that JFK could have approved of the transition himself. So, at 2:38 PM, LBJ was sworn into office by Judge Sarah T. Hughes, a federal judge appointed by JFK earlier.
12. The NFL Played The Next Day And Received Negative Criticism
While most games scheduled on Saturday night or Sunday received cancellations after the news of JFK’s assassination, the NFL decided to continue playing as a way to honor the president. However, this would land them in hot water with many citizens. On top of this, it has given them the reputation of profiting over tragedies instead of acting civilly. As a legendary sportswriter, Red Smith stated, “In the civilized world, it was a day of mourning. In the National Football League, it was the 11th Sunday of the business year, a quarter-million-dollar day in Yankee Stadium.”
11. NFL Would Later Regret The Decision To Play On Kennedy Sunday
National Football Commissioner Pete Rozelle would state after his retirement that this was the biggest regret of his NFL career. While the games never saw airtime because CBS owned the rights to NFL and refused to play the games, Rozelle stated that he would continue to receive negative feedback, even after his retirement in 1989. However, Rozelle never took back his reasons as it was a way they honored the president. Instead, he stated that the reason they shouldn’t have played those games was because of all the controversy. Football was Kennedy’s favorite sport. Therefore it seemed fitting for Rozelle.
10. Lee Harvey Oswald Left His Assassination Post Within 90 Seconds After Shooting
It didn’t take long for the manhunt to get underway for Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who assassinated John F. Kennedy. However, as fast as local authorities in Texas tried to find Oswald, he seemed to be faster. Less than 90 seconds after shooting three bullets towards the president, Oswald fled his post and hid the gun. At the time, no one knew Oswald was the shooter, so as he passed security and the local police, he was not under investigation, so they all let him go. He then got on the city bus and continued his plan of escape.
9. After JFK’s Assassination, Oswald Also Shot A Police Officer
After getting a taxi to his boarding house, Oswald stopped in the room he was staying in, grabbed a pistol, and then casually left. The attendant of the boarding house had no idea he had a gun or had just killed the president. Around 1 PM, Oswald started walking around outside and ran into Officer Tippit. By this time, Oswald was a wanted man, but no one knows if Tippit connected Oswald to the description of the shooter. However, Tippit talked to Oswald through the police car’s window and then started exiting his vehicle, which is when Oswald shot Tippit.
After shooting Tippit four times, Oswald ran from the approaching police sirens. However, a shoe store employee, Johnny Brewer, followed Oswald. Upon entering a movie theater, Oswald snuck into a movie. Brewer told one of the employees to call the cops. When the police arrived, they started searching the theater and found Oswald, who tried to punch the officer as he reached for his gun. The officer was able to grab Oswald’s pistol and proceeded to arrest him. Upon entering the street, a crowd gathered, yelling threats at Oswald as they knew he not only killed Tippit but possibly JFK.
Everyone knew that Oswald was not safe in the jail he was placed. In fact, the following day, on November 24th, officials were working on transporting Oswald to a safer prison. However, while he was walking in the basement, strip club owner Jack Ruby took out his pistol and shot Oswald right on live television. Of course, this only created more chaos and violence surrounding JFK’s assassination, which many felt was just as troubling as JFK was a nonviolent man. After the shooting, Oswald went to the hospital where he died on the operating table.
6. Jack Ruby Might Have Felt He Would Be Considered A Hero
It is no secret that most of America wanted to see Lee Harvey Oswald dead. He had killed JFK and a police officer in one day. Because of this, many people believe that Jack Ruby decided to kill Oswald because he would be considered a hero. Furthermore, all evidence supports the fact that Ruby did not go there planning to kill Oswald. Not only did he wire money to someone but he also had his dog with him. People believe Ruby found an opportunity and decided to take it, later considering himself a hero.
5. Oswald And JFK Received Burials On The Same Day
While Lee Harvey Oswald died the day after he assassinated JFK, the two would receive burials on the same day. As the world watched the funeral of JFK and paid their last respects to the former president, a smaller crowd gathered to bury Oswald at Rose Hill Cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas. The only people in attendance for Oswald’s funeral were his immediate family members. However, there were not enough family members to carry Oswald’s casket. Therefore, the members of the news media decided to act as pallbearers, even though they didn’t want to.
4. As JFK Laid In State, People Gathered To Pay Their Respect Which Created A Line Miles Long
Officials took John F. Kennedy to the United States Capitol Building on November 24th so that he could lay in state. This notion allows members of the public to come and pay their respects to the fallen president. People quickly started to gather, but only so many people could be allowed into the building at one time. Altogether, it’s estimated that nearly 1 million people came to pay their respects. For about 24 hours, the line to enter the capital building reached 2 miles long. Unfortunately, not everyone was allowed inside to pay their respects.
After JFK’s mass funeral on November 25th, they brought his body to the Arlington National Cemetery for burial. This procession included leaders from 99 nations, with many arriving after the parade started due to the number of people. The choice to bury JFK at Arlington was made by his wife, who stated upon her tour of the cemetery, “He belongs to the people.” Jackie felt this was a better place for her husband as more people would be able to pay their respects to him there than in his hometown’s Catholic cemetery in Maryland.
2. One Of The Most Popular Pictures Surrounding JFK’s Assassination Is His Son Saluting His Coffin
Many pictures are part of JFK’s assassination. However, one of the most famous images is when his three-year-old son, John F. Kennedy Jr. saluted his father’s casket. Not only was this little John’s third birthday, but that would be the last time little John and his sister saw their dad’s coffin as they were too young to attend the burial that same day, November 25th. Today, this picture is not only thought to be one of the most popular photographs of that historical time but of the 20th century.
1. Jackie Kennedy Arrived In Washington D.C. Still Wearing Blood Splattered Clothing
While everything moved rather fast as Jackie Kennedy remained in a state of shock over her husband’s assassination, she received the option to change her clothing on the Air Force One airplane. However, Jackie refused, stating, “Oh, no, I want them to see what they have done to Jack.” Jackie knew that they would photograph her upon landing. On top of this, she stood next to President Johnson as he gave a quick speech to those who were watching on television. As she stood, everyone could still see JFK’s blood on the front of Jackie’s skirt.
Where did we find this information? Here are our sources: