A Terrible Three Days

Forty seven years ago today this nation was experiencing shock and grief following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  For three days after his death, Americans and most of the rest of the world’s people  were glued to their televisions watching the mournful events proceed through to the President’s burial.

I recall those three terrible days after the assassination with great clarity: The procession from White House to the Capitol where the President lay in state; the continuous around the clock line of tens of thousands of mourners passing by the casket under the Capitol Dome;  the final playing of “Hail to the Chief” and the procession back to the White House where the family and world leaders gathered to walk to the Church for the funeral ceremony; and finally the slow procession across the Potomac to Arlington Cemetery for  ceremony at graveside, and the lighting of the eternal flame.

But what I recall most vividly whenever I think of or am reminded of that time is the mournful cadence of the muffled drums as the processions moved through the streets.

There is a lot of video available of the events from the actual assassination through the ceremonies at the cemetery, a great deal of it on YouTube, but most of it is in black and white.  I was surprised when I found some videos in color, also on YouTube.

I merged four of those videos which contain little bits of almost everything that went on from the procession to the Capitol Building forward.  Unfortunately, either the film had deteriorated over time or the uploader had to lower the resolution to comply with YouTube’s requirements.  Also, because the videos give primary coverage to the casket it fails to show the true size and makeup of the processions.  Nevertheless, I think this video is quite compelling.

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2 Comments

Filed under Reminiscences, Videos

2 responses to “A Terrible Three Days

  1. There are far worse things to be interested in, I suppose, although I find it hard not to get morbid watching it.

    There are always big political and social questions about ‘what would he have done if he hadn’t been murdered?’
    and
    How can people possibly believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone?

    • Ed

      Although I am not by nature a conspiracy nut, in this case I agree that much was covered up in the subsequent investigation of the assassination. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am reading a book containing transcripts of Lyndon Johnson’s telephone conversations during the months following the assassination. He worked hard from the beginning to quickly set up an investigating commission of carefully selected individuals to rapidly reach the conclusion he wanted. He was obsessed with getting the matter behind us.

      I can’t believe that Jack Ruby’s motivation for murdering Oswald was merely anguish over the deed. I wonder how it was that he could take his motive with him to the grave. Whatever it was, it had to be quite powerful, because whoever was behind Ruby’s action knew that he would.

      This was similar to the assassination of Martin Luther King. The confessed killer also did not reveal who paid him to kill King. I have often wondered if there may have been a connection between these two cases.

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