Tahlequah Daily Press

November 22, 2013

‘President Is Assassinated; Johnson Takes Leadership’


TAHLEQUAH — Editor’s note: This story appeared in the Nov. 28, 1963 edition of the Tahlequah Star-Citizen, which later merged with this Tahlequah Pictorial Press. The Star-Citizen was, at that time, a weekly newspaper. It and the Pictorial Press later merged to become what is now the Tahlequah Daily Press. This story is reprinted in its entirety, as it was originally published.

A long, sad and appalling weekend came to an end Monday with burial of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Arlington National cemetery in Washington, D.C. Even before his body was airborne to the capital of the nation, the United States had a new president. He is Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, former U.S. senator.

At about the same time the Washington burial ceremonies for the late president were being concluded, two other events related to the assassination of President Kennedy, were taking place in Texas.

Lee Harvey Oswald, 24, accused of slaying the president and injuring John Connally, governor of Texas, was buried early Monday afternoon in a Fort Worth cemetery. His mother and wife and brother arranged the guarded burial in a family lot in Rose Hill.

A little later J.D. Tippit, Dallas policeman, initially shot when he joined an attempt to arrest Oswald, was buried in a Dallas cemetery. Officer Tippit, 39, long time policeman, had a wife and three young children.

Meantime, the self-pronounced executor of Oswald, Jack Ruby, 32, was moved to Dallas county jail, while officers continue to compile evidence in the case charging him with murder. A night club operator in Dallas, Ruby was born Leon Rubenstein, and grew up in a rough section of Chicago with an assorted “business” career.

Lyndon B. Johnson received the oath of office from Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes, aboard the presidential plane at the Dallas airport. Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, the slain president’s wife, stood on each side of the vice president elected to office along with President Kennedy in 1960.

While Mrs. Kennedy assumed most of the responsibility of decisions on funeral procedure over the weekend, President Johnson busied himself with urgent business of the executive office. Mr. Johnson and his wife were riding in the motorcade a few cars behind President Kennedy and party, on a downtown street near the Dallas Trade Mart when a hidden assassin fired from the fifth floor of the Texas school book depository overlooking Main street.

Gov. Connally was painfully wounded by the third shot fires. He is reported recovering at Parkland hospital where President Kennedy died at about 1 p.m. Friday, a few minutes after the bullet pierced his neck and head.

President Kennedy’s body lay in repose Saturday at the White House where he made his home a little less than three years with his wife and son, John Jr., and daughter Caroline.

Sunday a horsedrawn caisson carried the body in flag draped coffin to the Capitol where it lay in state until it carried back to the White House to lead the procession on to Arlington cemetery in respectful tribute to the late president. Throngs passed his bier in the Capitol all Sunday afternoon and overnight. Mrs. Kennedy led the marching procession of dignitaries from the White House to Arlington. Leaders and high officials of nearly every country in the world were on hand for the funeral.

Tahlequah government offices, some professional offices and schools in Cherokee County joined those of most of the rest of the nation in closing after Friday until Tuesday morning.