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Archive for the month “November, 2012”



November 30, 2012


Oxfordshire, England (JFK+50) John F. Kennedy’s hero, Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, was born at Blenheim Palace here in Oxfordshire 148 years ago today, November 30, 1874.

Winston was the son of Lord Randolph Churchill & the American socialite, Jennie Jerome.

Lord Randolph’s father, John Strange Spencer-Churchill, was the 7th Duke of Marlborough.


Winston Churchill (1881), Imperial War Museum Image


Winston Churchill was 1st educated by a governess in Dublin, Ireland but later had a poor academic record in school.  WC graduated from Royal Military College.

In 1904, WC married Clementine Hozier.

After a short service in the military, WC was elected to Parliament in 1900 & became the 1st Lord of the Admirality in 1911 & served in that capacity again in 1939.

In May 1940, WC became PM & served until 1955. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

Known for his great oratory, WC said he wrote every word of his speeches & spent an hour working on one minute of a speech.

In 1963, President Kennedy said:

“In the dark days…when England stood alone…he mobilized the English language & sent it into battle.”

One of the most quoted Churchill lines is:

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty & so bear ourselves that if the British Empire & its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say “This was their finest hour.'”


November 29, 2012


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The Warren Commission, officially known as The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, was established 49 years ago today on November 29, 1963.

The commission, chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren of California, included Richard Russell, Jr. (D-GA), John Sherman Cooper (R-Kentucky), Hale Boggs (D-Louisiana), Gerald R. Ford (R-Michigan), Allen Dulles (former CIA director), & John J. McCloy (former president of the World Bank).

On December 9, 1963, the Federal Bureau of Investigation submitted its own report on the assassination which was to become the Warren Commission’s primary source.

The FBI concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin of JFK & that there was no evidence of conspiracy.

The FBI report said 3 bullets were fired at JFK.  The 1st hit JFK, the 2nd hit Gov. Connally & the 3rd hit JFK in the head.*

*John Connally, who survived, testified before the Warren Commission that he heard the 1st shot & was in the process of turning to see JFK when he was hit by the 2nd shot.

The Warren Report, however, said that  3 bullets were fired but 1 missed, 1 hit both Governor John Connally of Texas & the President, & 1 hit JFK in the head.

The home movie of the assassination proved that both JFK & Connally were hit in less time than it would take a lone gunman to reload the rifle identified with the shooting.

This fact forced the Commission to come up with an alternative.  Thus, the single bullet theory was born.  One shot missed.  One shot hit JFK, passed through him & then hit Gov. Connally.  The 3rd shot hit JFK in the head.

On the day Lee Harvey Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover told LBJ “something (needs to be) issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin.”

Less than a week after the Warren Report was issued, the FBI informed the White House that “the Commission’s report is seriously inaccurate insofar as its treatment of the FBI is concerned.”


Earl Warren Gives Report to LBJ, White House Cabinet Room, Sept 24, 1964, Photo by Cecil Stoughton, LBJ Library Image



November 27, 1962


Rocky Mount, North Carolina (JFK+50) The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed a crowd of 1800 at Booker T. Washington High School here in Rocky Mount today.*

The civil rights leader, who spoke in the school gymnasium, began by recalling that he while he had visited North Carolina “many, many times,” this was his “first time in this section” of the state.

Dr. King closed with these words:

“I have a dream that one day right here in Rocky Mount, the sons of former slaves & the sons of former slave owners will meet at the table of brotherhood, knowing that one God brought man to the face of the earth.”

He continued…

“I have a dream that one day my little daughter & my two sons will grow up in a world not conscious of the color of their skins, but only conscious of the fact that they are members of the human race.”**

*Rocky Mount is located in the eastern coast plain area of North Carolina.  It was named for a rocky mound at the falls of the Tar River which was also the site of  one of NC’s 1st cotton mills.

**According to “The Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Speech That Inspired the Nation”, 2003, Drew Hansen says that Dr. King 1st used the line “I have a dream” in his speech in Albany, Georgia on Nov. 16, 1962.

Dr. King, of course, made his “I have a dream” line most famous in his speech during the March on Washington, August 28, 1963.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Washington, D.C. Photo by John White, 9/25/2011







November 25, 1963


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) As the remains of our martyred 35th President of the United States were interred at Arlington National Cemetery today, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach* sent a memorandum to Bill Moyers**, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s assistant, which said:

“It is important that all the facts surrounding President Kennedy’s Assassination be made public in a way which will satisfy people…that all the facts have been told.”

Three main points are then made by Mr. Katzenbach:

“1. The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; & that the evidence was such that he would have been convicted.

2. Speculation about Oswald’s motivation ought to be cut off.

3. The matter has (not) been handled….with….dignity…Facts have been mixed with rumor & speculation.  We can scarcely let the world see us totally in the image of the Dallas police when our President is murdered.”***

*Nicholas Katzenbach, born in 1922 in Philadelphia, served in the US Army Air Force in WWII & was a POW for 2 years.  

He earned a degree from Princeton & graduated from Yale Law School in 1947.  

Katzenbach served as Assistant Attorney General & Deputy Attorney General in the Kennedy administration & then was appointed Attorney General by LBJ in Feb. 1965.


Nichoas Katzenbach, Attorney General, White House Photo, 1968


**Bill Moyers, born in 1934 in Hugo, Oklahoma, was an intern for Senator Lyndon Johnson in 1954.  He earned a degree in journalism from the University of Texas in 1956.  

Moyers was liason between LBJ & JFK in the 1960 presidential campaign & served as Deputy Director of the Peace Corps in the Kennedy administration.

After JFK’s death, he became Special Assistant to President Johnson.


Bill Moyers, Assistant to the President, 1965


***This memo, of course, would not have been public knowledge on 11-25-63.  It was issued on the day following Oswald’s murder by Jack Ruby.



November 24, 1963

Dallas, Texas (JFK+50)As Lee Harvey Oswald* was led out into the basement of Dallas Police HQ this morning, a man wearing a suit & hat stepped out from the crowd of reporters standing to his left. 

The man rushed toward Oswald with a pistol in his right hand & fired one shot into his abdomen at point blank range.

Lee Oswald cried out in agony: “Ohhhhhhhhhhh……” & fell to the floor still handcuffed to Dallas police detective Jim Lavelle.


The Shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, November 24, 1963, Photo by Jack Beers, Jr. Dallas Morning News




The shooter was subdued by police & Oswald was carried back inside the police station.

The man taken into custody for the shooting of Oswald is known by many of the officers.  His name is Jack Ruby.**


Ruby runs a local strip club known as “The Carousel”.  


Lee Harvey Oswald was placed on a stretcher, put into the back of an ambulance & rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital. 

He was taken to emergency surgery in critical condition.

Lee Harvey Oswald was pronounced dead at 1:07 p.m. (CST).

*Lee Harvey Oswald, born in 1939 in New Orleans, served in the Marine Corps from 1956 to 1959.  After his discharge, Oswald traveled to the USSR where he attempted to renounce his US citizenship, married a Russian girl, then returned to the US in 1962.

In New Orleans, Oswald was chairman of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee & in Oct 1963 moved to Dallas where he was employed at the Texas School Book Depository.

LHO was arrested by Dallas Police & charged with the murder of a Dallas police officer & the assassination of JFK.

**Jack Ruby, aka Jacob Leon Rubenstein, was born in 1911 in Chicago.  He served in the US Army Air Force in WWII & in 1947 moved to Dallas where he managed several nightclubs.  At the time he shot Oswald, Ruby was owner of the Carousel Club in Dallas.



November 23, 1963


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) At 4:30 this morning, the remains of the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, arrived at the White House.

The flag-draped coffin was carried into the White House & placed in the East Room by an honor guard representing the major branches of the United States military.


Per Jacqueline Kennedy’s instructions, the East Room was decorated in black crepe & her husband’s coffin was placed in the center on the same catafalque which had been used for President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

JFK’s body is to lie in state at the White House all day & night.  It will be transferred in the morning by caisson to the Capitol where it will lie in state in the Rotunda.

At 10 this morning, a private mass was held for the President’s family & close friends at the White House.

The day of burial has been set for Monday, November 25 which President Lyndon B. Johnson declared today to be a day of national mourning.

At one point this morning, the late President’s personal effects were removed from the Oval Office although President Johnson reportedly will not move in until the day after JFK’s funeral.

Source: www.fiftiesweb.com


JFK Casket in East Room, The White House, Photo by Cecil Stoughton, Nov 23, 1963



November 22, 2012


Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) 49 years ago today, November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.


I was a 15  year old sophomore at Young High School here in Knoxville.

During my geography class, John Hicks, our principal, came on the intercom. While I do not remember his exact words, I know he announced that President Kennedy had been shot.

Mr. Hicks then turned the intercom to radio & we listened to the news reports from Dallas. 

Everyone, including our teacher, was in a state of shock.  Not one word was spoken.  

There had not been a Presidential assassination since William McKinley in 1901 & the last unsuccessful attempt on President Truman happened when we were 2 years old.

My generation grew up in a state of innocence.  We, as well as many of our parents, could not believe this could happen in our country.

At some point, Mr. Hicks told us that he would leave the radio on & we would stay in our 6th period class until the end of the school day.

When the announcement came over the radio that President Kennedy had died, Mr. Hicks came back on.

Every morning at Young, we all stood to attention as the school bugle corps played “Reveille” as the American flag was raised to full staff.

Now, Mr. Hicks asked his faculty & students to stand at attention as the bugle corps played “Taps” & the flag was lowered to half-staff.

Other than the loss of friends & relatives, this day was the saddest of my life.

JFK was my hero as he was a hero to many Americans & to many people around the world.

The moment that we learned our hero, who was the youngest elected President of the United States,  was murdered was one that none of us would ever forget.

We all remember to the detail where we were & what we were doing when we heard the news.

JFK inspired me as our President, & continues to inspire me 49 years after his death.*

*When my Dad came home from work late that night, he had with him the final edition of the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Nov 22, 1963.  The big black bold headline was…





November 21, 1963


San Antonio, Texas  (JFK+50) President & Mrs. John F. Kennedy visited San Antonio today on the 1st stop of their 5 city tour in the state of Texas.


JFK & Ms. Kennedy, San Antonio International Airport, San Antonio, Texas, Nov 21, 1963, Photo by Cecil Stoughton, JFK Library Image


After a motorcade* through the city, the President spoke at the dedication of the United States Air Force Aerospace Medical Division at Brooks Air Force Base.

JFK concluded his remarks with these words:

“This Nation has tossed its cap over the wall of space & we have no choice but to follow it.  Whatever the difficulties, they will be overcome.  Whatever the hazards, they must be guarded against.  

With the vital help of this Aerospace Medical Center  & with the support of all Americans, we will climb this wall with safety & with speed–

And then we shall explore the wonders on the other side.”

*During the motorcade, a photograph was taken by Joseph Elicson as JFK’s limo passed in front of the Beneficial Finance & Thrift Company.  JFK is sitting in his customary spot in the right rear with Ms. Kennedy on his left.  Nellie Connally, the wife of the Governor of Texas, is sitting in the jump seat directly in front of JFK with her husband to the left.  The following day in Dallas, the Connally’s positions were reversed as the Governor was hit by gunfire along with JFK in Dealey Plaza.

The photograph can be seen at:



“Inside the Gates,” Nov. 21, 1963: President Kennedy in San Antonio, Nov 30, 2009.


November 20, 2012


Brookline, Massachusetts (JFK+50) Robert Francis Kennedy would have been 87 years old today.

Bobby was born on November 20, 1925 in Brookline, Massachusetts.  He was the 7th child of Joseph P. & Rose F. Kennedy.

Bob Kennedy served in the U.S. Navy in WWII & earned a degree in government from Harvard in 1948.

In 1950, Robert F. Kennedy married Ethel Skakel of Greenwich, Connecticut.

A year later, RFK received a law degree from the University of Virginia Law School & in 1952 served as manager for brother Jack’s successful campaign for the U.S. Senate.

In 1953, Bob was on the staff of Joseph McCarthy’s subcommittee on investigations & later was Chief Counsel for the Senate Rackets Committee.

In 1960, RFK managed Jack’s successful presidential campaign & in 1961 became President Kennedy’s attorney general.

In that position, the JFK Library says that Bobby became JFK’s “closest adviser & confidant.”

After JFK’s death, RFK was elected as a U.S. senator from the state of New York.

In 1968, after having won the California primary in a bid to win the Democratic nomination for President, Robert F. Kennedy was shot.

RFK died in Los Angeles, California on June 6, 1968 & was laid to rest in the Kennedy plot at Arlington National Cemetery.  He was just 42 years old.

During his presidential campaign, RFK spoke out against the war in Vietnam & championed the cause of the poor & downtrodden.

In most of his speeches he paraphrased the words of George Bernard Shaw by saying….

‘Some men see things as they are & say why.  I dream things that never were & say, why not?’


J. Edgar Hoover & RFK, White House Rose Garden, May 7, 1963. Photo by Cecil Stoughton, JFK Library Image.



John F. Kennedy Library & Museum, Boston, Massachusetts



November 19, 1863



**Today’s  posting is a re-post of JFK+50 for Nov. 19, 2011

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (JFK+50) President Abraham Lincoln spoke today at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery here in Gettysburg.

The President followed the illustrious national orator Edward Everett who spoke for two hours.

By contrast, Mr. Lincoln spoke for about three minutes.

Despite the disparity of the length of the two addresses, it is more likely that Lincoln’s words will be the most remembered.

Eyewitness Sarah A. Cooke, who was standing near the podium, said there was no applause after the President stopped speaking.

Photographers, expecting to have ample time to set up their cameras, were unable to get a picture of Mr. Lincoln giving his address.**

**The following day, Edward Everett sent a letter to the President which included these words:

“I should be glad if I came near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.”

Today, Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” is widely regarded as the greatest Presidential speech in American history.

“Four score & 7 years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty & dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived & so dedicated, can long endure.  We are met on great battlefield of that war.  We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.  It is altogether fitting & proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground.  The brave men, living & dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.  The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.  It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.  It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–& that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”


              Gettysburg Address Memorial

              Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

November 19, 1963


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy paid tribute to the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in a statement issued by the White House today.

President Kennedy said:

“From the past man obtains the insights, wisdom & hope to face with confidence the uncertainties of the future.  On this solemn occasion let us rededicate ourselves to the perpetuation of those ideals of which Lincoln spoke so luminously.  As Americans, we can do no less.”



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