JFK killed; campus stunned

Nov. 22,


President Kennedy is dead.
A sniper with a high-powered rifle cut him down at 12:45 p.m. as the President rode in a motorcade through downtown Dallas.
Mr. Kennedy fell face-downward on the back seat of the car. As the President was rushed to Parkland Hospital, Mrs. Kennedy, holding his blood-stained head, kept crying “Oh, no.”
Mr. Kennedy died at the hospital at 1:00 p.m. after being given last rites of the Roman Catholic Church.
“It was a simple matter of a bullet right through the head,” said Dr. George Burkley, White House medical officer. Mr. Kennedy was shot in the brain.
Texas Gov. John Connally, who was riding with Mr. Kennedy, was wounded in the attack and has been operated on. He is no longer in critical condition.
Lyndon Johnson, now the 36th President of the United States, was riding in the same motorcade. He was not injured.
President Johnson took the oath of office at the Dallas airport about 2:30 p.m. before boarding a plane for Washington.
An intensive search is under way for the assassin. An unidentified man has been arrested. There is only a sketchy description: a white man about 30 years old, 165 pounds and slender build.
Mr. Kennedy had just arrived in Dallas after speaking in Fort Worth in the morning. He was scheduled to speak before Dallas business executives at the Trade Mart.
CAMPUS REACTION
“The President is dead,” echoed and re-echoed through the halls of (Coffman) Union early this afternoon.
Students repeated the words of radio and television broadcasters when the announcement of President Kennedy’s assassination was first made over the public address system shortly after 1 p.m.
Bulletins from wire services were posted on main floor bulletin boards. Each one was surrounded by knots of students.
The main lounge was the center of activity. A television set was located in the west end of the lounge, and students stood on chairs and tables to get a better view.
Those on the outer fringes of the crowd tried to listen to the radio broadcasts still coming from the public address system. Others lined the union’s balcony for an overhead view of the television coverage.
When the “Star Spangled Banner” was played over the radio, some students got up from their chairs and stood at attention.
In the main ballroom Thomas Talbert was conducting a rehearsal with his dance band. “Some kid came up to me and said an announcement was being made over the public address system,” he said. “So I thought we’d better listen to it.” At that point the rehearsal ended, he said.
Back in the lounge, some girls were close to tears. A few boys sat with their heads in their hands.
One was asked what he expected of President Lyndon Johnson. “When I heard the announcement, I was hoping it wasn’t true,” he said. “I don’t know what will happen with Johnson in there. The Democrats are in trouble.”
Another student seemed stunned. “It seems impossible to hear somebody say that `President Kennedy is dead,'” he said. “The same kind of people do this who throw bombs into crowds of children down South.”
The television broadcaster announced the nation’s stock exchanges were closing. Some students laughed bitterly.