Wednesday, May 16, 2012

COLLECTION #231: The Day We Buried the President

For many of us of a certain generation, the pivotal moment of our lives was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Never to be forgotten- not unlike the events of 9-11, this national tragedy seared into our memories a deep sadness and loss of innocence that remains painful today, nearly 50 years later.

This week I'm featuring ephemera (paper) collections, and on Orphan Wednesday, I thought it appropriate to share a significant and singular item that memorializes the events of November 1963.  This is the December 6, 1963 issue of Life Magazine. It was the second issue about the assassination, the first was published on November 29, and included photos from the motorcade in Dallas, some of the Zapruder film stills, which showed the actual shooting of President Kennedy, and the aftermath: the swearing in of President Johnson, the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby, etc. The December 6th issue, focused on the funerals- not only of JFK, but also of Lee Harvey Oswald, and JT Tippit, the police officer killed by Oswald. The photos of the funeral are poignant, featuring the grieving Jackie Kennedy, and the children. The final page in the magazine includes a full page shot of the famous photo of John Jr. saluting his father's casket. I was particularly touched by a photo of a tearful young black boy, and photos of people all over the world who were shocked and grief stricken over the death of a beloved world leader.  It truly was a different time.

This particular article purported to end some of the assassination rumors, unfortunately, those rumors continue to this day, nearly 50 years later.
The photo that captured the world's heart
Not everything in this issue was about the President's funeral. There were other articles, including an interesting one about African American actor Ossie Davis, and his lovely wife Ruby Dee, and their family and career.  I particularly love this cute Honda ad below- that campaign lasted many years, and was created by Grey Advertising, the company I would work for not all that many years later, in the mid-70s.  Tragedy or no, life did go on.

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