The urgent and awkward wording of the United Press International news flash on that fateful day in November 1963 reflected the shock experienced not only by the reporter at the scene, but by Americans everywhere: the 35th president of the United States, the vital and charismatic John Fitzgerald Kennedy had been cut down in the prime of his life. He had embodied youth and vigor and had inspired a generation of young people with his programs for a Peace Corps, for putting a man on the moon, and for a New Frontier. When his death was confirmed, the entire nation froze in disbelief. Other political assassinations would follow in the troubled 60s, but Kennedy’s murder was most Americans’ first encounter with such an unthinkable act of violence. It became a benchmark in their lives.
See a photo of the UPI news flash.