November 22, 1963: President John F. Kennedy is assassinated
There are many dates in United States history that stand out. We know the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. The moon landing happened on July 20, 1969. But we also know President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.
But while you may know the events of what happened on that unfortunate November day, how did the president’s assassination change American history?
A joyful day turned tragic
On the morning of November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy were visiting Texas Governor John Connally and his wife in Dallas, Texas. It was a joyful day, but it wouldn’t last for very long.
While the group was traveling in a Lincoln motorcade through the streets of downtown Dallas, Kennedy was busy waving at a large and enthusiastic crowd gathered alongside the parade route. But just as the vehicle passed the Texas School Book Depository Building at 12:30 p.m., Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired three shots from the sixth-floor window.
President Kennedy died 30 minutes later from the fatal wounds.
Swearing in a new president
Just a little over an hour after Kennedy’s death, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the new 36th president of the United States. This possibly shocked America at how quickly a new president was sworn in.
This includes Jacqueline Kennedy, who stood by Johnson’s side as a witness on Air Force One. She was still wearing the jacket stained by her husband’s blood. Her expression is one of the most recognizable photographs in American history.
How one event changed history
Most Americans living during the time remember where they were when they heard Walter Cronkite announce that President Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas. For weeks, the nation mourned the loss of a great leader. But the assassination also changed history.
For example, after the assassination, Secret Service protection was more reinforced. If anything, Kennedy’s assassination demonstrated how vulnerable America could be. But thankfully, procedures have been in place to hopefully never have a presidential assassination ever again.