Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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November 23, 2013

Flashback 1963: Daily Sun documents assassination

Corsicana — It has become one of the essential questions of our time — where were you when you heard about the assassination of Pres. John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963?

The nation is observing the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy’s assassination in Dealey Plaza in Dallas through literally hundreds of television programs, newspaper articles, websites, ceremonies and interviews.

A review of the Corsicana Daily Sun published for Nov. 23, 2013, carried the news of the assassination, and reaction to that tragic event, mixed with other news of the day.

“Pale, Grim Johnson Takes Over Reins Of Nation” was the headline, with the historic photo of Vice-President Lyndon Johnson taking the oath of office aboard Air Force One with a grief-stricken Jacqueline Kennedy by his side.

Inside on page 4 of the edition a spread of photos from the Associated Press shared pictures of the day, from a smiling Pres. and Mrs. Kennedy leaving Love Field in the presidential motorcade, the iconic photo of Secret Service Agent Clint Hill climbing on the president’s car as Jacqueline crawls on the trunk of the vehicle, and a photo of the hearse carrying the president’s body from Parkland Hospital back to the airport.

Stories in the paper report that what was then called Navarro Junior College announced it was canceling classes on Monday, Nov. 25, 1963 in a statement from college president Ben Jones. Members of the city’s Retail Merchants Association announced that most of Corsicana’s businesses, banks and building and loan associations would close from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Kennedy’s funeral. City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce and most government offices also announced closures for the event.

On the sports page a story announced the cancellation of most weekend games and matches, alongside a report of the Corsicana Tigers’ 53-16 win over Terrell the night before, improving their record to 10-0. The Tigers would go on to win the state championship a few weeks later.

Special advertisements in the day’s paper included tributes to the late president from Zale’s Jewelers, Texas-Miller Products and the J.M. Dyer Company.

Every story on the front page of that issue of the Daily Sun was about the assassination and the reaction to it, save for one — a report on the investigation of a robbery of the First State Bank of Rice. The story reports an “armed bandit” made off with $3,324 in a Friday afternoon holdup. The story said the bandit wore a woman’s silk stocking over his face — the stocking was later found discarded a mile south of town by Rice school bus driver Nathan Rawlings, according to Navarro County Sheriff Rufus Pevehouse.


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