Warhawk Almanac: Whitewater Mourns President John F. Kennedy – 1963

On November 22nd, 1963, the United States was given horrible news. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated during a visit to Texas. From Friday to Monday, the whole nation observed a weekend of memorialization to honor the fallen leader. To allow students a chance to mourn and attend memorial services, the Whitewater State College cancelled or postponed all classes and activities through Monday, November 25th.[1] When classes began again on the 26th, the Royal Purple encouraged students with a short editorial piece celebrating Kennedy and reminding students that “life goes on”.[2]

Memorial Services Held in Whitewater, in the Whitewater Register (Whitewater: Whitewater       Register, November 28, 1963), 1.

In their commemoration of Kennedy, the campus community was reminded of their special connection to the President. Only four years prior, President Kennedy (then Senator Kennedy) had spoken at the Whitewater State College on his campaign trail. Kennedy was invited by the college’s Young Democrats club and spoke to a large crowd that went over the capacity of the auditorium. Senator Kennedy spoke about his support for education and answered questions about the current G.I. bill. During the discussion period, Senator Kennedy eagerly answered all of the crowd’s questions, creating a pleasant atmosphere for all who attended.[3] It is no surprise that the Whitewater community reminisced on this event in commemoration of such an impactful individual.[4]

12-K-100 JF Kennedy and RC Williams, Photo Collection, Celebrities and Other People, Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI.

[1] “Whitewater Joins World in Mourning; Memorial Services Held Monday,” Whitewater Register (Whitewater, WI.), November 28, 1963.

[2]  “…And Life Goes On,” Royal Purple (Whitewater, WI.), November 26, 1963.

[3] “Senator John F Kennedy Addresses Capacity Crowd,” Royal Purple (Whitewater, WI.), February 23, 1963.

[4] “’but what can you do for your country,’” Whitewater Register (Whitewater, WI.), November 28, 1963.

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