It was 50 years ago today that President John F. Kennedy was shot by a lone gunman while slowly cruising the streets of Dallas.
It’s hard to live in Dallas and not be reminded of this fact almost daily.
There’s even an X on Elm street in the exact spot where it happened.
(Fans of the Cavender Diary will remember that the Texas Theater where Oswald was captured and the famous “Backyard Rifle” potos taken by Marina Oswald at 214 Neely st both took place just blocks from our house)
Kennedy’s funeral was held 2 days later in Washington, DC.
To pay respect, 800,000 Americans lined the D.C. streets to watch the coffin’s procession…
…and the caparisoned horse with boots facing backwards in the saddle.
“The quietest day in American history. You couldn’t hear a sound except for hooves cloping, weeping, and the nostril sounds of the horses breathing.”
(photo via Time/Life)
Between the photo + that last, very descriptive sentence, one can almost imagine being there. We’ve been watching a lot of the TV coverage, which has been simultaneously fascinating + depressing. Interesting that you live near the Texas theater, because their signage is fantastic. I wondered if it was still there. Some other interesting tidbits: all the cowboy hats, the women’s scarves, + the news personnel smoking like chimneys on the air. Oh, and no women reporters.
I was there that day in Washington. We lived in Northern Virginia, I was 13, our Dad took us to witness history and pay our respects. I saw it all… I saw the caisson role past me, no more than 15 feet, the flag draped coffin, the spirited young horse (his handler having a little trouble keeping him calm), fully saddled with the riding boots backwards in the stirrups. The mood was so very solemn, so sad. I still get a chill when I think of it, it remains one of the pinnacle events of my life.
Sounds like your Dad knew how important that was for y’all to see…..