Saturday, Nov. 23
Jacqueline Kennedy enters the White House East Room and kisses her husband before casket is sealed.
Lyndon Johnson and former President Dwight Eisenhower spend a half hour in silent prayer before the casket.
In his first presidential proclamation, Johnson declares Monday a national day of mourning.
Sunday, Nov. 24
Jacqueline Kennedy goes to Arlington National Cemetery to inspect the gravesite selected for her husband.
Later that morning
Jacqueline, her children and other Kennedys kneel on the bare floor of the East Room as a Catholic Mass is celebrated on a temporary altar.
11:20 a.m. CST
Lee Harvey Oswald, suspected of JFK’s assassination, is fatally shot inside Dallas Police Headquarters by nightclub owner Jack Ruby in front of dozens of reporters and on live TV.
Dr. Malcolm Perry, one of the doctors who had tried to save JFK, attends to Oswald at Parkland Memorial Hospital in a room across the hall from where the president died.
Oswald is pronounced dead from a single gunshot wound to the stomach that damaged the spleen, pancreas, a kidney and the liver as well as the body’s biggest vein and artery.
12:20 p.m. EST
The caisson that bore President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s body transports JFK’s body from the White House to the U.S. Capitol rotunda. His casket is placed on the same catafalque that held assassinated President Abraham Lincoln’s casket. After eulogies, dignitaries and heads of state file past the catafalque before the doors are opened to the American people.
Jacqueline and brother-in-law Robert Kennedy pay a late visit to rotunda.
The Capitol doors are scheduled to close, but the line of people wanting to pay their respects extends for blocks. The visitation continues into the next morning. In total, a quarter-million people file past the casket.
Monday, Nov. 25
» 400 people attend service in Dallas for Officer J.D. Tippit.
» 1,100, including five relatives, attend Fort Worth service for Oswald.
» Thousands attend (and millions more watch on TV) Requiem Mass for JFK in Washington, D.C.
Kennedy’s funeral is held, on his son John Jr.’s third birthday, at St. Matthew Cathedral. Cardinal Richard Cushing of Boston officiates. (Only months before, he had buried the Kennedys’ deceased 2-day-old son, Patrick Bouvier. He also had delivered the invocation at Kennedy’s inauguration.)
The eulogy is delivered by the auxiliary bishop of Washington, the Most Rev. Philip Hannan. He begins with one of JFK’s favorite Bible passages, from Ecclesiastes: “There is an appointed time for everything ... a time to be born and a time to die ... a time to love and a time to hate ... a time of war and a time of peace ...”
Hannan closes with a lengthy passage from JFK’s inaugural address: “Let the word go forth from this time and place ... that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans ... unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which we are committed. ... Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, ... to assure the survival and success of liberty. Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the Earth the command of Isaiah: ‘to undo the heavy burdens ... and let the oppressed go free.’ All this will not be finished in the first hundred days, nor will it be finished in the first thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even, perhaps, in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin ...”
Arlington National Cemetery
Following taps, the flag that draped the casket is presented to Jacqueline Kennedy. The Eternal Flame is ignited, and the Lord’s Prayer is recited.
The public farewell ends.
Source: “The Torch Is Passed,” The Associated Press