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 JFK November 22-25, 1963: Documents, Interviews, Audio & Films

John F. Kennedy:
November 22-25, 1963:
Documents, Interviews, Audio Recordings, and Films

1,843 pages of documents, 966 minutes of audio, 1 hour and 35 minutes of video, and 35 photos related to President John F. Kennedy's November 1963 trip to Texas, his assassination and funeral. Material from the National Archives and Records Administration and the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson presidential libraries.



JFK November 22-25, 1963 SQUARE

Includes recordings of interviews of Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite, and Lady Bird Johnson.


Highlights among the documents include:

President's Texas trip schedule, which highlights the necessity of choosing between the Trade Mart and the Dallas Fairgrounds as the location for John F. Kennedy's Dallas luncheon and speech. The Trade Mart was finally selected, which took the motorcade past the Texas School Book Depository.

A folder of correspondences documents the political climate in Texas, the Democratic Party, local elections, and views of President John F. Kennedy. Includes correspondences conveying concern about the safety of the President in Texas.

A folder contains correspondence regarding President John F. Kennedy's trip to Texas. Topics including numerous requests from individuals and organizations to meet the President, the Democratic Party in the state, and the exclusion of Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough from various events. Includes telegrams expressing frustration that the President's tentative Dallas schedule included only private appearances at invitation-only events.

Page of notations written by President Kennedy aboard Air Force One during the flight from Carswell Air Force Base to Love Field in Dallas on November 22, 1963. This may be the last item of thoughts ever written by President Kennedy. 

A folder containing note cards with handwritten notations by President John F. Kennedy for an undelivered speech at the Dallas Trade Mart, intended for the Dallas Citizens Council concerning the qualities of successful leadership and the crucial elements to the country's defense and security, such as nuclear power, military strength, foreign aid, supremacy in space, and domestic stability. The speech contains the famous line, "We in this country, in this generation, are - by destiny rather than choice - the watchmen on the walls of world freedom."

A sample of the 1.5 million letters of condolence from around the world received by Jacqueline Kennedy. The samples in this collection are from a "VIP" folder and includes condolences from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nikita Khrushchev, General Douglas MacArthur, Duke Ellington, Myrlie Evers, widow of assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers, Indira Gandhi, Cary Grant, Ezra Pound, and Marie Tippit, widow of police officer JD Tippit, who was also killed by Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963.

Messages regarding DEFCON status soon after the assassination of President Kennedy.

President Johnson's Daily Diary/Log for November 22, 1963. Includes a chronology of activity, a list of who Johnson spoke to on the phone or met in person, notes made by Johnson's personal secretary Marie Fehmer aboard Air Force One while en route to Washington D.C., account of the shooting dictated by Congressman Jack Brooks to Fehmer aboard Air Force One, and account of activity at Parkland Hospital dictated by Johnson aide Cliff Carter to Fehmer.

A transcript of an 11/23/1963 10:01 AM phone conversation between President Johnson and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover updates LBJ on the investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald and the assassination of JFK, Oswald's purchases of guns used in killing JFK and J.D. Tippit, and Oswald's contacts with the Soviet embassy in Mexico City.

Warren Commission subject files covering planning and preparations for the Dallas trip, the presidential motorcade, the shots fired at Kennedy, Kennedy's death, activity at Parkland Hospital, and returning of the President's remains to Washington. Collected from material produced by the FBI, Secret Service, County of Dallas Sheriff's Department, and the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy.


53 minutes of audio recordings of selected President Johnson's phone conversations during his first 72 hours as President of the United States.


20 minutes of Lady Bird Johnson's audio diary recorded on November 22, 1963, in which she recounts the day's events.


14 and one half hours of audio recordings and 378 pages of transcripts of oral interviews conducted by staff members of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Interviewees include:

Walter Cronkite - Journalist and broadcaster for Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1950-1991). Cronkite discusses his first impressions of John F. Kennedy, his one-on-one interviews with JFK, as well as reporting on the assassination and announcing JFK's death, and covering the 1969 moon landing, among other issues.

Dan Rather CBS news reporter - Rather discusses his impressions of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, the Kennedy-Nixon debate, RFK's relationship with Lyndon B. Johnson, JFK's assassination, and negotiations surrounding the Zapruder film among other issues.

John E. Byrne - White House Press Officer.  Byrne discusses how he became an advance man for John F. Kennedy's November 1963 trip to Texas, arrangements in Fort Worth, Texas for a short public appearance and a Chamber of Commerce breakfast for JFK, and JFK's assassination, among other issues.

George C. Burkley - Burkley was a physician to President Kennedy and President Johnson. Burkley discusses John F. Kennedy's health, Burkley's place in the November 22, 1963 presidential motorcade, the medical care JFK received in Dallas, Texas after being shot, and his subsequent autopsy, among other issues.

Nancy Tuckerman and Pamela Turnure - Tuckerman was social secretary to Jacqueline Kennedy and Turnure was receptionist and secretary in Senator John F. Kennedy's office and press secretary to Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy. Tuckerman and Turnure discuss state visits and state dinners at the White House, The Kennedy's youngest child Patrick Bouvier Kennedy's short life and death (August 7, 1963 � August 9, 1963), and President Kennedy's assassination and funeral, among other issues.

Sanford L. Fox - Chief, White House Social Entertainments Office, 1961 - 1964. Fox discusses Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy's aesthetic influence on White House social events, presidential citations, and the White House renovation, and Fox's work in preparing for John F. Kennedy's funeral, among other issues.

Lady Bird Johnson - Mrs. Johnson discusses her recollections of the Kennedy presidency, her husband's role as Vice President and President, and her relationship with the Kennedy family, among other issues.

Godfrey T. McHugh - General, United States Air Force; Air Force Aid to the President (1961 - 1964). McHugh discusses the presidential use, planning and protocol of Air Force One, advanced planning for presidential travel, the transport of foreign dignitaries, and the aftermath of President Kennedy's assassination, and his role in transporting the President's body. (Transcript only, audio not available)

Sid Davis - White House Correspondent, Westinghouse Broadcasting (1959 - 1968). Davis discusses the 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy's assassination and Lyndon B. Johnson's swearing in, and the press coverage of the White House, among other issues.


A selection of moving images from November 22-25, 1963, including "Special Release: President Assassinated" by Universal Newsreel; "The World Mourns: John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1917-1963" by Universal Newsreel; "The Last Two Days" covering President Kennedy's trip to Texas; and the funeral services of President John F. Kennedy.

"The Last Two Days" covering President Kennedy's trip to Texas - A twenty minute film produced by the Naval Photographic Center. This motion picture covers the highlights of the final two days in the life of President John F. Kennedy. President Kennedy makes scheduled public appearances and delivers remarks, including his last public words, and interacts informally with crowds that greet him in San Antonio, Houston, Fort Worth, and Dallas, Texas. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Governor John Connelly, and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson make appearances with President Kennedy. Also included is a brief segment as the late President's body is returned to the White House on November 23, 1963. Portions of the soundtrack include radio narration of the assassination of President Kennedy, and a live recording of Judge Sarah Hughes swearing in Lyndon B. Johnson as the 36th President of the United States.

"Special Release: President Assassinated" Universal Newsreel - A seven minute Universal Newsreel showing highlights from John F. Kennedy's election and presidency, the motorcade in Dallas and its aftermath, reactions across the country including at the United Nations, the arrival of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, and President Johnson's statement after the assassination of President Kennedy.

"The World Mourns: John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1917-1963" - An eight minute Universal Newsreel showing the funeral activities for President Kennedy, including the procession to the Capitol, placing of the casket in the Rotunda, the procession to St. Matthew's, the service, exiting St. Matthew's including the famous salute by John F. Kennedy Jr., the procession to Arlington National Cemetery, the graveside service, and the lighting of the eternal flame.

Funeral Services of President Kennedy - A 43 minute film produced by the Naval Photographic Center covering funeral services for President John F. Kennedy, including footage of Kennedy family members and processions to the Capitol Rotunda, the White House, Saint Matthews Roman Catholic Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.


55 minutes of November 22, 1963 radio transmissions of the Dallas Police Department, at and around the time of the assassination of President Kennedy.


22 minute Voice of America recording of ceremonies in the Capitol Rotunda, with eulogies by Senator Mike Mansfield, Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Speaker of the House John McCormack.


35 photographs of President Kennedy's time in Texas, the aftermath of his assassination and his funeral.

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President Kennedy reaches out to the crowd gathered at
the Hotel Texas Parking Lot Rally in Fort Worth, TX,
22 November 1963. 

Photographer: White House Photographer Cecil Stoughton.
White House Photographs Collection. John F. Kennedy
Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

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The honor guard places President Kennedy's casket in the
East Room of the White House, 23 November 1963. Those
watching include Jacqueline Kennedy, Attorney General Robert
Kennedy, Hugh Auchincloss, Janet Auchincloss, Kenneth O'Donnell,
Larry O'Brien, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Naval Aide
Captain Tazewell Shepard, Jean Kennedy Smith, Sargent Shriver,
and others. 

Photographer: White House Photographer Cecil Stoughton.
White House Photographs Collection. John F. Kennedy
Presidential Library and Museum, Boston