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The assassination of John F. Kennedy, 50 years ago, was a watershed moment in American history. Just about everyone who was old enough to comprehend what was happening has a ready answer to the question: “Where were you?” To mark the anniversary, the Beacon Journal published a series of stories over several days. In many cases, these are your stories. You’ll hear many different answers to the question posed above. You’ll hear from people who were in the Beacon Journal newsroom when the alarm bells began to clang, in line to view the president’s body, and in the stands when the Browns played the Dallas Cowboys days after the killing. You’ll meet a local resident who was an FBI agent at the time, and does not believe Oswald acted alone; and another who served in the honor guard for the funeral.


  • 50 years ago: Both hope and anger surrounded JFK’s Texas trip
    When John F. Kennedy flew from Washington to Texas on Nov. 21, 1963, he crossed a divided America. To some, the young president embodied hope. To others, he manifested a threat to national security, fiscal solvency or simply their way of life.
  • News photo immortalizes Akron resident’s encounter with JFK
    In the early 1960s, Akron resident Sonya Heckman was among the legions of young people who counted themselves among John F. Kennedy’s supporters. She admired the youthful leader with the bold ideas and beautiful family. She voted for him in her first election and was inspired by his inaugural-speech challenge to “ask what you can do for your country.
  • Readers remember JFK’s assassination
    It’s been said that everyone old enough to remember can tell you what they were doing on Nov. 22, 1963, when word came of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
  • JFK: Still affecting America far beyond politics
    You don’t have to look far to see how John F. Kennedy still pervades popular culture 50 years after his death. Scandal, one of the most talked-about series in prime time, often reworks Kennedy lore, including a philandering president and conspiracies so abundant they exhaust even the most ardent JFK-assassination skeptic.
  • Millions watched as Lee Harvey Oswald was shot
    Jim Kroeger stayed home from church with a head cold on Nov. 24, 1963. Coverage of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination had dominated the TV airwaves that weekend, so he spent that Sunday morning following the developments from the den of his family’s home in suburban St. Louis.
  • A fallen president is laid to rest
    For more than five hours on Nov. 25, 1963, Akron stood at a virtual standstill. Across the city, people stayed close to TV sets to watch the funeral of their slain president. Some 5,000 others joined government and civic leaders at St. Bernard Catholic Church downtown for a community memorial service.
  • Local Marine served in honor guard at JFK’s funeral
    When the news reached Marine Corps Base Quantico that President Kennedy had been assassinated, Jim Rutherford waited nervously in his barracks for orders. Fears were high that the United States would go to war, and Rutherford expected to be shipped out.
  • JFK assassination inspired abstract artwork by the late artist Bernard Weiner
    Deborah Weiner describes her late parents as “far left liberals and activists, socially and politically. To them, JFK was a shining light. …” When she was dismissed early from Case Elementary School on Nov. 22, 1963, and walked to her home a block away from Firestone High School, she found her mother and father crying.
  • She cried in hospital maternity as John John saluted his dad
    The day after John F. Kennedy's funeral, Eilene Harkless Moore came home from the hospital. It had been an arduous five-day stay. On Friday, Nov. 22, she was in labor at Akron City Hospital with her first child, who was coming about two weeks early. Her husband, Lawrence Moore, was in the Army on the other side of the continent in Fort Lewis, Wash.
  • Historic pages of Beacon Journal available
    The assassination of John F. Kennedy unfolded on the front pages of the Akron Beacon Journal in 1963 as the region mourned the loss of the nation’s president. You can purchase keepsake copies of images from those newspapers by clicking on “View More Photos” and then the icon marked “Buy This Photo” beneath the image of the page you wish to purchase.

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