Mourners mark 50th anniversary of JFK assassination

Mourners at the eternal flame, Arlington National Cemetery, November 22, 2013

It was one of those rare moments in television.  Something so stunning; so powerful, that the world literally stopped in its tracks.  In this century, we think of that moment as September 11th, 2001.  Nine-eleven.  But in the last millenium, there is one dark moment of equal power; the death of an American President, in Dallas, Texas 50 years ago Friday.  And as Scot Urquhart tells us, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, had an impact that went far beyond the United States border.

Kennedy was killed while driving in a motorcade.   He was just 46 years old when he died. Less than three years earlier he had become the youngest elected president in U.S. history.

Kennedy’s alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was murdered by Jack Ruby two days later.

The FBI and the Warren Commission officially concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin. However, the United States house select committee on assassinations concluded that those investigations were flawed and that Kennedy was probably assassinated as the result of a conspiracy.

Kennedy’s killing was the first time America shared a national tragedy in real time through television, in a bulletin by a very emotional Walter Cronkite.

Around 5,000 people gathered at Dealey Plaza in Dallas for a midday memorial. Kennedy’s motorcade passed through the plaza when the shots rang out.