Paper covered local reaction to assassination

— In the issue immediately after President John F. Kennedy’s death, The Chronicle carried a lengthy Page 1 story on local residents’ reactions.

The story was accompanied by a photograph of the Okanogan County Courthouse flag at half-mast and one of a memorial ceremony in Omak’s Civic League Park involving the American Legion and Canadian veterans from Penticton, B.C.

Under the headline “President Mourned Here” and sub-headline “Okanogan County Shares Nation’s Grief,” the story from Nov. 28, 1963, began:

Okanogan County joined the rest of the nation last weekend in paying its final respects to John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, who was cut down by an assassin’s bullet Friday as he rode in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas.

The mantle of the presidency fell to Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, a native Texan who was sworn into office at a Dallas airport before flying to Washington to take over the reins of government.

All except the younger children among the 25,000 people who live in Okanogan County were stunned by the sniper’s cold-blooded assassination of the youngest man ever to hold the nation’s highest office.

It was a blow with the trip-hammer abruptness of the attack on Pearl Harbor. For the rest of their lives, most of these people will remember precisely where and how they learned President Kennedy had been shot.


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