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The Daily Need

Photo: A nation mourns

A caisson bearing the flag-draped coffin of President John F. Kennedy pauses in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., Nov. 25, 1963, en route to burial at Arlington National Cemetery. Photo: AP

On November 22, 1963, the 35th president of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. He was 46 years old. The next day, newly sworn-in President Lyndon B. Johnson issued his first proclamation, declaring November 25 to be a national day of mourning. On that day, hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the streets of Washington, D.C., to watch a horse-drawn caisson bearing Kennedy’s body travel from the Capitol to St. Matthew’s Catholic Cathedral for a requiem mass. Accompanying the casket was a riderless horse named Black Jack. With boots sitting reversed in the stirrups, the horse was the symbol of a fallen leader. The procession then continued to Arlington National Cemetery, where Kennedy was laid to rest. Representatives from more than 90 countries attended the state funeral.

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