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What JFK’s America was really like in November 1963 - Time capsule of New York Daily News paper of the day

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New York Daily News edition from November 23, 1963
New York Daily News edition from November 23, 1963

On Friday, the New York Daily News republished its entire edition from Saturday, November 23, 1963 the day after the Kennedy assassination.

It is a glimpse into a time capsule perfectly preserved.

We learn John F. Kennedy was not the only Kennedy whose death was mentioned in the Daily News edition on the day after the assassination.

James R. Kennedy, 70,  was laid to rest in the Bronx, a former police deputy commissioner. 1,000 people attended the funeral mass. One can only imagine the impact of the news from Dallas on the Catholic gathering.

The Irish names were everywhere at the burial. The Commissioner was Michael Murphy, his deputies were Murphy and Monaghan, the D.A. was Frank Hogan.

On a very different vein how far the country has come since November 23rd 1963 can be judged by this headline.

“Negroes? Bowl Ducks Issue” tops an article about whether “Negroes” would be invited to play in the annual football all-star game in January scheduled to take place in Alabama.

NBC announced they would not cover the game if Negroes were not invited.

Wonder what the people of that era would make of the first black president?

Meanwhile, from England came a story that all footballers in the First Division (now Premier League) would wear black armbands for JFK, an indication of how extraordinary the impact was worldwide.

At Aqueduct Racetrack in New York the crowd of 24,000 (amazing for a Friday) was stunned when the announcement was made. The horses on the track for the seventh race were led back and the program abandoned.

Among the horses down to race that day at Pimlico in Washington were Blue Bullet and Phantom Shot.

“News of Kennedy’s Death is TVs Saddest Moment” wrote Ben Gross the TV critic.

He noted that all channels went off the air presumably as a sign of grief at about midnight bar ABC which continued broadcasting.

“Regular programs abandoned, schedules thrown overboard, all entertainment shows vanished,” Green noted. Extraordinary to notice how accurate the reporting was, especially in naming and getting key background information on Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin.

The fashion pages of the Daily News paid no attention to the tragedy “All White Is Season Favorite for Parties” ladies were told.

They were also warned about sweating and using deodorant under a headline “This Delicate Subject Shouldn’t Be Avoided.”

Meanwhile the dirty movie house in Times Square was showing “Traveling Light” with the tagline “Join nudists at play, see sun-kissed maidens frolic.” Covering nudist colonies passed for porn back then and was advertised in a family newspaper.

Meanwhile, as a long-suffering Long Island Railroad commuter the headline “Better LIRR Service Urged” certainly strikes a chord.

Some things don’t change folks.

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