Hofstra Chronicle on the Assassination of JFK

“November 22 – a springlike day – the day Memorial Hall wept.” – Hofstra Remembers Nov. 22, 1963

Nov 19 • Axinn Library, Community, Cultural Center, Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, Top Stories, Uncategorized • 2014 Views • Comments Off

Three days after President Kennedy’s assassination, the Hofstra Chronicle produced a stark tribute to the nation’s 35th president – a single-page special edition with a photo of Kennedy and the words “John Fitzgerald Kennedy 1917-1963″.

A little over a week later, the Chronicle resumed regular coverage of campus events and news, devoting relatively little space to the assassination – a decision that was explained with this editor’s note: “All that could have been said has been said. A one-page memorial issue of the Chronicle dedicated to John Fitzgerald Kennedy last week was our small way of paying tribute to one of our nation’s finest men and greatest leaders. No more can be said.”

Among the most moving items in that issue was a short, un-bylined story describing the scene inside the cafeteria, then located in Memorial Hall. Students crowded into the cafeteria and sat silently as radio broadcasts about the shooting blared over the public address system.  “The cafeteria was still; it seemed like a work in wax.”

Less than a year later, in September 1964, Robert Kennedy visited Hofstra as he campaigned for Senate. And in March 1985, the Hofstra Cultural Center celebrated the Kennedy administration with the University’s fourth presidential conference “John F. Kennedy: The Promise Revisited”.

Below are images from the Hofstra Chronicle, from 1963 and 1985, as well as photos of Robert Kennedy speaking to students at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse and of the Kennedy presidential conference. We also asked members of the Hofstra family to share their memories of Nov. 22, 1963.  Share your story of that day on the Hofstra University Facebook page.

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We also included pictures of Robert F. Kennedy’s visit to Hofstra University in the aftermath of his brother’s death.

Robert F. Kennedy in a crowd of Hofstra students during his 1964 visit.

Students gather in the Hofstra Playhouse to hear Robert F. Kennedy speak during his 1964 visit.

 

Below is a photo gallery of John F. Kennedy: The Promise Revisted, from the fourth Presidential Conference presented by the Hofstra Cultural Center, taking place from March 28-30, 1985

John F. Kennedy: The Promise Revisted - March 28-30, 1985

John F. Kennedy: The Promise Revisted - March 28-30, 1985

John F. Kennedy: The Promise Revisted - March 28-30, 1985

Program - John Kennedy

All photos courtesy of  the department of Special Collections at Hofstra University

 

We asked the Hofstra community to share how they felt when they heard the news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Below are some of their responses.

 

Gerard Giovaniello, B.A. ’64, 2011 Alumni Achievement Award honoree

Jerry Giovaniello

Jerry Giovaniello

I believe that I was in Dr. Bruce Atkinson’s foreign policy political science class. A female student   broke into class and shouted “ The President has been shot!” A strange quietness came over the campus. Students and faculty drifted off towards home, unsure of what to do next.

Maddie Leibowitz, B.A. Education ’64, Past President of Hofstra Alumni Association

It happened that I was not on campus that day. I was home, sick, and I was sitting in front of the T.V. when the news flashed that first he had been shot and then that the president had died. I was hysterical. He was my president. I was too young to vote for president when he ran in 1960, but I would be able to vote for him this time. He was my president. It meant something that he would be the first president I would vote for. A lot of my friends felt the same.

 

 

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