Chicago commemorates 50th anniversary of JFK assassination - New York News

Chicago commemorates 50th anniversary of JFK assassination

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

November 22, 2013 marks a half-century since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Officials in Chicago asked for a solemn moment of silence at 1 p.m. Friday, when doctors pronounced Kennedy dead in Dallas.

The sound of bells at churches across Chicago rang out in mournful memory of America's first Catholic president, while several aldermen and other elected officials attended a memorial service at St. Jane de Chantal parish on the Southwest Side.

The Museum of Broadcast Communications screened the TV coverage of the President's killing that went out live that day in 1963 in its entirety, downtown on Friday afternoon.

The funereal "Elegy for JFK" that Igor Stravinsky wrote to express his own grief at the President's assassination performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was scheduled to be performed Thursday night and this weekend. It's just one of the ways this city -- so enormously important to the Kennedy Family -- observed the 50th anniversary.

A worker at the Museum of Broadcast Communications was putting the finishing touches on a JFK-related display Thursday night. A screening took place at 12:52 p.m., the exact moment that Chet Huntley and others at NBC went on the air from coast-to-coast, reporting that the President had been shot.

"November 22nd of 1963 -- it's going to unfold in real time," Bruce DuMont, President of the Museum of Broadcast Communications explained Thursday before the event. "We're going to play it for about five or six hours. We may even replay it at night, depending on how many people are here."

Among those watching were journalism students from Columbia College. They used 21st Century social media to react to what they see.

"They will be covering the story, tweeting and using the new media to cover a story that is 50 years old," DuMont said. "I think the main point is they've heard their parents and grandparents talk about it for a long time. They get a chance to see it, first-person, as it unfolds. They can make their own conclusions."

Mayor Emanuel paid his respects to President Kennedy's legacy Friday at the Harold Washington Library Center.

"A President who won an historic election, not by telling the American people what he would do for them as voters, but by challenging them and expecting more from them as citizens," Emanuel said. "That flame burns as bright as ever today."

In addition to the moment of silence and the bells, flags all across Chicago were flown at half staff in remembrance of Kennedy.

The Kennedy family's links to Chicago deepened when the president's father bought the Merchandise Mart from Marshall Field, the department store mogul who built it. The Kennedys continued to own it until finally selling it themselves a few years ago.

President Kennedy often had Mayor Richard J. Daley at the White House during the short time he was president, and he made sure the mayor got what he needed.

The headline from the Chicago Tribune the day after the assassination was simple and to the point: "Assassin kills Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson sworn in."

There was controversy when the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers played two days after the assassination.

The NFL decided that game, along with the other games scheduled that day, should be played to help the nation heal. Others thought it was disrespectful.

The Bears were practicing for the game when they heard the news that Kennedy had been shot. Many reacted the same way America did - with shock, and sadness.

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