Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Troubled by the long-term dangers of radioactive contamination and nuclear weapons proliferation, Kennedy and Khrushchev agreed to negotiate a nuclear test ban treaty, originally conceived in Adlai Stevenson’s 1956 presidential campaign. In their Vienna summit meeting in June 1961, Khrushchev and Kennedy reached an informal understanding against nuclear testing, but the Soviet Union began testing nuclear weapons that September. The United States responded by conducting tests five days later. Shortly thereafter, new U.S. satellites began delivering images which made it clear that the Soviets were substantially behind the U.S. in the arms race. Nevertheless, the greater nuclear strength of the U.S. was of little value as long as the U.S.S.R. perceived itself to be at parity.

In July 1963, Kennedy sent W. Averell Harriman to Moscow to negotiate a treaty with the Soviets. The introductory sessions included Khrushchev, who later delegated Soviet representation to Andrei Gromyko. It quickly became clear that a comprehensive test ban would not be implemented, due largely to the reluctance of the Soviets to allow inspections that would verify compliance.

Ultimately, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union were the initial signatories to a limited treaty, which prohibited atomic testing on the ground, in the atmosphere, or underwater, but not underground. The U.S. Senate ratified this and Kennedy signed it into law in October 1963. France was quick to declare that it was free to continue developing and testing its nuclear defenses.

Other Countries

In 1961, the US established the Alliance for Progress, 10 year program of aid for Latin American countries that agreed to begin democratic reforms. Kennedy hoped this program would bring social and political reform as well as fight poverty. Kennedy made a 10-day tour of Europe on the summer of 1963, visited West Germany, Italy, Ireland, and Great Britain.

Southeast Asia continued to be a trouble spot. Kennedy ordered US military advisors to the area in 1961 and 1962, when the Communists threatened South Vietnam and Thailand. Kennedy also sends advisers to Laos. In the summer and autumn of 1963, US criticized the South Vietnamese government leaded by Ngo Dinh Diem, for it repressive policies against the country’s Buddhist leaders and students who were leading demonstrations against the Diem government. Kennedy sent former Republican Senator and vice presidential candidate Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. to South Vietnam in 1963 as ambassador.

Ngo Dinh Diem (1901-1963), was a South Vietnamese politician. A former mandarin of the Nguyễn dynasty, he was named Prime Minister of the State of Vietnam by Head of State Bảo Đại in 1954. In October 1955, after winning a heavily rigged referendum, he deposed Bảo Đại and established the first Republic of Vietnam (RVN), with himself as president. He was a leader of the Catholic element and was opposed by Buddhists. In November 1963, after constant Buddhist protests and non-violent resistance, Diệm was assassinated, along with his brother, Ngô Đình Nhu, by Nguyễn Văn Nhung, the aide of the leader of the Army of Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) General Dương Văn Minh during a coup d’état.The assassination led to the end of the U.S.-Diệm alliance and the collapse of his regime as well as the first Republic of Vietnam.

Diệm has been a controversial historical figure in historiography on Vietnam War scholarship. Some historians portrayed him as a tool of the U.S. policymakers, some considered him an avatar of Vietnamese tradition. Nevertheless, some recent studies have portrayed Diệm from a more Vietnamese-centered perspective as a competent leader with his own vision on nation building and modernisation of South Vietnam

Space Policy/Space Race

The Apollo Program was conceived early in 1960, during the Eisenhower Administration, as a follow-up to Project Mercury, to be used as a shuttle to an Earth-obitual-space station, flights around the moon, or landing on it. Kennedy had been opposed to the space program and wanted to terminate it. Constructing his Presidential administration, Kennedy elected to retain Eisenhower’s last science advisor Jerome Wiesner as head of the President’s Science Advisory Committee, who strongly opposed to manned space exploration, having issued a report highly critical of Project Mercury. Kennedy was turned down by 17 candidates for NASA administer before the post was accepted by James E. Webb.

On April 12, 1961, when Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to fly in space, reinforcing American fears about being left behind in a technological competition with the Soviet Union. Kennedy became eager for the US to take the lead in the Space Race, for reasons of strategy and prestige.

On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space, launched in a ballistic trajectory on Mercury-Redstone 3, in a spacecraft he named Freedom 7. Though he did not achieve orbit like Gagarin, he was the first person to exercise manual control over his spacecraft’s attitude and retro-rocket firing. After his successful return, Shepard was celebrated as a national hero, honored with parades in Washington, New York and Los Angeles, and received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal from President John F. Kennedy

Almost a year after the Soviet Union put a human into orbit, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, on February 20, 1962. His Mercury-Atlas 6 mission completed three orbits in the Friendship 7 spacecraft, and splashed down safely in the Atlantic Ocean, after a tense reentry, due to what falsely appeared from the telemetry data to be a loose heat-shield.

As the first American in orbit, Glenn became a national hero, and received a ticker-tape parade in New York City, reminiscent of that given for Charles Lindbergh. On February 23, 1962, President Kennedy escorted him in a parade at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where he awarded Glenn with the NASA service medal.

On May 25, 1961, Kennedy announced the goal in a speech landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.

Kennedy’s Assassination

President Kennedy traveled to Texas to smooth over Frictions in the Democratic Party between liberals Ralph Yarborough and Don Yarborough (no relation) and conservative John Connally.

Visit to the state of Texas was first agreed upon by Lyndon B. Johnson, vice president, and Texas native, and by Governor of Texas John Connally. Decided to embark on the trip with three basic goals in mind: the president wanted to help raise more Democratic Party presidential campaign fund contributions, wanted to begin his quest for reelection in November 1964.

Kennedy purpose of his trip was to heal a split in the Texas Democratic Party before the 1964 Presidential Campaign in which Kennedy planned to run for second term. Flew to San Antonio, Houston and Fort Worth on November 21, 1963 and arrived at Dallas the next day.

Plans had called for the President, Mrs. Kennedy, Johnson and others to travel in a motorcade through the streets of Dallas to the Dallas Trade Mart.

Kennedy was scheduled to speak there at a luncheon. After leaving the place, Kennedy entered an open limousine for the trip to the Trade Mart.

The President sat in the rear seat on the right side of the car. Jackie sat on his left. Texas Governor John Connally sat in a jump seat in front of the President, and Mrs. Connally sat to her husband’s left. Behind Kennedy was a limousine filled with Secret Service agents, Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife Lady Bird Johnson in the third car, also accompanied by Secret Servicemen.

A reputation as a center for people who strongly opposed Kennedy. Friendly, cheering crowds lined the streets. About 12:30 PM, the cars approached an expressway for the last leg of the trip, until suddenly, three shots rung out and Kennedy slumped down, hit in the neck and head. Connally received a bullet in the back. Jackie held her stricken husband’s head in her lap as the limousine raced to a nearby Parkland Hospital, until Kennedy died at 1:00 PM.

Television and radio flashed the news of the shooting to a shocked world.

Cronkite has been vividly remembered for breaking the news of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy on Friday, November 22, 1963. Cronkite had been standing at the United Press International wire machine in the CBS newsroom as the bulletin of the President’s shooting broke and he clamored to get on the air to break the news as he wanted CBS to be the first network to do so.

There was a problem facing the crew in the newsroom, however. There was no television camera in the studio at the time as the technical crew was working on it. Eventually the camera was retrieved and brought back to the newsroom. Because of the magnitude of the story and the continuous flow of information coming from various sources, time was of the essence and the camera would take at least twenty minutes to become operational under normal circumstances. The decision was made to dispatch Cronkite to the CBS Radio Network booth to report the events and play the audio over the television airwaves while the crew worked on the camera to see if they could get it set up quicker.

Meanwhile, CBS was ten minutes into its live broadcast of the soap opera As the World Turns (ATWT), which had begun at the very minute of the shooting. A “CBS News Bulletin” bumper slide abruptly broke into the broadcast at 1:40 pm EST. Over the slide, Cronkite began reading what would be the first of three audio-only bulletins that were filed in the next twenty minutes:

Here is a bulletin from CBS News: in Dallas, Texas, three shots were fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade in downtown Dallas. The first reports say that President Kennedy has been seriously wounded by this shooting.

While Cronkite was reading this bulletin, a second one arrived, mentioning the severity of Kennedy’s wounds:

…President Kennedy shot today just as his motorcade left downtown Dallas. Mrs. Kennedy jumped up and grabbed Mr. Kennedy, she called, “Oh no!,” the motorcade sped on. United Press [International] says that the wounds for President Kennedy perhaps could be fatal. Repeating, a bulletin from CBS News: President Kennedy has been shot by a would-be assassin in Dallas, Texas. Stay tuned to CBS News for further details.

Just before the bulletin cut out, a CBS News staffer was heard saying “Connally too,” apparently having just heard the news that Texas Governor John Connally had also been shot while riding in the presidential limousine with his wife Nellie and Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy.

CBS then rejoined the telecast of ATWT during a commercial break, which was followed by show announcer Dan McCullough’s usual fee plug for the first half of the program and the network’s 1:45 pm station identification break. Just before the second half of ATWT was to begin, the network broke in with the bumper slide a second time. In this bulletin Cronkite reported in greater detail about the assassination attempt on the President, while also breaking the news of Governor Connally’s shooting.

…President Kennedy was shot as he drove from Dallas Airport to downtown Dallas; Governor Connally of Texas, in the car with him, was also shot. It is reported that three bullets rang out. A Secret Service man has been…was heard to shout from the car, “He’s dead.” Whether he referred to President Kennedy or not is not yet known. The President, cradled in the arms of his wife Mrs. Kennedy, was carried to an ambulance and the car rushed to Parkland Hospital outside Dallas, the President was taken to an emergency room in the hospital. Other White House officials were in doubt in the corridors of the hospital as to the condition of President Kennedy. Repeating this bulletin: President Kennedy shot while driving in an open car from the airport in Dallas, Texas, to downtown Dallas.

Cronkite then recapped the events as they had happened: that the President and Governor Connally had been shot and were in the emergency room at Parkland Hospital, and no one knew their condition as yet. CBS then decided to return to ATWT, which was now midway through its second segment.

On Air Force One, at 2:39 PM, US District Judge Sarah T. Hughes administered the path of office to Lyndon B. Johnson, who became the 36th President of the United States.

Lee Harvey Oswald

Witnesses said the shots that killed the President come from a sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository, a building along the route of the motorcade. Police raced into the building, but couldn’t find the killer. Then they began a search for an employee of the building who had left the scene a few minutes after the shooting. About 1:15 PM, employee Lee Harvey Oswald is said to have shot and killed a Dallas policeman JD Tippit.

Oswald was arrested in a theater a short while later, and was charged with the murders of President Kennedy and Tippit. Oswald had been given a hardship discharge from the US Marines and had once tried to become a Soviet citizen. An admitted Marxist, and had a Soviet wife. He also had been active in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a group that supported Cuba’s Communist dictator Fidel Castro. They said no one saw Oswald shoot the President.

The police questioned Oswald for 2 days, but denied both murders. Dallas police claimed that the evidence against Oswald was overwhelming. The murder weapon Italian rifle, with a telescopic sight, was found hidden in the School Book Depository. Been purchased by Oswald from a mail-order firm for $12.78. His palm prints were found on the weapon. On November 24, after the assassination, Oswald was scheduled to be taken from Dallas city jail to the county jail. As he was being led to an armed car, a Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby stepped out of the crowd and shot Oswald to death. A nationwide television audience witnessed the shooting. Oswald was taken to the same hospital where Kennedy died. Oswald died at 1:07 PM.

Led a controversy, a Warren Commission, headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, investigated the assassination. In 1964, the Commission that Oswald acted alone. However, the critics disputed the findings. Many of them believed Oswald was part of a group that had planned to murder Kennedy. In the 1970s, special committee of the US House of Representatives re-examined the evidence surrounding the assassination. The testimony of acoustical (sound) experts who claimed that shots were fired from two locations along the motorcade at almost the sometime.

Kennedy’s funeral

After John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, his body was flown back to Washington, and taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital for the autopsy. At the same time, military authorities began making arrangements for a state funeral. Army Major General Philip C. Wehle, the commanding general of the Military District of Washington (MDW) (CG MDW), and retired Army Colonel Paul C. Miller, chief of ceremonies and special events at the MDW, planned the funeral.

They headed to the White House and worked with the president’s brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, also director of the Peace Corps, and Ralph Dungan, an aide to the president. Because Kennedy had no funeral plan in place, much of the planning rested with the CG MDW. House Speaker John W. McCormack said that the president’s body would be brought back to the White House to lie in the East Room the following day and then taken to the Capitol to lie in state in the rotunda all day Sunday.

The day after the assassination, the new president, Lyndon B. Johnson, issued Presidential Proclamation 3561, declaring Monday to be a national day of mourning, and only essential emergency workers to be at their posts. He read the proclamation over a nationwide radio and television broadcast at 4:45 p.m. from the Fish Room (currently known as the Roosevelt Room) at the White House.

Several elements of the state funeral paid tribute to Kennedy’s service in the Navy during World War II. They included a member of the Navy bearing the presidential flag, the playing of the Navy Hymn, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” and the Naval Academy Glee Club performing at the White House. The hymn “The God of Loveliness” was played as the casket was brought down the Capitol steps; “The Barren Rocks of Aden” as it was brought to the White House, and “Ave Maria” when it arrived at St. Matthew’s Cathedral.

After the autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Kennedy’s body was prepared for burial by embalmers from Gawler’s Funeral Home in Washington, who performed the embalming and cosmetic restoration procedures at Bethesda. Then Kennedy’s body was put in a new mahogany casket in place of the bronze casket which was used to transport the body from Dallas. The bronze casket had been damaged in transit, and was later disposed of by the Air Force in the Atlantic Ocean so that it would not “fall into the hands of sensation seekers”.

The body of President Kennedy was returned to the White House at about 4:30 a.m., Saturday, November 23. The motorcade bearing the remains was met at the White House gate by a Marine honor guard, which escorted it to the North Portico. The pallbearers bore the casket to the East Room where, nearly one hundred years earlier, the body of Abraham Lincoln had lain. Kennedy’s casket was placed on a catafalque previously used for the funerals of the Unknown Soldiers from the Korean War and World War II at Arlington. Jacqueline Kennedy declared that the casket would be kept closed for the duration of the viewing and funeral. The shot to Kennedy’s head left a gaping wound, and religious leaders said that a closed casket minimized morbid concentration on the corpse.

Mrs. Kennedy, still wearing the blood-stained raspberry-colored suit she wore in Dallas, had not left the side of her husband’s body since his death. Only after the casket was placed in the East Room, draped with black crepe, did she retire to her private quarters.

Kennedy’s body lay in repose in the East Room for 24 hours, attended by an honor guard that included troops from the 3rd Infantry and from the Army’s Special Forces (Green Berets). The Special Forces troops had been brought hurriedly from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, at the request of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who was aware of his brother’s particular interest in them.

Mrs. Kennedy requested that two Catholic priests remain with the body until the official funeral. A call was made to The Catholic University of America, and Msgr. Robert Paul Mohan and Fr. Gilbert Hartke, two prominent Washington, D.C., priests, were immediately dispatched for the task. A Mass was said in the East Room at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 23. After the Mass, other family members, friends, and other government officials came at specified times to pay their respects, including former U.S. Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. The other surviving former U.S. president at the time, Herbert Hoover, was too ill to attend,[44] and was represented by his sons, Herbert Hoover Jr., who also attended the funeral, and Allan Hoover, who went to the services in the rotunda.

Outside the White House and in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, crowds stood in the rain, keeping a vigil and paying quiet respects. It rained all day in Washington, befitting the mood of the nation.

Lying in state

On Sunday afternoon about 300,000 people watched a horse-drawn caisson, which had borne the body of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Unknown Soldier, carry Kennedy’s flag-covered casket down the White House drive, past parallel rows of soldiers bearing the flags of the 50 states of the Union, then along Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol Rotunda to lie in state.

The only sounds on Pennsylvania Avenue as the cortège made its way to the Capitol were the sounds of the muffled drums and the clacking of horses’ hooves, including the riderless (caparisoned) horse Black Jack.

The widow, holding her two children by the hand, led the public mourning for the country. In the rotunda, Mrs. Kennedy and her daughter Caroline knelt beside the casket, which rested on the Lincoln catafalque. Three-year-old John Jr. was briefly taken out of the rotunda so as not to disrupt the service. Mrs. Kennedy maintained her composure as her husband was taken to the Capitol to lie in state, as well as during the memorial service.

Brief eulogies were delivered inside the rotunda by Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield of Montana, Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Speaker McCormack.

Kennedy was the first president in more than 30 years to lie in state in the rotunda,[57] and the first Democrat to lie in state at the Capitol.

Public viewing

In the only public viewing, thousands lined up in near-freezing temperatures to view the casket. Over the span of 18 hours, 250,000 people, some waiting for as long as 10 hours in a line up to 10 persons wide that stretched 40 blocks, personally paid their respects as Kennedy’s body lay in state. Capitol police officers politely reminded mourners to keep moving along in two lines that passed on either side of the casket and exited the building on the west side facing the National Mall.

The original plan was for the rotunda to close at 9:00 p.m. and reopen for an hour at 9:00 the next morning Because of long lines police and military authorities decided to keep the doors open. At 9:00 p.m., when the rotunda was supposed to close, both Jacqueline Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy returned to the rotunda again. More than half the mourners came to the rotunda after 2:45 a.m., by which time 115,000 had already visited. Military officials doubled the lines, first to two abreast, then to four abreast.

NBC broadcast uninterrupted coverage of the people passing through the Capitol rotunda during the overnight hours. While anchoring the Today show from an NBC Washington studio the next day, Hugh Downs said that the numbers made it “the greatest and most solemn wake in history.”

CBS Washington correspondent Roger Mudd said of the numbers: “This outpouring of affection and sympathy for the late president is probably the most majestic and stately ceremony the American people can perform.” Jersey Joe Walcott, a former heavyweight boxing champion, passed by the bier at 2:30 a.m. and agreed with Mudd, saying of Kennedy, “He was a great man.”

Arrival of dignitaries

As Kennedy lay in state, foreign dignitaries—including heads of state and government and members of royal families—started to arrive in Washington to attend the state funeral on Monday.

Secretary of State Dean Rusk and other State Department personnel went to both of Washington’s commercial airports to personally greet foreign dignitaries.

Some of the dignitaries that arrived on Sunday to attend the funeral included Soviet First Deputy Premier Anastas Mikoyan, French President Charles de Gaulle, Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, the Duke of Edinburgh (representing Queen Elizabeth II), British Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Irish President Éamon de Valera, and Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.

Queen Frederika of Greece, and King Baudouin I of the Belgians were just some of the other members of royalty attending. Some law enforcement officials, including MPDC Chief Robert V. Murray, later said that it was the biggest security nightmare they ever faced.

After Jacqueline Kennedy and her brothers-in-law, Attorney General Robert Kennedy and Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, visited the rotunda, the coffin was carried out onto the caisson. At 10:50, the caisson left the Capitol. Ten minutes later, the procession began, making its way back to the White House. As the procession reached the White House, all the military units except for the Marine company turned right off Pennsylvania Avenue and onto 17th Street. A platoon of the Marine company turned in the northeast gate and led the cortege into the North Portico.

At the White House, the procession resumed on foot to St. Matthew’s Cathedral, led by Jacqueline Kennedy and the late president’s brothers, Robert and Edward (Ted) Kennedy. They walked the same route that John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy often used when going to Mass at the cathedral. This also marked the first time that a first lady walked in her husband’s funeral procession. The two Kennedy children rode in a limousine behind their mother and uncles. The rest of the Kennedy family, apart from the president’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., who was ill, waited at the cathedral.

The new president Lyndon B. Johnson, his wife Lady Bird, and their two daughters Luci and Lynda also marched in the procession. Johnson had been advised not to do so because of the potential risk in the wake of Kennedy’s assassination. Johnson recounted his experiences in his memoirs, saying, “I remember marching behind the caisson to St. Matthew’s Cathedral. The muffled rumble of drums set up a heartbreaking echo.” Merle Miller quoted him as having said, “Walking in the procession was especially one of the most difficult decisions I had to make,” but it was something he “could do, should do, would do, and did so.” When he moved into the Oval Office the next day, there was a letter from Mrs. Kennedy on his desk, thanking him for walking in the procession.

Not since the funeral of Britain’s King Edward VII, in 1910, had there been such a large gathering of presidents, prime ministers, and royalty at a state funeral. In all, 220 foreign dignitaries, including 19 heads of state and government, and members of royal families from 92 countries, five international agencies, and the papacy attended the funeral. Most of the dignitaries passed unnoticed, following respectfully behind the former first lady and the Kennedy family during the relatively short walk to the cathedral along Connecticut Avenue.

As the dignitaries marched, there was a heavy security presence because of concerns for the potential assassination of so many world leaders, the greatest being for French President Charles de Gaulle. Under Secretary of State George Ball manned the operations center at the State Department with the goal of ensuring that no incident occurred.

NBC transmitted coverage of the procession from the White House to the cathedral by satellite to twenty-three countries, including Japan and the Soviet Union, allowing hundreds of millions on both sides of the Iron Curtain in Europe to watch the funeral. Satellite coverage ended when the coffin went into the cathedral. In the Soviet Union, their commentators said that “the grief of the Soviet people mingles with the grief of the American people.” There was no coverage in East Germany, where television audiences had only a soccer match to watch.

The widow, wearing a black veil, led the way up the steps of the cathedral holding the hands of her two children, with John Jr., whose third birthday fell on the day of his father’s funeral, on her left, and Caroline on her right. Because of the funeral and the day of mourning, the widow postponed John Jr.’s birthday party until December 5, the last day the family was in the White House.

Funeral Mass at cathedral

About 1,200 invited guests attended the funeral Mass in the cathedral. The Archbishop of Boston, Richard Cardinal Cushing, celebrated the funeral Mass at the cathedral where Kennedy, a practicing Catholic, often worshipped. Cardinal Cushing was a close friend of the family who had witnessed and blessed the marriage of Senator Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953. He had also baptized two of their children, given the invocation at President Kennedy’s inauguration, and officiated at the recent funeral of their infant son, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy.

At the request of the First Lady, the Requiem Mass was a Pontifical Requiem Low Mass—that is, a simplified version of the Mass, with the Mass recited or spoken and not sung. Two months later, Cardinal Cushing offered a pontifical Solemn High Requiem Mass at Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston, with the city’s orchestra and choir singing Mozart’s Requiem setting.

There was no formal eulogy at the funeral Mass.[124][125] However, the Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, the Most Reverend Philip M. Hannan, decided to read selections from Kennedy’s writings and speeches.[124] The readings included a passage from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes: “There is an appointed time for everything…a time to be born and a time to die…a time to love and a time to hate…a time of war and a time of peace.” He then concluded his remarks by reading Kennedy’s entire Inaugural Address.

Jacqueline Kennedy requested that Luigi Vena sing Georges Bizet’s “Agnus Dei”, as he had at her wedding to John F. Kennedy ten years prior. Instead, he was told to sing Pie Jesu and Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria after the offertory. For a few moments, she lost her composure and sobbed as this music filled the cathedral.


The casket was borne again by caisson on the final leg to Arlington National Cemetery for burial. Moments after the casket was carried down the front steps of the cathedral, Jacqueline Kennedy whispered to her son, after which he saluted his father’s coffin; the image, taken by photographer Stan Stearns, became an iconic representation of the 1960s. The children were deemed to be too young to attend the final burial service, so this was the point where the children said goodbye to their father.

Virtually everyone else followed the caisson in a long line of black limousines passing by the Lincoln Memorial and crossing the Potomac River. Many of the military units did not participate in the burial service and left just after crossing the Potomac. Because the line of cars taking the foreign dignitaries was long, the last cars carrying the dignitaries left St. Matthew’s as the procession entered the cemetery. The burial services had already begun when the last car arrived. Security guards walked beside the cars carrying the dignitaries, with the one carrying the French president having the most—10.

A detachment of 26 cadets from the Irish Defense Forces, performed, at the request of Jackie Kennedy, a silent solemn graveside drill known as the Queen Anne Drill. This is the first, and only, time that a foreign army has been invited to deliver honors at the graveside of a US President.

At the end of the burial services, the widow lit an eternal flame to burn continuously over his grave. At 3:34 p.m. EST, the casket containing his remains was lowered into the Wilbert “Triune” grave vault, a 3,000 lb air- and water-tight copper-lined concrete burial receptacle in the Arlington ground, as “Kennedy slipped out of mortal sight—out of sight but not out of heart and mind.” Kennedy thus became only the second president to be buried at Arlington, after William Howard Taft, which meant that, at that time, the two most recent presidents to lie in state in the Capitol rotunda were buried at Arlington. Kennedy was buried at Arlington exactly two weeks to the day he last visited there, when he came for Veterans Day observances.

In one of his first acts, President Johnson named the National Aeronautics and Space Administration installation in Florida The John F. Kennedy Space Center.

Other public buildings and geographical sites throughout the world were named for President Kennedy. The Congress voted funds for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.

Great Britain made 1 acre (0.4 hectare) of ground permanent Untied States territory as part of a Kennedy memorial at Runnymede.

In 1979, the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum opened in Boston, Massachusetts.