DEAD CELEB OF THE WEEK: JOHN F. KENNEDY
Born: May 29, 1917
Died: November 22, 1963
John F. Kennedy never made it to his 1 pm lunch appointment in Dallas—he was assassinated just 30 minutes earlier as his motorcade entered Delaney Plaza—but at least he went out on a full stomach. On the morning of November 22, 1963, Kennedy was served coffee, orange juice, two eggs (soft-boiled at five minutes) and toast with marmalade on the side. The food was prepared and served by Otto Druhe, the executive chef at the Hilton Fort Worth, the hotel JFK and First Lady Jacqueline were staying before leaving the next morning for Dallas. Kennedy’s last meal (and final speech) took place in the Crystal Ballroom, where 2,000 supporters joined them for breakfast. (The room has since been remodeled and renumbered; ask real nicely and the staff will tell you which one it is.)
Kennedy’s death continues to be shrouded in mystery, but a few facts are etched in stone. Even though Kennedy was DOA at Parkland Memorial Hospital, he was “officially” pronounced dead at 1:33 pm after the Very Rev. Oscar L. Huber gave Kennedy the last rites. Huber recalls that he had to “draw back a sheet covering the President’s face” in order to do his duty. Secret Service agent Clint Hill, riding on the left front runningf board of the car immediately behind the President’s, recalls that former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy tried to climb onto the actual rear of the limo, perhaps trying to retrieve a fragment of her hubby’s shattered skill. And though Jackie Kennedy (1929-1994) swore under oath she did not remember such a moment, she did take some secrets to her husband’s grave. After the assassination, she wrote her late hubby a letter, and asked their two children to do the same. (The fact that neither could write didn’t seem to matter.) Jackie took the three letters, a pair of gold-enameled cufflinks she had given him as a wedding gift and a piece of scrimshaw carved with the presidential seal that she had given him for Christmas and tossed them in his coffin. Brother Robert F. Kennedy threw in a PT-109 tie-clip and a silver rosary.
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Morbid Curiosity, By Alan W. Petrucelli
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