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A look back at The Daily Campus’s coverage 50 years ago

A look back at The Daily Campus’s coverage 50 years ago


Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States. JFK’s tragic death was a defining moment in the nation’s history, having great impact on the city of Dallas. After the assassination, the city was subject to worldwide scrutiny. Now 50 years later, The Daily Campus reflects on its coverage of the assassination. The following are excerpts from the Nov. 27, 1963 issue of The Daily Campus.

We are Guilty

“The President of the United States is Dead. Governor John Connally is badly wounded. A Dallas policeman is also dead. Now Lee Harvey Oswald has been shot down, and the lives of Mayor Earl Cabell and several Dallas lawyers have been threatened.

Across the country Dallas is sharing in the blame for John F. Kennedy’s death. Perhaps the President could have been murdered anywhere, but it is significant that he was killed in Dallas. Certainly the incidents with President Johnson and Ambassador Stevenson and the prodigious number of extremist groups here portray a city full of unreasoning hate. But there cannot be a blanket indictment of Dallas any more than can the President’s murder be dismissed merely as the work of a pro-communist mad-man…

“We cannot fight hate with hate. We in Dallas and the rest of the nation must bear our share of the blame for Friday’s nightmare. We must not let JFK’s death be for naught. Let it teach us a lesson we should not have needed — that freedom and liberty carry responsibility.”

Karen Anderson, Editor-in-Chief

Dallas & the Blame

“It is impossible to talk rationally of assassination, for assassination is an irrational thing. But the effects of assassination and the actions there following may be either rational or otherwise, depending solely on the people. To those of us who live in Dallas, the unspeakable killing of the President constitutes great personal tragedy. Naturally any heinous act, committed within an area of personal identity, such as neighborhood or city assumes tremendous individual meaning. It seems profane to say that many Dallasites were concerned at the blame, which might be placed upon their city. But it is indeed a valid concern.”

Charles Drum, Asst. Editor

Hill Calls For A New Beginning

“Early Monday morning I boarded a plane for Washington to attend the funeral of a great man, the late president of the United States. Outwardly my attendance at the funeral was to represent the students of SMU in a tribute to President Kennedy, but inwardly I was going there in search of understanding, in search of why our country had been denied the life and leadership of a man who stood for things that all men should stand for: freedom, equality of opportunity, world peace, and the elimination of prejudice and bigotry.”

— John Hill, student body president

Looking Forward

“But perhaps the most tragic aspect of all is not that it did happen, but that it could happen. In a free, non-perfect society such as exists in the United States today, there can be no way to control such unknown maniacs as Lee Harvey Oswald. As the late and beloved Pres. JFK himself realized, any man with enough determination, who is willing to give up his own life, can assassinate the president.”

— Skip Way, a student

“A Shot Aimed at the Nation…” was the headline of this issue of The Daily Campus, which also featured the following two telegrams that SMU sent to Jackie Kennedy and President Lyndon B. Johnson from
John Hill.


“Mrs. John F. Kennedy,

The students of Southern Methodist University join you in mourning the tragic death of our president. Our prayers are with you and your family in the loss of a truly great man.”

“President Lyndon B. Johnson, We, the students of Southern Methodist University pledge to you our full patriotic support and pray that god may bless and guide you and our nation.”

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