In America, one of the most important moments of the recent past -- when citizens felt the country took a hard turn down a dark path -- was the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas. The date is etched forever upon the American psyche: 11/22/63. His presidency, though short, filled the country with hope and ushered in a new era of civil rights, volunteerism and space exploration.
In the United States, one of the most obsessed-upon pivot points of our recent past -- the moment when people felt the country took a hard turn down a fraught and unpleasant path -- was the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas. The date is etched forever upon the American psyche: Nov. 22, 1963. . His presidency, though short, filled the country with hope and ushered in a new era of civil rights, volunteerism and space exploration. Kennedy is sworn into office by Chief Justice Earl Warren on Jan. 20, 1961.
The president and Mrs. Kennedy shortly before his inauguration on Jan. 20, 1961, which was heard by 60 million people.
Henry Burroughs/Associated Press
Robert Frost composed a poem called "Dedication" for JFK's inauguration in 1961.
U.S. President John F. Kennedy delivers his inaugural address after taking the oath of office at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. in this Jan. 20, 1961 file photo.
A detail of the undated penultimate draft of President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address appears in an exhibit at the JFK Library called "From the Archives, Poetry and Power, The Inaugural Address of President John F. Kennedy."
President and Mrs. Kennedy arrive at the National Guard Armory in Washington for the Inaugural Ball.
Abbie Rowe/JOHN F KENNEDY LIBRARY AND MUSEUM
President and Mrs. Kennedy entertained dignitaries at the White House, including this dinner in 1962 that was in honor of the Minister of State for Cultural Affairs of France. Front, L-R: Andre Malraux; Mme. Malraux; Mrs. Kennedy; President Kennedy. Back, L-R: Herve Alphand, Ambassador of France; Mme. Alphand (partially hidden); Commander Tazewell Shepard, Naval Aide; Vice President Johnson; Mrs. Johnson (partially hidden).
Robert Knudsen /JOHN F KENNEDY LIBRARY AND MUSEUM
JFK met with several civil rights leaders throughout his career, including Martin Luther King Jr..
Many artists performed at the Kennedy White House, including the American Ballet Theatre doing "Billy the Kid" in 1962.
President Kennedy signs the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty on Oct. 7, 1963. William Hopkins, Sen. Mike Mansfield, John J. McCloy, Adrian S. Fisher, Sen. John Pastore, W. Averell Harriman, Sen. George Smathers, Sen. J.W. Fulbright, Sec. of State Dean Rusk, Sen. George Aiken, President Kennedy, Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey, Sen. Everett Dirksen, William C. Foster, Sen. Howard W. Cannon, Sen. Leverett Saltonstall, Sen. Thomas H. Kuchel, Vice President Johnson. White House, Treaty Room.
Robert Knudsen/John F. Kennedy Presidential Librar
President of the United States John F. Kennedy and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Nikita Khrushchev confer at the Soviet Embassy, Vienna, Austria, on June 4, 1961. Original U. S. Dept. of State caption: "President Kennedy and Chairman Khrushchev at the Soviet Embassy where they discussed affairs of state."
U. S. Department of State
FILE -- In this undated file photo released by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum shows President Kennedy, left, with Ted Sorensen.
President Kennedy's News Conference. Washington, D. C., State Department Auditorium on March 23, 1961.
Abbie Rowe/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library an
President John F. Kennedy chats with evangelist Rev. Billy Graham at the Tenth Annual Prayer Breakfast for Our National Leadership in Washington, D.C., March 1, 1962. Both the president and Graham spoke at the meeting, sponsored by Senate and House Prayer Breakfast Groups and the International Christian Leadership.
Marilyn Monroe with President John F. Kennedy, center, and Robert Kennedy, left, at a Democratic fundraiser on May 19, 1962 at a home in New York City. Monroe had come straight from Madison Square Garden where she had sung "Happy Birthday" to the president.
Cecil Stoughton/White House photographer
President Kennedy addresses the 13th Annual Convention Luncheon of the National Association for Retarded Children. Washington, D.C., in 1963.
Abbie Rowe/National Park Service
President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline are shown riding in a motorcade moments before the president was fatally shot in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
President and Mrs. Kennedy in the motorcade. Texas Gov. John Connally and Mrs. Connally are in the front seat of the limousine. This frame grab image was made from a restored version of a film showing the assassination
President John F. Kennedy is shot.
Jacqueline Kennedy leans over President John F. Kennedy, slumped in the back seat of his limousine after being fatally shot in Dallas Nov. 22, 1963. A Secret Service agent stands on the bumper
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, her dress stained with blood, stands with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, holding her hand, as they watch the casket of her slain husband, President John F. Kennedy, placed in an ambulance at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., near Washington, in this Nov. 22, 1963 file photo. At right are Evelyn Lincoln, glasses, and Kenneth O'Donnell of the White House staff. Mrs. Lincoln was the late president's personal secretary.
Three-year-old John F. Kennedy Jr. salutes his father's casket in Washington in this Nov. 25, 1963 file photo, three days after the president was assassinated in Dallas. Widow Jacqueline Kennedy, center, and daughter Caroline Kennedy are accompanied by the late president's brothers Sen. Edward Kennedy, left, and Attorney General Robert Kennedy
A horse-drawn caisson bearing the body of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy is borne November 24, 1963, to the Capitol to lie in state. Beside the caisson walks a military guard to the mournful roll of muffled drums.
Dallas Time Herald announces the JFK Assassination.