Today I traveled to Parsons, Kansas, by means of The Parsons Sun dated January 3, 1967 where the headline read: “Cancer Victim – Death Takes Ruby; Slayer of Oswald”. “Jack Ruby, insisting to his final day that he acted along as Lee Harvey Oswald’s slayer, died today of cancer in Parkland Memorial Hospital…” This was the same hospital in which President Kennedy was pronounced dead.” Soon after Ruby’s killing of Oswald, conspiracy theories were stoked as news spread focusing on the point that Ruby knew Oswald. However, he attempted to debunk these stories as is described within the coverage: “…over the last weekend, it was revealed that one of Ruby’s last acts was to record another statement denying any conspiracy… a small recorder into the hospital room for Jack to use and tell his story — the story he died with…”
One of the more desired of the newspapers reporting the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has always been the “Dallas Morning News“, published in the city where he was killed. Unbeknownst to most–including us for many years–is the curious obituary found on page 6 of the last section. Inconspicuously listed among the 33 entries in the “Deaths & Funerals” section is the one shown in the photo. It is a paid obituary notice inserted by a private funeral home announcing the death of an American president. The O’Neal Funeral Home handled President Kennedy’s remains in Dallas and furnished the casket in which he was sent to Washington. Although certainly not a local funeral, I suspect the funeral home sought the opportunity to gain some stature & credibility by letting all know they handled the remains of a President of the United States.
Has anyone else discovered this obituary notice?
And of note as well, relating to the Kennedy assassination, is the death notice of “J.D. Tibbit”, the police officer killed by Oswald shortly after the Kennedy assassination. In fact it was for Tibbit’s death that Oswald was initially arrested, the connection to Kennedy’s assassination discovered afterwards.
The best headlines need no commentary – they speak for themselves. However, sometimes they communicate the wrong message. Let’s hope the LOS ANGELES TIMES – EXTRA for November 22, 1963 was such an instance and not wishful thinking: “ASSASSINATE KENNEDY“
Finishing out our month-long tribute to the memory of John F. Kennedy, today we look at what may have been the closing chapter of the tragic death-sequence which began on November 22, 1963 with the assassination of JFK, advanced to November 23, 1963 with the shooting and death of Lee Harvey Oswald, and culminated on January 3, 1967 with the passing of death-row inmate, Jack Ruby. Many to this day are convinced that all three deaths are rife with conspiracy. Perhaps time will prove them to be correct.
Finding newspapers on the death of Ruby are quite difficult as the event was not deemed significant by most, and many institutions were no longer saving their newspapers for year-end binding – choosing instead to store them on microfiche to conserve precious storage space. However, every now and then one turns up. Please enjoy (?) the January 3, 1967 report as it appeared in The Parsons Sun (Kansas): The Death of Jack Ruby
This week I traveled to Dallas, Texas, via The Dallas Morning News (November 23, 1963). There I found the headline that saddened this great nation, “Kennedy Slain On Dallas Street”. One article headline reads “Gray clouds went away – Day Began as Auspiciously As Any in Kennedy’s Career” but at half past noon, lives would be forever changed when the first shot from the book depository rang out.
I was in first grade when this occurred, and still remember our custodian, Ralph, knocking on our window and telling my teacher, Miss Snyder, that the President had just been shot. He was on the way to the flagpole to lower it to half mast. Some events will stay vividly with you for a lifetime.
AS a sidebar… Over the years various lists have circulated comparing Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. The response to the uncanny similarities provided by Snopes is worth reading: Snopes on Lincoln/Kennedy Comparison
Today I traveled to New York City through The New York Times (dated September 16, 1963). There I found the headlines “Birmingham Bomb Kills 4 Negro Girls in Church; Boy Slain in Protest Riot”. This bombing occurred five days after the desegregation of three previously all-white schools in Birmingham, in which President Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard and the Federal Courts issued a sweeping order again Governor Wallace due to his defiance. This church was the same one which was used as the staging point for anti-segregation demonstrations led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in May of that year. Dr. King was reported to be coming to Birmingham to “plead with my people to remain non-violent in the face of this terrible provocation”.
The front page also was providing an update on a special birth that was reported the previous day. Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Fischer delivered quintuplets, four girls and one boy. They had five children at home, ages 3 1/2 to 7 years! I did a little research on them and found that they also had one more child after the quints too. The quints were the second surviving set to be born in the Western Hemisphere and the first to be born in the United States.