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Most Sports Events Cancelled in Wake of Assassination

Nov. 23, 1963 - Amid confusion as well as grief, a minor portion of America’s sports world went ahead with scheduled events today while the large majority postponed or canceled activities in reaction to the assassination of President Kennedy. (Pictured below, the American flag at an empty Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum flies at half staff after today’s USC-UCLA football game was cancelled.) Less than one-fourth of about 50 major college football games scheduled took place. Two of the four National Basketball Association games scheduled for tonight were postponed. A National Hockey League game in Toronto went on, but one of the three games scheduled for tonight (Detroit at Boston) was called off. Commissioner Pete Rozelle of the NFL (pictured) said the league planned to play all seven games scheduled for tomorrow, but the American Football League postponed all four of its Sunday contests. The AFL will extend its season one week — to Sunday, Dec. 22. The championship game, scheduled for that day, will be moved back. All over the country, high school sports events and smaller-college contests were called off in most cases. Persons in sports felt especially close to President Kennedy, whose interest in their activities always had been extensive, enthusiastic, and sincere. At the many events he had attended, he seemed to respond as a fan, rather than as a public figure making a ceremonial appearance.


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