top of page

New Yorkers Express Shock and Dismay over President Kennedy’s Assassination

Nov. 22, 1963 - The cry rang across New York City, echoing again and again: “Is it true? Is it true?” Another cry quickly took its place as the news of the death of President John F. Kennedy swept with stunning impact: “My God!” Women wept, and men wept. The grief, shock, and incredulity mirrored the feelings of April 12, 1945, when the news of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death toward the end of World War II hit the city and the world. But there was another dominant emotion today — anger. Bitterness, even savagery were expressed. A question repeated time and time again was: “Where was his protection?” In the Bronx, at the corner of Fordham Road and Grand Concourse, a predominantly Irish and Jewish area where Mr. Kennedy had been very popular, there was shock and anger. Max Schechter, a newsstand dealer, said: “Our President traveled to practically every country in the world, and he was safe. In his own country he had to be assassinated? It’s a disgrace!” Strangers spoke to each other in the subway, mostly in soft voices or whispers. One man, eyes watering as he heard the answer, spoke as though to himself: “Another Lincoln. He’s another Lincoln.” Misthopoulos Georges, a 63-year-old Greek-born barber who came to the United States ten years ago, sat in his shop near Times Square, hunched over, and wept. “I feel he was a very good boy,” he said finally. “I cry.” A Negro cab driver said: “When my father died, I didn’t shed a tear until the funeral was almost over. When I heard Mr. Kennedy died, I cried so much I couldn’t drive this cab. I had to take it into the garage. I didn’t know I could love a white man that much.”


bottom of page