front page 1963

On June 18, 2019, LNP celebrated its 225th anniversary. The earliest newspaper to which today’s LNP traces its roots was the Lancaster Journal, first published on June 18, 1794, by William Hamilton and Henry Willcocks from a news office located in a tavern building at the King Street site of the current LNP building.

To celebrate 225 years of Lancaster newspapers, we present this series of 52 front pages from the history of the newspapers which would eventually become LNP. 

JFK slain

The last conversation held by President John F. Kennedy was short and to the point.

As Kennedy, his wife, Jacqueline, and Texas Governor and first lady John and Nellie Connally made their way through Dealey Plaza in the now-infamous 1961 Lincoln Continental on Nov. 22, 1963, Mrs. Connally said this:

“Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you.”

Kennedy’s last words were in response – “No, you certainly can’t.”

Within minutes, Kennedy’s life was over and American history had been changed irrevocably. In the half-century since JFK’s assassination, the known details of the case have been etched in the country’s collective consciousness. Kennedy, hoping to mend a few Democratic fences as well as undertake some fundraising efforts, chose to visit Dallas in late 1963. A motorcade was announced to give visibility to Kennedy, who was hoping to win over an area that he had lost in the 1960 election. Each facet of what happened next could and would be given several books worth of attention. The parade route. The Zapruder film. Lee Harvey Oswald. Walter Cronkite delivering the news to a rapt and emotional nation. Not since Abraham Lincoln met a similar fate in 1865 had the nation witnessed such an event.

In the immediate aftermath of the slaying, though, none of these things were known to Lancastrians, other than what they had just seen on television, or heard on the radio or from a friend. Then-Mayor George B. Coe ordered all flags to be flown at half-mast and instituted a state of mourning throughout Lancaster. The Intelligencer Journal interviewed numerous citizens to get their immediate thoughts on the tragedy. Of these quotes, another former mayor, Thomas J. Monoghan, might have had the most poignant:

“It is a very, very sorrowful day when you realize what can happen to a nation that prides itself on being a nation of freedom - a leader of the free world. A man is gunned down in the prime of his life, just as 100 years ago another man was killed because he stood in the way of things. What does history teach people? I don’t know. They may have killed an individual, but they will never kill the spirit which put the man there. They may be able to hire a gunman but they can’t harness forever the will of the American people.”