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How the Pioneer responded to Nov. 22, 1963

In its Thursday, Nov. 28, 1963 publication, the Pioneer honored the slain President Kennedy with a ornate portrait atop the front page.

The paper noted that Madras schools released at 1:15 p.m. on Nov. 22, shortly after word of the president’s death. Schools were closed on Monday, too, during the funeral services. During the weekend following the Friday assassination, a communitywide service was held at the Madras Methodist Church. St. Patrick’s Catholic Church held a mass of requiem.

Longtime publisher William Robinson also penned a front-page editorial. Among its elements were these words:

“Grief was sincere that a man, firm in his convictions, young and vigorous, interested in the welfare of his nation, should die at the hands of a left-wing resident of the United States, a Castro’s Cuba sympathizer, a self-avowed Communist.

“Apprehension was felt toward the future state of affairs internally and internationally for the United States ... apprehension on the decay in moral fiber that permitted two despicable crimes in the short space of about 48 hours ...

“Deserved respects have been paid. It is time now for the nation and its individuals to get to work. It is time to shake the lethargy, the inertia of grief and shock. It is time to move forward, to eliminate those weaknesses in our society that permit the atrocities of the past week ...

“It is time for confidence in the leadership of the nation. It is time for the individual to let his wishes be known. An alert informed, two-party system is necessary. From the unity in grief can come a unified determination that the causes represented by the assassin and the disrespect of law embodied by the second killer be foiled. Informed action and opposition, not grief engendered blind loyalty or petty partisan politics, will best preserve the nation for which President Kennedy and others have given, and are giving, their time, effort and lives.”



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