Wednesday , 18 October 2017
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This Week in History: Nov. 18 – 24, President John F. Kennedy Assassinated

By TSB Contributing Writer, Don Newsom

In 1789, President Washington proclaimed Thanksgiving Day to be November 26. It became an American tradition of gathering with friends and family to observe a day of thanksgiving. That particular day was observed until 1863 when President Lincoln proclaimed that the observation be the last Thursday in November.

Photo Credit: Bettmann/CORBIS
In 1941, federal legislation designated the celebration to be the fourth Thursday in November, which we will observe this week.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address as he dedicated a national cemetery at the site of the Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania.

In 1920, the original Lions Club of McKinney organized.

In 1924, the Woolworth building on west side of the square in McKinney was destroyed by fire.

In 1852, A. H. Burns and his family settled in McKinney. Burns originally was from Tennessee. His wife, Lucinda Summers, was born in Texas and a member of one of the original families that migrated to Texas with Stephen Austin.

In 1853, Lewis Shepard married Mary Ann Huffman. They were the parents of J. W. Shepard who married Mollie Haggard and established the community of Shepton in the Plano area.

In 1888, the Princeton post office was established. It is still in operation as one of the 17 main post offices in Collin County.

In 1904, the cotton gin in Blue Ridge burned. It was the largest industry and employer in the community.

In 1963, President Kennedy was shot in Dallas. I was a student at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. At the moment it happened, I was sitting at the counter of a café across the street from the campus. I had just ordered a hamburger, fries and a glass of water with extra lemons so I could make a glass of lemonade. We heard something on the café radio ( there were no television in the cafe ) that got our attention and asked the waitress to turn up the volume. As the patrons of the café heard the news there was complete silence; and as if we were robots we all walked outside. Up and down the streets people were just standing, looking at each other in disbelief. Even the cars on the street outside had stopped and above the roar of the engines you could hear the saga being shared on the car radios. In the next few hours, JFK died; Lyndon Johnson became the second native Texan to become President and Lee Harvey Oswald, age 24, was arrested. Similar to September 11, 2001, the world was stunned and everything was in disarray. Even the Texas high school where my wife taught rescheduled a state play off football game for the following week. We were glued to any media available to follow the events. On Sunday, as the nation gathered to mourn and worship the second tragedy happened. Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald and denied the world of ever knowing all the details surrounding the assassination. We celebrated Thanksgiving the next week on November 28, but in a way that would forever be different.

In 1969, the Nixon administration announced a halt to residential use of the pesticide DDT as part of a total phase-out. From that day forth, the bugs would win.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon’s attorney, J. Fred Buzhardt, revealed the existence of an 18 1/2-minute gap in one of the White House tape recordings related to Watergate. The release of this information ultimately resulted in Nixon’s resignation.

Photo Credit: Bettmann/CORBIS

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