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1963 — Capitol Mourning

Without a doubt, the biggest story of 1963 was the Nov. 22 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. As with nearly all articles in this newspaper, Roll Call’s coverage gave a Congressional point of view to the assassination as well as Lyndon Johnson’s elevation to the presidency.

Johnson, of course, served as Senate Majority Leader before being nominated for vice president, so the staff at Roll Call had a connection to him. Our Nov. 27 issue focused primarily on Johnson’s address to a joint session of Congress that day as well as his rise through the legislative branch.

Of course, such a terrible ordeal demanded more than two pages of coverage. In addition to the articles pictured above, Roll Call also editorialized on Kennedy’s death, under the headline “Personal Reflections,” detailing the close relationships forged between the newspaper and both Kennedy and Johnson. The editorial recounted a letter Kennedy wrote to Roll Call when he moved from the Senate to the White House that read in part: “We on this end of Pennsylvania Avenue will continue to count on ROLL CALL for the excellent ‘under the dome’ coverage it provides.”

Roll Call could never have asked for a better friend.