November 25, 1963: John F. Kennedy is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Following his assassination in Dallas on November 22, John F. Kennedy’s body lay in repose in the East Room of the White House for twenty-four hours before it was taken to the Capitol to lie in state (open to public viewing). Hundreds of thousands of people passed through the rotunda to pay their respects in what an NBC anchor described as “the greatest and most solemn wake in history.” During this time, over two hundred foreign dignitaries arrived in Washington, D.C. for the president’s funeral. Ninety-two foreign nations were represented at Kennedy’s funeral, including the Soviet Union; the Soviet representative, Anastas Mikoyan spoke briefly at the funeral with Jacqueline Kennedy, who said to him “"My husband’s dead. Now peace is up to you".

John F. Kennedy’s funeral procession left the Capitol at around 11 AM; the route would take the casket to the White House and then to St. Matthew’s Cathedral before ending at Arlington National Cemetery. A million people lined the streets to watch Kennedy’s casket pass by, and millions more watched the ceremony on television. President Johnson marched in the procession as well, though he was warned against doing so for fear of another assassination attempt; Johnson later described the decision as “especially one of the most difficult” he had ever made. 

Inspired by the flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, the president’s widow requested that an eternal flame be lit over her husband’s grave. An official gravesite was opened in early 1967, under which excerpts from Kennedy’s famous 1961 inaugural address are inscribed:

AND SO MY FELLOW AMERICANS 
ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU 
ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY 
MY FELLOW CITIZENS OF THE WORLD - ASK NOT 
WHAT AMERICA CAN DO FOR YOU - BUT WHAT TOGETHER 
WE CAN DO FOR THE FREEDOM OF MAN 

WITH A GOOD CONSCIENCE OUR ONLY SURE REWARD 
WITH HISTORY THE FINAL JUDGE OF OUR DEEDS 
LET US GO FORTH TO LEAD THE LAND WE LOVE - ASKING HIS BLESSING 
AND HIS HELP - BUT KNOWING THAT HERE ON EARTH 
GOD’S WORK MUST TRULY BE OUR OWN 

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