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Kennedy assassinations

The shock killing of US President John F. Kennedy in 1963 reverberated around the world. It soon became one of the most disputed events in modern history. The assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was shot dead two days later by nightclub owner Jack Ruby. A Daily Sketch reporter was in Dallas, and obtained this exclusive scoop.

Image from Daily Sketch, 25 November 1963   Image from Daily Mirror, 6 June 1968
Daily Sketch, 25 November 1963   Daily Mirror, 6 June 1968
The British Library gratefully acknowledges the John Frost Newspaper Archive for permission to reproduce these front pages.

Newspapers were now facing intense competition from television. The public was reading that Kennedy was wounded in US newspapers long after television had told them their leader was dead.

Only five years later Senator Robert Kennedy, younger brother of John F. Kennedy, was shot in a Los Angeles hotel. Good headlines often echo their readers’ thoughts and this one did just that. Journalist John Pilger witnessed the tragedy at the hotel: ‘Outside in the ballroom mobile TV cameras raced like stockcars at the kitchen entrance… Photographers fought each other for space in which to take a picture, any picture.’

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