Remembering JFK on his 100th birthday | Letter

May 29, 2017

Editor’s note: John F. Kennedy was born 100 years ago on May 29. Former Beacon Editor Al Hooper remembers the day the president died by an assassin’s bullet on Nov. 22, 1963.

On the day President Kennedy was shot, I was living and working in Vancouver, B.C., covering the football beat for the Vancouver Province. Working the night shift, I’d had all day to absorb the grim and unsettling news by the time I turned up at the B.C. Lions practice facility that evening.

The mood was beyond somber. Team coach Dave Skrien and his assistant coaches, along with quarterback Joe Kapp and halfback Willie Fleming, were among the team’s key performers.

All were Americans. All were distraught.

The worst thing that could happen back home had happened. There were no knee-jerk questions posed to the coaches that day. No queries about lineup changes or strategy options.

I don’t recall who won the next game, but everything else about that fateful moment is fixed in memory.

Al Hooper


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