“Had he lived, the nation would have the continued benefit of his wisdom, his foresight, his humanity, his understanding, his vigor and stamina, his incomparable leadership. All has now been ended for this great and good man. He now belongs to the ages. But the good he has accomplished will live on.”
Editor's Note: On November 22nd, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy during a campaign visit to Dallas, Texas. Carl Vinson was chosen as a delegate for the House of Representatives at Kennedy’s funeral and only two days later was one of five representatives to escort President Lyndon B. Johnson to his first congressional address following the assassination. The excerpt above comes from Vinson’s tribute to Kennedy given on November 24th. Vinson’s tribute reflected the tremendous level of respect and support he had for Kennedy both in life and in death. During the 1960 presidential election, Vinson was one of the first Southern Democrats to publicly support the Kennedy campaign. Throughout Kennedy’s presidency, Vinson was an integral ally for the President, helping to garner the votes needed from fellow Southern Democrats to pass Kennedy’s legislative proposals. In his tribute to Kennedy’s presidency and life, Vinson paid homage to his many accomplishments but also stressed the need to continue Kennedy’s work and begin to move forward as a nation.