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JFK: 'I've never felt the same about any other president'

Mark Cordell displays several Eugene Register-Guard newspapers from November 1963 that announced the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

KINGMAN - After 50 years of storage in a tan cardboard box, the old Eugene Register-Guard newspapers announcing President John F. Kennedy's assassination still bring back the deep emotions of that fateful day in 1963.

Kingman residents Mark and Patty Cordell, who kept the newspapers when they lived in Eugene, Ore., vividly remember what they were doing Nov. 22, 1963, when a bullet took the life of the nation's 35th president. Kennedy was shot twice shortly after noon as he rode in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas.

"I felt grief when the president died," said Mark, who was working at a cement plant when his boss told his workers. "It was a terrible thing. I voted for Kennedy and thought his family was great. And I saved the newspapers just because I thought that much of him."

The faded newspapers, stiff and crinkled with age, feature large photographs of Kennedy, one taking up the entire front page of an edition.

Inside, headlines announce "Johnson Takes Oath of Office," referring to then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson being quickly sworn in on Air Force One, and "JFK's Tenure Marked by Vast Problems," a full-page article about the political issues that troubled his time in office.

Patty was hanging drapes at a new house she and Mark had purchased in Eugene when she heard about the assassination on television.

Kennedy was buried on the couple's fourth wedding anniversary, Nov. 25, 1963, a fact they've solemnly remembered each year as they've celebrated their event.

"I felt very lost when I heard he died because I thought he was a wonderful person," she said. "I just cried. I thought he was going to be the one to change the world and make it a better place for all of us to live. I've never felt the same about any other president since then."


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