Nov. 22, 1963: President John F. Kennedy, who gave a foreign policy speech at the University of Maine only a month earlier, is assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

Kennedy originally is buried in a 30-by-20-foot plot surrounded by a white picket fence at Arlington National Cemetery. About 16 million people visit it during the first three years after his death.

Because of the large crowds, cemetery officials and the Kennedy family decide to transfer his grave to a more appropriate setting. The new site, which opens in 1967, includes a gravestone that comes from Monson, Maine, a town noted for its production of slate. The inscription also is engraved there.

When Kennedy’s widow, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, dies in 1994, her gravestone also is produced in Monson.

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at: [email protected]

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