Allentown residents asked to observe a moment of silence on 50th anniversary of JFK assassination

Posted: 5:07 PM EST Dec 24, 2013   Updated: 9:33 AM EST Nov 21, 2013
JFK motorcade

Allentown residents are being asked to observe a moment of silence at 1:30 p.m. Friday, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The 35th U.S. president was killed at 12:30 p.m. Central Time on Nov. 22, 1963, while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas.

On Wednesday night, Allentown City Council unanimously passed a resolution proclaiming Friday “to be a day of solemn remembrance and reflection on the life of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.”

That resolution asked all city residents to observe a moment of silence “at 12:30 p.m.” but council member Peter Schweyer later said that was a typographical error, adding 1:30 p.m. is the correct time to observe the moment of silence.

Earlier Wednesday, Mayor Ed Pawlowski issued a news release also asking the public to observe a moment of silence at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Pawlowski joins mayors across the country asking churches to ring their bells at 1:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, in honor of the assassinated president.

Kennedy visited Allentown while campaigning for president. He became the youngest president elected at age 43 in 1960.

Council’s resolution states Kennedy's administration was defined by the New Frontier, “which appealed to the best in American idealism in creating the Peace Corps, launching the U.S. space program and calling for Americans to consider what they could do for their country.”

The resolution also called Kennedy an exponent of racial justice, “calling on all Americans to denounce racism as morally wrong,” and that he proposed legislation “that eventually became the 1964 Civil Rights Act that changed the United States.”

The resolution states Kennedy was killed at the prime of his life and that the city, nation and world have mourned his death for 50 years.

Kennedy appreciated the work done by municipal leaders, according to Pawlowski. Pawlowski said Kennedy announced his five-point plan on civil rights at a U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting in June 1963 in Honolulu. Kennedy’s maternal grandfather, John Francis "Honey-Fitz" Fitzgerald, had been mayor of Boston.