The effect an assassination on the public has, in each case, been an overwhelming sense of loss, and the need to understand why. The fear that accompanied the assassination of John F. Kennedy was in many ways about the loss of hope, and the loss of a foundational part of the American sense of democracy. The death of a president rocks the foundation of what individuals know, and how they perceive the world around them.(1) Nevadans in general, and UNR students in particular had a unique experience of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. They were in the middle of their college experience, and many were very connected to the political atmosphere of the time. John F. Kennedy had been a part of their political experience, and in many cases had run in the first election for which they were eligible to vote.(2)
The Sagebrush, UNR’s newspaper, covered the assassination, and newspapers across Nevada joined in the media fascination with the assassination. The aftermath of the event was seen primarily through the television screen, where the assassination and the funeral were transmuted into a national tragedy. Media allowed access to the days following and allowed the nation to mourn as a collective unit. Nevada media was certainly a part of this as can be seen in the headlines that grace newspapers from November in 1963.
Several individuals within the Nevada community weighed in on their personal experience of the assassination which happened during their college years at UNR. Their experience impacts the way that the assassination is perceived, and provides insight to students today. They discovered the news while in class, or in the quad and their memories act as a microcosm to the collective memory of their time: