Governor is Close to Tears

Published: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 - 12:13 pm
Last Modified: Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 - 6:55 pm

Originally published in The Bee on Nov. 22, 1963

Governor Edmund G. Brown, almost choked with grief, told a hastily called news conference in the Capitol that the death of the president is a sacrifice to the need for peace and the ridding of hatred throughout the world.

Governor Brown, a close political and personal friend of the young president and who just recently announced he would head a California campaign to reelect him, was close to tears when he confronted the Capitol press corps.

No Questions

His press secretary, Jack Burby, appeared first and relayed the governor's request that under no circumstances he not be asked questions.

Then the governor stepped to the rostrum and paused for a few moments while he gathered himself.

His voice cracked for just a moment and then he went on slowly and quietly with his extemporaneous tribute.

A Sacrifice

The text of the governor's statement follows:

"I just want to say that one of the greatest American presidents has died and his death is a further sacrifice this man made for peace and understanding in the world.

"He was a great president making great progress to bring about a better understanding.

"I only hope his sacrifice will bring about a lessening of some of the hatreds not only in our own country but in the world.

Deep Loss

"To me it's a deep personal loss. I was very close to the president.

"The people of our country will miss this great young man. To his wife and family I want to extend my personal condolences. I hope everyone in the state will just offer a prayer for the president and our nation.

"I've asked everyone to go home. I don't it is fitting that there be any more work today.

"I myself am going to cancel everything else today. Now, that's all I want say."

The governor's staff explained afterward that the governor directed all state officials to close for the rest of the day, except for necessary emergency and law enforcement services.

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