The JFK assassination and the Arkansas Razorback football game | Arkansas Blog

The JFK assassination and the Arkansas Razorback football game

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Earlier today, we mentioned the Razorback game played the weekend after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Evin Demirel has much more over at Sporting Life Arkansas.

As the news broke that Kennedy was dead, and Lyndon Johnson had taken over the presidency, the team went on with business as usual. “We were all obviously shocked and saddened by the event but we had to focus,” Switzer said. “It didn’t affect how we played or prepared or how we went about the game.” Former Razorback Ken Hatfield added: “As a player, on Friday afternoon, you went to your meetings. You did what you had to do. You went to your hotel and we had to just wait and see if the game was cancelled.”

University of Athletic officials were conferring with other SWC programs throughout the day and at first heard Baylor, TCU, SMU and Rice would play their games as originally scheduled. They didn’t learn those programs decided to instead postpone their games until 11 p.m. This, combined with the fact Texas Tech was already in Fayetteville and that it was homecoming, led to a decision that “it was too late to alter our own plans,” President David W. Mullins said in a statement released at halftime of the following day’s game. “This, of course, was a difficult decision, but no other alternative was feasible.”

The whole thing is worth a read. Also don't miss Demirel's great look at various other Arkansas connections to the JFK assassination and its aftermath. 

The win over Texas Tech was the start of a dynasty. The Razorbacks didn't lose again until January of 1966, with 22 straight wins and a national championship on the way. 




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