OTD: Kennedy assassination causes mid-session closure of TSX

On today’s date in 1963, the assassination of U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy caused chaos and confusion around the world, including in Toronto, where the Toronto Stock Exchange closed in the middle of a session for the first time ever.

The assassination, which was reportedly carried out by former U.S. Marine Lee Harvey Oswald, remains a cornerstone of contemporary history. At the time, it caused a stunned reaction around the world. Although the Warren Commission concluded Oswald acted alone, conspiracy theories abound.

“Crowds of excited people lined the streets and waved to the Kennedys. The car turned off Main Street at Dealey Plaza around 12:30 p.m. As it was passing the Texas School Book Depository, gunfire suddenly reverberated in the plaza,” reads the website of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

“Bullets struck the president’s neck and head and he slumped over toward Mrs. Kennedy. The governor was also hit in the chest. The car sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital just a few minutes away. But little could be done for the President. A Catholic priest was summoned to administer the last rites, and at 1:00 p.m. John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead. Though seriously wounded, Governor Connally would recover. The president’s body was brought to Love Field and placed on Air Force One. Before the plane took off, a grim-faced Lyndon B. Johnson stood in the tight, crowded compartment and took the oath of office, administered by US District Court Judge Sarah Hughes. The brief ceremony took place at 2:38 p.m.”

John F. Kennedy, then a U.S. senator, speaks at a press conference in New York during the presidential election campaign in July 1960.


In 2017, the U.S. government began releasing more than 30,000 files related to Kennedy’s assassination as outlined in legislation drafted in 1992.

The seventh and most recent batch of documents was released in April 2018; however, former U.S. President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden have both delayed the release of the remaining files.

In an October 2021 memo, Biden stated the remaining files will be released in two phases, one of which is slated to come later this year with another coming by Dec. 15, 2022.

Experts continue to pore over the available documents to determine exactly why Oswald carried out the assassination in Dallas more than 50 years ago.


In 1964, the first Kennedy half dollar was struck by the U.S. Mint, which still uses the design today.

Early coins were struck in silver while more recent examples have been struck nickel-clad copper.

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