Why JFK's Grandmother Didn't Know About His Assassination Until Her Death

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in the early afternoon of November 22, 1963, while campaigning in Dallas, Texas. According to the JFK Library, the president and his wife were scheduled to tour five Texas cities over the course of two days, making public appearances in anticipation of the upcoming 1964 election.

At 12:30 p.m., however, as the presidential motorcade was passing through Dealey Plaza, shots were fired from the Texas School Book Depository. Kennedy was hit in the head and neck, and he was pronounced dead at Parkland Memorial Hospital a half an hour later. News of the event shocked the world, and the nation grieved the tragic loss of their president.

President Kennedy was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery on November 25. Representatives from over 100 countries attended the service to pay their respects, and the funeral was watched on television by millions more around the world.

There was one person who not only never grieved the president's loss, she never even heard the news of his assassination. Mary Josephine Hannon, JFK's own grandmother, was never notified of her grandson's death.

The Kennedy family kept the news of JFK's assassination from Hannon until she died

Hannon, JFK's maternal grandmother, was born in 1865, making her already 98 years old when JFK was shot. Fearing that the upsetting news of JFK's assassination would be too much for the elderly woman to bear, her family chose to keep the president's death a secret from his grandmother. Less than a year later, Hannon passed away, just two months shy of her 99th birthday, without having ever been told of her grandson's murder.

"Mrs. John F. Fitzgerald died today at the age of 98 without learning that her grandson, the late President John F. Kennedy, had been assassinated. The tragic news of the late President's death in Dallas last Nov. 22 had been kept from her by relatives who feared the shock might kill her," her Desert Sun obituary read, via the California Digital Newspaper Collection. Hannon outlived her grandson by 10 months, but she went to her grave believing her grandson was alive and well.