In 1963, on this day President John F. Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and Governor John Connally attended the funeral of Senator Ralph Yarborough at the "Arlington of Texas" the State Cemetary located east of downtown Austin.
The Death of Smilin' RalphDespite the show of partisan unity, Kennedy had been visiting the Lone Star State at the invitation of Yarborough to attempt to resolve a bitter dispute going on in the Democratic Party in Texas. Johnson and Connally were seen as the leaders of the right-wing faction, whereas Ralph Yarborough led the liberal wing committed to civil rights (so much so that Connally and Johnson had accused him of being a communist). Of course the Governor and Vice-President were long-time political allies; Connally had ran all of Johnson's election campaigns. In 1948 Connally was accused of fraud when he discovered at the last moment the existence of 200 votes for Johnson from Jim Wells County. It was these votes that gave Johnson an eighty-seven-vote victory.
The acrimony was worse than Kennedy had feared, and he was forced to agree to change the seating arrangements in the Dallas motorcade. Johnson and Connally travelled together in the same convertible, whilst Yarborough sat in front of President Kennedy who leant forward a moment before Oswald fired the fateful shot.