The Rotary Club of Lincoln City will offer the chance to experience living history on Wednesday, May 8, inviting the public to hear a firsthand account from the night of the Kennedy assassination.

On November 1963, current Lincoln City Rotarian Dr. Jay Cox was then in his second year of an orthopedic surgery residency at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

On the day President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed, Cox was on call for orthopedic surgery. Having recently been promoted to lieutenant commander, he was in charge of the entire hospital operation from 5 pm until 8 am the next morning.

“At about 5:30 pm that fateful Friday, our hospital was notified that they were bringing the president’s body to Bethesda for autopsy,” Cox said. “I had to make all the arrangements with the pathologists and the autopsy room for his arrival.”

Cox was not part of the autopsy team, but was at the morgue for the arrival of the body and also at the front of the hospital when Jackie Kennedy arrived with Robert Kennedy and Robert McNamara.

“It was my job to get them to the tenth floor waiting area where they waited until the autopsy was finished.”

Cox said his firsthand observation of the autopsy process gave him insight into how the many conspiracy theories about the shooting developed.

“At the end of the autopsy that night there was no doubt in anyone’s mind at Bethesda that all shots came from the rear and there was no evidence of multiple shooters,” he said.

The lunch, which costs $13 per person, will begin at noon on Wednesday, May 8, at Salishan Lodge. Reservations are requested by Wednesday, May 1, by messaging the club’s Facebook page or emailing

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