President Obama ordered government buildings to fly the American flag at half-staff to commemorate the 50th anniversary of former President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. 

Obama signed a presidential proclamation making Friday a day of remembrance for the 35th president.  


“With broad vision and soaring but sober idealism, President John F. Kennedy had called a generation to service and summoned a Nation to greatness. Today, we honor his memory and celebrate his enduring imprint on American history,” Obama wrote in the proclamation. 

Obama highlighted Kennedy’s leadership through the Cuban missile crisis, his speech in Berlin, his signing of the Equal Pay Act and his work on civil rights. 

Obama is slated to hold a videoconference with Peace Corp volunteers from Tanzania on Friday morning. Kennedy established the program during his time in office. 

“Today and in the decades to come, let us carry his legacy forward,” Obama said. 

Fifty years after his death, Kennedy is still seen as the most popular modern president. 

Kennedy held a 90 percent approval rating in a CNN poll released Thursday — 12 points ahead of the second most popular president, Ronald Reagan. 

Seventy-four percent of people called Kennedy an outstanding or above average president, according to a Gallup poll released last week. Only 28 percent felt the same about Obama in the poll. 

A level of intrigue still surrounds Kennedy’s death. Another Gallup poll found that 61 percent of people believe Kennedy’s assassination was part of a conspiracy rather than the work of a lone gunman. Still that number has dropped to its lowest level in nearly 50 years.