Full Text:Public mourning has changed through the years McHenry County's first day of public mourning occurred upon the death of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865 following his assassination by John Wilkes Booth. President James A. Garfield's death in September 1881, following his July assassination again found the Square draped in mourning. Three thousand people gathered in the Square to share their grief. The principal address at the assembly was made by the Rev. J.D. McLean of the Presbyterian Church, who lauded the virtues of the dead president who had gone from a log cabin to the White House. Public mournings were later made for Presidents U.S. Grant (1885), and William McKinley (1901). In later years, with the advent of radio and television, people relied on these devices for news and mourned in private. When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died in April, 1945, Governor Dwight Green issued a proclamation that all state offices would be closed in respect to the memory of President Roosevelt, and urged all business houses to close from Noon to 5 p.m. Congressman C.W. Reed appeared at the high school auditorium as a guest of the Civic Club to discuss the last hours of Abraham Lincoln, his assassination, and the capture of John Wilkes Booth. He also briefly reviewed his observations of President Roosevelt's last appearances in Washington and his impressions of President Harry Truman (Truman served in the Senate; Reed was in the House). When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, flags flew at half-mast for 30 days. A national day of mourning was observed on November 24, with a vast majority of businesses, schools and public accommodations closed. Institutions not closing for the day observed various periods of respect beginning at 11 a.m. Banks remained open due to state banking laws. Trains halted at 11 a.m. for one minute wherever they were at that time. In the Spring of 1994, flags were flown at half-mast for 30 days out of respect for former President Richard M. Nixon and former First Lady Jaqueline Kennedy. A Square Draped in Morning The Woodstock Square was draped in black mourning upon the death of President James A. Garfield in September of 1881. Garfield had been shot in he back by a disturbed supporter of Chester Alan Arthur who became president upon Garfield's death.