Nov. 23, 1963

One day after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, much of the sports world hit the pause button.

The Harvard-Yale football game, the event on the schedule that JFK may have held closest to his heart on a busy weekend, was postponed.

The American Football League shut down for the weekend, including the Patriots against the Bills at Fenway Park. In what Pete Rozelle ultimately called the worst decision he made as NFL commissioner, he ordered the games be played. None of them were televised.

While the NBA postponed its Friday slate, it was up to individual teams to decide how it would proceed Saturday. Celtics owner Walter Brown originally said their game with Philadelphia at the Garden would be played, but quickly thought better of it. The Bruins made their scheduled trip to Toronto and lost, 4-1

JFK’s enthusiasm for sports was well documented.Tommy Heinsohn recalled the team’s White House visit Jan. 31. Kennedy hosted a 20-minute visit in the Oval Office, offering a farewell handshake to each Celtic.

Forward Satch Sanders punctuated his moment with the president with a friendly, “Take it easy, baby.”

In a Boston Globe story, Heinsohn said Kennedy roared in laughter along with Sanders’ teammates.