Note: The following is a lightly edited version of the 2014 article on our Parshah, Tetzaveh.
Until the mid-1960s, American men seldom left their homes without donning a hat. That all changed, according to one urban legend, when President John F. Kennedy appeared hatless at his 1961 inauguration, thereby bucking a convention which had governed the etiquette of menswear for centuries, and inspiring his fellow males to bare their heads in public from that day onward. The story seems plausible, right? Actually, this particular piece of trivia is demonstrably false: photographs from the archives of the Washington Post and of Time Magazineclearly show the president wearing a hat on the day that he was sworn into office. So, contrary to popular belief, Mr. Kennedy did not kill the homburg, nor did he kill the fedora. Both died of natural causes.
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