........fifty years ago today?
I was in second grade. Our former first grade teacher, Mrs. Hill, came in our classroom and told our second grade teacher, Mrs. Cast, "the President has been shot."
Our teacher, visibly disturbed, said to us, "class, this is a moment you must remember, the President of the United States has been shot". I remember the paintings on the wall (that probably adorned most school rooms at the time) of Presidents Washington and Lincoln. I remember sitting by the noisy registers in that old school house on a November day.
Soon after this, Mrs. Hill reappeared, and told Mrs. Cast something. After a few minutes, Mrs. Cast told us President Kennedy was dead. School let out, and I saw teachers weeping in the hallways as we left school early. For some reason, we must have sensed the magnitude, because there was no celebration about school ending early.
These are my recollections. I was only seven years old, so while my memories may be foggy, the sense of (or senseless) what happened sunk in. That day will live in my memory the rest of my life.
Please don't let this thread sink into a political rant. This a remembrance of a man who forfeited his life in the service of his country at a young age, and for many of us, the death of innocence.
Where were you?
My recollections are almost identical to yours Rob. I was in second grade having class when a girl from one of the upper grades, probably 8th grade came in to tell our teacher what had happened. As children I don't think the magnitude of what that meant sunk in right away. But I do remember the following days watching TV showing the funeral and the story about Oswald being in the news.
Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado. Standing in formation about to march to afternoon tech school session. Someone had one of those tiny transistor radios and the news was whispered up and down the line. At that time we only knew that the president had been shot. The news of his death came a little later.
I was in deep South Texas on a deer hunt. We had killed a few the day before and were taking them into the nearest small town (Encinal)to put them in a locker, it was pretty warm. We heard the whole thing on the car radio, including all the talk about the "grassy knoll". We all thought at first it was a radio play or a joke, like the Orson Welles thing. This was before cell phones, and we had to wait till we got into town to try and call home (Houston, for the most part) and see what was happening, we were all convinced that a War was imminent from someone, probably Russia, and wanted to tag up with our wives. We were all grown men, all Veterans, and not easily spooked. Well, there were only a couple of outside phones in town, the Locker Plant already had a line of hunters wanting to use the phones. We figured Houston would be a target, and didn't know whether it would do any good to try and make it home or wait it out. We finally decided to try and make it home, this was all playing out like a Movie. We burned the roads up getting home, you know the rest.
I was home that day helping my Dad brand cattle. We didn't have school that day as my school was closed for some reason although my sister was at school.
A fire had broken out early that day in a large hotel in town (Paso Robles Calif) and the hotel, a small restaurant and the Police station had burned.
I remember saying "that is going to be the big news story of the day" I have since learned not to make such predictions.
A classmate of mine came out to help with the cattle but he was late as he was pressed into service carrying oil to one of the fire trucks that had developed a major oil leak.
My mother heard the news over the radio and came out to tell us and I recall thinking this can't be true, nobody would dare do such a thing.
I was a high school sophomore in my science class (Mr. Cook was the teacher) when the announcement came over the school intercom. School was dismissed. Once home we all watched things develop on TV. My most vivid memory of the whole thing was seeing Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald as it happened.
I wasn't born yet!
If JFK were to come back today his views would be considered conservative now that the Progressive zealots have hijacked his once principled political party.
LOL, not only was I not born, my Dad was 1.
I was in high school . . . rumors were going around about it during the afternoon . . . the last hour of the day, they tuned the school intercom system to a radio station and just let it play. He was the first president that I really connected with, so to speak. Of course Truman and Eisenhower were there, but I wasn't "politically" aware of things when they were the presidents. I put leaflets on doors for Kennedy during his campaign. Looking how things went during his presidency, well that's a mixed bag . . . some things he did OK but he made some big mistakes too. Now there is a great "mystique" about him because he died so young and his presidency was so short and unfinished. He may have turned out to be a great president . . or maybe not, we will never know. This week, there have been several great PBS programs about his death, Oswald, and the whole Kennedy history.
High on a mountain in Wildflicken Germany.Just a scared kid who thought we were going to war! Bud.
High on a mountain in Wildflicken Germany.Just a scared kid who thought we were going to war! Bud.
I was teaching in a one room school in eastern Montana. 20 years old, 8 grades and 13 students. I had a little radio in the teacherage (the little room at the back of the school that I stayed in during the week) and when I went in to eat my lunch it was on the radio. The chairman of the school board came a few minutes after the kids came back in from noon recess and told me all the kids would be going home early so they could see it on TV. There was no TV reception at the school. Doesn't seem possible it has been 50 years.
Living in San Diego, I was making a sales call when a customer told me. I went right home and sat with the wife by the radio. We didn't have tv.
Later in the day we went over to my brother's, just to be near family. My bitsch of a sister-in-law was absolutely giddy. I've hated her ever since, but have to see her to see my brother, which has been far too seldom as a result.
I was a student at Pepperdine. This was the old Pepperdine College at 79th and Vermont, before the move to Malibu and becoming a big fancy university. On Fridays chapel was mandatory. After the 10:00 AM service I headed for for the campus radio station in the backstage end of the auditorium building. My buddy Herb Schmidt and I were volunteers at the station. As I was crossing the stage somebody, I don't remember who, came through the door from the station and said Kennedy had been shot. I imagined it was a non-fatal wound.
If you're old enough you remember the sound of the teletype machine. That day the teletype at KWAV clattered away with one dispatch after another in a steady stream. Then suddenly the clatter stopped for a few seconds and you heard only the whirring motor of the idle machine. After some seconds it advanced a few inches of blank paper, typed a row of asterisks then typed thirteen letters:
Another row of asterisks, a few more inches of blank paper, and then more clattering of news dispatches.
Herb and I spent the rest of the day interviewing mayor Sam Yorty, supervisor Kenny Hahn, and other local officials for their comments. Station manager Lee Larsen phoned KABC and got clearance to carry their news feed from ABC, and we inserted our short pieces from time to time. I don't recall what time we left the station, but it was late that night.
A personal lesson I learned from that day was never lend anybody the master tape.
I was in second grade as well. The school principal went to all the class rooms and told each of us the president was dead. I remember the tears in his eyes.
I was right here in Dallas watching it on TV in my second grade class room. It was a black and white TV mounted on a high rolling stand, probably a 19" monitor which was a big screen in those days. We had the first grade class in with us watching too, since there were not many televisions in the school, certainly not enough for every class room.
Our teacher Mrs. Smith did not say anything when we saw the Lincoln parade car speed off. Then Chet Huntly got on the screen, smoking a cigarrette as he always did, and he announced that the president had been shot.
The TV was turned off. It was really quiet, no one knew quite what to do. We went back to the day's lessons.
The principal came in a while later and said that those of us who walked to school could walk home. So I did.
I was in the telephone line assignment office in San Diego. One of the women who worked there answered the telephone and started crying. Then she told us the news. We knew that he had been shot and prayed for him, but at that time didn't know the extent of the injuries.
Unfortunately things progressed from "Military advisors" to war in Viet Nam and finally defeat. The three administrations of Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon were a big shame in the history of the United States. It would have been better to have never been involved in Viet Nam than to lose. I wonder what would have been the outcome had he lived? We will never know.
Grady, good to hear from you again. Many interesting memories from all of you. I'm surprised how many of us were in the second grade. (as I tell my kids, three of the best years of my life were spent in the second grade)
Bud, surprised you didn't go with the more common name, "Wild Chicken."
Thank you all for posting, looking forward to more reminisces,
I was in my in my Calculus Class at Ventura Junior College when a student stuck their head in the door and said: "Someone just shot the president!"
That was a very sad day for me, and IMHO America has been a darker place ever since...
It was indeed a day that changed this country.
50 years ago today I was 4 years from being born...
I was sitting in the middle of a lot I had bought, planning where to build my house. I had my car radio on and heard the breaking news.
It was my first semester at the University. I was in the band, and we had seen JFK at the dedication of Greer's Ferry Dam just a few weeks before. It was the first (and only) time I ever saw a "real" president in person. Seeing an actual president made quite an impression. Somehow it was an association which made me feel closer to him than any other president. He was a real person.
Another student and I went across town to a drive-in (I still remember which one) for a burger and fries, then returned to campus for Art class. The instructor sat quietly, head-down, at his desk and told each of us the news as we strolled in. He said all classes were cancelled for the rest of the day, and that was it. We wandered away in disbelief and shock.
I don't remember anything after that -- where I went, what I did, what happened the next day. But the part I related above is as clear as can be, as if it happened yesterday.
We read in history classes about other presidents' having been assassinated. Those were all so long ago and "way back in history" that there was never any connection to them. They were just facts on a page. But losing "our" president was all too real.
I have been telling my story for many years and the discovery of the event remains vivid in my mind. I had just been discharged from the army in Germany after three years of European and Middle Eastern assignments. My *European Out* allowed me to travel freely before I returned to San Jose. Three friends and I organized a trip to Spain and as we were passing through Madrid our car developed a water hose leak and overheated. We repaired the leak and needed to replenish the water. As I was the only Spanish speaker, I set off with empty wine jugs to find water. I found a carniceria (butcher shop) and got the water. In the process the owner shows me, with some excitement, a newspaper which had the headline “KENNEDY ASESINADO”…after some discussion I realized how important and tragic the event was to the Spanish. He gave me the paper and I returned to my group with the water and the bad news. We were all in dismay. The newspaper expanded on the event, but it was still early and not all of the details were clear. Listening to it all on the car radio was difficult as reception was bad. We refilled our wine jugs.
I was still a couple of months from being born. I do, however, remember the moon landing that Kennedy put into motion.
I was in 6th grade at the Catholic school. That event seemed to put life in slow motion from the time of the assassination right on through to the funeral. We were glued to the TV. Read every newspaper we could get our hands on. It knocked the wind out of the adults. A strange time I will never forget.
I was a second lieutenant and had just finished my lunch at the Little Rock AFB Officers' Club. Heading through the lobby to the door, I saw a woman rush in in tears, saying, "He should never have gone to Dallas!" No one got much work done the rest of the day, although I don't recall being sent home early. I'm pretty sure that SAC moved to a higher DefCon, but that affected the missile wing and the bomb wing more than it did those of us in desk jobs (Base OJT Office, in my case).
I was 10 years old, I dont remember what grade. My teacher came in and told us the President had been shot. We were all sent home very shortly after that.
Randy Glowacki, Parsippany, NJ
I was sitting in my 3rd grade classroom at P.S. 21 in the Bronx, when someone came to the door and summoned our teacher. When she returned a few minutes later she was crying and told us that the President was dead. We we're let out early, and as I walked home I stopped at our church. A Nun that I knew took me inside and we lit a candle. I remember it like yesterday.
This is also the 70th year since the sinking of PT 109. Had circumstances been different, Jack, like his brother Joe, would have perished during WW II. My father and two brothers were in the Army and Navy in the Pacific theater, and seemed to appreciate that the President had been on the front lines, like so many other "average Americans."
I was telling my wife about this thread. She was in the 5th grade. She remembers her mom setting out extra chairs in the living room and it was full of people coming and going. The house was like a Funeral Home. I bet most homes in America were that way for several days.
Rob,If Wildflicken means wild chicken it's taken me 50 years to find out.At the time there were about 600 small post in Europe and after the cut in 1964 two recived overseas pay and because of the location we recived hardship pay.At a place near Fulda G there is a gap in the Roan Mountains an it was the only place in northern Europe a force the size of a Divison could pass through!Lot's of alert's and i think the first 30 days almost everything on post was closed and town was off limits! Young and stupid i had no idea there was that much hate in the world!! Now we see it everyday even here!! Bud.
I was in the 6th grade in Mrs. Giteau's World Cultures class. The announcement came over the PA system and then school was dismissed. I remember sitting on the block wall by my driveway and several neighbors keep coming and going from the house. We had a small black and white TV and for three days sat and watched the events unfold. During the funeral they kept showing little John-John Kennedy saluting as the casket went past.
I was teaching a class at the Wausau WI Technical School when I made the remark that the president was in Dallas Texas and I hoped he was not in any danger when in the parade. A few minutes later a student came in to say the president had been shot. The student rec area had a B&W TV and I went down to hear the report that he had died,
Looks like most of us are in the 60-62 age range.... I remember the flight of John Glenn being announced in class. 50 years ago today I can't recollect what happened other than it was a regular school day and there was talk of the president being shot in Dallas among fellow students in the hallways when school was over. Turned on the TV when I got home and that's when my mother found out. I still get a tear when I think of those days and reliving on TV today doesn't help. My uncle worked on Kennedy's election... being close to him made the Kennedy presidency more personal.
It was my 4th year out of the Army.
I was working at a garage in St. Paul.
I was able to get my niece's husband a job there too.
We ate lunch at different times so the shop always had 2 or more there.
As I was crossing the street to go back to work the other guy was going to lunch. We talked about it for a few seconds.
He told me it would be one of his birthdays he would never forget. He was born on Nov. 22nd, as was one of my brothers.
For the next 3 or 4 days all the radio stations in St. Paul and Minneapolis just played church music.
Our boss thought is was a great relief from the rock cr-p we usually listened to.
I was a Tool & Die apprentice at Pacific Car & Foundry in Renton, Wa.
Word went around the shop but nobody knew for sure till the flag in front of the shop was lowered to half staff.
I still remember the hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach.
My wife heard it on the radio in our kitchen. She went and looked at the radio and didn't believe what she heard until she heard it again.
We had two little kids then.
I was ten years old, in fifth grade; Margaret Trumbull was our teacher. Mrs. Hodgson came in about 1:00 - 1:20 and said, "Our President has just been shot." I can still clearly remember her voice.
To this day, I remember the reaction I felt. It was somewhat like an electrical shock, but it originated inside me. It passed quickly, but I've never forgotten.
As many of us have, I've been to Dealey Plaza and looked around. I can see both sides of conspiracy vs. Oswald alone and have taken both positions, usually when someone has the opposite view.
Regardless of his politics and personal life, I have always felt that President Kennedy did not deserve what happened that day, and his wife certainly didn't.
One of the crew of PT-109, Barney Ross, lived near us in the early 60's in Barington Hills, IL, or perhaps he was just visiting. Another interesting man (I was too young at the time to realize it) was Jerry Joswick who'd been a combat photographer in WWII; I was friends with his son David.
9/11 was big, major big news, but I think JFK's murder was more so.
I was a junior in high school and looking forward to a "big date" at the school play that evening. Heard the news in class and school closed early. My family was not great fans of Kennedy but I do remember the shock, sadness, and apprehension surrounding his death and the related uncertainties. While Kennedy had high favorability ratings, he was not universally loved.
I was a glint in two Marines' eyes. Yes, both of my parents were in the Corps.
I was 8 years old in Mrs Goodlows 3rd grade class at McKinley school. The Principal Mr Hinefourth came into our class room and whispered something into her ear. She started crying and told us that President Kennedy had been shot and was killed. A janitor brought a ladder into our room and tied a black ribbon on the end of the flag pole. I drew a picture of President Kennedy standing holding a flag and wrote a Great Man. School was let out early and when I got home my Mom was in the living room ironing and crying.
I had just gotten home from class at Howard Sams Technical Institute in Indy.
hmmmmmmmmmmm, david, im assuming on of the marines was a woman right?
It was my sister's first birthday, and I was looking up at Mom icing the cake. I was trying to say something to her but she shushed me and said "The president's been killed!" I was only two but I still remember it clearly.
Working on my first car for profit: a light green 58 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon. Today 50 years later, a 24 Touring. Some things don't change.
Deer hunting in Michigan in the Houghton Lake area. My dad had got a nice 8 point buck in the morning and later it started to rain quite hard so we were riding around and heard it on the radio. With us was Howard Wilson the B-24 pilot I refered to in an earlier post.
I was working on the assembly line at Allis Chalmers Manufacturing Co., We built road graders. The news came by word of mouth and traveled through the factory like wild fire. I remember we all went home. Being a Catholic (and therefor born guilty) I was a big fan of Kennedy and saw him up close during a motorcade through my home town of Springfield, IL during his campaign for president. I was young and naive and thought he was a living saint. He wasn't evil but he wasn't a saint either. We've had worse and better presidents but nobody deserves to be shot. That is not what the USA is about - I hope.
Heather & I were married in February of 1963 and on that fateful day we came home from work, I think we had just finished dinner and I can remember the summary of the news on BBC on the radio at 7:25pm and they made the announcement. Couldn't believe it. We emigrated to the US four years later.
I was 18, living in Fresno Cal. at the time. Don't remember what I was doing?
Feb 2, by chance, Tony? It was the weekend between quarters at U of Ill, so that's when we got married in 1963. We've celebrated Ground Hog's Day ever since, and we watch the movie almost every year.
I was working at Pillsbury in Wellsburg, WV. I also got my Army draft notice that afternoon.
I was in third grade. While sitting in class, the announcement came over the loudspeaker that the president had been shot and killed in Dallas. The looks on my fellow classmates were ones of disbelief and worry. Immediately, we were all worried about the prospect of nuclear conflict. In the intervening days, JFK was cannonized in our view. The passing years have tempered that view. Now with perspective of 50 years, I look on a presidency marred by substantiated charges of political corruption during the election of 1960, a man with the morals of an alley cat, and a flawed foreign policy. So, many questions remain. It's hard to separate truth or legend at this point. I no longer include JFK in my pantheon of great presidents. I reserve that reverence for George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, FDR, Harry Truman among others.
I was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division Band at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. We got the news on the T.V. All of our activities were canceled as the Army went into thirty days of mourning. Ed
There seems to be a lot of us that were in second grade. Add me to that list.
I was at school 6th grade and the day after my birthday. I remember a teacher rolled in a tv that we used to watch Mercury launches. The TV announced that the prez was shot and at the hosp. When it was announced that he had passed most of the girls started weeping. We boys were all wide eyed wondering if it was Castro or the Russians. And did this mean WW3 !!! Within the hour we were all sent home. The next three days were strange for a youngster. We were not allowed to go outside and plat with our friends. George n L.A.
I think my dad was in the 7th grade. Which tells you where I was swimming.
I only wish I was perhaps in 2nd grade! For me it was 9th and I was in a study hall in the cafeteria when they announced the shooting. The principle put the news feed through the speakers in the cafeteria for a while, but then shut it down before the period was over.
At 315 (EST) suited up for football practice and the practice fields were sort of over hill and dale, winding trail in the woods to get to and as I was walking to the field area the band kids were already heading back, some of the girls crying. That's when I heard that he had died. they said that band practice had been canceled. I continued to the field for practice and coach had us all join up, he told us the news, and then we had a group prayer...in a public school no less...and he told us football too was canceled.
I went home and I do think the house TV was on constantly for the duration, I know my Mother was glued to it for the entire time and like others said previous we also experienced a sort of roving wake with folks coming and going...but when you're from a big Irish Catholic family to begin with...that sort of thing happened then on any sort of bad news.
I do recall someone saying that we would all remember that day and what we did that day for the rest of our lives...50 years later...sounds like that prophecy came true...
I was in the fourth grade at Carlthorp School in Santa Monica. My brother was in the sixth grade. The fourth grade room and the combo fifth/sixth grade room were separated by a folding partition. We heard commotion in the fifth/sixth room and saw the students leaving the classroom and walking toward the old house that was the school office and kindergarten. The principal, Miss Thorp, came in and told our teacher that the President had been shot. A short while later she came back and told her that the President was dead. On the way home I learned more details from my brother, the sixth grade students watched the schools only TV in the office.
Tom Brocaw just said on TV: "A man who wanted to go to the stars and wanted to take us along". Can't help but think things would have been better even today if he had lived.
I was two months and 3 days away from my third birthday.
I only remember very faint images of the events that were happening in the days immediately after that day.
My family and I were living in the same home I still live in today. My mom was a house wife and my father was working at Pillsbury like James Bowery, except that he worked at the canning plant in East Los Angeles, CA. at Atlantic Av. and Telegraph Rd.
This hit really hard at our house. My entire immediate family (Mother, Father, Brother, Grandfather, Grandmother, Aunt, Uncle, and one Cousin) had just moved from Pawtucket R.I. less than ten years prior. That was Kennedy Land.
My mother and grandmother were both Irish-French Catholic Democrats. My grandmother was born in Brockton Mass. So, needless to say, J.F.K. was definitely the favorite son in the election of 1960 at our address.
Despite the fact that the most important thing to me at that time was when the next Soopy Sales show was going to be on the tube, today just the sight of Walter Cronkite glancing up at the clock on the wall in the news room at C.B.S., removing his heavy, black, horned-rim glasses, and swallowing what almost looked like his very heart to announce the time that the President had died, even today brings tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat.
My grandfather ran a barber shop on Gage Av. in the city of Bell (yes, that Bell). He subscribed to every local newspaper and every popular magazine of the day. I still have the front section of the L.A. Times, Look, Life, and Time Magazine from the days following that I was given when he passed away.
Thanks for all the responses. Mike, like you it still brings a lump to my throat and my eyes water a bit when I think of it. Probably of lost opportunities and the possibilities we'll never know, along with the personal tragedy of a young man and father brutally murdered.
Like Henry Ford (and all of us to some degree or another) President Kennedy had flaws. Like Henry Ford and many famous people, these flaws were exposed under the magnifying glass of history. Still, what a remarkable and tragic life.
Thanks again for posting. Possibly a few people on this forum will share their remembrances on the one hundred year anniversary of the shooting in Dallas. (Although I won't be there)
I was nine years old and sitting in a Miss Barrett's 4th grade classroom at a Catholic School in Seattle. The news caused many adults and children to begin to sob, but I do not recall being let out early or heading over to the Church for prayer. It just simply seemed like we were all dazed and confused over the days leading up to the funeral. I was glad to see(in my naivete)the VP take the oath right away to maintain an "order" to things as we watched the evening news. We, like many others wanted law enforcement to find the perpetrator(s)and bring him/her to justice. Our family B&W TV was on the kitchen table so we watched NBC evening news religiously every night at 6pm to see if there was any progress in finding a culprit. Then we watched as Jack Ruby gunned down Lee Harvey Oswald while eating our salad, spaghetti and 3 cookies for dessert. At that point it was time to go back out to play as the news was increasingly less interesting to us kids while the press was getting into minutia of details that are only interesting to adults.
I was 11 and living in Toronto, Ontario. We heard about the shooting over the PA system. I remember being both sad and scared. The missile crisis was still fresh in our memories.
I was in Mr Yokum's 6th grade advanced math class when the announcement from the principal came across the intercom speaker. Like others here, I remember it like it was yesterday. The look on Mr Yokum's face, the sound of his voice, the simple "Oh No!" he uttered.
I rode my red Schwinn bicycle home. Along the way I saw the Fuller Brush man walking from one neighbor's door to another. He was walking fast with a puzzled look on his face. I told him that President Kennedy had been shot and killed. He told me "So that's why everyone that answers the door just says "now is not a good time" and then slams the door". He then went with me into our house and watched the coverage on our TV with us for about a half hour before leaving. He, my mother, and I just stood there watching the news.
It was a different time. Some things are better now. Many things are worse.
I was 5 and that is one of my earliest memories. I clearly remember both my Mom and Dad crying. Never saw that before or since!.
I was one of a six-member team, working on hill-country farms in New Zealand. We, of course, knew nothing about it until we returned home that evening, but then the radio and TV was swamped with the news.
I was in 8th grade science class. (Called junior high school back then.) The announcement came over the school's PA system and school was let out early. I walked home, as usual, and watched all the news broadcasts on our console black and white TV.
I was at a grocery produce warehouse in Toledo, Ohio delivering a load of frozen turkeys, when a guy came running out on the dock screaming our president was shot. I thought, maybe, he was talking about his union president. Didn't find out it was OUR President until I got home later that day. I didn't have a radio in the truck.
Last night there was a program on msnbc after the news that featured famous people,and a few pukes thrown in.I'm sorry to say the only referance to/from the millitary was a admirel's son who spoke at the time.Not to start a rant but coulden't they have found more real people than michael more and donald trump?? Bud.
The night before, PBS replayed a show they did ten years ago with McNeil and Lehrer. Both of them were near by when it happened; one working for NBC, and the other for a local paper, I believe. I'll probably watch it tonight.
I was a little kid in third grade, in Catholic school. Our principal, Sister Rose Gertrude, got on the school's public address system and said, "Let me have your attention, please. I'm asking all of you to pray for the president, who has just been shot in Dallas, Texas."
Even at that young age, I had already become keenly aware of the cold war, the Cuban Missile Crisis and a vociferous, atomic war-monger by the name of Khrushchev, who, according to one of our teachers, might send Russian troops to the United States to boil us in oil unless we agreed to become Protestant (No, I'm not kidding), in the event that he didn't first drop an atom bomb on us—which was why we practiced "duck-and-cover" air-raid drills in school.
And I remember one instance in particular, after I had walked home from the school-bus stop on a day when school had been dismissed early—and my mother hadn't anticipated it and was out grocery shopping and I was now locked out of the house—that I happened to look up and see a formation of swept-wing jets crossing the sky and concluded that these were Soviet bombers; and how, in a chilling rush of panic, I rang the door-bell of our neighbor, Mrs. Salzano, and how she tried to calm me down, because I was shaking like a leaf.
But even in an age of such frightening things, nothing compared to the the day President Kennedy was murdered, and the horrible anguish which spread in a televised instant across America and then slowly withered to lingering feeling of loss that never did go completely away.
And I remember in the 1950s people saying a Catholic could never be elected President.
One quip was, "Some people will do anything to make a Texan President."
Back then, northern Democrats would choose a southerner for VP, to assure the southern vote. The Republicans just chose a VP as life insurance. Kill Pres. Bush, and you get Quayle?
I was having a swim.
8th grade math class (Mr. Elms). The announcement was made over the school intercom and we listened to WGN Radio over the system the rest of the day.
One of the biggest kids in our school sat across from me and I still remember him trying to hide his tears.
Something else I recall with crystal clarity was the extraordinary silence on the school bus during the ride home. Even the usual clowns had nothing to say.
I was 35 years old and in the summer had been offered a partnership in a research Lab in Louisville, Ky. After a lot of thought and enduring the wrath of a disgruntled father, We put the house up for sale, left the partnership I was in in San Luis Obispo, Ca.and my last day at the shop was Friday 22 Nov 1963. Couldn't leave on Monday because the banks were closed.
Closed the bank account on Tuesday morning, packed the things we had to have to live the weekend in the empty house, my wife and three kids, 8 11 and 12 years old into a '59 VW Micro Bus and my '52 Jag Hard Top XK 120 Coupe. We pointed the caravan East and Sat afternoon we were there. The only problem we encountered was Lucas Fuel pump points and mechanism in the Jag. Give an Englishman a wire or a piece of metal, he will do something foolish with it.
As stated above I was in the second grade. My parents were not overly political and we did not have a TV at that time. I do remember that the teachers at my school were crying and school let out early. The buses were not running and I had to walk home. I do not remember the missile crisis. My father was a Physicist employed by the Navy in sonar research and we had a kick ass home built radio with huge speakers. There was an older couple that lived across the street from our house and our family spent a lot of time over the next couple of days watching their TV when we were not listening to the radio. I remember it like it was yesterday!
I was 2 so I guess I was at home
How many of you guys said the pledge of allegiance that morning? How many were led in prayer by a school faculty member? How many were just allowed to leave school without parental notification? How many had Moms at home when they did get home early? How many got home alone, but were able to walk right in because the door was unlocked?
My, how times have changed.
Well Seth & Brian..thanks for making me feel old!! I was in 4th. grade..9 y.o. at the time...birthday in Aug. so got to kindergarten "early" compared to most. Anyway, terrible day, dark, rainy, dreary. Remember it like yesterday. One of the few things I CAN remember! Hal, I'm neglect in saying the pledge daily, but I do fly the flag in front of my house 24/7 (with a light), and when I used to be captain on a local excursion boat, started our daily cruise with Star Spangled Banner, followed by My Country Tis of Thee.... Many people would stand up and salute the flag at the stern of the boat, the younger one's just looked kind of funny.
I was referring to saying it in school the day of the JFK assassination
We said the pledge of allegiance every morning in the Dallas Independent school district, every school day. In English.
How many of you recited it before "Under God" was added?
The "under God" was added when I was in the 7th grade.
I'll be 54 this next February, an so I do not remember anything. The first time something big happened was when the space shuttle Challenger on take off exploded. I was walking across the quad at school(college) and ran into a friends little brother who would have been a freshman at the time and he told me about it. His physics class was watching the take off on TV. I was done for the day and went home, turned on the TV and after a short bit stuck in a tape in the VCR and let it record till it stopped some 6 and a half hours later. When I got up to go to work(nights) it was still playing out on the TV. By that time I could get a decent radio signal most of the night and I listened to Larry King a lot. That night I had no problems staying awake as I was glued to the radio.
I was in grade 4 & the Principal Earl Steinback came to each class room (he never came to each grade to make announcements before) & we knew that something awful had happened.He told us that the President Of The United States had been assassinated.
With all the trouble with Cuba,we didn't know what to think, was going to happen next.
A builder had just finished building a duplex next door to my parents home.He had put a bomb shelter in each unit(he thought that he would be able to rent them easier with this safety feature.He was so proud of this,so he invited my Dad over to see them.He asked my Dad what he thought of them,& he told him that they wouldn't do a damn thing to protect anyone with the wooden interior door on them.
Scarey times for a 10 year old.
I was only four and a half at the time and don't remember anything of Nov. 22, but I remember watching the funeral on TV. We had a local farm family named Kennedy and I remember asking mom if the funeral was for Ellen's dad. She said no, this was the President of the United States. Normally (and still today) I have little patience to sit at any one thing very long, but I remember sitting on our awful, bumpy linoleum in front of the set as long as the broadcast went on.