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JFK
Old 11-17-2013, 05:51 PM   #1
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JFK

Lots of people in their 50s here. What do you remember of that day in Dallas? I was too young to fully understand what had happened, so primarily recall my parents being upset.
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:54 PM   #2
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I was in second grade and was home from school sick that day. I do remember it but I couldn't appreciate the significance of the event at such a young age. I do remember my mother being upset - Dad was at work.

BTW, I've DVRd the JFK two-part series on PBS last week and watched the first episode. Nothing new, but a trip down memory lane.

My birthday (not year) is the same as Caroline's.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:04 PM   #3
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I was 4. I remember sitting cross-legged on a cold linoleum floor, watching the black and white TV with bunny ears. There were all these adults crying on TV. I did not know what it meant but I knew it had to be very bad because I had never seen so many adults crying. I was very frightened.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:10 PM   #4
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More memories here, Reminiscing: 50 Years Later
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:11 PM   #5
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I am a couple of months older than Caroline. I was a 6 year old in Ireland so it was 7 pm GMT when the announcement was made that Kennedy had died. I remember that my parents heard it on the radio (we did not have a TV then) and my mother came upstairs to wake me up and tell me about it. I remember how upset she was. JFK was hugely popular in Ireland because of his Irish ancestry and because he had visited Ireland in June 1963. I remember watching the funeral on TV at a neighbour's house and seeing Caroline and John John looking so brave.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:17 PM   #6
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Oh my.

I was in high school. That was the day that to me, defined my generation and pushed many of us from the "Happy Days" of the 1950's, to the distrustfulness and turmoil of the 1960's.

I was first told of the assassination attempt by a boy in home room, and we all laughed and thought he was joking. Another boy said he thought it was great (since he did not care for Kennedy's politics).

Then news of the shooting came on the loudspeakers so we knew it was not just a joke. We were allowed to either stay in class and study, or go to the school auditorium and watch the coverage on a (relatively) big screen TV there. I did the latter for a while, and I will never forget Walter Cronkite's announcement that the President was dead.

After a while, that was too much for me and I went back to English class (which was now a study hall). My English teacher had been weeping and I had never seen anything affect her like that. The Principal did a brief, gut-wrenching extemporaneous eulogy over the public address system.

Interestingly, the boy who first told us of the shooting (when we thought it was a joke), grew up to be a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. I do not wish to reveal which one. Apparently the events of that day did not deter him from pursuing a political career.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:33 PM   #7
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I was in 4th grade and lived in Ft. Worth. The news that the President was coming to the area was big enough that even I heard of it. I was too young to realize that not everyone admired the President.

One of my classmates was out of school that morning because she went to see him (he had spent that last night in Ft. Worth - I guess she went to the hotel to try to see him leave ... not sure).

Anyway, I remember the day was so strange. At some point there was an announcement and everyone was shocked.

I remember going outside for recess and there was a rumor that the Russians were going to attack so everyone kept looking up into the sky to see if we could see bombs or an airplane (remember...this was elementary school).

After school, my mother picked me up because I was going to get my first eyeglasses. I remember as we were driving along seeing flags at half staff. She hadn't said anything (not sure why) about what had happened so finally I asked her if she had heard that the President had been shot. She had...

I was mad the next 3 days because there was nothing else on TV on the network channels. All the assassination and funeral stuff was boring, boring, boring. At one point my mom finally let me turn on the local channel which had kid's programming. She turned on the small spare TV we had in our formal living room which we never used. I heard her yell and ran in there. She had just seen Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald on TV. Even I thought that was interesting.

I do remember that in the midst of all that she sought to make the point to me that Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President by Sarah T. Hughes, a federal judge in Dallas. My mother wanted me to know that the new President had been sworn in by a woman whose name she had me memorize. (Except for the one girl I knew who had a divorced mother, my mom was the only female parent that I knew who actually worked full-time. She was ahead of her time).
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:36 PM   #8
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I was too young to really understand what had happened. I was in downtown Chicago with my mom at Wimpy's (a hamburger joint) when the news came in. Everybody froze and I was just scared, really scared. The kind of scared you have when you are a little kid.

She hurried us home and I remember the TV blanketed that weekend. Mainly drums beating and the riderless horse.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:43 PM   #9
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It happened a few days before I was born, so I was too busy floating around in amniotic fluid to be paying much attention. In a way, it's rather indicative of the insular attitude I displayed to the world around me after I emerged.....
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:22 PM   #10
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I watched the special on CBS 11/15 with Bob Seifert who was a young reporter at the time.

As I watched, my jaw dropped as I couldn't believed the assassination footage was shown again, unedited. But the program wanted to cover the assassination with footage from old news coverage from back years ago.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Oh my.

I was in high school. That was the day that to me, defined my generation and pushed many of us from the "Happy Days" of the 1950's, to the distrustfulness and turmoil of the 1960's.
Not an original thought but I forget who made it: The "sixties" began in November 1963, and ended in August 1974 (Nixon's resignation).

I was in second grade and remember how upset our principal sounded when he gave us the news on the school intercom.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:38 PM   #12
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well.... according to my mother, that was the day of my conception....

The were sent home early from work....
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:16 PM   #13
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I was in early grade school. I remember being PO'ed 'cause school was canceled, inc a scheduled school party. I was also PO'ed 'cause I liked JFK- He looked 'cool' & we had same first name. Also recall the adults being upset, but I was too young to grasp the full significance of what had happened.
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:24 PM   #14
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I was in a high school psychology class. I don't remember anything about that day before the knock on the classroom door when the principal informed the teacher what had happened. The rest of the day I will never forget.
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:27 PM   #15
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I was almost 5. My family didn't have a TV or a radio, and we didn't take the paper, so I don't know how we found out. I remember all the adults being upset. We went down the street to the neighbors who owned a TV to watch the funeral. The only thing I really remember about it is the awful rolling of the drums, and a horse with no rider.
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:49 PM   #16
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I was in high school and was returning to campus from home where I'd gone for lunch (small town in the 60's - times have certainly changed). I heard the news JFK had been shot on the car radio. A few minutes after we started back to our first afternoon class the entire school was called to the auditorium where we were told Kennedy had died. School was dismissed.

The most vivid memory of that day was what happened next. The entire student body filed out of the auditorium and walked down the center hallway of the school in absolute silence - no one said a word. The only sound was of footsteps and the opening of locker doors.

I still have the front page of the following day's Dallas Morning News...
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:05 PM   #17
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It is my earliest memory of television. I was home from kindergarten and the TV was on. I can't recall what show was on, but I clearly remember the first bulletin about "shots being fired at the President's car". I remember watching the coverage with my mother and younger brother(who was only 10 months at the time and of course does not remember), and her crying when they said Kennedy had died. We lived in an apartment building then and I could hear folks talking about it in hall and crying. When my Dad came home from work he hugged my mom right away, and it was the first time I saw him cry. As immigrants Kennedy had made a great impression on them, and it was a huge shock.

I remember our family watching all of the coverage that weekend, including Oswald being shot. There was just a general sense of numbness in the neighborhood... and the feeling of "if they can kill the President, what does that mean for the rest of us?"
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:25 PM   #18
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I was in 5th Grade in Falls Church, VA. The announcement came over the loudspeaker. It was a Catholic school, so we said the appropriate prayers. I believe we were let out an hour early that day.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:55 AM   #19
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I was 7. I remember we were sent home early from school, and all the adults were crying. I remember watching the funeral coverage - I will never forget the horse with the boots, and John John's salute, and Carolyn and Jackie next to him. In all the decades since, every time I hear the words "we interrupt this program with a special bulletin" my blood runs cold and I freeze in dread. Life was never the same again.
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:18 AM   #20
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I was in second grade in a Catholic school in a Chicago suburb. I remember that the nun turned the TV on--yes, we were "advanced" enough in that school to have TVs mounted on those wobbly metal stands. She began crying. I was most impressed by the fact that the nun was crying, and not the event of JFK's shooting.

Interesting time, to grow up in Chicago in that volatile time. It certainly shaped me in major ways.
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