Where Were You When JFK Was Shot?

Jfk

I've been gripped by many of these personal accounts of November 22, 1963 shared in the NYT.

Since I would be born several years later, I don't have one of my own, but I'm sure that many Towleroad readers do.

For those who experienced it, what are your memories of the day Kennedy was shot? Please share in the comments.

UPDATE: Thanks everyone for your contributions (and lots of them).

Comments

  1. Jim in TO says

    I was in elementary school in Vancouver, BC. My teacher was a Miss Kennedy and she was a 2nd cousin of the president. The principal came in to the room and took here out to the hallway to tell her the news. We were sent home and I can remember clearly watching Walker Cronkite on KVOS 12 from Bellingham (then a CBS affiliate) covering the news. Still all very clear in my memory after 50 years.

  2. codyj says

    just coming back from a trail ride (horseback) at ST.Bernards School in Gladstone,NJ,as we entered the stables,and began to dismount, a local farrier,who was there re-shoeing,out in the yard, hollered out, hey boys, did you hear the NEWS???

  3. Avenger280 says

    I was 2 1/2 years old. Understandably I don’t remember it (I wish I did). My mother used to tell me that I cried because all of my favorite cartoons were preempted 😛

  4. JD says

    My memory most of my life (I was 4 when Kennedy was shot) was that I saw the news on t.v. and told my mother, who started crying. A few years ago my mother told me that what I had actually seen and told her about was Oswald being shot on live t.v.

  5. Alan says

    I don’t remember hearing about it. But I was born in DC and remember looking for my parents on TV when they went to see the President laying (lying?) in State. In the last 7 years my mother and sister reminded me that we all went to the funeral procession – but have no memory of it.

  6. pertx says

    I clearly remember the moment; I was 14 and in Latin class at Hamlin Junior High in Corpus Christi, Texas; my teacher was originally from Boston and Catholic. We were all aware that the President was visiting Texas. The school’s principal announced JFK’s death over the school’s PA system. Our class fell silent – we were all stunned and my teacher put her head on her desk and cried.

  7. Bill says

    I was in a fifth grade class when the principal came into the room and whispered something in the teacher’s ear and she burst into tears. Then they dismissed school for the day.

  8. James M says

    I was in high school; it was College Fair day and I was a senior. When we first heard about it, it wasn’t clear that JFK had died yet. My first fear was that this might mean war. It depended on who shot the President: the Soviets or Castro?? The fear was fear of retaliation, and war. We had recently lived through the Cuban Missile crisis… and we were on edge…

  9. George Deeming says

    I was 20 and working at a garden center attached to a large department store, one of the guards came in and said I just hear the most awful joke -“some woman had made up something about the President being shot” and then the announcement came over the stores announcement system that the President had been shot in Dallas. Everyone within eyesight broke into tears . store employees and customers alike. Within an hour the store had black crepe paper signs posted and we were all sent home.

  10. Greg says

    I was in grade school near Boston, MA and my teacher happened to be from Dallas, TX. Another teacher came in, whispered in my teacher’s ear. She burst into tears, dismissed the class and I walked home to find my mother crying. The scariest part of it all for me was having all adults crying, something I had never seen before or since.

  11. HadenoughBS says

    I was sitting in my 8th grade classroom on that fateful early afternoon when the principal announced over the school intercom system that the president had been shot in Dallas. I don’t recall him saying he had died but school was dismissed immediately so we all hurried home. I and my family were glued to our black & white TV set all weekend. I have vivid memories of the entire live TV coverage including watching Oswald get shot by Jack Ruby and the president’s funeral with many world dignitaries in attendance.

  12. Tessie Tura says

    I was with my mother while she was having her hair done at Elgerie’s Beauty Salon (We Curl Up and Dye For You!) in Atlanta. I was two months shy of my fourth birthday and the only thing I remember is Mama saving newspapers and wrapping them in plastic (they are still in a closet upstairs), and buying some sort of commemorative coffee-table book called “The Torch Is Passed”. The book is still around as well. The only thing I remember about the Kennedy presidency is we had to wear an ID bracelet in case we were rounded up and put in a fallout shelter, because of the Cuban Missile Crisis. You can see the bracelet in portraits made around that time.

  13. Wavin Dave says

    I was home sick, as usual. Both parents home, too. It was the end of innocence. Irish? Catholic? Telegenic before the idea existed? Until I looked downtown to see the Twin Towers fall, I never knew such meaningless, violent loss.
    I have a young husband. Please, spare him the same.
    Not likely, though.

  14. Jacques says

    I happened to be home from school that day (sick or playing hooky?) and was watching t.v. when the news first broke. I remember waiting for some time to hear whether he had survived, and then came Walter Cronkite’s now famous announcement that the President had indeed died. After that I just remember sitting glued to the television for days watching the ensuing events play out.
    Looking back, I suppose the pageantry of the funeral cortege, Jackie with her black lace veil, John-John’s little salute, made a particular impression on this gay boy.

  15. Hig says

    I was in the 8th grade, in a parochial school just north of Boston, MA. The girls were in choir rehearsal and the principal, our teacher, just turned on the TV so we could watch Jeopardy until the girls finished. Then the news broke, the principal sent runners to each class to turn on their TV’s and see for ourselves. Later we were all sent home early, taking the local busses to get home everyone was shocked and crying! Did not matter if you were male or female, Everyone was crying!

  16. johnny says

    Tessie, I always wondered what the story behind all the ID bracelets were in that era. I remember a lot of kids had them from that point on, lots of them being traded between friends, dates, etc. Perhaps that was the start of the ID bracelet trend in those days?

  17. tracklayer says

    I was sat at a desk doing “prep” (homework) in s British boarding school. The headmaster walked into the room (unknown) and announced the assasination. It was a complete shock Kennedy was so much the statesman. I cannot think of another moment that had that effect. (Not even the other US mega moments). I really think it is sad that the paranoia gripping the US has so changed world opinion.

  18. jpeckjr says

    I was five, growing up in suburban Atlanta. I have no specific memory of Nov 22, but I do remember the general mood in our community — very sad and anxious. Watched the funeral procession on television. Dr. King’s assassination, when I was 10, had a stronger impact. My own father had died in an accident just two years before. I believe that made the sadness in our home a little deeper. I do recall feeling sad for Caroline and John for having lost their father, like I had.

  19. William says

    I was in the fourth grade and the announcement asked all teachers to come to administration. Our teacher came back to announce the president had been shot and school was closing. When we got home our mother announced we were to watch tv and to remember the history of this tragic event. It’s something I remember to this day along with watching TV when Robert Kennedy was shot and then when JFK Jr.’s plane when down. For so many of us, everything good and tragic event happening to the Kennedy family seems like it happens to us also.

  20. CrackerLV says

    I was in 5th grade. At my school, we didn’t go from class to class. Instead, we stayed in the same room and the teachers would come and go. It was our art class and our regular teacher had left the room. All of a sudden the door to the classroom opened and she was standing there, out of breath. While holding one hand to her chest, she told all of us that the President had been shot. Our teacher then took all of us to another room where they had set up a TV. We all sat and watched the news about what happened until our teacher told us to go home and not come back.

  21. CrackerLV says

    I was in 5th grade. At my school, we didn’t go from class to class. Instead, we stayed in the same room and the teachers would come and go. It was our art class and our regular teacher had left the room. All of a sudden the door to the classroom opened and she was standing there, out of breath. While holding one hand to her chest, she told all of us that the President had been shot. Our teacher then took all of us to another room where they had set up a TV. We all sat and watched the news about what happened until our teacher told us to go home and not come back.

  22. Steve says

    I was in the second grade in Catholic school, and I remember our intercom coming on and the Principal of our school, some old nun, saying, “Children….” and telling us about it. I just remember how stunned we all were as children — this was big since Kennedy was Roman Catholic and Irish and most of the kids at my school were Irish. The position of my desk in the room, the scene is very vivid in my memory. Adults do crazy things.

  23. RWG says

    I was in the 7th grade in Newtown PA. It was in the last period of the day, math class, when another teacher came in and spoke to our teacher, who made the announcement that the President had been shot. We were sent home. My mother was there with a neighbor, who was in tears. That was the same year my parents divorced, so other things were happening at the same time. The whole event and aftermath seemed like just more turmoil I tried to get away from as much as I could.

  24. Ed says

    Catholic grade school in the 60’s brings back lots of memories, not all them pleasant thanks to the nuns who ran the place. I recall “duck and cover” drills where we had to get under our little desks with the fixed seats and cover our heads, as if that would protect you in the event of a nuclear attack. I recall having to cross ourselves every time an ambulance with it’s siren went by. Ours was a small school with no cafeteria, so everyone went home for lunch. Walking back to school after lunch 50 years ago today, a neighbor boy yelled across the street “Did you hear the news?”. When he told me, I yelled back “Liar!”. But when we returned to the classrooms, all the nuns were huddled in the hallway. That always meant trouble. Someone was getting expelled or someone had stolen candy out of the second grade supply room. Shortly after we sat down in those nuclear protecting desks, the principal, Sister Mary Williams, came on the PA and made the announcement that the president was dead and we were all to go right home. I remember going home and telling my mother, who never had the TV or radio on during the day. Like everyone else at the time, I was glued to our little black and white TV for the next 4 days. I was alone in the living room when Oswald was shot, then the program went back to the funeral. It was surreal. Until that day, TV had never been a major source for news. Newspapers were and they published one in the morning and another in the afternoon back then. The evening news had gone from a 15 minute program to a full half hour just recently. But after that day, TV news suddenly grew up. Walter Cronkite became the nation’s father figure during those dark days. You could tell he was grieved but always composed, and very reassuring when the nation needed lots of assurances that everything would be OK. Funny, I don’t remember getting that feeling from LBJ. Kennedy’s killing was really a shock to the nation’ system since these types of things happened elsewhere, not in the US. If you had not paid much attention to world events before then, you sure did from that point on. And in a few short years after JFK’s death, the nation would witness the assassination of MLK and RFK. All those events in the 60’s had an incredible impact on this then teenager.

  25. Alan says

    I’m reading all these posts about children being sent home from school and it tells you something about the times. Clearly schools assumed that there was someone at home for these children to go home to. I don’t know what happens today – but I assume it would be a more complicated process.

  26. Fritz Keppler says

    I was a junior in high school in New Orleans, and we were on lunch break when rumors were flying around the schoolyard that the President had been shot. When we returned to class there was an announcement over the PA system confirming that he had been shot, so the Holy Cross Brothers led us in prayer until a further announcement confirmed that the President was dead. We were dismissed and returned home by bus. We had a football game that evening, and the LHSAA would not permit the game to be postponed. It was the most spiritless game I ever attended.

  27. glstout says

    I was in 4th grade in rural Ohio. It was a very small school, six grades in six rooms, mostly farm families, not much changed in thirty years, mostly farm families; most of the teachers had been there for decades, and had taught the parents of kids who were now attending; very familiar and insulated, almost familial. For some reason our young teacher, Mrs. Deaver, was absent from the classroom — had she been summoned? — and we were working on our “Outer Space” notebooks for science class. I was coloring a picture of the planet Mars. One of the girls in class came in and told us the teachers were all in the office and crying, and that the President was shot and killed. Shartly afterwards Mrs. Deaver came in, very grave, and told us the President was dead and the Vice President and governor of Texas had been shot as well; she explained that the VP was President now, and told us his name — we all knew who JFK was, but our awareness pretty much stopped at the first family. All the students were bus riders, as the schools was miles from any homes, so school stayed in session until the end of the day. I had an appointment
    following school at the dentist or optometrist — the offices were adjacent, and I dont recall which — and remember watching the flag at half-staff at the saving bank across the street. I had never seen adults so stricken and appearing so vulnerable.

  28. JonD says

    I was in 7th grade in Libertyville, IL. I had spent the morning in another suburb attending a multi-school festival orchestra rehearsal. We arrived back at the school about 1 PM, having heard nothing about the shooting. The report of the President’s death came over the school PA system while I was in Social Studies class. One girl burst into tears and ran out of the room. The apocryphal memory I have, whether heard in person or second-hand, is one boy saying, “I don’t care, I’m a Republican.”

  29. bammer47 says

    I was on the playground at lunchtime at a rural elementary school in the Florida panhandle, a hotbed of conservative voters, Baptist churches, and anti-Kennedy sentiment. Some kids were playacting that Kennedy had been shot, without realizing that had happened, when a townie returned from lunch at home with the news of JFK’s actual assassination. My family were liberal Democrats and were devastated; others not so much.

  30. DeeVee says

    I was 3½; I remember my mother was in the kitchen next to my room and very upset. That day I had a severe allergic reaction to our dog. Doctors made housecalls then, and so my pediatrician came over and either shot me up with ephedrine or gave me a pill to open up my lungs, so I was almost hyper aware. I kept coming out to the kitchen because I couldn’t sleep and I remember my mother being on the phone with the doctor (who had just gone back to his office) to see if he had heard the news. She kept telling me to go back to bed, and that something terrible had happened. I remember gray images being on the tv, probably NBC newscasters.

    My older sister came home from school early and said none of the teachers told them exactly what had happened, just that they all had to go straight home. She also said that while walking to the bus, a man holding a radio to his head staggered by her and said “I killed the President” so she had no idea what in hell was happening, just that everyone had gone crazy. This was Boston, so the entire city ground to a halt.

  31. Paul says

    11/22/1963 was my ninth birthday. I was at Marquez Elementary School in Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles), California. For lunchtime, the entire school ate while seated as classes on benches in the school grounds between the classrooms. We kids noticed that lunch was running very, very late, and we weren’t being taken to the playground. Also, none of the teachers were present — only the two lunchtime aids. Somehow one of the kids overheard that the president had been shot, and word of it spread like a wave as it rapidly spread through the crowd. When the news made it to my class, one of my classmates turned to me and said, “Pretty crummy birthday.”

  32. Diver39 says

    I was in 3rd grade, the new kid in the school. The entire elementary school was brought into the cafetorium (yes, that’s what it was called) and I remember there was a bust of JFK on a Greek-style pedestal. I remember sitting on the floor and our principal telling us that sometimes very bad things happen, and that something bad had indeed happpened. President Kennedy had been shot and killed. Odd thing is I remember that moment so well, but I do not remember watching any television or the reaction of adults around me. I wish I did.

    I was attending a Jr. High near LAX when RFK was shot, and I very clearly remember that the entire student body was asked to go out on the front lawn to watch and pay silent tribute as the plane with RFK’s body left L.A. I remember watching the plane take off and I do remember the adults crying that day and the kids being stunned as well; school was dismissed for the rest of the day (it was around 1:00, I recall).

  33. the other Ken says

    I was 6 years old and have plenty vivid memories of pointless events before the assassination, but I don’t recall anything about this other than my sister singing Happy Days are Here Again and my mother telling her not to sing it, that it was President Kennedy’s song.

  34. Lance says

    6th grade in downstate Illinois. Our teacher kept leaving and coming back into the room and he made the announcement after recess. I was a keen student of history even at that age, but assassinations were supposed to be something from the past (Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, the Austrian Archduke), so my first thought, even though our teacher never used the word, was “this is an assassination.” It was a long, cold, rainy walk home. I am trying to avoid all the reliving of it going on this week. It’s still too much.

  35. Gary says

    I was in 5th grade. They came and got all the students took us to the auditorium and announced it. We then watched TV coverage and ultimately were dismissed early. As I recall, there was no school through the following weekend. It was a very sad somber time, and in my belief, the loss of innocence for many of my generation.

  36. Jeff says

    This was my earliest memory as a human. I was in kindergarten and didn’t understand why I was being sent home, though I was very happy to go. But I was angry that the TV just had sad music on, and no Captain Kangaroo. I hold the vision of the B/W TV in my memory. The music was Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” which still brings back the memory when I hear it.

  37. pete says

    I was 8, home from school with a bad cold. I was in the den watching TV, when the news break came on that the president had been shot. I ran into the kitchen and told my mom, who was on the phone. She said, “Oh honey, don’t be making things up like that” I told her it was true and ran back into the den. She soon joined me and we sat rivited to the reports. My Dad came home from work early, he and my mom both cired when he came in the door.

  38. lokfre says

    I was in my 5th grade class. Out of the blue one of the other teachers came into the room and asked our teacher to step out and three of them were talking in the hallway with one in tears. Our teacher came back in and announced our president had been shot and killed. We all went home and spent the next day also at home glued to the TV. Everybody was so devistated and sad for so long afterwards.

  39. MB says

    My mom took me to see the motorcade as it passed by the house in Ft Worth. JFK then flew to Dallas. I was 11-months old, so my mom prepared my lunch and was ironing shirts when the news broke around 1pm that he was dead. We had just seen him. She says the tv did not go off for the next 3 or 4 days. Next to the moon landing, the Challenger explosion and of course 911, this was a monumental marker of time.

  40. Zlick says

    Well, I was just 3-and-a-half at the time, so I don’t remember all that much. Most of it is how upset my mom was; crying and crying. I can recall sitting on the steps with her and crying together. The emotional toll around my house really got to me, apparently, because there’s not much else I remember from that extremely young age. I don’t recall watching TV reports of that day, but vividly remember watching the funeral procession on TV some days later.

    So yep, I recall where I was when JFK was shot, when the Challenger exploded, all during 9/11, and for the Moon landing. Sheesh, we need more stuff like the Moon landing.

  41. Kurtis Edwards says

    I miss Bobby and I wasn’t even alive. JFK’s assassination was horrible, poor Jackie, right there next to her husband like that, but Bobby really did have the potential to change things. I just think of something Jackie said years after when she wondered if the family was cursed because all the men seem to leave too early. I wasn’t alive but it still breaks my heart.

  42. Derrick from Philly says

    Well, these are some very poignant memory comments from you all. I (and I’m sure many other visitors to this blog) appreciate them.

    I was in kindergarten, but I can’t remember JFK’s assasination. I thought I remembered going with my grandmother to the North Philly Train Station for the passing of the funeral train. But that was 5 years later for Bobby Kennedy.

    Say what will about Old Man Joe and Miss Rose BUT they gave the ultimate sacrifice to this country: three sons.

  43. Eric says

    Yes, it was 50 years ago today, that John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, but for me, the memory of all the events are like yesterday. I was sitting in 8th grade history class, listening to our teacher read a daily short story from war veteran diaries that he had acquired. It was the best part of my day, always interesting. Suddenly, the principal came over the loud speaker and gave us the news. JFK was dead. In those days, there was no fax, email, just rotary dial phones. I never found out how they were notified, but the most surprising was that nearly every parent was outside waiting for us, as school let out early. In those days, people left a radio on during the day in the house, so the school districts probably made announcements that school was letting out early. The next door neighbor picked up me and her daughter, who was uncontrollably distraught. She cried all the way back to her house, next door to my parents. I ran in to find my mother her usual self, not in the least upset, but of course my father had called from the office to tell her. My parents owned the ABC TV and Radio affiliates in San Antonio. I turned on the TV, black and white, and watched Walter Cronkite on CBS who was obviously shaken. In those days, film had to be developed in labs before it could air, about a 30 – 45 minute process depending on the volume. So there was a delay in getting anything visual on the air. We heard rip and read copy from the AP and UPI news wires. For days I couldn’t leave the TV, watching every replay, listening to the conspiracy theories. The worst part was what my friends were telling me all of their parents worst fears. People theorized that we would be attacked by the Soviet Union, that we would be in the middle of a nuclear war at any moment. The only time I cried was watched JFK, Jr. salute the coffin as a toddler. And watching Mrs. Kennedy kneel and kiss the coffin at the White House was very difficult. She never once showed emotion in public. This was in en vogue for women of stature and breeding of that era. Looking back, I think that she was in shock, and that is the only thing that held her together.

    My parents had built an underground steel and concrete vault for us to live in at the time of the Cuban Crises which happened during JFK’s presidency. My father came home and wanted to begin stocking that and said we would perform practice drills. This is one of watershed moments in my life. I bravely told my father I had no intention of going down there. I had already told him that he built the entrance to the underground vault on the wrong side of the new party house which was erected on top. I showed him that the four military bases in San Antonio, all designated targets for nuclear warheads, were going to blow the house over on the door and we would never get out. Frankly, I couldn’t think of anything worse than being coup’d up in one room with 3 siblings, my parents and my grandmother who lived with us. My father told us at dinner the next night that the neighbors would be trying to get into the shelter with us and that he would have to shoot them. It was at that moment that I told him a would get a patio lounge chair and wait on the front yard for the mushroom cloud and the blast forces to take me out. I will never forget the look on his face. But I was very serious, and he knew that.

    Little did I know that just six weeks later I would be shaking hands with John Connolly who was very good friends with my father and a judge who lived next door. He still had the cast on his arm and he told us he was not in pain. But he seemed very tired, probably from the traumatic experience.

    It was a very strange time. I remember feeling the unease of what might happen next for weeks. That slowly dissipated. I became fascinated with the life of Jacqueline Kennedy. I marveled at how she was able to brave new trails, provide many stimulating experiences for her children and then she married Aristotle Onassis, the Greek oil magnate, one of the richest men in the world at that time. Most fascinating was the bond and trust she developed with New York financier Maurice Tempelsman, after Onassis died, who turned her $24 million settlement with the Onassis Estate into well over $100 million in about ten years. Living in the 60’s and 70’s was a great time. Although we had none of the computers, cell phones and electronic devices, this provided the time to really get to know people, especially those you did business with. It was very common to have business associates over for dinner rather than go to a restaurant. It was like sitting through a movie which has stellar character development. That element of life is missing now. Things would be so much different in this world if we could turn back the clock in that regard.

    I marvel that the Kennedy’s had thousands of strangers in their homes for tea parties prior to elections. Imagine that happening today. The house would be stripped clean by thieves and most probably someone would be shot.

    I feel very fortunate to have been alive during this time and old enough to understand the dynamics of the current events. I sincerely hope that this nation ever has to experience such a tragedy again.

  44. anon says

    By now the vast majority of Americans were not even born when Kennedy was killed, and for anyone born after 1980 or so, it pales in comparison to 9-11. It’s essentially a preoccupation of the baby boomers. For prior generations it pales in comparison to Pearl Harbor. Does anyone obsess over Pearl Harbor anymore? Few know even the date by this point. So this will probably be the last major remembrance of the Kennedy Assassination.

  45. jamal49 says

    I was a freshman in high school. It was 7th period study hall. I was not studying but staring out the window at a cloudless blue sky and anticipating the school day to end so I could get out and enjoy the warm weather. Then, our principal made the announcement over the loudspeaker that President Kennedy had been shot. I remember his words: “The President of the United States was SHOT today in Dallas, Texas and is critically perhaps fatally wounded. I will give you further news as we get it.” All of us looked around at each other, stunned. I felt numb, my head was spinning from shock. We sat quietly. No one was in the mood to study. Then, it was time to change classes. My next class was English. About 20 minutes into the class, the principal made the dreaded announcement in a choking voice: “The President has died.” That was all he could say. Several classmates started crying. The English teacher, who had been explaining some grammatical point at the blackboard, put down the chalk, walked to her desk, sat down and said nothing. She just stared out the window, holding back tears. I’ll never forget the aching sorrow and the bewilderment I felt that day. I loved JFK. He was my hero.

  46. JonnyNYNY2FLFL says

    I was 14, sitting in 7th grade French class. Our crappy p.a. system came on & it was almost unintelligible because they were holding a radio up to the microphone. No one could understand the message, except one girl. She started crying. Then the principal came on & made the announcement.

    School was dismissed. Our usually raucous hallways were completely silent as the students filed out.

    Only 3 years before, both candidates motorcaded through our town during the 1960 campaign within a few days of each other & made stops for speeches.. As an 11-year old boy, my buddies & I were able to get close enough that I was able to shake hand with both Nixon & Kennedy.

    Seems like many comments on this post were from readers approximately my age. For those of us who lived through it & were old enough to understand, we share a moment in history that profoundly impacted us.

  47. stevenj says

    Was in high school, just finished the period for PE. There was an announcement over the PA system that the president had been shot. Less than an hour later over the PA system again, the president was dead. Tears, shock, disbelief. Everyone was sent home for the day. 2 assassinations later during that same decade, it dawned on me that there was a force out there that did not want progressive/liberal politicians in office or out there speaking up for civil rights. Then Nixon, Reagan, Bushes. Imagine what this world would be like if those 3 had lived.

  48. Mark says

    I was in 7th grade in northern Minnesota. I was in study hall when a teacher cme to te door and said President Kennedy has been killed. I looked out the window and saw it was snowing. We were sent home right away.

  49. kelly says

    My father and I were in the office of an orthodontist in Asheville, an hour or so away from my small hometown. I was happy to have an afternoon off from junior high school. At some point Ruth, one of the nurses, came into the room and announced quietly that President Kennedy had been shot. I remember the feeling of the world suddenly going off kilter, and my dad’s “what? oh no” like the wind had been knocked out of him. Time stood still. Some time later Ruth again entered and said, “President Kennedy is dead.” I remember her muted melancholy delivery, the downcast eyes, her pursed red lips, and the silence….

  50. JAMES P KELLY says

    I was a senior in high school in Trig class with Mr. Duddy. Someone came in and told him that the president had been shot and our pep rally was canceled. I wondered, “why would anyone shoot Chris Scheupbach?” our student body president. Immediately it became clear what had transpired – Mr. Duddy said – “In Dallas?”, indicating that he knew better than I. When I understood, I turned to Dan MNeil behind me and said “Somebody is going to die for this very soon.” And I was right. Everyone left school weeping and stayed home for days watching TV.

  51. mike says

    I was 8, home recuperating from an operation the previous week and allegedly “napping” when the neighbor came running over to our house crying and shouting “they’ve shot the President” over and over. I had never seen an adult cry before and it really frightened me. Soon all the kids were home from school and I don’t think the television went off for days. It was surreal.

  52. *****overTX says

    I drove a 1953 Chevy with no radio. I had left Temple Junior College and drive the 20 miles home. My mother met me at the back door crying and sobbing while trying to get out the words “they shot him; they shot the President”. I later went to the local grocery store where one of my classmates father, upon hearing the news that the president was dead, said “he got just what he deserved. I spent the rest of his life hating him and can still hear his hatred ringing in my ears to this day. The events of that time still bring tears to my eyes every time I see the tapes of those events.

  53. Rick says

    I was a 5-year-old boy at the time and in the hospital, although I don’t remember what I was being treated for. I do distinctily remember, however, sitting on my father’s lap a couple of days later (still in the hospital) and watching JFK’s funeral on a black-and-white TV in my hospital room. Even though my dad was no fan of the Kennedy’s, even he was in a somber mood.

    One of the very few memories of the first five years of my life that remains poignant today and always will be.

  54. LuckyLinden says

    @anon, I am sorry you see this as obsessing over a past event or as an event that should even be compared in “worth” to other ones. Each is a unique tragedy and a unique event of worth. That said, I thank you for reminding me how treasured today’s memories should be. I think I will print and save them so a young ‘un like me can be reminded of that unique time in my country’s history and humanity.

    @Randy, read the full post and then STFU. There is something special happening in these comments. A collective rememberance of a shared experience. please respect that.

    To all sharing your stories…thank you, from the bottom of my 36 year old heart.

  55. Jim says

    I was 12, and home sick from school that Friday. I was watching television (probably some game show) when the news bulletin broke in. Remember, in those days we had only broadcast TV, so national coverage was limited to CBS, NBC, and ABC. I settled on Walter Cronkite on CBS and watched as he received and read bulletin after bulletin before he finally announced the death of the president. I can remember watching live as Lee Harvey Oswald was shot two days later. All seven TV stations in Los Angeles, where I lived, covered the assassination and aftermath non-stop until Monday night, the day of the funeral. I guess school had been canceled on Monday because I can remember viewing the funeral on TV.

  56. AZXPAT says

    First grade. I had just gotten back from eating lunch ( yeah, you could go home for lunch. You could walk home, by yourself, too.) A girl whose name I still remember, who had also gone home for lunch, burst into the room and shouted, “President Kennedy got shot in the head!” Shortly thereafter, the announcement came over the intercom. “The President is dead.”

    We watched the TV, constantly. Everyone was so, so sad. It was momentous, tragic, inescapable. Having experienced 9-11, I’d say they are equal in magnitude and importance. Having heard about Pearl Harbor, I’d say it’s comparing apples to apples. Someone experiencing all three likely remembers all the equally.

  57. Tatts says

    I was a freshman in high school (9th grade), a green chalkboard immediately to my right, windows to my left on the other side of the room, I was looking straight ahead at the loudspeaker over the clock in the front of the room as the announcement was made by the principal.

  58. greenfuzz says

    I was in the first grade at a rural elementary school in NW Ohio. They announced it over the PA system and we were sent home. We didn’t fully understand what was happening but all looked stunned. We were home from school several days.

  59. Bill says

    I was in a dormitory at college, studying between classes. Without a TV readily available, I missed a lot of the drama, but do remember them playing Seigfried’s funeral march from Goetterdaemerung on a radio station.

  60. says

    I was in 2nd grade, in an elementary school just outside of D.C. The principal came on the intercom and told us the president had been killed but all was OK because the vice president had taken over. The teacher — Miss Pickett — who was actually a great teacher, said “The girls can cry if they want to!” It was very much a Mad Men moment. Remember it like it was yesterday.

  61. Daya says

    I was 11 years old. It was the end of the day on Friday. In our class, Friday’s were formal dress day. Boys had to wear shirt and tie. I was lead of the AV Squad and I was running about collecting equipment. Someone passed me in the hall and said that the President was shot. I didn’t believe him, yet my mind flooded. I went back to my classroom and was told that President was shot and was dead.
    I have been listening today on NPR. Every story brings me tears. Even writing this.
    To me, this is the day the music died.

  62. says

    Thanks to everyone for their comments. As I noted in my introduction, I was born a few years later than this, but it certainly impacted the lives of those who raised me and it’s fascinating to hear about it. There are moments that shape every generation and it’s important to remember them.

  63. woodroad34d says

    It was a surreal moment. I was 10 years old in 5th grade and I had just come out of the bathroom and hearing over the PA system a news report and I wondered why the Principal had aired this news report over the school’s sound system. I remember a couple of 6th grade girls running out of their classes and crying “No, no!” and then Walter Cronkite said “I repeat the President has been shot”. I thought that would be impossible since to my mind being the president made him invulnerable. It took a long time for it to sink in. I had the same feeling waking up on 9/11 and turning on the news and seeing the video of the plane slamming into the building with no voiceover from the newscaster–I thought i was watching a 1970’s disaster movie. Another surreal moment.

  64. daws says

    Well…my Mum was only 8 months old when JFK was assassinated so…yeah. Maybe I was cat in that life or something. Maybe I was on a ledge watching it happen.

    Who knows.

  65. Scott says

    The following is what my should be husband experienced:

    On that fateful day, another “day that will live in infamy,” I was the Dean of the American College of Switzerland in Leysin. That evening there was a showing of an American movie at the local cinema and the theatre was packed with students and faculty from the College and Leysin American School. I don’t even remember the film, but there was an intermission, during which a student who had not come for the movie brought me news of Kennedy’s death. I took the stage before the movie resumed and had to announce to a full house of American students and teachers that our president had been assassinated. The result was disbelief and pandemonium. I don’t think the movie resumed. As one Swiss secretary exclaimed, “The president of the Swiss Confederation would be one thing, but the president of the United States,” and she broke off in tears. Later the students conducted a very moving memorial service for our fallen commander-in-chief.

    James A. Metcalf, Ph.D.

  66. Macmantoo says

    I was in high school in Memphis Tenn. The schools were segregated and while the whites didn’t care one way or the other as the blacks got on the bus many were weeping. It was a very sad day.

  67. Paul says

    I was 13 years old and in Junior High when the principal made an announcement over the PA system. I think school let out early and we went home to watch it on TV.

  68. Alex Parrish says

    I was 13 and home from school, recovering from some bug. My father was also at home which was most unusual; I have no idea why he was at home. I saw it on the television and called my father to tell him. He didn’t believe it at first until he sat and watched the TV with me. It is the first time I can recall seeing my father with tears in his eyes. We were glued to the TV for the next several days. I can still clearly recall the drumbeat during the long procession. That endless drumbeat is my most clear recollection.

  69. Greggdw says

    I was 4-1/2 and remember watching it on television with my Mother. They broke into the show we were watching.

    My Mother was crying. My Grandmother called in hysterics. Soon afterward my Sister came home from school crying. My Dad called & came home from work shortly afterward . . .Crying.

    It was like our whole family was shell-shocked. Later, I saw the Ruby shooting live and didn’t understand what had happened.

    My Dad was mad because I’d seen that, but my Mom stood up to him and said something to the effect that “he needs to watch this, it’s history”.

    Glued to the T.V. for the next few days. Mom watching every detail and explaining things to me about the funeral etc.

  70. Rick R says

    I was sick, so I didn’t go to school that day. I was only 8, but pretty responsible, so my parents, who both worked, let me stay home alone from school for the first time. I was watching TV–probably game shows–when the news bulletins interrupted. I telephoned my mother, who was acting principal of the public school for the mentally retarded in Syracuse. I asked her what “assassinated” means. She asked why. I told her. I wouldn’t stay in the house alone, because I knew, whoever they were, they were coming to get me next, so I sat on the front porch in my pajamas, robe and slippers until my mother got home.

  71. Don Maison says

    I was in the 11th grade. It was during the beginning of chemistry class when an announcement was made to report to the auditorium. I recall everyone being puzzled because a pep rally was scheduled for later that day in the auditorium. I will never forget the words: “Today, in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, the President was shot.” We were all sent home. Everyone was weeping. It was from a radio report in the car in which a classmate was taking me from Detroit to Mount Clemens, my home, that we learned the President was dead. I just remember tears. For days.

  72. Matt Ford says

    I was at my Grandmother’s house in southern Missouri. She was getting ready to go to bridge club and I was watching TV with the housekeeper, Mrs. Winnekee. I had just turned five and really did not know what a president was. Mrs. Winnekee was ironing and when the news came on TV. She called to my Grandmother and both started crying. It really fightened me to see the two crying. I can still recall the sunny day and the brooch my Grandmother was wearing. My mother came and picked me up and the next several days,I remember being dark ones with the drapes closed and the tv always on. Both my parents were so young and sad. Of course, I remember no cartoons on that Saturday. After all these years, just writing this is emotional.

  73. Matt Ford says

    I was at my Grandmother’s house in southern Missouri. She was getting ready to go to bridge club and I was watching TV with the housekeeper, Mrs. Winnekee. I had just turned five and really did not know what a president was. Mrs. Winnekee was ironing and when the news came on TV. She called to my Grandmother and both started crying. It really fightened me to see the two crying. I can still recall the sunny day and the brooch my Grandmother was wearing. My mother came and picked me up and the next several days,I remember being dark ones with the drapes closed and the tv always on. Both my parents were so young and sad. Of course, I remember no cartoons on that Saturday. After all these years, just writing this is emotional.

  74. John says

    Senior year in high school in Austin, Tx. We were anticipating school closing early so we could go see the motorcade when he arrived in Austin after leaving Dallas. I was running an errand for a teacher during my study hall period. I encountered a class mate who was red cheeked and breathless. I thought he was telling a joke. Then the loud speakers came on all over the school. We listened until the news came through that the President had died. School closed and we were sent home.

  75. MiddleoftheRoader says

    11th grade in a New York high school with 6,000 students. Last class of the day, English, taught by an excellent, passionate, beautiful 25 year-old Irish Catholic woman. Another teacher came to the door of our classroom and motioned for our teacher to come into the hallway. Many teachers left their classrooms and went into the hallways, whispering to each other. Students wondered what was going on.

    Then, our teacher came back into the classroom and told us the President had been shot; it was a public school, but she dropped to her knees, crossed herself, and openly prayed. The students were quiet, each praying in his or her own way. Several minutes later the principal came on the PA system and announced the President was dead. Our teacher, and many teachers, openly cried or screamed “no, no”, and students were sobbing.

    Like today, the 50th anniversary, November 22 was a Friday. We were dismissed from school slightly before the usual 3PM time, and a big school dance that night was cancelled.

    Most of the students took bus and subway to/from school, so I saw those newspaper headlines that are in the Towleroad photo at the top of this article.

    The strangest thing: the subways were jammed in NYC, but it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop, punctuated by occasional sobs. The 25-minute train ride home was like attending a funeral. Who knew New Yorkers could be so quiet in public?

    As others have said, all eyes in every home were glued to the TV for 3 days. It was all so surreal – pictures of the coffin and Jackie (in her blood stained clothes) emerging from the plane at Andrews Air Force base outside DC; pictures of Jackie and the kids visiting the President’s coffin in the Capitol where the President was lying-in-state; John Jr’s salute; and most amazingly, TV coverage of almost every major world leader attending the funeral AND MARCHING — not going by car — behind the horse-drawn hearse down Pennsylvania Ave.

    We watched America die that day, and the nation came together in its grief and loss of a dream.

  76. kevo says

    I was also in 5th grade. Sister St Genevieve came in to tell us. The classroom fell silent. I was preoccupied because it was my birthday and I was thinking about my cake and presents. But that never happened. My parents, who are Irish, kept the house dark. Candles were lit. Talk was discouraged by silent and menacing looks. I barely escaped the rosary by falling asleep.

  77. bear says

    I was 2. We were celebrating my second birthday with my mother (widowed weeks before) and our neighbor and her kids. We were watching Captain Kangaroo on t.v. on the west coast. It was pre-empted by the tragedy. We were taken into a room in the back hallway of the house and four children played while we listened to our parents cry. I have never felt comfortable at birthdays. I remember Oswald shot, MLK’s death and R. Kennedy’s assasination years later. I seem to remember thinking that America was the place that people went to to be assasinated. I would grow up to be a minor league Horror writer for film and t.v.

  78. RFH says

    I was in 8th grade Catholic school. We just returned from lunch when the nun told us while she was crying. Then we were sent home. All the kids were confined to their homes out of respect and the parents were not happy about that. We watched Ruby shoot Oswald and JFKs funeral on B/W TV.

  79. RFH says

    I was in 8th grade Catholic school. We just returned from lunch when the nun told us while she was crying. Then we were sent home. All the kids were confined to their homes out of respect and the parents were not happy about that. We watched Ruby shoot Oswald and JFKs funeral on B/W TV.

  80. jeff says

    I was 3 and a half years old and that day is one of my first memories. What I remember about it was sitting on the floor while my mother ironed shirts and watched her soap operas on TV. They were interrupted by the tragic event, but I don’t remember knowing what happened, I just remember that the post man was watching TV in our house and my mother was crying. She told me many years later, that he was delivering our mail just as she heard about President Kennedy and she told him, and he asked if he could come in and watch the t.v.

  81. TFR says

    I was a 18 and a freshman in college, in Omaha, heading to algebra class in the old main administration building at Creghton University. The teletype was beside the staircase leading up to the classrooms. A lot of kids were standing in front of the machine as the yellow paper rolled out. It was 12;35 pm CST. The reports were fragmentary coming from UPI. It was quiet intense, horribly true. Classes were cancelled and most of us walked next door to the Catholic Church on campus for a mass that began at 1 pm that Friday afternoon. I remember crying in the pew, sad and shocked and and and more. Three days watching TV almost constantly in the dorm. Watching John Jr salute his father live. To this day I do not read much about his administration (except Robert Caro and LBJ)and certainly not about his assassination. One of the two or three unforgettable days of my life, and certainly one of the saddest.

  82. Rich says

    I’d bought myself my first transistor radio that week and had it with me as I left college for work. On the way to the subway, I’d heard about the shooting, and when I got back above ground, the news that Kennedy was dead.

    After work, I took the Long Island Rail Road home. I don’t recall the bar car ever being quite so merry. It was a real wake.

  83. Troy N Houghtaling Sr says

    I had just turned 3 and was living on a farm east of Centralia, Washington. All I can really remember about it is that mom had called dad in from the barn and told him someone had been shot. Back then things did not matter to a 3 year old.

  84. Normand says

    I was in class 1 st grade I remember my mom coming back to school and bring me home. I am Canadian so just to tell you the impact JFK was having on the world. I remember mourning in our house just as if an uncle had died. I remember watching on the TV the whole funeral and it is still in my mind like yesterday.

  85. DannyEastVillage says

    My conservative maiden-lady fifth grade teacher in Charlotte, NC showed no unhappiness when taking us to the class across the hall “to see history being made.” I don’t suppose she had much use for Kennedy’s, Catholics or northerners. But I was shocked when I got home to find my mom unable to stop crying. My father identified in a lot of ways with Kennedy as a young Irish father raising children. Dad was also was a letter carriers union activist whose activities had the direct support of the White House. He was heart-broken and very angry when this happened. I still remember so many of the images – Emperoro Haile Selassie, President DeGaulle, Queen Frederika and Chancellor Erhard walking in the procession from the White House to the funeral. Mrs Kennedy – a journalist-photographer – was determined that those four days would make such a visual impression on America that we would remember them as, perhaps, we would remember nothing else. And she succeeded.

  86. Norman says

    I was in High School and taking my SAT’s. The announcement was made over the PA and it shocked all of us. We had to complete the tests and they told us that they would adjust the scores for the group. My mother and I watched the TV intensely and cried over all the coverage. It was the only time that I felt close to my mother – the death of Kennedy was like a death in our own family.
    .

  87. Marc says

    When I was two, my aunt bought my mother what was known then as a “Presidents Plate,” a commemorative that was issued with small paintings of each of the nation’s presidents surrounding a picture of the current president, which was in the middle. My aunt bought the plate as a gag gift for my mother who was not at all fond of Kennedy. But my mother used the plate to teach me the presidents so that I could identify each by face (because I couldn’t yet read) and I was somewhat of a prodigy with this plate. I was especially enamored of Kennedy, to my mother’s chagrin and my aunt’s delight. However, my aunt was impressed with my ability to recall, and would encourage me to pull the plate out at parties and family gatherings to recite the presidents. I loved the plate, and whenever I would see Kennedy on TV or in the paper, I would be sure to point him out to my mother. This brought my aunt much joy.

    I had been a presidents plate prodigy for about a year-and-a-half when the assassination occurred; by this time, Kennedy was a fascination for me. He was handsome, his wife was beautiful, he had a little boy I knew as John-John, I was just completely absorbed with him. As we watched the TV that day, I remember my mother suddenly being overcome and pulling me close to her as her soap opera was interrupted with the broadcast from Walter Cronkite. I remember seeing the photos of Jackie in the paper standing by as LBJ took the oath of office in the plane and the blood on her coat (though I thought at the time it was mud, since the newspaper was black-and-white), and asking my mother why she had to stand there and why no one let her change her dirty coat…it was very confusing and heartbreaking.

    The plate went into the china closet never to be taken out again, except when we moved.

  88. Michael says

    I was at my great-grandparent’s farm in Nebraska. I was 5, far too young to comprehend what it all meant. But I was very aware at how upset all the adults around me were. I have vague memories of watching the funeral processions, etc. on tv.

  89. Nelson says

    5th grade, Row 3 Sweat 4. Sister Lydia. Announcement over the speakers. The nuns went extra nuts, telling us that “some terrible protestant had murdered the president” because at that time it was a huge deal that he was Catholic, and we were not allowed to associate with non-Catholics.

  90. MichaelJ says

    I was at school, in third grade. One of the assistant teachers came in, whispered something to our teacher, Mrs. Biederman, who then got up and left the room. We sat with the other teacher for a few minutes until Mrs. Biederman returned to tell us, in a pained voice, “Some sick man has shot President Kennedy.” To this day I can still hear her say it, and I can still see her face as she said it. I don’t remember what else she said.
    I don’t remember but we must not have been let out of school early. My mother, who worked mornings, did not see anything our of the ordinary when I arrived home after 3pm. Thinking she must have heard the news and not knowing what else there was to say, I said nothing to my mother. But my mother hadn’t hear anything, and she was totally surprised when a friend called a couple of hours later and told her the news.

  91. AaronSF says

    I was a freshman in high school, on my way to class, just outside the cafeteria in a two-story atrium where cheerleaders were selling large pins supporting the football team. The announcement of Kennedy’s assassination and death came from the principal over the school’s loud speaker system. Everyone froze in place, looking at the loud speakers. After the announcement finished, there was a long moment of silence (probably only a couple of seconds but it seemed eternal) then most of the girls started crying and sobbing and comforting each other. Most of the boys were just paralyzed in place, looking at the ground, then out the window, not having any easy outlet for their emotions. It was truly eerie and surreal. It felt like time stopped and we had been transported to some parallel reality where horrible things like this happened. It took me a while to realize we had been transported nowhere and that these tragic events were occurring in our everyday world. As a gay boy and newly in high school, I willed myself not to be emotional and to disappear to keep all attention off me. I knew if I cried or comforted the girls, I’d be identified as a “fag,” and I had had enough of that in middle school. So, like the other boys whom I was always trying to imitate, I showed no reaction. I wanted to join the girls and cry my eyes out, but I also wanted to survive high school and “pass” as, if not straight, then just not easily identified as gay. How sad that I felt I couldn’t safely be me, but such were the times.

  92. jamal49 says

    @ANON No one obsesses over great national tragedies. I do not obsess over JFK’s assassination, although it impacted my life and my personal viewpoint of the world in which I, and you, live.

    My parents would relate to us every once in a while about where and when they heard about Pearl Harbor and the emotions they felt. My mother would tell her reminiscences with tears in her eyes. But then, because of Pearl Harbor, her brother–my uncle who I never knew–enlisted immediately in the U.S. Navy and was sent to the South Pacific. He did not return.

    I experienced, as you did, that terrible day of 9-11 and perhaps, as for you, it wis an experience we reference that impacted our lives; i.e. we can remember where we were and what we were doing when the news broke, and even remember the raw emotions we felt.

    What all of these events are is history. Your history books told of JFK’s murder or Pearl Harbor as passed events worth remembering because of their impact on the continuum of history. So it is with 9-11.

    Be not so dismissive. History is a shared experience. Future generations will look back on 9-11 as a nation-changing, world-changing event. History will judge the actions of the participants in power who used that power to respond to those events.

    Remembering these events is a national rite of passage because they affected us in ways that are unforgettable, either individually and collectively. But few obsess over them, unless they are conspiracy theorists.

    Most of us have moved on because there is no other choice but to move on and perhaps in 5, 10, 20 or even 50 years, look back with sadness or sorrow or amazement that we survived.

  93. kentrobert says

    I was sitting in my 8th grade math class at First Avenue Jr High in Arcadia, CA. The principle came to the door and asked the teacher Mr Perry to step into the hall. A moment later he re-entered the classroom crying and told us the news. We were dismissed from school and I went home, everyone glued to the TV the entire weekend watching the funeral. To this day, I can hear the distinctive drum cadence during the procession following the casket to Arlington. Devasting, to this day.

  94. MR Bill says

    I was 7, and had ridden with my mom and dad to Chattanooga (the closest city to my NC town) for her doctor’s appointment and where my aunt MaryJane and Uncle Harold lived. We were on a side street near Erlanger Hospital near mom’s appointment, and heard the report tat the President had been shot in Dallas. A minute or so after, we had to stop for an ambulance crossing: one of the old wagon type with windows, you could see the person on the gurney bounce when it hit a bump, and I wondered about the President in an ambulance….Later, when we got to my relatives, we go the news Kennedy was dead, and the rain began..

  95. Mike says

    I was in first year university in Montreal . I was waiting for my two o’clock class when the news JFK was shot was announced on the radio . I ran to my friend’s room who was from Boston. When I told him he didn’t believe me . I turned on his radio and he heard the tragic news . I spent the entire weekend watching TV . It was a horrible weekend .

  96. ratbastard says

    Hmm. Before my time, but I have always believed he was a victim of a genuine conspiracy to assassinate him, most likely domestic based, most likely a cabal inside our intelligence agencies, who routinely in this time period arranged assassinations and government over-throws of foreign leaders and governments. It’s quite possible they used professional killers connected to organized crime syndicates. No question, Kennedy was despised by powerful domestic-based individuals, institutions, and organizations. He had a backbone and was genuinely interested in changing the status quo, which would have cost these powerful groups and people influence and $. Who benefitted the most? I suppose LBJ, who was well on his way to being prosecuted and convicted for all the crimes he committed on his way to the top, including murder. LBJ was a bad character, worse than Nixon,IMO. And of course those who made $ off the escalation of the Vietnam War and our massive military-industrial complex. I really do think a coup occurred in the U.S. on November 22, 1963.

  97. Doug says

    I was an 11th grader working in the school cafeteria. I had met Kennedy when he came through San Antonio the day before. It was break between lunch periods and I was headed to the main office where my mother was secretary to the principal. We always had a radio on. As I was about to leave, I heard the break in the programming for a special announcement. I stopped to listen, figuring I’d have something to tell my mother. When they announced that Kennedy had been shot, I ran back into the cafeteria office to tell the cafeteria ladies. They started laughing…they thought I was joking. I ran to the main office, but my mother was not in. I told the bookkeeper who quickly got up and went to find my mother. I went across to the attendance office and told the attendance secretaries. They started laughing and told me that was a sick joke. I couldn’t get anyone to believe me. I went back to the main office. My mother rushed in and turned on the radio in the intercom system (but only for the office). My mother called the principal to come out of his office to listen to the news. We all stood around in stunned silence. The second lunch period was very quiet, except for the radio that we moved to the main lunch area. My 5th period algebra teacher told us about hearing the news about FDR’s death. One of the students said that he didn’t understand how everyone was so torn up by the death when the day before many of them were denigrating Kennedy. Interestingly, that night my school played another for the district football championship (which we won). I can remember thinking how surreal it all was being at the game, cheering on my team, and the President had just been shot.

  98. Art Weiss says

    I was hooked up to an electroencephalograph at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, a paid gig for a psych lab experiment I got thru my college (Brooklyn College). They decided to go through with it (it involved recall of shapes) even though I’m sure the news really skewed my brain. I had made a date with my grandmother to visit for Friday night supper and went there after. An uncle of mine was also there. I remember when I entered, my grandmother cried out to me in Yiddish “Look what’s happening to America!”

  99. Mitch says

    Fifty years ago I was 5 going on 6 years old when President Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy landed at Houston Hobby Airport. The major road that went to the airport was at the end of the street where I grew up. My family and I walked down to see them as his motorcade went by. We all got to see them close up and touch their hands as they drove by. The next day he was shot in Dallas. What a shocking and sad day. It has stayed with me to this day.The whole nation mourned.

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