Memories

What JFK researchers need to do

A reader writes:

“I am 60 years of age and was in the 5th grade on 11/22/63….”

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‘A charismatic president lives on’

From MSNBC, a piece about Kennedy’s unique place in American memory.

JFK Memory: “I cheered when Ruby shot Oswald.”

I remember how Mr. Hayek’s voice broke when he told my 5th grade class that President Kennedy had been killed.

Two days later I cheered when Ruby shot Oswald.

JFK Memory: Seeing Oswald shot on TV

I was 11 years old, and sitting in Mr. Lobdell’s 6th grade classroom when the teacher came walking into the room and said we were being sent home because the President had been shot and killed. He looked so grim and worried.
The thing I remember about JFK was he was the first President I was really aware of and looked up to. And he could be funny. Read more

JFK Memory: As the World Turns

On November 22, I stayed home from school, sick, and was watching “As the World Turns.” So I watched the CBS coverage live from the living room couch, eating macaroni and cheese.
The reports kept repeating that Mrs. Kennedy said “Oh no,” and I remember hearing the “grassy hill” early on in the report.

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JFK memory: “We stood along the route between the White House and the Capitol”

I was eight years old and living in Wilmington, Delaware the day President Kennedy was assassinated. Our elementary school had a teacher work day which meant we were let out early at about 1:30 pm Eastern time. When we arrived home my mother was crying and very upset in reaction to the news on CBS television.

My father had taken us to see President Kennedy in May 1963 when the President visited Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. I remember JFK arriving in his gleeming limousine with the top off.

On Sunday after the assassination, my father drove my sister and me to Washington, D.C. where we stood along the route between the White House and the Capitol and watched as the President’s body was moved to the Capitol to lie in state. Although I wanted to see the dignitaries, now all the cars were closed and none of the occupants could be seen. As we stood in the crowd along Pennsylvania Avenue disturbing news travelled through the crowd that Oswald had been shot. “In the belly” a lady with a transistor radio shouted in a strong Southern accent.

JFK memory: Didn’t believe it even at 9 years old

I was nine years old and going to Catholic school in the same Connecticut town where JFK had attended prep school. The nuns were very proud that their president was Catholic and that he had roots in our town. They reminded us often that Kennedy had attended Canterbury School which was right down the road from my school. All of this meant that the assassination was more personal.

I distinctly remember some public school 4th graders chanting “Kennedys dead hooray” as we walked to the buses to return home (our school was too poor to have it’s own buses so it had made arrangements to transport it’s students on the same buses as the public school kids since their school was half a block away).

Even at nine years old i knew that we were being lied to after Ruby shot Oswald. All the kids in the neighborhood knew it at that point and openly discussed the load of BS the elites were expecting us to swallow.

JFK Memory: Those ringing bells

I was working for Visión, a Spanish-language newsmagazine patterned after Time. I was on my way to AP to get related photos, when as I passed within a short distance of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, its bells tolled the death of JFK. I can still hear them. Even now, after 49 years, a heaviness comes across my chest as I remember that day, and look at the photos.

JFK memory: ‘Something really bad had happened to Mr. Kennedy’

I was two and half years old when Kennedy was killed. I was toddling around the house when the soap opera my mother was watching came to a halt. The news came on. I paid little attention, but knew something bad had happened, since all my family did for the next few days was watch television. Read more

JFK memory: A boy learns that what is on television isn’t necessarily happening now

On November 22, 1963, I was 3 years old. The trauma was obvious. My mother and grandmother were on my parents’ bed upstairs watching the television about the assassination. They were crying. I was downstairs, where another television was on as well. On it I saw what was, in retrospect, obviously film of a speech JFK had given. On seeing it I ran upstairs to my parents’ room, where my mom and grandmother were watching the same channel. I pointed at the screen and yelled, “See! He’s alive!” They both looked at me, puzzled for a moment, and then started crying even harder. I didn’t entirely understand, but I knew enough to realize the fact he was there on the screen speaking didn’t mean he was still alive.

JFK memory: In suburban St. Louis

I was born in 1958 so I was five years old when JFK was killed. I was living in St. Louis, the third of four children. My father was a minister in an Episcopal Church near our our house. My mother was in graduate school. I recall Kennedy’s assassination as my first public memory, my first recollection of an event that Read more

JFK memory: My Catholic aunts

I was 7 years old when Kennedy was killed. The only memory I have is spending that Christmas in Rhode Island, with my mother’s big Catholic Italian family. My aunts were still talking about it and crying on and off.