Saturday, November 22, 2008

On this day ...

November 22, 1963


For those of us old enough to remember, it's one of those days that everybody remembers "where they were when they heard ..."

6 comments:

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Mrs. Vordale's 3rd grade class at Good Shepherd Lutheran Day School in the Highland Park district of Los Angeles. My parents had been playing golf over at Eaton Canyon in Pasadena and heard the news from a groundskeeper. They came and picked us up early from school. I remember feeling sad and a little scared as we watched the news unfold on the old black-and-white tv in the den.

ROBERTA said...

With my 5th grade class coming up the stairwell @ St. Phillip the Apostle in Pasadena, CA when the principal stopped us to tell us to pray for President Kennedy for he had just been shot in Dallas. I was stunned and walked home to find my mother in tears with the TV blaring in the background. A very sad day.

john said...

I first heard as I was leaving my residence in Austin to go downtown to see his motorcade in Austin. I still have the Dallas papers from that horrible weekend and, come to think of it, I should probably donate them to someone who can care for them properly.

Señor Bozo said...

Topeka KS, 9th grade at Jardine JHS. The principal announced it over the PA during my math class. The diocese of Topeka had a memorial service a few days later. I was singing in their men-and-boy's choir that year after being raised Baptist, and that was my first experience of a really high-church service, white ruffs and white gloves on the choir and all. We sang Jenning's "Springs in the Dessert", still one of my favorite anthems.

Hiram said...

We had, about ten minutes earlier, just finished a pep rally for our Thanksgiving day game against our archrival high school, and as I walked out of the building, I saw a cheerleader weeping profusely. She told me what had happened, and I walked home wondering if the Russians would take advantage of our vulnerability to launch an attack. A dismal day.

RonF said...

6th grade at Horace Mann Elementary School in Franklin, Mass. (where Horace Mann was born, BTW, his birthsite is marked on the edge of the parking lot that now occupies it). We were sitting in the gym waiting for the school buses to arrive. Mr. Carvalo walked into the gym. He was a young good-looking Italian guy and he knew how good looking he was. He didn't walk around the school, he strutted. Very macho guy in his actions and demeanor.

So when he appeared at the door of the gym crying his eyes out the gym fell silent in shock. "You better all start praying - our President has been shot!" and walked out.

He was OUR President, mind you. This was 20 miles from President Kennedy's birthplace in a town that had more kids in its Catholic parochial school than in its public schools. He was young, he was vital, he was active, he had a beautiful wife and two young kids - and one who died soon after childbirth. He was our Senator and we all knew his history, about PT 109 and his bad back and how his brother had been killed in WW II. Even Episcopalian me was stunned.

We got the bad news when we got home. Ordinary business stopped, necessary actions were muted. I sat in front of the TV. I watched John-John wave goodbye to his father as the casket drove by - it brings a tear to my eye even now. I learned what a riderless horse with boots reversed in the stirrups in a procession meant. I listened to Cardinal Cushing conduct the service. I looked at diagrams and pictures and descriptions of what a bullet to the head does. I read everything that the papers printed about his killer, about his Russian connections and how he bought his rifle mail order. I watched the Dallas Police do what I now know as a perp walk of Lee Harvey Oswald, and watched in complete disbelief as he himself was murdered.

Dallas was not a clean word around where I lived for a very, very long time.