Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Do You Remember November 22, 1963?


John F. Kennedy was shot and killed on November 22, 1963 at 12:30 pm Central Standard Time. I was a freshman at Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wisconsin when he was elected as our 35th President and a junior when he died. It is one of those times, as it is for many, when I can tell you exactly where I was, even though it happened 48 years ago. I was in a social studies class when some one came to our class room door with a note for our teacher explaining what had taken place. I think our teacher read that note two or three times before he told us a great tragedy had taken place. I remember him choking up as he told us that our President, John F. Kennedy, had been assassinated, shot and killed, in Texas.

I remember many of the girls being in tears and our teacher trying to reassure us that we weren’t in any type of danger because he had been killed. Our teacher also told us that we would remain in his class room until it was time to leave at 3 pm, our normal dismissal time. He asked if anyone objected to having a radio news feed come into our room over the loud speaker and no one did. It was probably around 1:30 when they announced that all after school and weekend activities were canceled. The loud speaker came on with the radio feed and the everyone immediately became silent. I also remember our teacher explaining that the Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson, would be our next President.

I don’t really remember too much more about that weekend except that we were glued to our television sets. We were also off on Monday the 25th so we could watch JFK’s funeral on TV. We went back to school on Tuesday and were off the rest of the week for Thanksgiving which was on Thursday November 28th. I also seem to remember that most of the conversation at Thanksgiving was about the assassination and about the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man accused of shooting John F. Kennedy, on Sunday November 24th.

I still wonder why someone who seemed to have the ability to do so much good died so young. I also think about what might have been if he had not died. Lastly I wonder if, in my life time, I will find out what really happened and who or what group really orchestrated JFK‘s death. Or maybe you believe the conclusion of the Warren Commission. I do know that day will live with me for ever.

If you’re old enough, do you remember where you were on November 22, 1963?