I was a young soldier,stationed in West Berlin, walking along the newly erected Berlin Wall. As I passed by a place still under construction, I saw a Russian soldier. He waved me over,and said in broken english, "As one soldier to another, I am so sad for you,that you have lost nyour leader, and in such a horrible way. "He then removed his cap, shook my hand,bowed, put his cap on, saluted me, and went back to his post. I never saw him again,but never forgot him.Jacob Eagleshield
I was in the second grade at what was then Ridglea West Elementary School on Kermit Avenue in west Fort Worth, just four or five blocks from our house. Mrs. Osborn's second grade classroom was conveniently located near the cafeteria. At some point in the morning, the school's Principal, Mrs. Luella Merrett, came over the public address system announcing an exciting exercise the entire school would be doing as a group today: Very soon, all of the school's students would be taken by their teachers out onto the playground because Air Force One would be flying over on its way to Dallas with President Kennedy. The morning rain was gone and outside was now a beautiful clear and crisp day, so as a school, we would go out and wave to him as he flew over. We were coloring pictures for Thanksgiving, turkeys and pilgrims and fall leaves and all such things for the season. Not being overly thrilled with the coloring project and looking forward to heading outside to see the president's plane fly over us got us overly fired up. Whatever it was that caused us to be bouncing off the walls did not impress Mrs. Osborn. Like a good teacher, she kept asking us to settle down, and like good second-graders, we continued to ignore her. Finally, when she'd had enough, she told us that we would be staying inside while the rest of school went out to the playground to greet the president as he went over. We were shocked. The speakers announced that it was time for the students to move outside, and we sat sullenly as we listened to their footsteps and voices heading out. There was no air traffic that day from Carswell, so the morning had been unusually quiet. Living and going to school under the main departure area of an Air Force base led anyone there to recognize the sounds of approaching aircraft, and to know which were familiar and which were not. Around 11:00am, I recall sitting in the classroom staring glumly out the window and hearing the faint but distinctive sound of a different aircraft taking off, growing louder and louder as it approached. It had to be the president. To this day I can honestly still hear the sound of that Boeing 707 roaring overhead, wishing I was outside waving at it with the other kids outside. Like any other plane going over, the sound diminished as it headed away, soon to turn left for the quick trip to Dallas. The disappointment was deep, and we pouted while we heard the voices of all the other students in the school coming back inside. It was time for lunch. After that, I remember being in the hallway between the cafeteria and the classroom when someone coming from the direction of the office said, 'Somebody killed Governor Connally'. It was bizarre, like someone had slapped you for no reason. It didn't quite register even exactly what that meant. Whispering chatter began as if a secret was going around but you couldn't catch up with it. I don't remember if we had a recess after lunch, a restroom break or what, but very soon we were back in the classroom under the cloud of 'something going on'. Mrs. Osborn told us that Mrs. Merrett would be around soon to talk to us, and we were quietly waiting for her. Some of us may have even wondered if she was coming to light us up for the behavior that had forced us to stay inside earlier. Mrs. Merrett came into the room, taking a small student chair to sit on at the front of the classroom, sitting down to talk to us at our level. She was more ashen than usual but had an oddly comforting, gentle look about her. She was a very direct lady, and got right to the point: President Kennedy was dead. As I recall, there was but a quiet gasp from us, not quite knowing how to react, not knowing how we should process what she'd said. I want to say she told us a young man shot them in Dallas, but whatever it was, it was brief. She told us that Governor Connally was hurt, and he was recovering in the hospital. She also said that Vice President Johnson was now the President. Knowing Mrs. Merrett, I'm certain she had a few reassuring words for us, but I don't recall them. I do recall her ending with the fact that school would now be dismissed early for the day, and that our parents had been notified to come pick us up. She told us we should quietly go outside to wait. She added something to the effect that the coming days were uncertain and that our parents would be notified when we would be returning to class before the Thanksgiving holiday, if at all. These were in days that prayer in schools was legal, and I believe she closed with a quick one. We got our things together and went outside. I don't recall anything at that point about any other students, my siblings, teachers or anyone. I just remember going outside and seeing my mother waiting already in the car at the curb. The school was so close to home I probably walked home more often than not, but not today. I walked towards our four-door Oldsmobile Delta 88, seeing my mother through the windshield, a haunting, unforgettable look on her face like I'd never seen before. I opened the passenger door and got in. I remember asking, "Is President Kennedy really dead?" My mother nodded and spoke the words that I will never forget, "The boy they say did it was a student of mine.' I'm sure I asked what his name was and she said, "Lee Oswald'. My mother was Emma Dee (Mrs. Clyde I.) Livingston, and had been Oswald's 4th-grade teacher at Ridglea West in 1949. The FBI deposed her for the Warren Report regarding Oswald as a child. Her interview by Life Magazine for their February, 1964 feature on Oswald includes a picture of her with Oswald and the dog he gave her for Christmas sitting on our back porch. She died in 1986, still believing, "They say he did it, so he must have". When I got home from school that day, my 11-year-old brother was running around saying, "I'm never washing my hand again", over and over. He sang with the Texas Boys Choir that morning at Kennedy's breakfast at the Hotel Texas, and has claimed since that day that he shook JFK's hand as the president's entourage left the ballroom on their way to Dallas. Every November 22nd brings back these memories, this 50th anniversary more than ever. Charles Alan Livingston
I was in 3rd grade in a Catholic school at that time. My class was watching a French class on television and the the broadcasting was interrupted to make the announcement. Our teacher must have told the principal, because all classes were dismissed and sent to the adjoining Church. I don't remember how long we stayed in church, in prayer. Most likely we were saying rosaries. Although it was never vocalized, we all felt that it was beginning of the downfall of the United States, not because The President was dead, but because of the irreparable damage to the hearts of most Americans. Looking back, it does seem to me that it was the turning point of our country. Kennedy rallied citizens to serve a United America by proclaiming, "ask not what your country can do for you! but what can you do for your country". He united U.S. Instead of the party politics we've experienced which is dividing and destroying our country. A house divided against itself will fall.
I was 10 years old and attending Cliffwood Elementary School in NJ. One of our teachers Mr Walsh came into the classroom and announced the President had been assassinated. School was let out shortly after and I remember my mother was at the bus stop very upset. My father who served in the military for 32 years was a patient at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC suffering from throat Cancer. I watched television over the next few days never turning it off and witnessed Oswald's murder as well. A terrible time for me, our nation. Something I will never forget and the memory is so vivid. The funeral was spectacular and so well deserved for President John F Kennedy. Kathy
I was in the 5th grade at Chenoweth Elementary School in Louisville, Kentucky. When he was shot it was announced by our principal, Marguerite Lewis, on the intercom along with a prayer. We were let out early from school. Everyone was in shock and disbelief, our illusions shattered. All of us were visibly upset, some hysterically crying, including the teachers.Leslie Winston Linder Hammon
I was a senior in high school. Homeroom had just started. A teacher that was kinda a joker came in and said "the President has been shot". There was some laughter but I could tell he was serious. The weekend is a blur. My brother turned 16 that day. I don't remember the cake or anything. Another brother was in second grade. He remembers it very clearly too.Anna Iowa
I was in the hospital trying to come into the world. My poor mother was in labor that day as she watched the news of his assasination. I finally arrived at 12:07 a.m.
I was a 9 year old Fourth Grade student at Ashford Park Elementary School in Atlanta, Ga. There was some commotion in front of the classroom and doorway among our teacher and other teachers during a reading assignment. We all looked up as our teacher instructed us to put down our books , get out a pencil and paper and write why we are glad we are an American. We didn't understand , but we obeyed. After we were done , she explained what had happened and I think school was released early . I walked home in disbelief and mainly on my mind was young Caroline..... as my name is Carolyn , and she was 2 years younger. How sad I thought.
My brother and I stood on Lemmon Ave. in Dallas, TX on November 22, 1963 to watch President and Mrs. Kennedy's motorcade drive past us. I was 14; my brother was 13. Shortly thereafter, the fatal shots were fired. My brother and I spoke on November 22, 2013 and reminisced regarding our experiences on that same day 50 years earlier. We both can still vividly see within our minds' eye the President and Mrs. Kennedy as their motorcade drove by us. We still vividly recall Walter Cronkite's newscast that same afternoon when he confirmed that the President had died at 1:00 pm central time. These are memories we will never forget! It was a sad day for our nation. John Alexander
I was in 1st grade at John Peter Smith Elementary in Fort Worth, Texas. I turned 7 the day after. I don't remember much but my sister said we got sent home early. I do remember my neighbor had her baby that day after he got shot and they wouldn't send an ambulance don't know why. So my dad had to take her to the hospital.Debbie Overton
I was a high school senior at Judge Memorial, a small Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, attending a lecture for high school seniors at the University of Utah. The speaker was the Attorney General of Massachusetts, Edwin Brooke, who would later become a Senator. Brooke was giving a very personal reflection of the hope that the Kennedy presidency created among the young and minority populations. His talk was interrupted by the student union PA system carrying a somewhat garbled radio coverage of the announcement that the president had been shot. Attorney General Brooke, was stunned but regained his composure to lead a short prayer and asked the students to hope for the best for the President and country. Our teachers advised us to return to our high schools. My best friend and I heard the Walter Cronkite announcement of the president's death as I parked my car. We cried all the way to the auditorium, where the news was being announced to an assembly. Like the NFL, the Utah high school athletics decided to hold the state football championship the next day, over the protest of our school. Given the choice of forfeiting or playing, our team, in very much a state of "catholic vs Utah" won on a cold and dreary day.Tom Sweet Jr.
I was a junior at Brewer Junior High School, Maine. I was in English Literature class and we were receiving our graded essays back in which we had discussed Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar". In my essay I had suggested that the citizen's of Rome had expressed their grief much as I imagined American citizens would have mourned the assassination of a President. And then the announcement of President Kennedy's death came over the intercom. We were dismissed. Walking down the halls several of the more obnoxious boys were shouting "Kennedy's dead! Yea! Kennedy's dead!" I was sick to my stomach and disgusted.
I was 24 years old, working in the American Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay. We received the news from the DCM. Word passed by word of mouth from one of us to another. None of us could believe it. Most of us were crying. What I can never erase from my mind is the parade of people in the dusk of evening walking down the Rambla in front of the Embassy carrying lit candles in their hands. It was the most beautiful parade of lights and so much heartfelt sadness expressed by this demonstration from these people carried in the night air. The lights lit the road as far as I could see. They were walking to the church to express their grief and give their condolences and sign the visitor's book. I felt so comforted. I knew the people of Uruguay loved our President and his family as much as we Americans did. Jacquelyn K. Bowden
I was hunting the day with my dog, Tags. the afternoon that he was shot. I heard the Church bells ringing around 2:00 pm est. I was down in the Hopedale, Ohio valley along the creek banks looking for game. I thought it was odd and could not understand why they were ringing this time of the day. I stopped hunting and returned to home. My wife was upset and told me the news from the radio that President Kennedy had been shot. Ed Klash
I was a 10 year old fifth grader living in Dayton, Ohio where my dad was stationed as an Air Force pilot. We were at recess which ended early when we were called back into the classrooms. Our teachers were huddled together in the hallway, whispering and crying. My teacher, Mrs Ark, returned to the class and made the stunning announcement. Most of the students were quite shocked at the news. Mrs. Ark then announced that she had chosen one boy and one girl to write an essay about their thoughts and feelings, and I was that girl. I recall pouring my feelings out in that essay ending it with the words..."Texas certainly has nothing to be proud of today." We know of course that there was only one person to blame for that tragedy, not an entire state. I continued to watch the live TV coverage for the next few days, and, like many others watching, saw Lee Harvey Oswald killed on television, an event quite shocking in itself for a child to witness.
I was 10 years old, and at recess at my Catholic grade school, St. Catherine Laboure in Torrance, California. I was standing at a joint water fountain about to get a drink of water and the nuns that were monitoring recess were all talking and crying and then they told us what had happened. It was the first time that I, as a child, really felt the impact of what the president of the United States really meant, and was overtaken with sadness that someone had shot him and that he would no longer be our president. I felt especially close because I knew he was Catholic too, just like all of us at school. I remember saying a prayer for him.Cheryl E. Gibney
I was a 15 year old teenager in school in Silver Spring, MD, a suburb of Washington DC. The principal came onto the loudspeaker and announced that the President is dead, school is closed and we all must go home. I arrived at home (I walked) to find my mother upstairs on her bed crying. For the next 4 days my parents, sister and I watched the funeral on television. The whole family was glued to the TV. My parents would not let me go "downtown" to Washington DC. wanted to go "downtown" to Washington, DC to be at the funeral but my parents would not let me. Meredith Greene
In sixth grade at Ft. Worth Christian. We were having our history class when another teacher knocked on the door to tell my teacher. Even at the age of 12, I knew this was a tragedy that would change the world. Nancy Cisneros
I was 19 at the time and had my first full time job at Texas Instruments on Lemon Ave. I had worked the night shift and was in Richardson asleep and when I awoke and entered into the living room the lady I rented a room from. She was hysterical and shouting "they have shot the president". A close friend who was working the day shift that day was standing on the side walk as the presidents motorcade when by TI on it's way to Dealey Plaza. It's a feeling that will never go away as long as I live.Robert Harris
I was 12 years old and in the 7th grade at Oregon Avenue Junior High School in Medford, Long Island, New York. I was in gym class and recall that we were taking our places for volleyball when an announcement came over the loud speaker that the President had been shot. I remember looking at the clock and it was about 1:45 (eastern time). We were sent back to the locker room to get dressed and remember there was a 2nd announcement when we learned that the President had died. We were sent back to our homerooms and school was dismissed shortly after. I walked home and was devastated when I got there. My parents were at work and my older sister wasn't home from school yet. President Kennedy was my hero. I started a Kennedy collection after seeing him in the House of Representatives before he became president and his picture hung on my bedroom wall. It was a very sad weekend for me. We went to a special service at church on Sunday and watched all of the news coverage throughout the weekend. The drum cadence from the funeral procession has resonated in my ears all these years. I don't think I will ever forget that sound and all the details of the tragic event. He is still my hero and I still have my collection and I have always paused to remember this day every year. Reading through the other memories I was amazed to read the one posted by Ronald Golat who apparently was on the other side of the gym wall at Oregon Avenue Junior High that day 50 years ago.Carol (Kuczynski) Parsons
I was attending George C. Clark Elementary school that day. I was in the second grade and in my English class when all of a sudden the principals secretary came into the room and whispered something into our teachers ear. Our teacher got up with shock on her face and and hugged the secretary with her eyes full of tears. We were all sitting there shocked to say the least as we never saw a teacher cry in front of students! Later we found out why and the rest of the day was spent "just reading" in classes. Our country changed that day!Howard Trice
I was in the second grade at Harrell Budd Elementary School. Although I was too young to everything that had happened, it all became clear on the day that the President's funeral was televised.Rocky Willett
I was a 26 year old gal from Maine, attending the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond Virginia The morning of November 22 1963,started out most unusual and caused quite a stir on campus ,as in the night some students from the school across the street put a pig in the fenced in yard of our Preschool Day Care Center on campus. This excitement was short lived. I went to lunch in our school dining room and then went to the TV room to watch my favorite soap, "as The World turns " not my show on but my world sure did turn as I learned that our beloved President Kennedy had been shot and killed. I ran back to the dinning room to tell folks what had happened. We went to class and were told, all classes were canceled .From then our days were glued to the TV, filled with deep sadness, like I have never felt, before or since .vary little talking ,just feeling helpless and only wanting to watch TV . After a few days three of us gals could not take any more and headed by car for Washington DC. We were outside the White House when Kennedy 's casket came out of the White House headed for the Capitol. All we could sea was the American Flag draped over the casket. We were to far back.in the crowd. We were walking from the White House to the capitol when we heard that Oswald had been shot and killed I think someone had a radio. We made it to the capitol and stud in line for a couple of hours, when we w were told we were in the wrong line and we had to go to another line. We left and headed back to Richmond and more TV.I t was easier to be in DC and see less than at home with TV. Kennedy was the first President I got to vote for. He was the last president my grandmother voted for .She lived to be 100, being born the year Lincoln was killed . Kenned was the first time she voted democrat .Kennedy was a great president beloved by the world. Sarah Parker Letourneau
In elementary school history class! The news was announced over intercom by the principal. Paul E. Allen
At Castleberry Elementary School in River Oaks. We saw the presidential motorcade in the morning. Edward Mayfield
On Friday, November 22, 1963, some time after 2:15 PM EST, I was paying close attention to 64-year-old Mr. McFarland in 11th grade American Government class at an Ohio high school. Everyone, particularly the guys, paid close attention to Mr. McFarland. He was a big man, wide shoulders, enormous hands. He'd sometimes sneak up on an unsuspecting male slacker and grab a trapezius muscle with one of those hands and squeeze the kid into submission. (Teachers could get away with that in those days.) But, everybody loved him, even the slackers. Funny, warm, spiritual man; fair, skilled and devoted teacher. Loved America, loved his students, loved teaching, That day in November, there was a knock at the door. It was the principal. Mr. McFarland first held the door partially open, listening. I figured trouble. The principal rarely showed up at a classroom door unless he wanted to remove someone. I was that someone once. Or was it five times? Then, Mr. McFarland stepped out into the hall, closed the door behind him and was gone a few minutes. Finally, he walked slowly back into class, directly to his desk, sat down and stared straight ahead, his eyes distant, unfocused, searching. He looked down, as if studying the grain on his oak desktop. The class was silent. He looked up, took a deep breath, and spoke as if he didn't actually believe what he was saying. "President. . . Kennedy. . . was. . . shot. . . in. . . Dallas, Texas. The President. . . is. . . dead." With that, his face contorted and he began to weep. He practically covered his face with just one hand and swiveled his chair around, with most of his back now to the class. We watched as his entire upper body heaved as he cried. Not a whisper came from the class, at first. Then, I could hear a few girls crying. Some voices offered weak protests: "No! No!" I was stunned and speechless and searched incredulous faces of friends for their reactions, as if they had answers to relieve my confusion and horror. Just a few minutes went by until we heard a click and buzz from the PA system and looked to the loudspeaker near the clock. Walter Cronkite's familiar voice, piped in from the television in the principal's office, was in the midst of delivering the live news bulletin that confirmed Mr. McFarland's sorrow and our adolescent shock. By now, our teacher had steadied himself, turned back around to the class, wiping his eyes with the handkerchief he always carried. Not one of us felt the least bit embarrassed or uncomfortable about his response. There was too much respect for the man and we'd just witnessed instant, honest, unedited grief. I don't recall how long it was before Cronkite's gravitas abruptly disappeared, interrupted by the principal's monotone. In a slow, solemn voice, he announced, "School will be out a few minutes early. This is a time for all of us to be with our families. Buses will be outside shortly. Please leave the building quietly." As we stood to leave, Mr. McFarland rose from his seat, holding up his hands in his "hold on" signal and with utter despair in this voice, said "Class, this a terrible day for our country." Some girls hugged him as the class filed out. I noticed a friend of mine who, in passing, put his hand on Mr. McFarland's shoulder. I shuffled out, head down, past the bus line, speaking to no one, and walked the two miles home. I look back and realize how fortunate I was, how appropriate it was for me as a sixteen-year-old, that I heard the news of such traumatic and tragic historical event, from the perfect citizen messenger, Mr. McFarland, my great American government teacher. Alex Reed
I was in school in the classroom reading my text , when it came over intercom. I was shocked they let school out and I went home and look for more information on the President death.
My Birtthday was 11/21/53, couldn't have my 10th. party on the 21st, so had it the next day, 11/22/1963. I had been in school all day, waiting in anticipation till school let out so I could go home to have my party. Heard the news that the president had been shot, and my day fell apart. We were living in San Antonio, Texas at that time. I felt very guilty that I had been having a good day, and then it all changed because JFK had been murdered.
I was in the 1st grade at St. Joachim Catholic School in Madera, California. A boy told our teacher that the President was dead. Our teacher walked us across the street to pray for JFK. When we returned to the school; an 8th grade girl was crying and was saying: "We will become Communists." I did not know at that young age what a communist was. What a different world is 2013.Matthew E. Zoma
In school CC Ring Elementary I believe 4th grade when the PA was qued and we hear Walter Cronkite saying the President has been shot. Jerry Purpura
I was having lunch in my high school cafeteria in Tullahoma TN when our principal, Mr McBride, announced over PA that we were to go to our homerooms because President Kennedy had been assassinated. Everyone was shocked, not believing such a horrible thing had happened. We stayed in our homerooms listening to the radio over the PA describing what had happened until it was time to go home. At home my parents and I were glued to the TV until we were too tired to hear, watch anymore. On Sunday in church our choir sang Battle Hymn of the Republic and many tears were shed. During the sermon our pastor Tom Madden 1st Baptist Tullahoma was handed a note. He announced Oswald had been killed. It is almost as fresh today as it was when it was happening. Very sad, tragic to a 16 y/o girl who was so proud of our president and our country.Donna Bennett Purcell
I was in High School in St. Louis, MO, it was last period, when our principal called everyone to the auditorium. When we arrived Walter Cronkite was just confirming President Kennedy's death. I will never forget his valiant effort to hide the tears. I cried. School was dismissed and for the next four days we all mourned with Jackie and her children.Jatona Walker
I was a Senior in High School and everything stopped ! There was no studying after that! Everyone was in shock! I remember feeling very sad and breaking down crying! It was a very sad day and something that will stay with me forever !
I was 11 years old, in 6th grade at Chicago suburban school. I think it was about 1 p.m. when someone came in to say that the president had been shot. At first there was nervous laughter, the kids thinking it was a joke. But then reality set in as the day progressed. I suppose I was too young to really understand the import of Kennedy's death. Pete Basofin
I was in the second grade at Sacred Heart School in Jeannette PA. A classmate of mine had a broken leg and his mother would come early to pick him up. She told my teacher Mrs. Dublino and my teacher started to cry. I really did not know what was going on until I went home and saw my mother, father ( he was home from work! His employer let him leave early) and grandma glued to the TV set. That is all we did for the next three or four days. I remember when Jack Ruby was shot and John John's salute. JFK was important to my catholic democratic family. Kathy Scharfenberg
I was in 4th grade at Wilder in Louisville, KY our teacher left the room came back in and turned on the tv, so much confusion crying, screaming I think at that point it just said he had been shot it wasn't til I got home that Walter Krondike came on and took his glasses off and with a tear in his eye announced that he was dead. Glued to the tv for the next few days. Lost of innocence!Patty
I was in the living room of our house in Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow, Scotland when the news came through on TV of the shooting & then the death of John F Kennedy. We were profoundly shocked. There had been a distinct feeling that this was a US President who could make a difference. I can remember feeling terribly sad for his wife and children. It was hard to believe he had been killed - somehow the theories & speculation about what was behind the assassination have never affected me as the event itself. Alasdair Turnbull
I was in the fifth grade at Neil Cummins School in Corte Madera. It was the mid-morning recess, and my friend Marty and I hadn't gone outside like we were supposed to. Marty was combing his hair in the picture-tube reflection of a boxy Black &White TV on a cart, which happened to be in our classroom that day. Just then our teacher Mrs. McKinney , a grey-haired lady with normally charming southern manners poise, charged into the classroom in a lather. She collared Marty, through him to the floor, and switched on the TV. TV's took several minutes to warm-up 50-years ago. We protested Marty's treatment. We thought our teacher was over reacting to our breaking the rules by not leaving the classroom promptly for the play yard at recess. Mrs. McKinney turned and said, "Shut up, you two!" I'd seen our teacher's wrath before, but I had never seen her loose emotional control like that. Then the TV came on and we learned the awful news. The President had been shot. We were dumbstruck. All the fourth, fifth and sixth grader were told to go the Lunch Yard. It was about 10:30 A.M. Pacific Standard Time. We sat there quietly without supervision, while the principal and teachers decided what to do. I remember a chubby redheaded kid named Peter had thought to grab his lunchbox on his way out to the picnic tables. As time went on, we were all getting hungry. Peter tried to sneak a bite of his sandwich, and I remember some of the girls exclaiming, "Peter, how can you eat at time like this?" The teachers and principal learned that JFK had died in the hospital about 11 A.M. our time. The doctors could not save him. We were not told. It was decided to send us home. I walked home by the sloughs and up Palm Hill to 17 Blue Rock Court. At home I learned from my distressed mother that the President was dead. Our little portable TV was on almost all the time that weekend. That was unusual in our household. Mom had a one hour a day TV policy. The TV was turned off when we went to church on Sunday. There was a big turnout that Sunday. The ushers asked me to help them, a big deal for this 11, not quite 12, year old kid. The Pastor came into the back of the church and was telling the adult ushers something. I overheard. When I was escorting two grey-haired little old ladies, in hats, gloves and their Sunday best, to their seats, they whispered to me, "What was the Pastor telling those men?" I told them the news that the man they thought killed the President Kennedy had been shot. I was surprised to see the look of anguish on their faces. But they knew what I was not yet old enough to understand. Clay Brandow
I was working for CBS News at the network newsroom at 420 Lexington Ave on the 29th floor. I recall seeing Walter Cronkite coming towards me in the hallway wiping tears from his eyes. He had just made the announcement that the president had died. Everybody was moving around with the urgency you would expect, but in a state of shock revealed not only in their eyes... but in their profound silence.Bob Stewart
In Salt Lake City Utah, I had just turned 5 years old. I wandered into the living room because the TV was on in the middle of the day. This was highly unusual at our house. Mother was leaning forward on the couch, tears on her face and she was sniffling. I timidly asked why she was crying and watching TV. This behavior alarmed me. She said, " the president has been killed." I don't think I understood, but it seemed extremely important, so I stood by and watched the senseless chaos on the small, black and white set. I grew older and learned about what I had actually seen that day. It had a profound impact on me and shaped my political beliefs from then on. I came to love politics, history and especially the Kennedy's. My mother went on to have more children. Two sons whom she named, John and Robert. She was a republican woman, but never the less she respected our President Kennedy and what he was doing for our country. Bonnie
I was in 4th grade at Swift Elementary in Arlington. My teacher came in crying and told us the news. They let school out early that day. I don't think at 9 I realized the full impact of what had happened, but I knew it was bad. Judy
At school...in the 7th grade...(Azle, Texas). A teacher told the class... and the teacher had seen him very early that day before school ... she sobbed... so all the kids cried too. Elaine T.
I was sitting in my 7th grade class in Trenton, NJ, when my teacher was asked to come down to the principal's office. She returned about 30 minutes later, tears streaking down her cheeks. It took her a while to collect herself sufficiently to tell us about the President's assassination, and started sobbing again. We all became very glum, and all after-school games and activities were canceled due to a lack of interest. I spent the rest of that weekend watching the grainy black-and-white images on television, and thought that my world had changed forever, and not for the better, feeling both depressed and fearful.George Constantinidis
I would like to share my memory. I was a nursing student at St Joseph's School of Professional Nursing on Main Street. My uncle Msgr. Vincent J. Wolf gave the invocation at Ft. Worth Chamber of Commerce breakfast Nov. 22, 1963. The Saturday Dec.5, 1987 issue of the Fr. Worth Star Telegram section 4, page 15 in religion section has a article by Jim Jones of Monsignor Wolf recalling breakfast prayer with Kennedy. The prayer is included. "Our founding fathers proclaimed thee as creator, and by that fact our country promotes for each resident a liberty most absolute and equality most entire. Oh God of might and wisdom assist with thy spirit of counsel and fortitude the president of these United States, that his administration will be eminently useful and fruitful to thy people over whom he presides. May we , with him be thine instruments in establishing divine harmony throughout the world so that thy sons and daughters from one end of the earth to the other may be free to join the glorious hymn of worship "Glory to the hightest, Oh God, and peace on earth." I feel that this prayer is as relevant today as that Nov. 22, 1963. I feel grateful the President received the special prayers of the children of St. Alice school in the Spiritual Bouquet that Msgr. Wolf gave to Pres. Kennedy on their behalf during that last official meeting of Pres. Kennedy's presidency. Jane Wolf Robertson
I was nine years old, living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the time. I was eating lunch at home during school recess with my mom, watching "As the World Turns" on CBS. Cronkite then breaks in with the BULLETIN about President Kennedy being shot. The shock of the thing reminded me of Lincoln's assassination, just having read some books about American presidents (I was always interested in history, even from the time I learned to read). I went back to school where we listened to the radio reports on the PA system. After the news of JFK's death was broadcast, we were sent home from school for that day. That night, after Kennedy's body was brought back to Washington, we were all scared, sad, and didn't know what was going to happen next. Larry Scalf
I was a member of the 824th Combat Defense Squadron, "C" Flight. on the night of 21 November 1963. We were the recall flight, which meant that we were the backup flight to the flight on duty at that time. My flight was the flight that surrounded Air Force One upon arrival. Afterwards we relieved the flight on duty, "A" flight, and continued guarding bombers on alert status. When we were relieved by "D" flight the morning of the 22nd , I was then assigned to the Reserve Mobile Strike Team, the 6 man unit that was available to respond to any emergency that would arise. There was a bunkroom available for members of the team to sleep at Central Security Control and after breakfast we sacked out. At about 1245 hrs. we were awaken, told to get dressed, draw weapons and proceed to Dallas because the President had been shot. On our way to Dallas we were recalled back to Carswell, as I understood it, because 6 airmen were not enough men to secure Dealy Plaza, the place we were informed that the shots had come from. I was 18 years old at the time and I have for all these years regretted the order, ordering us back to base. Incidentally, we were called "Air Police" at this time. The Air Police weren't called Security Police until years later. Elmer Henderson
I was 11 and in a sixth grade classroom in Littleton, CO during science hour. I was demonstrating how you could make a battery out of ordinary household items, when the announcement came over the PA. I never finished my demonstration.Mike McRoberts
I was working as a bookkeeper and a salesperson came in and told us to put the radio on because he thought they said the president had been shot. We listened in horror, thinking no one would ever shoot a Kennedy, and then the terrible news that our president had died. The girls all cried and hugged, the owner of the company told us all to go home. My grandma who didn't speak a word of english, loved President Kennedy and just cried and cried. For the next few days the tv and radios never went off because we were all glued to hear the latest news. such a horrible horrible day.B Rudoff
I was 17 yrs old in high school. I was waiting for my dad to pick up from school. When he arrived my dad was crying and told me that our good and best president was killed. I was so saddened of the news and when we arrived home we were glued to the tv and news, shocked with disbelief that this could have happened in our country. Ernestina Steiner
I was in 7th grade English class at a school in southwest Arkansas. The principal announced over the intercom that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. I remember that one girl quickly blurted "Good, I hope he dies". Of course everyone else was upset. I've often wondered how much she regretted that callous remark. It also taught me that it's sometimes wiser to wait and hear the whole story before we speak. Bobby
I was in the second grade at Austin Elemtary School in Odessa. Our school was next door to Crockett Jr. high. We were out on the playground, and older students from next door came by and told us the President had been shot. We didn't believe them, because they were always messing with us. We went back in after lunch, and our teachers confirmed what they said. We were sent home early, and I walked home. My mother was in front of the TV vacuuming the same spot, over and over as she watched the coverage, crying. I'll never forget that. Janis Test
I was in 6 grade Morningside Elementary Ftw.,Tx. Lunch time.Bell rings for everyone to return to class room.Teachers were somber.We were wondering why the long faces.Principle,Mr Lee comes on PA system and announces the president had been shot and killed in Dallas.The night before we were all excited that he was actually in our city.Danny Harper
I was at Dear's Barbeque in River Oaks. Working for General Dynamics I was in charge of the development of equipment for handling and loading the nuclear weapon. A major from Wright Field in Ohio visited us regularly to monitor the design. He had to have his Dear's every visit and I had taken him and a cohort there for lunch. On hearing the news he stopped eating immediately and had me deliver him to Carswell. Apparently it was protocol for the military to get to the nearest base in a hurry in the event of a national emergency. I do not know how he retrieved his rent car from GD, but that seemed to be unimportant that day.Joe Jopling
I was in first grade in White Settlement, Texas. I recall students were called to the auditorium and told of the tragedy. Seems like school was released early. I walked home to find my mother crying - and she never cries - I thought the world was ending.Bette
I was seven years old, and a second-grader at Crestview Elementary School, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our teacher, Mrs. Hepner, had left us to our own devices in the classroom as she went to the teachers' lounge to retrieve some papers. She returned just a few minutes later (sooner than we expected) and told us in a very serious voice that President Kennedy had been shot while riding in a car in Texas. Before I later learned the flood of details about his assassination, I immediately had this image in my mind of a hidden assailant shooting him. Despite our age, we knew who JFK was, and grasped the seriousness of the incident. School was dismissed early, as it was for millions of children across the country, and we were sent home. I recall my parents were visibly upset - my mother, because of her shared Catholic faith with the President, and my father, who had voted for Kennedy in 1960, and in August 1943 served aboard LST 395, which transferred the survivors of PT 109 to a naval hospital in the Solomon Islands following their rescue. Not since FDR had my father felt so strongly about a President, who was also a fellow Navy veteran of WW2. Being seven years old, my memories of Kennedy's administration were spotty. At the time, I knew nothing about his role to advance civil rights, or the Bay of Pigs debacle; my memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis were confined to a trip my father and I made from Indianapolis to Louisville to visit my paternal grandmother. My mother phoned him and asked that we return home quickly - the President was speaking on television that night (Oct 22, 1962) and she was afraid we were headed for war with Russia. Driving home, I remember seeing Air Force C-119 transports ("flying boxcars") in the sky, heading south. As small child, I remember liking Kennedy because he was sending people into space. I sat transfixed before our black and white TV watching every Mercury launch, and scanned the skies, hoping for a glimpse of John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, or Gordon Cooper. As the years passed, my knowledge and opinions of Kennedy and his presidency evolved - as someone who was a good President, with the potential for greatness, but who had (IMO) been prematurely placed upon a mantle of greatness by a public grieving over a tragically incomplete term, a public that had felt denied the image of glamor and appeal which Kennedy and his minions had so carefully crafted and projected to that public. We can only guess what path America might have taken had he lived. Based on what I've read, I don't believe he would have circumvented our involvement in Vietnam, but neither to I believe he would have sent 50,000 young people to their deaths in the jungles and paddies of Southeast Asia. Although we don't know what he might have accomplished, perhaps our legacy to John Kennedy is to build an America that we think he would have sought to build... John Greenup
I was in 7th grade geology class at Kenmore Jr. High in Arlington, VA. The announcement came over the PA system and we were all told to go home immediately. I rode the bus to school and lived about 5 miles away - the only way I knew to get home was to walk the bus route. I cried all the way. My mother took us to the capital building and we waited for hours in the freezing cold to try to get in to pay our respects. There were so many people there we never made it in. So we went back the next day to watch the funeral procession along Constitution Avenue. I remember mother saying that we were witnessing history - something you may never see again. What a dark day for our nation. I felt so sorry for Jackie and the kids - how horrible for her - we lost our President but she lost her husband and the father of her children. Tragic.Betty
Bob was an Air Force Medic (lab technician) in Okinawa. It was nighttime there, and suddenly the bunker island across from their housing quarters lit up and became active with preparations for loading nuclear bombs onto planes. That was how people on the base first learned of JFK's assassination, and we were alerted that we were in a most serious defense condition -- DEFCON 2 (one step before nuclear war) -- a very scary time. Penny was teaching a class as Cayuga County Cooperative Home Extension Agent in Ithaca, NY when the news came over the radio. All activity stopped and everyone became glued to the tv news. Many people left to pick up their kids from school and went home to be with their families.Penny & Bob Greenboam
I was 11 years old and in the 6th grade at Circle Park Elementary on the North Side of Fort Worth. I was at recess after lunch and a classmate that lived across the street from the school had gone home for lunch and came running back across the field screaming that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. We all went back into the building where we found some teachers standing in the halls, most of them crying and telling us to go to our home room. I remember the principal on the PA telling us that the president had died and asking for a moment of silence. We were then excused to go home. I remember thinking about the president and thinking about his children. I'll never forget that day.Teddy Lamar
I was in my 8th grade American History class. The teacher from the class next door (Mr. Jarvis) came into our classroom and said to our teacher (Mr. Landahl) "Did you hear about the President?" Mr. Landahl said, "No, what?" Mr. Jarvis said, "He was shot. He was riding in a motorcade with the governor of Texas. The governor was killed, and the President was seriously wounded." Mr. Jarvis left the room, and we students didn't believe him -- Jarvis had a reputation as a joker. But Mr. Landahl said, "No, he wouldn't joke about that." Several minutes later two girls, office assistants, came to pick up the attendance slips. They were both crying. Then we knew it must be true.Albert Locher
I was in study hall at Northwest Regional High School (CT) when the announce was made. You could have heard a pin drop. School was closed until after the funeral...Jack R. Weingart
I remember I was twelve years old. My mother and I were shopping at the Country Club Center. We passed JC Penney and noticed people were huddled around a radio in the jewelry department. My mom and I entered the store. We approached the clerk behind the counter and asked what was happening. We were shocked when he told us our beloved President Kennedy had been shot. We slowly walked to our car in shock and began our drive home. As we approached Del Paso Country Club an announcement was made on the radio the President Kennedy had died. My mother had to pull over to the side of the road. We were both in tears, hugged each other and then continued our drive home. It seem to take forever to get home. The day was overcast. A very gray, sad, sad day. Janeen C. Elorduy
My family and I were living in Los Gatos, California the day President Kennedy was shot. I was in Mr. Sampson's 9th grade World History class. Mr. Sampson came running into the classroom telling us there were news reports that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. The classroom was stunned, trying to comprehend why someone would try and shoot the president. Mr. Sampson was attempting to take roll, we were asking him questions, when the principal came over the P.A. making an announcement that the president of the United States had died while on a trip to Dallas. The girls in the classroom started crying, the boys were stunned. I was crying and shaking, thinking the world was coming to an end. Sometime thereafter, classes were dismissed and we were sent home. The ride on the bus, was the longest one ever. Walked into my house, the television was on showing the events as they were unfolding, my mom was crying. No school for the next 3 days. We sat and watched all the programs, watched the funeral, all of the commentaries. That was the day we lost our innocence. It is a day that will forever be etched in my memory, and will always be with me. Just typing this, brings it all back as if it has just happened.Yolanda Swartz
I was a freshman at A&T College (now A&T University) in North Carolina and on my way to the other side of campus for a science class when someone yelled, "The President was shot!" We thought he meant the president of the college. After it was clarified, for only the second time in my life, I felt afraid. It was as if all of a sudden the US became unsafe. Of course all of us (friends and family) were glued to television through the funeral, arrests, etc. America cried and grieved along with the Kennedy family. It felt as if we lost a family member.Gloria Spaulding Hall
I was in fourth grade, Mrs. Kirkland's class, Houston, Texas. We had just come in from recess and our teacher was crying. She had us sit down and then she told us the sad news. We were just a bunch of stunned little kids who never imagined that something like this could happen and turn the whole world upside down in an instant. Nothing has ever been quite the same since that day our innocent, idealistic view was shattered.Deborah Quinn Hensel
It was 1:50pm ET when Sister Joseph Andre, principal, St. John's Catholic School in the rural western NY town of Spencerport opened the door to my 5th grade classroom and told us all to immediately pray for President Kennedy who had been shot in Dallas and may be hurt badly. I was shocked and so too were the other 40 or so baby boomer kids in that room. School buses departed at 2:05pm and when I walked into our home my Mother was in tears. I remember watching Walter Cronkite announce, in tears, the President was dead on live TV. Mom and I prayed for our country and for the Kennedys. The end of innocence had happened that afternoon for all us who remember that fateful November 22, 1963. Tom Batz
I was standing outside the Dallas Trade Mart waiting to see President Kennedy arrive at the luncheon. I was 9 years old and had gotten out 5th grade at Preston Hollow Elementary to see him. I was with Janet Sanders, whose father Barefoot Sanders was then U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. He and his wife and my mother were at the luncheon inside. My father waited with us and my sister outside. We stood with our backs to Stemmons Freeway and saw some cars rush by going north. We heard something on the radio of a police motorcycle parked nearby about the President but didn't know what. At some point, a bunch of people started coming out of the Trade Mart. I saw my mother, ashen faced. They had just been told President Kennedy was dead. I remember watching Walter Cronkite almost nonstop through Monday evening. To this day my 85-year-old mother cannot discuss that day.Susie Andrews
I was in my 9th grade Algebra Class at Neches HIgh School with Mr. Barner. Our Coach, Mr. Vodie Lee Simmons, lived across the street from the campus and when his wife, Mrs. Etra Mae Simmons heard the news, she came to campus to tell us. Gwen Morrison
I attended Castleberry Elementary School in the River Oaks area of Ft Worth, a community next to Carswell AFB. Our entire school watched the motorcade drive past, I vividly remember how he looked - how he smiled so warmly and was so handsome and how beautiful Jackie was. Living in an age of black and white TV and newspapers, I so remember the vivid color of his skin and hair and the color of Jackie's pink suit. A short time later, the intercom in our classroom came on and with no warning, a radio broadcast was piped and we all learned that the President had been shot and then when the revelation came that he had died, they sent us all home. Everyone was crying. Martha
I was a 15 year sophomore at Highland Park HS in Dallas. I was in gym when the announcement came over the loud speaker that the President had been shot. A few hours later the announcement was made that Kennedy had died.What a terrible tragedy that occurred that day in our city and country. Hal McCall
I was on my way to pick up my daughter at her kindergarten when the car radio made the announcement. It had been my daughter's turn to bring cookies to kindergarten that day and we had worked together the night before to bake and decorate them. She was very proud of those cookies. When I got to the kindergarten, I found both my daughter and her teacher in tears, the teacher because Kennedy had been shot and my daughter because the teacher had thrown the cookies out for the birds to eat because she felt it wasn't right to be eating cookies when the president had been shot.
I was too young to remember, but my mother told the story often. On the day of the assassination, she was driving to Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth to get my younger brother's vaccinations at the clinic. She was forced to pull over so the motorcade could pass by. She got out of the car and held up my baby brother so the President could see him. Mom remembered the color of President Kennedy's hair -- it looked bronze just like my brother's hair. Like everyone else, she was totally shocked later to hear of the assassination and it seemed worse because she had just seen him that day for the first and last time. Paula
I was sitting in my 1st grade class down in McGregor Tx when I heard an announcement on the PA. As usual I wasn't paying attention in class but I remember my teacher starting crying and I didn't know why. I can also remember being mad that there were no cartoons on TV that weekend because the funeral was on all three stations --- that's right we only had three stations back then.
Everybody knows, don't they? That was the day I was to report for duty at the Memphis Naval Air Station, so I was downtown that morning early -- I remember seeing the arrangements outside the Texas Hotel -- to catch a train for Memphis. Also on board were two kids who were being discharged from the Air Force, and one had a little transistor radio. At a stop in Little Rock he heard the news and broke it to the rest of us.Larry Neal
I was in 7th grade Music class in Miami, Florida. It was a few months shy of my 13th birthday. The room grew quiet when there was an announcement over the PA system. The President has been shot in Dallas, Texas and is presumed dead. A boy in the front row jumped up and was clapping at the news. He was immediately snatched by the collar and removed from the classroom. We were told we needed to leave school and head home. No transportation was available at that hour so I walked the two miles home. My Mother and five year old sister were watching the news on TV. She had been crying. My Mom and Dad were to attend a dressy dinner party that night to honor his 25 years service with Nolan-Brown Cadillac Co. I was to babysit my sister and actually get paid for it. I was hoping they would stay out late since I was getting fifty cents an hour. No one at the dinner was in a partying mood so they were home early. For the next few days we watched live coverage of everything JFK. The one word that was mentioned over and over was "Rotunda." My sister said if she ever has a little girl she is going to name her Rotunda. She never had a little girl.Nancy Smith Witt
In 1963 I was 23 years old and part of the diplomatic staff at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore. I and two other communications technicians were responsible for the communications systems at the Embassy. After normal office hours one of us took turns at nighttime and weekends on call for emergency communications. When an immediate action message was on the way it would automatically alert the Marine guard who was on duty 24/7 at the front desk and he in turn would call the technician on duty The afternoon of November 22 was actually November 23 in Singapore and it was my week to be on call. Around 2 AM I was awakened by a knock at my apartment door. It was the Embassy driver who had been sent by the Marine guard to get me. I hurriedly dressed and quickly made it to the Embassy's communications center, set up the communications link and that was when I learned that President John Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas. I then called the staff duty officer who came in and called the Ambassador and the rest of his staff. It was a profound shock for me when I learned the news, almost too terrible to believe. Like many, I was a great admirer of John Kennedy, and had voted for him in 1960, the first presidential election that I had voted after just after turning 21. That morning and for the next several days it seemed that the whole city of Singapore was in mourning. The Embassy was filled with people lined up to express their condolences. In those days security was very light and anyone could walk into the embassy at will. There were no worries of terrorists and or suicide bombers. Just one lone Marine guard provided all the security needed. Strangers in the street would come up and say how sorry they were. A memorial service was held at the Episcopal Church a few days later and everyone attended.Ray Cook
I was a senior Transportation Studies student at the University of Texas on a field trip to Dallas. On that Friday we were having lunch at Braniff Airways headquarters cafeteria at Love Field, Dallas, prior to a planned tour of their operations center. I can't clearly recall whether a TV was visible in the cafeteria, but word was circulating that the president had been shot in downtown Dallas. I do clearly recall joining two or three Braniff mangers who were listening to the car radio in the parking lot. When word came over the radio that the President was dead, one of the managers said, "Well, gentlemen, there goes your city." We immediately returned to Austin. My wife and I watched every minute of TV coverage of that surreal event. We attended worship services Sunday at Hyde Park Baptist Church. At the conclusion of the service, someone handed a note to our pastor, Dr. Ralph Smith, who read, "The man who killed President Kennedy has been shot." Again our attention was focused on TV coverage. Classes were cancelled the following Monday, enabling the student body to witness history: the funeral service; the funeral cortege; and the internment of the President of the United States. James L. Wells
I was in 6th grade. They called all the students into library and told us that the President had been shot and had died. One of my classmates was from Dallas and he was really upset. It was a terrible time.
Everman Jr. High School 8th grade....we were sitting on bleachers waiting for the bell to ring and the principal, Mr. Teague came over the speaker system saying that President Kennedy had been shot then later the announcement came that President Kennedy was dead. School was dismissed and I remember spending the weekend with my parents and grandparents watching every minute on T.V. Even the moment Lee Harvey Oswald was shot live on TV. Life was never the same in this country.Neely Reynolds
I was in my 9th grade science class at Brewer Jr. High. I was shocked and sad. My friends and I had talked our parents into letting us go skating the night before. The skating rink was across the high way from Carlswell AFB so we could see his plane land.Dianne Robinson
I was 12 years old and living in Washington D.C. I was in the school office when the Principal heard it on the radio. She gave me a note to take around to each classroom as not to alarm the entire school at one time. At the time I recall my mother saying every phone line in D.C. was busy. At that time my Uncle was assisgned to the White House via the Department of the Army and Mom was trying to contact him. A few days later my mother took us 7 kids to the funeral procession in D.C.Michael Elliott
I was in Tacoma Washington and it was 3 hours earlier in the morning than it was in Dallas.I was having morning coffee with my neighbor when we heard on the radio of the news that the President had been shot. My father in law had just died the day before so for the next few days which spread into two weeks or more my family and I were not only playing out the death of our President but also in real life living out the death of our beloved head of the Phill family. Believe me when I say it was all very devastating and I remember it like it was yesterday.M. Phill
I was working at the Federal Reserve Bank that was at 10th & Grand in downtown Kansas City, Mo. I was eighteen years old. My new husband called me to tell me that the President, who we loved had been shot and killed. The floor I worked on had over 400 IBM machines with girls inserting checks by hand at rapid fire speed. I went to my immediate supervisor and shared this tragic news. Then he went to his supervisor who walked into the vice-president of the banks office. One by one the IBM machines turned off until we all sat in silence until 5:00 quitting time. We went down the elevators in silence. It was all unbelievable and I was truly grief struck.Carole Long Werner
I was seven years old and home sick with the mumps that day. Mom was watching "Days Of Our Lives" on CBS when the network suddenly interrupted programming with the awful news. I remember Mom running out of the room - crying. To this day I can't help but think this event was the tipping point with delicate state of her mental health (My late Mom was diagnosed with schizophrenia shortly afterward.) As I child I didn't not fully comprehend the magnitude of what just happened - I was disappointed that there were no cartoons on TV all that weekend.Ray
I was in the eighth grade at Yorba Junior High School in Orange, California. A native Texan, born in Dallas, my family had moved to Southern California when I was in the third grade. We lived across the street from the school and every day I would walk across the street to go home for lunch. That day, around 11:30 am as I crossed the street, I saw my 19 year old sister sitting in the car in front of the house listening to the radio. I asked her why she wasn't on her way to college classes. She told me what she just heard on the radio. We went into the house and turned on the TV. I will never forget seeing Walter Cronkite read that news bulletin. When I returned to class after lunch, my English teacher was very sad and said that our nation needed prayers. I witnessed the cruelty of children that day. My friends were all telling me that I must be proud that I was a Texan. For four days in November nothing was on the three major networks but assassination and funeral coverage. I remember like it was yesterday. Michelle Heineman
I was three years old, and my folks and I lived in Mooresville, Indiana. We were in the car, I was in the front seat between Mom and Dad, eye-level with the car radio. I vaguely remember my parents getting upset, but I remember just staring at that radio, trying to understand what happened.Monica Norwood
I was in the seventh grade at Wedgwood Jr. High sitting in English class when a boy returned from the office and told us what he has heard on the radio while there. We didn't want to believe it! Shortly thereafter the Principal went on the intercom to announce the sad news to all of us. Most of the girls, including me, cried. Later that day when we heard on the radio that Lee Harvey Oswald had been arrested for the shooting. My mother gasped because he was the brother in law of our hairdresser Vada Oswald. We never met Lee Harvey, but my mother Jo Ann Hardie, who passed away in 1978, had heard about him when he went to Russia. It was a very sad time, and words are hard to describe going through such a historical event that transpired so close to home! Jody Hardie Shipman
I was up a pole in Montreal , employed by Bell Canada, repairing a phone line to residence when I received a call telling me the President was shot 54 minutes ago. Larry Duchene
I was in fifth grade in a Kansas City suburb on November 22, 1963. It was Friday and we had a field trip planned to the circus at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City. As we were waiting for parents to arrive to prick us up to take us downtown, one of our classroom parents motioned out teacher to come outside in the hall. She came by white as a sheet and shaking and told us the president had been shot. Suddenly, without any announcement or warning, the intercom system started broadcasting live from WDAF radio about the shooting. Not much was known when we left and the parent I rode with didn't want to alarm us by turning on the radio. It wasn't until we got to Muncipal Auditorium that they other kids who had listened to the radio told us the president was dead. Many of the kids at the circus did not know about it until the Ringmaster called for a moment of silence for "our fallen president." I remember grabbing my teacher's hand and saying, "Oh my God, Johnson's president now!" The only thing I knew about Lyndown Johnson was the bufoonish character on the irst Family comedy albums. The other memory frozen in my mind was going to the grocery store that weekend to shop for Thanksgiving. The store was packed as always on a Saturday, but it was quiet. No background music, no one talking aloud (only in whispers) as people made their way up and down the aisles. I remember how eerie that was. That is when the impact of the assasination hit me.
7th grad P.E. Class. Felt confused at first - I remember asking "the president of what?".... then I felt profound sadness - I guess as much as a 7th grader can feel.Rebecca
I was a tenth grade student at Castleberry High School in River Oaks, TX. Our entire school district lined River Oaks Blvd. as the President's motorcade made its way to Carswell Air Base for the short flight to Dallas. Less than one hour later as we returned to classes, the announcement was made that President Kennedy had been shot. Shock, sadness and a little fear permeated the hallways at school until we were dismissed to go home. All businesses had closed and everyone was glued to the television for news reports. It is a time I will never forget. Anne Frye
I was a copy boy at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Was on lunch when a co-worker came in and announced the news. Thought it was a joke at first but realized it wasn't. Went to newsroom where we all stood around the teletype machine and watched the news breaking. Was in total shock.Bob Rudoff
I was a hall monitor during 6th period sitting outside of the Principal's - Administrative Offices at Wilson Junior High in Erie, PA when a teacher came into the hallway and said, "The President has been shot". That same teacher also said, "you will never forget where you were when you first heard about the shooting...How right he was, at least in my case. I now work in downtown Dallas and everyday I drive home I go by the actual sight where the tragedy occurred and there are always people standing outside looking around, trying to figure out for themselves what happened. The fascination of the Kennedy legacy carries on!! I also saw the actual shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby and my immediate thought: "total disbelief" of what I had just witnessed! How news was reported had changed forever!Dennis McCabe
It was Miss Kent's 7th grade English class, in the Norwood, Massachusetts Junior High School. Our teacher, a prim and proper, white-haired woman, was dutifully droning on about... something, when the door opened a bit and someone signaled Miss Kent to come out into the hall to talk. I was sitting close enough to the front that I could catch the occasional word. When I heard "shot", I turned to my schoolmates and said, "I think we're getting shots today!", which sent a shudder of excitement around the room. Polio and other shots were still quite common in schools then, and - despite the momentary pain - it would mean some time off from the tedium of English class. When Miss Kent returned, though, she said, "Class, you're going to hear something over the P.A. system in a minute and I want you to listen carefully. It's very, very important." The speaker in the classroom crackled it soon became apparent we were listening to a radio news broadcast. We had no idea what was happening until the announcer said something to the effect of "To repeat, the President of the United States has been shot and has died." Coming from a greater-Boston family who idolized the Kennedy's, I was shaken to my core. I was 13 years old and it was my first experience with insane hatred on a national, historical scale. Paul Pazniokas
I was a 22 y/o Hillcrest nursing school student in Waco, TX. We had just returned from Picadilly cafeteria to the baby clinic. Everyone was huddled around the radio and when they announced that President Kennedy had died, the clinic was closed and we returned to the dorm. I was working that weekend in the newborn nursery and ever time we took a baby to the mother, we would stop and glance at the TV in the waiting room to watch. It was such a sad weekend and sadder because it happened only 100 miles away. Rita Burton Ross
I was driving my 55 Chevy to my political science class at Manatee Jr. College in Bradenton, Fl when the radio programming was interrupted with an announcement that the president had been shot. I walked into a silent classroom, everyone was in shock, we had been studying Kennedy and his rise to power.Bob Edmondson
It was the day after I was discharged from the Army at Fort Sill, OK, and my wife and I were driving back to our home in Michigan when we heard the news. We stopped at a Holiday Inn in Joplin, MO, where the bar was filled with rednecks cheering for Kennedy's death. We got back in the car as fast as we could and headed north.Mike Middlesworth
I was in the 4th grade in Mrs. McCalls class at Arapaho Road Elementary school in Richardson, TX. We were allowed to watch the President's motorcade go through Dallas, the camera went up the side of a building and something was sticking out of the window. The TV went black and then came back on to a picture of a policeman holding his gun. Mrs. McCall told us a few minutes later that the President had been shot, then a few minutes later she told us he had died at Parkland Hospital.Stephen Karnes
I was with two other children at our babysitters home in East Fort Worth. We were having lunch when suddenly the phone rang and Mrs. Keeton (the sitter) got the news of President Kennedy being shot and she began to cry. I was 5 years old that day and this is one of my earliest memories in life. The memory of that day is stamped into my mind forever. Every detail still feels vivid...sadness and confusion. Tambra Starnes
It was a beautiful warm fall day under Carolina blue skies. It was my first year teaching fourth grade. A safety patrol boy came into my room and handed me a strip of paper with the message "President Kennedy was assassinated today in Dallas." I still have that strip of paper with the blue mimeographed message. It was almost time to dismiss on that Friday afternoon, and I decided not to tell the children but to let them hear the sad news as their parents chose to tell them. After the children left, the teachers hugged and cried.Charlotte
I was a young 2nd lieutenant, having a cup of hot chocolate in the flight line snack bar at McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Washington. Someone came in and said, "Did you hear someone shot the President and the Governor of Texas?" Thinking it was a joke, I replied, "OK, what's the punch line?" He said, "It's not a joke." The place went suddenly silent, and then rapidly cleared out, as we all rushed to our work positions or to radios.Daniel Patz
I was at the Hotel Llano with Mike Livingston and Jimmy Cone eating chicken fried steak and cream gravy in front of a round screen black and white TV...Jim Everett
I was 16 year old Sophomore at Arlington Heights High School in American History class. It was a split class with lunch period in the middle. The first half of class many of the kids were at Carswell and had watched the President and Mrs. Kennedy come in to Fort Worth. Many stood on Rosedale to watch them go down the West Freeway toward downtown. A couple of the kids' fathers were police officers or worked for the FBI and they had been away from home all week checking building roofs for security for the President. Some of the parents were going to the breakfast downtown. The discussion then moved to what if the President was shot in Fort Worth, but we felt comfortable because our Teacher had advised that we had just heard that the police had checked for any possibility of that. We went to lunch all happy, as any 16 years would be to lunch. After the lunch, we went back to our American History Class. One of the boys, who had gone home from lunch came back and said, "The President has been shot in Dallas." Of course, we all said, "that is not funny". A few minutes later the Principal came on the loudspeaker announce that President Kennedy had died. I remember our teacher broke into tears. The kids were in shock, but did not react into tears. It was a strange reaction from us, we had just lost our new beloved Principal earlier in the year. We just could not fathom what had just happened in Dallas, when all was well in Fort Worth.Lynne Davidenko Royal
I was sixteen years old on November 22, 1963. I was standing on an island in the middle of Lemmon Avenue at the corner of Mockingbird Lane with my brothers and watched the motorcade as it turned down Lemmon from Love Field. The limo slowed to a crawl as it turned, so I was able to see President and Mrs. Kennedy for quite a few second from a distance of about 12 feet, my view unobscured. I remember thinking, "That is the President of the United States," in absolute amazement. My family were staunch Republicans, but we were also taught to respect the office of the President. The President did not travel to Texas very much in 1963, so to see him in person was awe-inspiring. I was as fascinated to see Jackie Kennedy as I was to see her husband, truth be told. We had no idea, of course, how soon he was not going to be with us any more. I remember vivid pink in the bright sunlight. By the time we drove the short distance home, President Kennedy had been shot. As I walked in the house, our next-door neighbor was calling to let us know. I hurried to turn on the television, just in time to see Walter Cronkite deliver his tragic delivery of the horrific news. To see Walter Cronkite take off his glasses and wipe away tears stunned us all. My mother was up at the church, and I called her to tell her the news and asked her to hurry home. My father was at work and had patients scheduled all afternoon, but he didn't leave again all weekend when he finally did arrive home, an unusual occurrence. The streets of Dallas were empty that weekend. It looked like the scene of a futuristic movie. There was not a car on the streets. Everyone was at home. It was the first time ever that all of our three or four stations were devoted exclusively to the news, and families were glued to it. At sixteen, we knew the gravity of the situation, and yet we did have some teenage yearning to socialize after two or three days, so we began to meet at each other's homes to play some music..... and watch the news. Susan Altick Stitt
I was serving with the 3rd Infantry, The Old Guard at Ft. Myer, VA, the President's Honor Guard. I was due to process out of the regular Army starting the following day. My casket team had just returned to our barracks from funeral duty at Arlington National Cemetery when our company clerk ran out saying that the President had been shot in Dallas. This of course changed everything. For the next four days, our unit geared up for serving in various duties for the President's funeral.Gary Rogers
I was teaching 5th grade at Kooken Elem. in Arlington. My class had just finished watching the parade. When the TV stopped televising the event, we returned to our history lesson, Very soon, the principal came on the loud speaker to let us know that our president had been shot and was being rushed to the hospital. The children wanted to talk about it, so I had them compose a group letter to his wife and let her know how much her husband was loved by all. She sent back a thank you to our class. I still have it.Nita McFarlin
I was a 12 yr. old 7th grader At James E. Guinn Jr. High School in Fort Worth, Texas. We had been in the gym and our class had just returned to the locker room; when our teacher, Mrs. Grayson heard a bulletin coming from the school's public address system. Everyone just stood there in shock (some cried and some just remained quiet). We all got dressed without conversation. Before we left, our teacher spoke with us about the situation and we walked to our next class in silence.Glenda Crowe Mayeaux
I was in 5th grade at Castleberry elementary school. We got out of school to watch the motorcade go down River Oaks boulevard. I was very impressed seeing President Kennedy. What impressed me most about him was his hair; it looked thick and reddish-brown. Not long after we went back to school, the teacher came in the classroom and announced to the children that the President and the Governor were shot; I felt sick about it. My father was a supporter of Kennedy and was often the subject of telephone threats before the assassination. When my mother would pick me up from school, sometimes we were followed by strangers. Before the assassination my father received a letter threatening to kill Kennedy which he subsequently turned over to the FBI. He never heard back from them. We moved out of Texas not too long after the assassination. John Fritz
I was a senior at Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove, California, just outside of Sacramento. Our teacher informed us of the shooting. I don't remember if we were dismissed for the day, but I do think we stayed home the next day. I remember watching it on TV and seeing Jack Ruby shoot Oswald. My boyfriend and I went to the drive-in movies and I just was in shock and couldn't really enjoy the movie. I remember the whole weekend I was very sad and kind of in a daze.
I was 8 years old, in Webster NY and riding the bus home from school. The bus driver, suddenly began yelling for everyone to shut up, he was listening to the radio when the news came on about President Kennedy being shot. We did not understand why he was yelling at us, and could not hear what he was hearing, until he said that the president had been shot and to be quiet. We knew by his demeanor that it was bad. When I got home, I still did not really understand the significance. My parents that evening explained what had happened and from that time for what seemed like a month the TV only broadcast news about the shooting. I didn't really know what to ,but the darkness of that time is still a very real part of my memory. Years later when I was in Dallas at the spot where he was shot, did emotions really kick in.Thomas Wiederhold
I was at church helping to set up a father/son banquet. Two of the ladies sneaked out to go home to watch "As the World Turns". When they returned they said "Kennedy has been shot". Our pastor's name was Kennedy, so I thought they meant him. When I found out it was our president, I panicked and wanted to get my kids from school. I will never forget that feeling and the next week of disbelief and sadness. Janet Gardner
I was in high school, at Fort Worth's Nolan Catholic High School, and we were just beginning a speech class. We had a student teacher and she came into the classroom very excited and obviously upset. She told us President Kennedy and Governor Connally had been shot, in downtown Dallas, and were being rushed to Dallas' Parkland Hospital. Since Nolan is a Catholic school, a prayer was recited over the PA system, for them. The radio reports were played over the PA system and I will never forget hearing Walter Cronkite say, in a very somber voice, that President Kennedy had died of his injuries. I recall everyone sort of gasped and some girls began to cry. Nolan is located on I-30, and in 1963 it was called the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike, complete with toll booths. The school faced the turnpike's last set of toll booths and immediately a large number of law enforcement vehicles, state and local, blocked the toll booth, to prevent any vehicle from passing through. No one knew who had assassinated Kennedy at the time, or where the person was located, so law enforcement was going to prevent "him" from getting off the turnpike. I remember the school bus ride home, to Arlington, as being very quiet. My family and I watched the ensuing events unfold on television. We had just returned from Sunday Mass and my grandfather called and told us to turn on the TV, they were going to transfer Lee Harvey Oswald from the Dallas jail. We turned on the TV and were just in time to see Oswald shot on live TV, something I will never forget. We watched the funeral Mass and procession, to Arlington National Cemetery, and I will never forget the mournful cadence of the procession, it was eerie and yet moving. The entire weekend was somber and everyone seemed so sad. I think the salute John Kennedy Jr gave his father, just about broke everyone's heart; you just do not forget the images and grief everyone felt. To this day, just hearing recollections of that time, invokes a sense of sadness. Juliana
I was five years old and just dropped off from kindergarten at my apartment. As I ran up the stairs toward my door, I noticed it and all the other doors were wide open. When I got inside, my mom was sitting in the couch watching TV. She told me what had happened. The impression I have is that I could hear the same news broadcast coming from all the nearby apartments, and adults standing outside quietly talking. Inside my apartment, groceries sat in the bags on the kitchen counter, where my mom had put them. Time stood still, things went undone, people were full of sadness and fear on that day and my five-year-old self absorbed the sounds, sights and impressions of it all.Verone Travis
I was a senior at Highlands High School in San Antonio when a friend rushed in to tell us that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. My teacher turned on the television and we sat stunned at the news, especially since I had just seen him in San Antonio. I will never forget the faces of my parents when I got home that day, such sadness and disbelief. It changed my outlook from a happy teenager to one that was full of skepticism and cynicism, particularly after serving in Viet Nam and seeing Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy murdered. I always hope that things can change, but little has changed my outlook.David Mead
I was at school that day, and it was our lunch period. The schools name was Maggie Califf Elementary and High School, located in Gray, Georgia. A group of children were standing under the cat-walk that cold day when the principal Mr. Crawford came and broke the sad news to us about the president. He told us to gather our things because school would be dismissing early. The time was about 12:45, "the principal said the school buses would be there shortly to take us home." When we arrived home early, "my mother asked why we had came home so early," I told her the president had been killed and mother fell in a chair and said," Lord have mercy." By the way, I was a junior in high school. C. Myrick
A high school junior in a suburb of Boston, MA. School was dismissed for the day. My family watched the non stop television coverage as long as it was on. I saw Ruby shoot Oswald in real time. A terrible, terrible time for all but especially those of us in MA. The Kennedy family was so larger than life and so loved in their home state.Betsy Hanks
I was an Air Force wife living in Madrid, Spain. It was just before 7:00 PM there when I got the news. I was at a Boy Scout Council meeting with my son, Reggie, and a friend and her son. The meeting was long getting started and we were wondering what was happening. Then the leader made the announcement that the President had been shot in Dallas. We all filed out in shock and drove home not knowing what it meant for our country, what affect on our husbands or on us in a foreign land. We had no TV, just a radio with The Armed Forces Network. We stayed glued to the radio for days! The Spanish people were wonderful! They grieved with us.Lanelle Parr
I was in fifth grade at Kershaw, SC elementary school. A classmate and I had flag duty that afternoon and as we were walking by the principal's office,we heard the adults talking about the shooting. We lowered the flag, folded it properly, and returned to our classroom where we told the class the terrible news. Though only 10 years old,I was so saddened and upset.I slept hardly at all those next four days.Randy Sims
I was 3 years old and at my home in Waco, Texas. As young as I was I still remember the shock of it to date. It was a sadness I cannot even described over me and my family that day. I felt the whole world mourning for such a great man. We were watching the events on our black and white television of the death of our President and felt the tremendous impact on the world right there in our tiny room. A few weeks later, my mom had scheduled a photographer to come out for pictures of me and her in our living room. The minute he stepped in the room I felt that sadness again. My mother and him could not get me to smile and they even had put my dog in the pictures to brighten me up but that did not work. Later after he left, my mother said what was wrong with me-- I said that man look like Oswald. As my mother thought about it she said "well he sure did look similar". She never said anything more because she new the sadness that made me not smile that day.Paula Rainey
I was watching "As the World Turns" in a small house in South Norwood, Mass. My children were very young. I remember it as just after 1:30 when the announcer broke in. There was a wait to make sure the President was alright..then the scene of the ambulance at the hospital. Then the increasingly serious tones of the reporters and the network staff. The TV was on a rolling stand and I rolled it from the play room to the kitchen as I watched every thing for those 4 days.. Norwood became silent. Very few cars moving on the busy road at the end of our street. So much black displayed. I do not know where people got so much black cloth to put all over the fronts of businesses and some homes.. It was very quiet. My husband was at sea on the USS Boston. After he returned, it was so difficult to convey to him the mood during those days . I could not describe what I and the country had experienced. One just had to experience it. Because of television, it was not hard to accept the announcement that the President was dead. It lived with us step-by-step for the 4 days..completely....Terrible loss. The country was completely together....not a hint of the snides and maneuvering that is everywhere political today. All together in this time in our country's dark moment. We ( hard to remember, but the country was a 'we" then) were "with" the Kennedy family. Each of them We felt with them. We trusted the government that survived was strong.Pat Goddard
I was in school. Oregon Ave Junior High School Patchogue Long Island New York. It was my third period class (PE) we were involved in the art of wrestling. Learning all the holds. All of a sudden the public address came on and the gym teachers told us to stop what we were doing. We were told to sit in our respective places and pay attention. Shortly after that we all went into the locker to change. I remember I was standing in front of the speaker (all by myself it was 1:45 - 1:50 east coast time) keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best, when Walter Cronkite came on the air to make the announcement the President Kennedy was dead. I was in shock. Total disbelief! Shortly after that the school buses came to take us home. My parents, brother, and sister got into our car ad drove to my grandmothers apartment in Newark, New Jersey. We stayed throughout the weekend, I was glued to the television. My entire family was at a loss. I guess you could say that we were all in a daze! No one knew what to do. I am 63 years old and I remember the whole incident like it was yesterday.Ronald Golat
I was a student at Loyola University's Rome Center in 1963. My roommate and I took advantage of the long Thanksgiving holiday to travel to Ireland where we stayed with her aunt who ran a hotel in Bantry Bay. President Kennedy had made one of his first international trips to that country during the previous summer. I passed by a TV screen the morning after we arrived where a group had gathered silently. We hung on the coverage, stunned that it involved our young, energetic president, and afraid that it meant the worst. Later that night the Irish mourned their "favorite son" and shared their stories with us of seeing him in their country. They also shared their Irish coffee and I suspect they had made it extra strong with their Irish whiskey to do what they could to alleviate our pain.K. Rucker
I was working at Buck's Wheel Aligning in Fort Worth. I was sent on a trip downtown to pick up some parts. I had hoped to see the President in front of the Texas Hotel. But it was too early, so I picked up the parts and went back to the shop. A while later, I had to go back downtown, but it was too late. He had already left for Dallas. Still later, on another parts run out on South Riverside Drive, I arrived at the place and everyone was huddled around a radio. When I asked what happened, the guy said "They killed him" I thought he was joking, but he told me to go into the other room where the others were listening to the radio. I drove back to the shop in shock. On the way back, I pulled up to a stoplight next to a lady I used to work for. She rolled down the window of her '60 Cadillac and said "Isn't it awful?"Tom Pettit
I was in Miss Mc's 6th Grade Class at Ridge Avenue School in New Jersey. It was a predominately black elementary school (99%), with black teachers, and a white principal, a sign of segregation and the Civil Rights Movement in the north. Mr. K, the principal (whom I respected because he was fair man) came on the intercom and told us that the president had been shot. He attempted to let us hear what was being said over the radio, but it was hard to understand and we were confused about what was happening. Later he came around and spoke to the teachers, letting them know that the president had been killed. At 3pm when when we were dismissed, I ran home, hoping that it was not true. When I arrived my mom and dad were in front of the TV and it was then that I found out that the president was really dead. For the next several days we were all glued to our black and white TVs wanting to know everything about this horrible event. During that week I wrote a letter to Jackie Kennedy, who I so much admired, telling her sorry I was and wanting to know what would happen to her and her small children now that the president was gone.Dianna Harris
My mother made the decision to see President and Mrs. Kennedy drive through Dallas. We parked and stood at the corner of Mockingbird and Lemmon. Right next to the old Coca-Cola sign. We saw Airforce One fly overhead to Love Field. I remember listening to folks talk about Jackie's pink suit. I was five at the time and enthralled with the excitement of this upcoming parade. Soon, the motorcade passed right in front of us, the President looked our way, my mother held up her small Kodak Instamatic camera and took a picture. We hurried back to our car, headed home to Irving, where upon arriving, turning on the news, heard the shocking bulletin. "Shots fired in Dallas and President Kennedy had been hit." Such a day for our nation and a small girl who had just seen the President and his lovely wife. Come to find out later, my previous Sunday school teacher was Ruth Paine, who the Oswalds lived with in Irving.Laura Higgins Wise
I was sick at home with the flu, missing my fourth-grade classes at Zachary Taylor Elementary in Louisville. Though I hated being home, I realized at 2 o'clock that I could watch the daytime version of my favorite game show, "Password." So I was confused, once the set warmed up, to see NBC's Frank McGee on doing news reports instead until I listened and fully grasped what he was saying. We got the "extra" edition of the Louisville Times newspaper that came out late Friday afternoon, and I read it countless times that night. But my worst memory of the weekend came two days later when, five minutes after returning home from church, we turned on the TV and saw Lee Oswald getting shot. At age 9, I wasn't quite prepared to see something that horrendous and the sight of it gave me nightmares and restless sleep for a month. When I talked to my parents about it one evening at dinner, my mother gave me some perspective. "We'll help you get over it," she said. "But you saw that on TV. Pray for Mrs. Kennedy; her husband was shot right next to her. Imagine how she feels." I got over the trauma in time; I wonder if she ever fully did.J.C. Dumas
I was in my Health Education class at my sophomore year in high school. A girl was going down the hall from room to room spreading the news. Our teacher turned on the radio so that we could hear the news.Don Eidson
8th grade at Catholic school in Dallas, the boys were playing the girls in volleyball on the blacktop, when 2 nuns came bursting out the door, crying and telling us to come inside, that President Kennedy had been shot. We gathered in the auditorium, where the rest of the school was on their knees, as Father Smith's voice boomed over the loudspeaker, so loud it was distorted, "hail Mary, full of grace, The Lord is with thee!" Many of the 1st and 2nd graders were weeping, probably not realizing fully what had happened, but this was a Catholic president, one of us. 3 days later he was buried, the assassin had been killed, and we were only 3 months away from the Beatles appearing on the Ed Sullivan show, and the world continued to turn.Rick Johnson
I was a junior at Munich American High School, Munich, Germany in 1963. Was attending a basketball game we had against one of the other American (schools for US military dependents) high schools. Time difference was seven hours ahead of DFW. Two girls sitting in front of me were listening to a small transistor radio (American Forces Network). All of a sudden, one of the girls shouts "the President has been shot!" Those of us within hearing range at first thought this girl was crazy joking about something like this.Within minutes, officials stopped the game. One of them announced that "our President has been shot in Dallas, Texas. Everyone should go back to their quarters (military housing), and listen to AFN (American Forces Network) for further information. It would take several days for all of this to sink in. It was Friday evening our time. I walked back to where we lived. My parents already had the TV on to the local German TV station. We didn't have AFN TV in Munich at that time. The next week an assembly of military personnel and family members residing in our military housing area were at the theater (besides showing movies, was also used for assemblies) at a memorial for our slain President. It was a very, very sad time for all of us in Munich. We had a US Army Special Forces unit stationed near Munich. The Green Berets loved their President!
I was in the 9th grade at Rosemont Junior High. It was in the PE locker room when the news came over a little transistor radio that we had in there. When the boys came back in at the end of class, we told Coach Earl Conrad what we had heard. He didn't believe us, but by the time we were a few minutes into our next class, Principal Stringer came on the intercom and gave us the news. It was a real shocker for all of us, and the last thing anybody could have imagined would happen. Yet there it was. We were all then sent home where the rest of the weekend unfolded. It is still hard to believe, even after 50 years have passed.William Clark
I was a sophomore in an Ohio high school, sitting in study hall doing my homework when the principal came on the PA and announced that the President had been shot. Everyone gathered around any tv they could find in the school. There were no more classes held all day - everyone just listened to the tv news with awe and disbelief. I think I agree with Bob Schieffer that America has never been the same since.Sally
I was in fifth grade and stood on the side of White Settlement Road with my mother, waiving to the motorcade as it traveled from downtown FW to Carswell. Soon thereafter I was on the school playground hearing some rumors about the shooting and challenging them because of my recent sighting. We returned to the classroom where an announcement was eventually made. I have no memory of any crying or outpouring of emotion other than childhood confusion and disbelief, and the teachers being very serious. Randy Means
I served President Kennedy breakfast in his room at the Texas hotel the morning he was killed. I was the room service waiter. Mr. Jackson was room service captain. I served the President. Marvin Love
I was in USAF in S. Caroline as a spotter for jets dropping bombs on a bombing range. We had just got back to the site from noon chow when our Lt. called us to get back to the base,,Shaw AFB, S.C. the base was on red alert for 2-3 days.Larry White
I was in the 5th grade at Daugherty Elementary in Garland, eating lunch in the school cafeteria. Some of the kids at my table said Kennedy had been shot. We were all sent back to our classroom but the teacher never came in. Finally, one of the other teachers came in and told us. Up until then, I didn't believe it. I thought the kids were just joking. It seemed like time stood still...the radios were all playing somber music for about a week (or so it seemed to me). I remember being in church on Sunday. We had just been dismissed when our Pastor went back up to the podium to announce that Oswald had been shot. It was a lot for an 11 year old to absorb. Deana Martin
I was a second grader attending Martha Turner Reilly in Dallas. Our class was at lunch and like many children once we finished eating we were happy to play outside before the next class. When I walked into my next class which was art and saw my teacher crying. Not too long after that we heard our president was dead. My family was going through happy times as I mother gave birth to my baby brother a few days earlier. Those happy times turned to tears of sorrow for our family and our country.
I was an 11th grade student assistant at Mesquite HS. My teacher, Mrs. Cook, had nothing for me that day, so I was sitting in her empty class reading a novel. Suddenly, the intercom started crackling, and then my principal began to speak, very haltingly, about the unfolding tragedy. I, literally , could not breathe! We all spent the next 3 days glued to the TV. I don't remember leaving the house except for church on Sunday morning, where we were informed Oswald had been shot. Sharon
We were getting ready for my sister Martha's wedding at 4:00 in the Colley Memorial Methodist Church, Eagle Lake, Texas. I was her maid of honor, and our daughter Brenda was the flower girl. After the news came of Kennedy's death, friends began calling to ask if we were still going to have the wedding. We were able to regroup even in our deep sorrow and went on to have a beautiful wedding.Frankie Adams
I was a fifth-grader at St. Peter's Catholic School in San Antonio. The previous day I'd stood along Broadway Avenue in San Antonio with my classmates to watch the presidential motorcade travel into downtown San Antonio. I was fascinated to see both the president and Mrs Kennedy as they passed by. On Friday afternoon, after hearing the news from Dallas, St. Peter's students gathered in our darkened church to say a Rosary for the president. As our prayers ended, our pastor, Msgr. Boyle, announced that he had died a few moments earlier. It was a long and difficult afternoon for all of us, students and teachers alike. My memories of those two days, and of the weekend that followed, are indelible.Cathe Spencer
I had gone with my parents to see the President at Carswell. I was in awe. He was so handsome and tan and Jackie was so beautiful. Even the plane was shiny and bright. I was only 13 and was so happy to see them. The next day I was at Junior High, changing classes when I was told by a boy with a transistor radio the President had been shot. The news was played through the intercom. That weekend you could just feel the sadness every where.Jan Tropp
I was a fifth grade student, attending Central Elementary School in Garland during the fall of 1963, but that Friday I had stayed at home, at least pretending to be sick. I was home alone, sitting on the couch watching the Channel 4 (then a CBS station) midday news report on a black and white television. As I recall the network broke into the broadcast to announce that shots had been fired. Within the next 75 minutes or so the network had confirmed the death of JFK - the now famous Walter Cronkite announcement I watched live. Even at that young age the feelings of fear, anger and uncertainty were very clear. Like most American families, mine spent most of the next four days watching what may have been the television era's first epic tragedy unfold in our living room.Ron Whitson
It's a memory I have never forgotten, I was 13 yrs.old and was pretty excited because I had shaken the President of the United States' hand. I had missed school that morning just for that reason. When I returned back to class, I was in the 7th grade. It came over the PA system, "President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas, TX." Only one hour after I had followed the motorcade, I remember Jackie Kennedy was wearing a pretty pink dress and hat. To this day I can still see his smile and hers... Pete Vasquez
I was in Mrs. Poulnot's third grade class at St. Therese Catholic School in Louisville, Kentucky. To this day I can remember the principal knocking on the classroom door and asking Mrs. Poulnot to come speak to her. She then shared the horrible news with us (she was unabashedly crying) and turned on the television in the room so we could watch the news coverage.David Swinney
I was in sixth grade at Meadowbrook Elementary and my friend Jane Bauguess and I were working as "office girls" in the school office while the secretary was at lunch. The phone rang and Jane answered it as we were supposed to do: "Meadowbrook Elementary...student speaking. How may I help you?" The person on the other end of the line asked for the secretary. Jane responded, "She's at lunch right now. May I take a message?" The caller said, "Oh, I just wanted to ask her if she knew Kennedy was shot!" Jane hung up the phone, told me what the caller had said, and we both ran down the hall to the teachers' lounge to deliver the terrible news. I always felt that that moment and that week were the end of my childhood.Galen Gregory
Dallas tollbooth plaza. A Texas Ranger had passed me on the turnpike. He was running with his 8 ft. whip antenna laid out flat to the ground. I was told the President had been shot. I was going to PPG on Glass St. or Pittsburg St. close to where the shooting took place. I picked up my load and left going by Market Hall on my way back to Ft Worth. There were more police 3 wheelers than I have ever seen.Jim Patty
I was thirteen, almost fourteen, on that saddest of days. Our middle school was all excited, not because of the Presidential visit, we were excited to have a couple of hours away from classroom boredom! Yes, we were part of the crowd of schoolkids who were lining the sides of River Oaks Blvd. and were hoping to catch a look at the POTUS and his glamorous wife. I will always remember seeing them, as the car passed by, and how brilliant the color of Mrs. Kennedy's suit looked against the cloudy skies. The group of girls I was walking with talked about her all the way back to school. Then, just after lunch, as we were settling down for our next class...an announcement came over the loudspeaker! The teachers were openly sobbing and hugging each other as we were dismissed to go home. I cried as I walked the couple of miles home and remember how sad I felt for Caroline and John-John. I will never forget that day, ever. I was truly heartbroken.Karen Fortier
I had just left Carwell Air Force Base where my brother and I had just shaken hands with JFK and Jackie. We were some of the last people in Fort Worth to shake their hands before he was killed.Rick Irving
I was in the 9th grade at Parker Jr. High, while at lunch, some friends and i were at C&D Gro. When Mrs Abbett told us the president was shot and killed in Dallas, I couldn't go back to class. That was a sad day in my life.Larry Mullins
I was in Mr. Witt's 7th Grade Texas History class at Boulter Jr. High School in Tyler, Texas. The school secretary, Dorothy Land, came into the class crying and told everybody what had happened. We all bowed our heads and said a prayer for President Kennedy. Sad day.Ann Vittitow Hobson
I was age 10 and had the chicken pox so I was home from school in Ardmore, Oklahoma. I was watching live TV when they showed President Kennedy and his wife waving at the crowds in Dallas. Then the gun shots rang out and it scared me as I saw the president's security team climb into the car over Kennedy who was slumping down in the seat. I remember seeing Mrs. Kennedy trying to climb out of the car towards the trunk when one of the security men grabbed her and pulled her back in. Then there was the news that Kennedy was dead I cried that day as did my mom who was home with me. That's the day the world cried.
I was in my 3rd grade class at Northrich Elementary and a small TV was mounted up in the corner of the room where we all watched it happen! I have never forgotten that day and all the teachers crying and having our parents pick us all up after that...
I was in 7th grade math class in north Dallas when our teacher came in and told a student that his wish had come true. JFK had been shot. At the start of class the student had said that he hoped Kennedy would be shot. It was a very horrible day.
I was in Mrs. Bacon's 3rd grade class at Eastland Elementary school Fort Worth. Soon after the after lunch activities had started all the teachers were informed what happened and that all the parents has been notified that for all intense and purposes school was over for the day and that they had the option to go ahead and come get their kids as soon as possible. The teachers told us that something bad had happened but we would have to wait and find out from our parents. As soon as I got in the car my mom told me that the president had been shot but she didn't know if he was dead yet but the reports had already mentioned that he had been hit in the head and she told me he probably wasn't going to make it. One of the girls in our class was crying because she had been out to greet the president at Carswell and since she had actually seen him it hit home to her more than the rest of us. I was watching the live feed of the transfer of Oswald two days later at my grandparents house when he was shot and then it hit me that this was really serious stuff happening. That was the first time, looking back, I lost a big chunk of innocence that day. Before that weekend, all I was worried about was climbing trees and riding my bike, without a care in the world.Jay Jackson
I was in my 3rd grade class when our principal made an announcement over the classroom speaker that President Kennedy had died in Dallas. He then proceeded to tell us to either take the bus home immediately or call our parents to pick us up. I remember that several of the students began to cry and our teacher did her best to console us. Prior to the announcement by our principal, that morning our teacher had been discussing the President's trip to Dallas.
I was living with my parents in Moyne Co Longford, Ireland. We were six hours ahead off Dallas time. So around 8pm one off our neighbors that had a radio come to our house to tell us that President Kennedy was dead. I remember clearly my Mom and Dad crying and they were upset for weeks. President Kennedy had just visited Ireland.Matt McEntire
I was working in the Sears & Roebuck catalog Mail order warehouse on Lamar St. in downtown Dallas just a couple of miles or less from the parade route and the site of the book depository. We were listening to the radio and suddenly an announcement came over the radio that President Kennedy had been shot. Sears had a retail store and office building on Lamar adjacent to the mail order catalog. The catalog building has been torn down and the retail store was converted a few years ago to the Southside Lofts. Naturally, we were shocked at the radio bulletin and simply couldn't believe what we were hearing. In the days following, we witnessed the live assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald on TV and the funeral of JFK.Buddy Pittman
"It's one of my first memories. I was 3 and lived in Burlingame, Calif. My mother sat us kids on the couch in front of the TV and said, "Watch this, it's going to be history." I knew who President Kennedy was because his portrait was on my grandparents' living room wall, next to a cross and a photo of the Pope. "Linda Gonzales
"I was a 6th-grader in Roswell, New Mexico. At noon I rode my bike home from school for lunch and when I got there my mom and dad were watching TV, which was very unusual for them. Just as I sat down to see what they were watching, Walter Cronkite took off his glasses, looked into the camera and said 'The word, now apparently official, President Kennedy died at 1 p.m. Central Time, about 20 minutes ago.'" Jim Witt
"I was sitting on a ladder making a school carnival booth, when our principal came in the auditorium and told us to go to our 4th period class. About 20 min later he came in and said, "The president JFK was shot in Dallas, TX, and died."...I'll never forget that..."