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The day J.F.K. was shot – where were you? How is America different?

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 | Posted by

Jack and Bobby share a moment

It happened 50 years ago  in Dealy Plaza in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m. central time. Our 35th President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy,  was fatally shot while traveling with his wife, Jackie, and Gov. John and Nellie Connally in a presidential motorcade.

It changed many lives and almost everybody of a certain age remembers where they were and what they were doing at the moment they learned of this tragically memorable event.

Of course those too young or not yet born on 11/22/63,  might nevertheless have a sense of how America and American’s have changed since that infamous day. I had just come from New York’s Museum of Natural History and was settling down at Hong Fat’s on Canal Street with a plate of Duck Chow Fun and a 7- Up.  A greasy old radio atop a cupboard cackled out the news.

JFK's Last Ride

JFK’s Last Ride


If you were around then, we would like to know where you were and your reaction, when you heard the President had been assassinated.

If you weren’t yet feel attitudes, values, and views have changed significantly since that day, and If you’re willing to share your story, we’d  appreciate hearing  from you.

  • http://EssHartley|Facebook Ess Hartley

    I was 18 & living and working at my first job in Chicago. When the news came I was devastated. But I was also working with several women from Romania who were much more devasted. They broke out into loud crys and all huddled together. I think they thought the world would break out into war and their living conditions would be worse than when they lived in Romania!

    For me, I think the world has never been the same. I feel that so many of us in this country are still mourning the deaths of John and Bobby Kennedy. How different life would be if they were still living. I was profoundly affected by both their lives and of course by their deaths.

  • natasha

    I have very vivid memories of that fatefu lday.I was a
    freshman at New England College in Henniker New Hampshire,having just
    turned 18. I had made a quick trip the the school Infirmary for some medication
    and went into the Student Union to seek friends. It was quiet in the Union,which
    hit me as being unusual. All were raptly listening to the radio and I
    heard (I believe that it was Walter Cronkite) say that the President had
    been shot and was being taken to the hospital there in Dallas. When I heard where
    the shots had hit Preident Kennedy,I yelled out “oh he’s dead!”.
    School was immediately cancelled for 3 days and several of us got
    permission to leave the campus and drive down to Washington D.C. to film
    as much as possible of the funeral and people attending. It took us about
    14 hours in an older Volvo and after getting lost in Maryland,we arrived
    several blocks from the Capitol in mid-morning. We immediately noticed
    black(then called colored ) MPS on every corner, wearing white gloves and
    silently guiding traffic,and huge crowds of folks,all colors,crying.
    Parking not far from where the ceremonies where being held,we bundled up and
    stood across the street. We asked if we would be allowed to go in and view the
    President, laying in state in the Capitol Rotunda and were granted entry.
    Brushing shoulders with such dignitaries as French President Charles
    DeGaulle,Hallie Selassie of Ethiopia and other world leaders,we filed
    quietly past the casket. We then returned to our viewing area
    across the street and saw the rider-less carriage.We also
    experienced the oh-so sad vision of Caroline and John-John,accompanied by their dear
    mother Jackie, walk down the wide staircase.
    I can truthfully say that those events of 50 years ago have affected
    me deeply and I still mourn the loss to the American people.
    Natasha Pehrson Cazadero

    the street and saw the rider-less horse-drawn carriage. We also

  • Judy Conley

    I was in 5th grade. We had the only radio in a classroom. Someone came in and handed my teacher a note. He turned pale, then turned to us and said, “the President’s been shot!”. We turned on the radio. A boy in the class who was celebrating his 10th birthday began to weep.

  • http://www.3ps-philspotpies.com Deb McGauley

    I was six years old, playing hop-scotch on the school playground, when the principal announced over the loud speaker that our President had just been shot, and for everyone to report back to our classrooms. I remember seeing my teachers crying and hugging each other. That was my first experience with violence.

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