November 22, 1963 -- 58 years since JFK Assassination in Dallas

We were getting ready for our freshman Architecture class at OSU, when one of the students ran in and announced that Kennedy had been shot. He was somewhat of a practical joker, and we all went “Yeah yeah.” Then the prof came in and made the announcement, and that all classes were cancelled.

I went back to my rooming house, and watched history unfolding on a B&W portable TV, including seeing Oswald shot.

My mom hadn’t known about the assassination when she went shopping that day. Everyone in the supermarket had been crying, and she finally asked what the hell was happening. That’s how she found out about it.

I was 14, a freshman in high school, and all we were concerned about was whether the state football quarterfinals would be postponed (because we were in them). They went on as planned.

I was 11 and home sick with bronchitis, lying on the living room couch watching something incredibly boring on daytime TV. The news was incredibly shocking. Kennedy was immensely popular in Canada at the time. Prime Minister Diefenbaker did not particularly like Kennedy but he was on the wrong side of that issue with the Canadian public at the time.

I was also in fifth grade. We were outside for PE when a classmate came running to us saying the President had been shot. As cynical fifth graders, we all went, “Yeah, yeah, sure…”

Later, the whole school was crammed into the cafetorium for lunch, and our principal set up the microphone, and simply stood before us with his head down. The whole place got quiet. He started out by saying “It was a sad day when President Lincoln was killed…”

Things CHANGED everywhere. The insinuation of Russian involvement haunted the country. Even as a kid I remembered a nameless fear, that someone could come into our country and kill our president.

The only time I felt that vulnerability was 9/11.

I’ll always remember November 22, 1963.



Ditto but it was the 8th grade for me so we were even more cynical. It didn’t help it was the class clown who came running out.

When we got back to our various classes the teachers confirmed it and a while later there was a PA announcement that he had died. No more lessons for the day but there was no assembly – the teachers explained things as best they could.

I was 4 years old. I was in my first year of preschool. My family had just moved into a new house only 5 days before.

Everybody says they remember where they were when they heard the news. Not me. My mom remembers my dad came home early and broke the news to her. I knew that JFK was dead because on Monday I watched the funeral on TV with my mom. They must have broken it to me gently sometime between Friday and Monday because I don’t remember it. I have memories from during the JFK administration. Just not its endpoint.

I have a memory of the living JFK. I was just short of 4 years old in October 1960 and JFK did a campaign stop in my hometown of Muskegon MI. In those days you could go right up to a fence near the tarmac where the plane was and they set a podium up right next to the plane. Even though we were right by the fence, my dad held me up so I could see. I distinctly remember how tanned he looked and how reddish his hair seemed to be. JFK went to the fence line and shook hands and my dad held me up and JFK touched my head the way politicians do.

Three years later I was in second grade. I sat next to the window on one side of the classroom and the door was on the other. The teacher went to answer the door and the girl sitting next to me must have had excellent hearing because she said “President Kennedy”. The teacher came back to the class and said “President Kennedy was in Texas today and somebody… with no heart… shot him.” As soon as they got the buses sorted out they sent us home early.

That weekend I was laying on the floor watching television and they cut to Oswald being led into the parking ramp. I saw him get shot live and I called for my mom. I remember the announcer shouting over and over again that Oswald had been shot.

We didn’t go to school again till after the funeral. I remember the cadence of the drums as they marched for what seemed like forever. When they played taps my dad left the room to go shave. I think it just got too much for him.

That is some heavy duty stuff for a little kid. And seeing Oswald shot live. Yikes. (I saw it, too, but I was 15.) Alas, that sight might not faze a 4-year old of today. They’ve already been exposed to so much screen violence, some fantasy and some real, in their short lives…

UK resident. I was waiting with some anticipation for the first ever episode of Doctor Who, and found that the TV had been taken over by newscasters.

I also remember that my Dad was very upset, despite the fact that he was a life-long communist.