I was in 2nd grade, but still remember hearing the news, at school - they sent us home. I walked in the kitchen, and my mother, and grandmother, were crying at the breakfast table. Anyone else old enough to have memories of that day ?
I was in seventh grade at a Catholic school. Just before lunch a woman from the neighborhood came running into our classroom which was nearest the entrance. She was almost hysterical and said the president had been shot. Sister DeLourdes, who had been fighting non-stop to get us not to bring six transistor AM radios to school, asked if anyone had a radio, Several students produced radios from their desks. I recall we were all walked over to the church next door. Kennedy's election had been an incredibly important event for Catholics.
This was a Friday, and I believe we were let out of school early. I had a paper route for the Oregonian. Because we lived about an hour from Portland the early morning papers were delivered by Greyhound bus about 5:30 in the evening so they would be available the next morning. My route was delivering papers to stores, taverns and hotels. I was sent two or three times as many papers as usual and left more than the usual number at each stop. There was a huge headline but I can't remember what it said
There was no other topic of conversation. There was nothing on the three network stations out of the five Portland television stations except the news. I can't remember what was on the other two because the TV in our house never left the national news.
Sunday morning the murder of Oswald was telecast practically as it happened. Everything was shut down for the funeral on Monday.
The only event since then that can compare to the shock of November 22 was 9/11
I wasn't born until 1970. But I had a much older brother and older sister were just little at the time and they were watching cartoons when the news broke out about JFK's assassination. He ran into my parents bedroom who both slept in late that day because they both worked and they were both dog tired. My older brother pushed them a little, over and over trying to wake them up saying, the president's dead over and over.They finally woke up in total shock.
I was 18. It was yesterday.
My family and I were at a horse ranch in Wickenburg on vacation. We were riding horses and someone came up to the adults and told them the news. We returned to the ranch and the adults gather to discuss what had happened. I was only six at the time and didn't really understand what was going on.
I've told this here before.
I had turned 5 the week before. My mother was at the beauty salon and my father was working. I was being cared for my my aunt.
What I recall is sitting in the middle of the front seat while my aunt was driving. My next memory is of being in the parking lot of the school that my older cousins attended. They both got into the car and were crying. I asked my aunt why they were in tears and my aunt replied, "Because someone killed our president."
The can also remember attending mass that Sunday. We came home and I turned on the television, disappointed that the only thing on was news of the assassination, etc. I can picture myself sitting on the rug in the living room and seeing Oswald shot my Ruby. My mom was behind me on the telephone talking to my uncle and she dropped the phone.
The night of the assassination, I had a horrible nightmare about it. For many years after, I hated going to bed because of my fear of the nightmare and irrational fear of Oswald. I had many many vivid dreams about it. I became obsessed with Kennedy and the family, reading and watching anything I could get my hands on. I still am to some extent.
I think its very interesting how something like this has colored my whole life and continues to do so. Of course as an adult, I can see it with the perspective of years and can put it all in its place. I has no direct influence on my life now and hasn't for decades but I still think about it every single day.
An interesting side note- I now teach at the school where 50 years ago I first heard from my aunt that Kennedy was killed.
I remember it distinctly. I was in 8th grade, Catholic school. Sister St. Dominic,a termagant if there ever was one, took a note from a boy in the hallway, and burst into tears. She announced that President Kennedy had been shot. We all looked around and began to talk loudly and wildly, the din was intense. She called for attention, and she led us in prayer(at that point, it was assumed Kennedy was still alive) After that, we were dismissed. Walking home, NO ONE was on the street, a very odd occurence. When I got home, the TV was on, my mother, grandmother and two uncles were watching it. I sat with them, and for the entire weekend it seemed nobody moved out of the living room. I don't remember eating, or going to bed, or even going to church(although I'm sure I did) After we learned the President HAD actually died, I remember my family crying, this I had never seen. Monday were off from school, the time seemed to drag on and on. Can't remember much what happened the rest of the week, we did go back to school though. A week or so later, the big daily newspaper, on a Sunday, printed a large,color photo of Kennedy(done by some famous photog named Karsh, why I remember THAT I have NO idea) EVERYONE seemed to have that photo, and it was displayed in many neighborhood windows, for weeks after. Oswald's death seemed like I was watching a movie, how many people can say they actually witnessed a murder, live, on TV, and not be affected in some way?
I was in 1st grade, so my memories are very vague. I don't remember exactly how I heard the news, but I remember being seated on the floor with my Midwest classmates when my teacher left the room. The only enduring school-related memory I have was telling my classmates that this meant that Rockefeller would be president! There has to be someone out there whose memory of the day includes some crazy Trilateral Commission, conspiracy-minded kid who was telling everyone that JFK's death meant the ascension of the Rockefeller family! My only other memory of the day was leaving school - we must have been let out early, but I have no recollection of that - and going home thinking I would report the news to my mother. But I found her already crying in bed.
[quote] But I had a much older brother and older sister were just little at the time and they were watching cartoons when the news broke out about JFK's assassination.
On a pre-cable universe, Friday afternoon?! I think your sibs's memories might be off.
I was 3 and only remembered the news being on all day instead of cartoons.
Perhaps I need to be educated on this subject, but in a world of only 3 or 4 networks (I had the CBC, along with CBS, NBC, and the fledgling ABC), where were cartoons shown on Fridays?
r11 Here in Philly there were several local TV shows aimed at kids, there always seemed to be something on up until about 6 in the evening. I remember I used toi be pissed not being able to watch a show when we were having dinner.
I was a kid and what I remember was that their was NO normal TV on all weekend! Really pissed me off.
Info for some of you:
Kennedy was shot, not killed. His death was announced separately.
Kennedy was shot in the middle of a Friday, not at night,
Unlike two movies on the subject, JFK's assassination was not shown on TV. The amateur film wasn't shown until 12 years later.
Me too. I remember Saturday morning when I got up early to watch the cartoons, and I was shocked to find that all the channels had the same stupid footage of the coffin with people walking by it.
It made no sense to me that they would have the same boring thing on all three channels, so I sat there turning the dial over and over waiting for one of them to come to their senses and start showing cartoons.
I kept going back every half hour (Bugs Bunny will be starting now) and running the channels all morning
I old, too, R1. R2, I was in 4th grade (gasp!) and had the same circumstance as you describe: they sent us home; guess my father's factory, 30 miles away, had let THEM go home; my aunt was visiting; she and my mother were crying; father tearing up a bit. In Republican Northern NY, they were Democrats at heart (my mother IDOLIZED Roosevelt), and were very sad.
I had actually "voted" (at age 6) for Nixon! Went on to read "Six Crises" (or whatever the title is); always sort of felt sorry for him. Flame away! Was in college in Canada when he resigned; I sobbed and s
obbed, watching the TV.
Sorry! Did not mean to hijack this thread. I think at 9 I was too young to fully understand what a great man JFK (with all his foibles) was. I DO remember a few days later watching Oswald get shot by Ruby (on TV) - just like the movies!
Jump ahead many years, and I sobbed with Jackie died, when Jr. died, and ESPECIALLY when Teddy died; his great work with the disabled allows me to have ANY f---ing income, and housing today.
(oh, sobbed when RFK was killed, too.)
Oldster here (again): Remember most vividly, Cronkite wiping his eyes, voice breaking. Sad, powerful stuff.
I was in my 6th grade homeroom at the end of the day and we were waiting to be dismissed. It was a very old school, we didn't have a PA system. A girl from another 6th grade class opened the door, stepped in and announced: The President has been shot! My teacher stepped out and then came back in with her eyes all red. No one said anything, we just looked at each other. I'd never seen a teacher cry.
It was Thanksgiving a couple days later and my relatives all said that they'd just watched tv all day since it happened.
On Sunday morning, I went to church with my parents. My younger brother was sick and didn't go. When we got home an hour later, he told us someone had shot Oswald. I didn't believe him. Was it showed live? I don't think they had instant replay back then.
I believe it was live on either NBC or ABC. CBS wasn't live.
r18 It was live alright, and right in our faces. The nation was stunned once again.
I was in second grade and I remember it vividly. My second grade teacher was also the Girls Vice Principal, and in the middle of giving us a spelling test she was called about of class. It was about 11:15 in the morning. When she came back her eyes were red and she was crying. She very quietly finished the spelling test and then told us the news. School was dismissed after lunch.
I remember being upset because the Mickey Mouse Club was pre-empted for the news. We watched the news all day and all weekend. No cartoons Saturday morning. My mom and dad were both very upset and crying. My mom kept saying it was worse than when FDR died. She was so upset that when she was putting away the groceries (we always shopped on Saturday) she dropped a 64 ounce can of tomato juice (a heavy tin can) on her toe and cut it to the bone. We spent Saturday night in the ER.
I remember the funeral on Monday. I remember the riderless horse who would not walk sedately as he was supposed to - he kept bucking and twisting and generally trying to get away from his handler. I remember how quiet everything and everyone was, with just the sound of the drums and the occasional comment from the news anchors (we watched Huntley & Brinkley on NBC).
It's been 50 years and I was only seven, but the images are as clear as if they happened yesterday.
IIRC, both the Flintstones and the Jetsons were primetime shows. You can go on YouTube and see Fred advertising Winston cigarettes!
wow r19, that video is amazing. I'd never seen it. It happened in such a small area, right in front of all the reporters. John Ch. is completely unflappable; he'd just seen a shooting 4 ft in front of him and he doesn't miss a beat. It happened so quickly. That was absolutely fascinating to watch.
Wish I could remember what I was watching at the time when the news broke in, but apparently I ran into the kitchen to tell my mother my show had been interrupted.
I talked about the cartoons earlier in the thread, but if I'm honest, it scarred me very deeply, especially since it was followed in short order by ML King, RFK, and even Wallace.
I can't watch a President, especially Obama, out in public without feeling anxiety.
Answered my own question -- I was probably watching Danny Thomas, though I do remember liking Wagon Train.
[quote} [R9], UHF?
In the Midwest, where I grew up, the Kennedy assassination pre-dated by 2-3 years the advent of UHF.
I was in the third grade when the assassination took place. We were out on the playground when all of a sudden, all the teachers for all the classes came outside and called us back in. All the teachers were crying and my teacher was so emotional she could not even tell us what was wrong. Within a few short minutes we were put on buses and sent home.
I also remember how long it seemed before TV resumed any normal program schedule, which I could not understand, and for which my mother scolded me several times.
The attacks of 9/11 reminded me of the assassination, when it seemed the entire world around me went mute -- and people just sat in stunned silence.
Walter Cronkite announces JFK's death. If you google or go to YouTube, you can find the live broadcast of "As The World Turns" which was interrupted with the news.
The sky was so blue, that day..as seen from my crib.
The sky was so black and white that morning...
IIRC, the assassination was on Friday and there was no regularly scheduled television programming until the following Tuesday.
Sunday morning Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald on live television, so that added even more intrigue to what was going on.
Monday was the funeral and burial.
I was 3, in Montessori. I don't quite remember that afternoon, but I'm told that they sent the kids home early, but my mother didn't know to come pick me up, because she worked nights, and was asleep. So apparently, I was the last kid there for a couple hours.
(This was a pattern that repeated itself a lot in my school years).
I do remember looking at the newspapers that my father brought home over the next couple of days, and asking who the people in the pictures were. He told me, and I got into the habit of asking him what was in the paper when he brought it home from work after that. Eventually, he'd just hand me the parts he'd read, and we'd trade sections. (Perhaps, not surprisingly, I became a journalist later on).
I do remember both the MLK and RFK assassinations vividly, because they both broke into the news and I wasn't quite sure who Dr. King was, and then a few weeks later, when Bobby Kennedy was killed, I thought it was a rerun.
My mom picked me up from school and she told me. We turned on the TV when we got home and Walter Cronkite was crying. We knew it was true. I'll never forget the chills I got. No really old enough to understand all the implications but enough to feel the horror of it.
My dad was home from work that Monday as the country was in mourning. We were watching Lee Harvey Oswald being led from his prison cell when Jack Ruby shot and murdered him. It was surreal. Neither of us could believe what we just saw. I remember my dad was lying down on the couch and he jumped up like brain couldn't take in what he'd seen.
This followed a few years later by seeing MLK and Bobby assassinated over and over again on our TV screens along with the atrocities happening in Viet Nam and on the streets of America in the south as Civil Rights was fought for led to a very fast growing up for those in my generation.
Too bad these days no TV station will show the horrors of what is really going on in the world. There is something about seeing these things in your living room or while having dinner that makes you want to right the wrongs instead of being constantly dumbed down by MSM news doing one silly story after another and reality TV.
RIP Mr. President, Martin and Bobby. We need the likes of you today more than ever.
I was in second grade in catholic school. My class was not told and as far as I knew, the other classes weren't told either. My mother worked on Fridays, so we would take the bus to my aunt's house with our older cousins.
When we got off the bus my sister and cousin said, "Let's have a race to see who gets home first." I didn't realize this was a tactic used to get rid of me. I raced to my aunt's house and when I got there my 3 and a half year old cousin Mikey was very excited. "They had a parade and shot the president!" He seemed to think shooting the president was a ceremonial event, always accompanied by a parade.
They used to play old movies on the local tv stations, so I thought he'd watched a movie. But then I realized my aunt wasn't in the house, which was unusual since Mikey was only 3 and his sister was an infant in her crib. My aunt never left them alone. I asked where she was and Mikey said, "She's outside talking to Aunt Jane (a neighbor. We called all of our close neighbors aunt) about the parade where they shot the president!"
I went outside and my mother was pulling into the driveway an hour earlier than usual. She looked shocked and went over to the fence where my aunt and the neighbor were talking. I overheard the conversation and realized my cousin had been telling the truth. There really was a parade where they shot the president.
My sister and cousin didn't come home for an hour or so. They were playing hide and seek with other kids from our bus. My mother was mad at them. "You should come right home from the bus stop! I always told you that! The president is shot and we have to go home!" I remember someone one asked if the Russians did it and were they going to invade America. I got really scared. The year before had been the Cuban Missle Crisis and we had atomic air raid drills every day for a week back then, scaring the shit out of us. Now our president was dead, so anything could happen.