November 22, 1963


The question “Do you remember where you was, when President John Kennedy was assassinated”? The answer is yes. I was 14 years old, a sophomore at Lawrence High School. When the seventh period was over, which the last class of the day, there was a guy standing outside on the sidewalk, telling everyone, that the president was assassinated. Just about everybody that heard the news, was in disbelief, shock, or just didn’t know what to say. I can also remember what the weather was like, sunny and not that cold for that time of November. I also remember watching Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald in the Dallas Police Station. It’s still etched in mind seeing it live on a black and white television.

Also there was the nonstop coverage of what happened on that fateful day in Dallas. Seeing Vice President Lyndon Johnson taking the oath of office. The horse with no rider, signifying the death of the president. The slow and long walk to Arlington National Cemetery, and seeing his son, John-John giving the salute, as his casket was going by.

Its a day and the next few days that followed, I will never forget the big debate of whether the National Football League should go ahead and play that weekend or cancel the games, well they went ahead played the games, and there was a lot shit the NFL had to deal with. By the way, the old American Football League cancelled their games. I believe the National Basketball League cancelled their slate of games too.

The country lost a great man that served a 1,000 days, and if none of this happened, would the country be better? I don’t think anybody can answer that.

6 replies on “November 22, 1963”

  1. I was 5 years old, watching TV with my grandmother (who took care of me while my divorced mother worked). I remember Gram was initially very angry that her soap opera was interrupted by the news bulletins, then started crying when she realized what was happening. I obviously didn’t understand any of it, but my family got me a book for Christmas that year that told the story in pictures and simple words so a kid could understand. Most of my memories are really of that book: a photo of a black woman sobbing in utter grief on the day of the assassination, pictures of the funeral including the riderless horse and John-John saluting that “A Pondering Mind” notes above, and the flag-draped casket. The whole country seemed to be in total shock, much like the feeling after 9/11. But Al could be right – if JFK hadn’t died like this . . . who knows?


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