Where were you on November 22, 1963?

November 22nd, 2011 at 3:11 pm by under FOX10 News, OnPolitix, Uncategorized

It was an awful day that changed the world.

I was in grade school, and had just come back from lunch (in those days, we left to walk home at 11:20 and had to be back in class by 1:00).  It was a normal day, except for the sight to our teachers unexpectedly huddled around transistor radios.   Nothing unusual was said during classtime, but as we left for the day at 3:30, the sixth grade teacher Mr. Egan looked sternly at all of us and told us to “go straight home”.  It was an odd message, and within minutes, I knew why.

Our hometown newspaper had already published a special edition and the black and white television, sitting on the sewing machine cabinet in our kitchen, broadcast the news about the assassination of the President in Dallas, Texas.

To those of us from New England, John Kennedy wasn’t just the President; he was our President.  He was a New Englander, and like so many in my hometown, he was a Catholic New Englander.

The idea that someone would shoot and kill our President was truly unthinkable.  These were the days before excessively violent video games and movies and non-stop crime coverage gradually desensitized the country.

In the days that  followed the assassination, our little television was on all the time, even as we were gathered around the kitchen table for lunch on Sunday.  That’s when I watched the murder of the President’s accused assassin live.  I remember Tom Pettit’s professional reporting as the country watched Dallas police wrestle nightclub owner Jack Ruby to the ground, and heard Lee Harvey Oswald groan as he died.

For my generation, November 22, 1963 was the day where innocence was lost.

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6 Responses to “Where were you on November 22, 1963?”

  1. baobab jam says:

    Dreary Day…

    It was a dreary day here today, so I just took to messing around online and realized…

  2. Fr. Anthony C. Dinoto says:

    I was a 13 yr.old 8th grader at St. Micheal’s Parochial School in Stonington (Pawcatuck)Conn. We had no classes in order to deliver envelopes. My friend John Gomes and I were delivering Church Offering Envelopes to parishioners, door to door. Without explanation, we were told by one parishioner to get back to church immediately because something terrible had happened! She didn’t say what. We pedaled our bikes quickly back to church and knocked on the rectory door to leave the undelivered boxes of envelopes. Fr. Curtain, our priest, stuck his head out of the 2nd story window above the rectory door and just told us to get home and pray, then shut the window. Confused, we returned to my house and quickly turned on the TV. At that very moment, we stared in shock as CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite began his announcement that it was ‘official’. “President Kennedy died….” We watched him remove his glasses and choke up as he continued his report. John and I, both Boy Scouts, decided to return to school to lower the American flag on the front lawn to half staff. No sooner had we done that when Sister Regina Frances, the principal, came flying through the front door, calling to us. She gave us HOLY HELL because the students in the lower 7 grades hadn’t been told of JFK’s death. John and I have remained friends throughout our lives. He went on to become active in Town government and served Stonington as Selectman. After a career as a Funeral Director, I was ordained a Priest in the Episcopal Church in June, 1999. My first parish was Christ Episcopal Church, Greenwich, CT-AS UNBELIEVABLE AS IT SOUNDS, THE VERY FIRST SERVICE I ASSISTED AT AFTER ORDINATION WAS THE MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR JOHN F. KENNEDY, JR. AND HIS WIFE AND SISTER-IN LAW.

  3. ed whatley says:

    I was working at my first TV job at WTVY, Dothan, AL…in master control..I was waiting for the mid break in “As The World Turns” when the network broke in with a news flash….what was amazing to me was all the calls we got from viewers was not the death of our president but they couldn’t watch their soap opera..

  4. Dan Price says:

    I was in eight grade at Glasgow High School in Glasgow, Montana. A couple buddies and I were eating our brown bag lunches at Curt’s Bargain Barn across the highway from the school. We could get 16 oz sodas for a dime if we drank them there and left the bottle. The radio was always on at Curt’s and of course we heard the news that Kennedy had been shot. We quickly finished lunch and walked into town to watch TV at the Curtis-Mathis store. About the time we got there they were announcing Kennedy’s death. We went back to school for art class, but the teacher couldn’t teach so a coach came in and told us to sit quietly.

    Like Bob’s family, we had the TV on all weekend.

  5. Janice Healey says:

    I was in class in Mrs. Burba’s class at Herbert Hoover Elementary in Tulsa Oklahoma. That afternoon the intercom buzzed and we turned to the side of the room to look at the intercom, expecting different news than the principal announcing the earth shattering news that the President had been shot. I remember even as a young child that it couldn’t be real. Everyone in the room was shocked into silence. I don’t remember any noise for a few minutes. When I looked up at my teacher, she was crying. We were sent home shortly after that. Walking out the front door of the school I could see mom’s crying and hugging each other, then hurrying my friends home as did my mom to watch the TV. It was a horrible time and still saddens me to this day.

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