As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Where Were You When it Happened?

As most of you I’m sure realize, today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

I know some of you are old enough to remember, and it’s long been an axiom that everyone recalls where they were when they got the news that terrible day. I wondered if some of you might want to share your experience and your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d be so interested to see it, and I know many of our readers would too.

Thanks, and God Bless President Kennedy.

95 Responses to Where Were You When it Happened?

  1. Fourth grade, Sam Houston elementary school, Pampa Texas. As much as I hate to admit, we boys and girls cheered because they let us out of school for the rest of the day. Wow we knew not what we were doing.

  2. I was in my 2nd Trimester……………. :)

    Nixon resigning was probably my first where were you moment followed by Challenger and of course 9/11.

    Regarding JFK Assassination, JFK:The Smoking Gun on Reelz Channel was one of the most compelling documentaries I have seen. It supported the “Magic Bullet Theory” and supported two shots from School Book Depository. The 3rd shot came from the Secret Service car directly behind Kennedy’s Limo. The documentary did not say a SS agent did it on purpose. In fact, it leaned towards the last shot being accidental. It did not go into conspiracies other than the Secret Service covering up the accidental shot.

    If you get Reelz Channel, I would suggest taking the time to watch and form your own opinion.

    • PBB,

      The documentary you mention was excellent. The investigator was extremely thorough, weighing all the evidence and testimony, much of which was disregarded by the Warren Commission. His theory that the third shot came from the accidental firing of a Secret Service weapon was compelling, and made more sense than a lot of conspiracy theories out there. The information about how Kennedy’s body was illegally removed from Dallas was really interesting, and if what he claimed about the third bullet was true, it would explain everything, including the mysterious disappearance of the President’s brain.

      I was nine years old, at school on the day Kennedy was killed. I remember some of the teachers were crying when the announcement was made. We were sent home for the afternoon and I watched as Oswald was shot, live on TV.

      Looking back on Kennedy’s assassination, I think of that terrible day as the beginning of the end.

      • One thing I can’t stop thinking about is how there were 14 witnesses who testified on the record in the Warren Commission smelling gunpowder at street level. The wind was blowing 15 mph in Oswald’s face and he was 60 ft up off the street. Smoke does not go against the wind. The fact that Arlen Specter was the one asking or not asking the questions says it all.

  3. I worked on his campaign in HS. He was really the first president I was conscious of–or cared about. I also saw him ride by once in DC. The only president I had ever seen–and this rhymed with another scene 1000 days later. I was walking on campus (GW) when someone shouted the news. I lived in a temporary dorm out on Wisc Ave–McLean Gardens, if anyone knows it. No TV, a tiny cell of a room. I watched none of the coverage. That night, I heard sirens and looked out the window onto Wisc Ave and am ambulance went by–screeching up to Betheda Naval. I caught a glimpse of pink inside–her suit maybe? On funeral day, I did not go to the procession with the empty stirrups and so on, but walked all the way to Arlington Cemetery. It was twilight, after the burial, the ground was muddy and wet. There did not seem to be any security–I walked in the area. My father, a gun enthusiast, always maintained he was shot from the front and almost went to Dallas, I recall, to look things over. He never went and none of us really knows. On MJ, they started a whole three hours on this and I declined. It is personal.

    • I met Jack–and Jackie–in early 1960 when he was campaigning in the Indiana primary. A group of high school friends and I had driven through a snowstorm to Greek Hall in Indiana Harbor, Indiana to hear him speak. I probably have a stronger memory of that night than when he was assassinated.

    • I can imagine the mood in the US that day. I just remember the black headlines , thinking that something confusing and sad just happened in that distant country across the Atlantic.
      To cheer you up, Star, on a day like this, I must mention that a young Norwegian just won the World Championship in chess in India today. The first Westerner after Bobby Fischer. It´s big and very inspiring to young people. I think it is wonderful if young people engage more in intellectual activities like chess , instead of all this focus on sport. I know this is horribly off topic but Star is a Norwegian after all.

  4. What I was doing is not significant. I was ironing my clothes in the laundry room in my college dorm. I was 20 but had not voted for Kennedy because you had to be 21 back then to vote. A black friend of my came in and told me the news and she started crying because Johnson would now be President. We were from the same hometown but I had not known any blacks before coming to college because of segregation. Kennedy’s death revealed to me that the times indeed ‘were a-changing’.

  5. Third grade music class in a very small town in MO.
    The class was held in the corner of the multi-purpose/cafeteria auditorium. The principal interrupted the class to announce that President Kennedy had been assassinated.
    I cried and cried – the principal finally told me to stop crying.
    What innocents we were then.
    It was also my younger sister’s birthday. She and I no longer speak.
    Another sign of the times, I guess.

    • Thank you for this opportunity, Keith – the recollections and memories shared here will be meaningful to everyone. I pray that these memories will strengthen our resolve to preserve and protect our Republic.

  6. Sitting on the couch watching a soap opera while feeding our 6mo old daughter. The “interruption” was confusing and vague at first. Later news that JFK had been shot dead was stunning, unbelievable. We were invincible, won WWII, freed the world from tyranny, who would shoot our President?
    Everything stopped the day of the funeral as we watched the young widow and fatherless children standing there grieving. We were never the same.

    OT: We didn’t see the film of the assination until much later, but we did see the murder of LeeHarveyOswald, live. It didn’t make anyone feel better, there was no closure or relief from his sudden death. All we had were more questions that will never be answered.

    • I wasn’t alive yet, but my Dad was in the army based in southern Oklahoma (I think Fort Sill).

      Immediately after the assassination (though they didn’t know that happened), the whole base was deployed to Dallas as it wasn’t assumed to be an attack by 1 person but by an attack by the Russians or Cubans.

      The troops got to Dallas, discovered there was no need to be there and immediately headed back.

  7. What I remember most is the stunned silence. Traveling home mid-afternoon from work, the only sounds were the rattling of newspapers being read on the commuter train. You could have heard a pin drop from the building from where I worked to the train station. In retrospect, we were all anxious to get home and grieve privately with our families. JFK was buried three days later – on my birthday.

    • There’s a photo on Fox of commuters all holding up newspapers with that dreadful headline.

      One of my nieces is 50 today. Hers is the only birthday I know by heart. And wasn’t John-John’s birthday on the day his father was buried too?

        • John Jr.’s birthday was November 25 so I think his father was buried on the same day. I remember they went back to the WH and had a little party for him.

          • Julie, thanks for fact-checking. I had forgotten about the small birthday party for JFK, Jr. It must have been terribly difficult and challenging to the family to celebrate a child’s birthday, while mourning. I found the photo you mentioned above plus this immortalized one.

            Persephone, the Queen of Hades and the beautiful bride of grief.

  8. At the time I was active in sports parachuting. I had gone to the home of a fellow jumper and parachute rigger, Carlos Wallace in Pasadena, Texas to modify some new military surplus parachutes Carlos had obtained. As we were laying out the first one to work on a news flash came over the Country & Western station noting that the President had been shot and Connally had been wounded. I don’t recall what my first thought was other than horror. Carlos was calm and collected, saying only, “too bad they didn’t get Johnson too!” I was not a Kennedy supporter, but I never cared much for Carlos before that statement and cared for him even less afterwards. Some years later Carlos was killed by the restaurant owner he had shot during an armed robbery. Not a great loss.

  9. I was having supper in the Officer’s Club on Wheelus Air Force Base in Tripoli, Libya. An intoxicated fighter pilot stopped at our table and told us our president had been assassinated. We said, “Bill, you are drunk. Go bother someone else.” About ten minutes later the Band Director stopped the band and made the announcement. We were told to finish eating and then return to our quarters. When we emerged from the Club the base was on full alert…airmen running every direction in full battle gear. Everything was surreal for the next several hours and then days. Our news was always back then pre-recorded and delayed.
    I will never forget our Memorial Service in the Base Chapel.

    • I was teaching high school high school English and world geography on the military base in Tripoli.
      My maiden vote had been for Kennedy…only ever voted for one more Democrat, Jimmy Carter in 1976, a huge mistake that I regretted.
      I saw President Kennedy in Hawaii in June if 1963 when I was returning home from a year of teaching in Tokyo.

  10. I was sitting in Latin class at my Catholic girl’s Jr. HS. One of the nuns came rushing into the room, whispiered to Sister Josephine, the Latin teacher, and both of them broke into tears. Without a word, the class of 14 girls was ushered into the campus Chapel where the resident priest broke the news to everyone gathered. We remained in the Chapel – crying, praying, and in total shock until our parents arrived to pick us up.

    One of my classmate’s family lived next door to Peter Lawford and Pat Kennedy’s beach house in Santa Monica. On several occasions when we had sleep-overs during the campaign, we got to see the Kennedy clan and the ‘Rat Pack’ cavorting on the beach. Jack Kennedyh actually smiled and waved at us one summer day – he was magnetic and the smile was REAL.

  11. i was in the 7th grade at a jr high in the dallas / ft worth area. we just so happened to play hooky from 3rd & 4th periods that day so that we could go to wyatts cafeteria for a long lunch. as we were in line we noticed a lot of waitresses crying and over heard them say that the president had gotten shot and just died. we figured we better get back to school asap before it got totally nuts.

    for a long time, we felt guilty as if our playing hooky caused the shooting. we were young and innocent. oh for those times again!!

  12. First grade in Waterloo, IA. Principal came by and whispered in out teacher’s ear. Teacher looked shocked and then told us the President had been shot and dismissed us from school. Not sure any of us knew what a President was. I lived across the street from school. My mom was surprised I was home early – she angrily asked me why. I repeated to her what the teacher said. We went to watch the newsman on TV.

    • I was not born yet. With three older sisters and one with a birthday on Nov 24, for years I always heard about where they were when. It was devastating for them every year on my sisters birthday. It was many years before I understood any of what they were talking about. Challenger was my first remember when moment. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for innocent children at that time.

  13. Elementary school, Roswell, New Mexico. The principal announced the President of the United States had been assassinated and school was being dismissed for the remainder of the day. Remember walking home from school trying to understand what it all really meant.

  14. I was a senior at Stanford University in my 11 o’clock statistics class. A student came running in shouting that Kennedy had been shot. We thought he was just some crazy nut. Don’t remember when the truth sank in, but we eventually wandered back to our residence. Basically sat in front of the TV for the next 4 days.

  15. I was in third grade at Blessed Sacrament School in Albany, NY. The sisters did not tell us what happened, just that we all had to say the rosary, which we did until the end of the school day.

    It was not until we were released for the day that I found out. I was too young to appreciate the significance.

  16. My Father was in the 3rd grade in New York City, having just moved from Texas with his parents a month earlier. He got beat up for several weeks, including minutes after his class was notified of the shooting. After death threats and accusations made that his family was responsible, they moved back to Texas a few days before Christmas.

  17. I was going back to Ashland, (Ky) after applying for a job at the C&O railroad car shops at Raceland, (Ky) just down river from Ashland.

    Semper Fi

    • Someday you will be dead, too. We all will. Most likely the same could be said for any of us.
      However, please – show some respect for those of us who clearly remember the USA as it was intended to be.
      And if you have some smart ass remark – have the balls to go say it out loud to someone’s face and leave us alone.

    • You are the perfect example of what America has become. self-serving and negative. I imaging you also think that prayer in school, saluting the flag, and serving in uniform, are traditions that should be shoved aside, because they are meaningless and represent a conformity that imposes on your way of life. Too bad you have never really tasted freedom like we of the older generation have.

    • If memory helps us recover what we were in some way, it will be to the good. My thought is that next year on the 51st anniversary we really will start to forget and that will be sad.

    • Actually for people in my generation, the shooting of Bambi’s mom was our first experience with PTSD. JFK’s assassination was our second. Talking about it helps us understand why we still remember such an emotional whammy. I also still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing for :

      The Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing
      Watching the Challenger Explosion *live*

      No, I won’t get over it, but it’s comforting to know I’m not alone :)

        • if you think about it, almost all our favorite old Disney movies involved a single-parent family. Bambi’s mother died, leaving only the majestic stag dad; Snow White and Cinderella were both the unhappy children of fathers married to wicked stepmothers; Dumbo only had his mom; and Pinocchio only had Gepetto.

          just sayin’.

          • Kind of off-topic, but some know I am writing an animated film script–and a big agency said it was too edgy for the animation “space,” though I am trying them again with the finished script. I maintain that many mainstream animation films for kids are edgy–and Bambi is a good example. Wreck It Ralph had a babe in leathers. The Lion King had some lockstep marchers kind of like Nazis, Scar was scary. There is an orphan in my story–but also two families with two parents and outspoken kids depicted. When you stop to think of it, “cartoons”–even Bugs and Road–are changing. My kid says there is a modern-day Bugs with “white trash” neighbors. Edgy? Bugs was a cross-dresser even in the old days, for heaven’s sakes!

  18. Minneapolis,MN, in my apartment listening to the radio,while I was packing my suitcase. I was one month into my 40 year career, as a ‘Stewardess’ for Northwest Orient Airlines. The last President & First Lady that brought intelligence,class and charm to The White House.
    Years later I was fortunate to meet John Jr.& one of his friends on a working flight. Handsome,polite and personable .

  19. I was in 7th grade and the town gossip came into our classroom and announced that the President had been shot. A girl in our class shouted out “Good” and our teacher Mr. Raterman (a big and strict man) slapped her across the face. It was an appropriate response but he would probably be going to jail for that today.

  20. I remember exactly where i was when the news came over the radio. I was riding in the back seat of a brand new 1963 Black Impala, cutting class with 4 fellow school mates. The car had just recently been purchased by the drivers dad for him on special order, that was how it was done in those days, Black on black with a 4 speed tranny, positraction, and a 327 engine. We pulled over to the curb to hear the news just behind the town library on a tree lined street. After a few minutes of listening we decided the best thing to do was return to school, which we did only to find out classes had been canceled. Even we hooligans were shocked and grieving. For us Kennedy was a symbol of Americas best, and can do attitude. That moment changed us forever

  21. There is a nice tribute to JFK by Ted Cruz in NRO today. Kennedy was far more conservative than the Democrats of today. His inaugural speech still touches our hearts and stirs our spirit.

  22. I was in Quebec, mixed French/English school. The French classes had learned about it first, and at recess, the news flew around the schoolyard. We were not sure what to think since political assassination was not in our thoughts.

  23. Sixth grade. Very small town and school in W. Tenn. We all sat stiff and silent in our seats as the principal made the announcement over the loudspeaker. I felt frozen, as if I could not move. I felt like I had forgotten the English language, because I knew I should understand the words he was saying, but it wasn’t making any sense. I don’t know that I fully realized all that it meant at the time.

  24. I was 13 yrs. old. My paternal Grandfather’s funeral was that morning. My parents stopped at the school to pick up my homework assignments – that is when they heard the news. When we came back to my Grandfather’s house we were riveted to the TV for the rest of the day and for several days after. I’m 63 now and it still brings a tear to my eye to watch the coverage as it was 50 years ago. A sad day for me in many aspects.

  25. I was only 21/2. Of course I can not remember that day. The next several years people were still mourning and talking about it. Next followed the other terrible assasinations. The war of course, woman’s rights, civil rights. etc. Let me be clear though with all the terrible things that happened. There were accomplishments as a citizen to be proud of.
    As a child watching parts of the evening news, did to my benefit. The clips over in Vietnam, showing our serviceman injured or god bless them dead, only made me proud and compasinate.

    • A friend wrote me today about the anniversary and we decided there was a choice between trying to find the meaning of life and having a life of meaning and that we had opted for the latter. Keith said God Bless President Kennedy–I think President Kennedy blessed many of us with thoughtfulness, compassion, and a desire to leave the world a better place (remember the Peace Corps, too–the moon shot).

      • Yes the moon! There were so many things. The one thing I was not afraid of in the 60’s growing up was the things I am so……
        concerned with today. I did not mention the songs of the 60’s. There were so many for or against one thing or another. Unlike today. I am not a song writer. I wish some writers would come out of retirement and write songs about what is going on today.

  26. I was 12 years old, in 8th grade, and lived in Austin, Texas, which was to be the next stop on Kennedy’s trip to Texas. Our entire school, St. Stephen’s School, was having lunch in the dining hall when one of our teachers, whose family was from Boston, ran to the microphone at the front of the room and announced that the President had been shot in Dallas and had just been declared dead. I remember that his voice was shaking and he began to cry and that there was not a sound in the dining hall for several seconds until some of the teachers and students began to cry.

    School was dismissed and that evening my parents were too upset to make dinner and eat at home, so we went to a restaurant — truly a rare event for us in 1963 — and I remember that the sunset was spectacular and that all the signs and marquees saying, “Welcome, President Kennedy,” and “We love you, Jack and Jackie” were still up and in some cases lit. I wrote an opinion piece titled “November 22, 1963” which was the lead in the next edition of the school paper. I still have a copy and it returns me instantly to that moment.

  27. I was four, and according to a cousin who is a month younger then me, we were at the market at Diversey and Sacramento in Chicago with our grandmother. We had to leave and go home right away.

    I remember most the shooting of Oswald, somethings get seared in the mind of a child, by Ruby, and my mother and grandma screaming.

    I can also remember all the questions the kids in the family had for our parents. It was a terrible time for us as a family. During the convention that nominated JFK, my father had been an alternate delegate for California, and my family had a deep affection for JFK and the entire Kennedy family.

  28. The news came to me in a totally surreal manner. A whole world away stationed in Korea the news came in the middle of the night. Somebody in our Quonset hooch had gone to bed and left a radio playing. Being a light sleeper I had awakened several times but went immediately back to sleep. When the AFKN radio reporter began broadcasting the chilling news, I was instantly awake. I walked around punching up the other guys in the barracks and we then all sat in the silence of shock for a very long time. That first frosty morning we experienced the lowering of the flag at the reveille formation and for many days thereafter. Despite the fact that Johnson jumped right into the job, we all still seemed to share a profound sense of loss of “our” Commander in Chief. But as soldier boys we went right on with our daily duties like legions before us have done.

  29. 8th grade civics class, parochial school. Principal made announcement over p.a. that President Kennedy had been shot and asked us to pray for him.
    I remember that as odd because when the Principal made an announcement, Good. Sister never asked, she TOLD.
    First time I ever cried in front of anyone.
    Never told that part to anybody till now. Embarrassed I guess.

  30. I remember very well where I was when they announced that Pres. Kennedy had been killed. I was off work that day and was running the vacumn when I noticed a News Alert on the TV screen. I turned the vacumn off and sit on the sofa beside my 5 year old daughter. After the announcement I was sitting there crying and so sweetly my daughter put here hands on both cheeks and said mommy what is wrong, can I do something for you. It’s so hard to explain something like this to a 5 year old. After I tried she put here little arms as far around me as she could and said mommy it’s going to be OK.

    • My little brother was 6. I was not home, but Mom said they watched all day. Then my brother got up, rummaged in the china cabinet, found a silver candleabra and put it on the piano and asked her if he could light a candle.

    • I remember in those days when a Bulletin came on the news, we dropped everything and paid attention. I think it was the Cold War that had us on our tippy toes.

      I also remember Princess Diana’s death was announced at the beginning of SNL as a News Alert. We thought it was the cold opening to the show. It took us several minutes to figure out it was no joke (Like the “Buckwheat was shot!” ).

  31. I was stationed at LG Hanscom Field in Bedford MA, having just been rotated from Berlin, Germany. I took the day off so my wife and I could go into Boston to shop. We parked our car near the Boston Commons and were making our toward Filene’s. We noticed a large group of people hanging around a car which had the radio turned on. That’s weird, we thought. We didn’t hear what was being said on the radio, and continued on our way to a Radio Shack to purchase some batteries. Inside the Radio Shack, we once again saw a large group of people listening to a radio. This time we stopped and listened. That’s when we learned President Kennedy had been shot. We listened for a while, and then decided to make our way back to our car. My wife was crying, and I didn’t know how to comfort her. I was just slack jawed. We passed by many people on the way to the car, and saw people crying, people walking very fast or very slow, in shock, people who were just sitting down one one of the park benches in the Commons. Boston was JFK’s hometown, after all, and many. many of these people either had seen him, talked to him, voted for him, pinned their hopes on his, loved him dearly. On our drive back to our home in Westford we heard the confirmation that he was indeed dead. For days, weeks, afterward, people were sullen, sad, depressed, as we were. How could this have happened? But it had happened, indeed.

  32. As I walked out of class and onto the quadrangle during my sophomore year at college, a fraternity brother came up to me and asked if I had heard that the president had been shot. I said, “Who would shoot the president of the University and why?” Then he said “No. President Kennedy!” Walking into the student union there was a mass of people with sorrowful faces all glued to the TV. I drove home to find my father outside on a step ladder painting window shutters. I told him to come down off the ladder and I’d give him some sad news. The rest is history.

  33. Had just gotten back from a class at West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M), getting ready to leave and go to a part time job, when the TV broke in with views of Dallas, the parade, and the shooting. The other guys in the rooming house were younger than me, because I had already served a tour in the army, and was now a Junior, studying math and physics. A student in ROTC and a member of the 9th Special Forces, I could only stare and wonder what was in store or me, in the next few weeks. We had been (we thought) training to eventually jump into Cuba and help train forces against the regime. Kennedy had given the orders to form the Special Forces, and we were amongst the first to be recruited. His expert handling of the Cuban crises was instrumental in keeping America, and the world, safe. I had actually voted for Nixon (mainly because fellow Texan Johnson had been asked to be his vice president – not many of us like him). The college was stunned, and many activities for the coming week were cancelled. After all, it was OUR president, no matter whether we voted for him or not. Oswald was a traitor to us all.

  34. I was a sophomore in high school in Elk City, OKlahoma, and was in 4th period PE. Someone came in and told us what had happened–all of us thought it had to be some kind of twisted joke. We had a TV in our student lounge–the principal turned the TV on and many students and teachers gathered in that area to watch the news coverage. I think now how unusual and fortunate it was for a small town school to have a TV in 1963.

  35. I was in in French class, 6th grade when they put the news out over the P.A.. Soon after we were released for the day. Got home, Mom was fixing my brother’s 20th birthday dinner. Instead we all watched T.V. until after the funeral for JFK.

  36. After reading the comments, I guess I was the oldest commenter
    here today. I remember that as a Brownie leader I was conducting
    the meeting with all the young girls, including my daughter when the
    news hit. Of course we broke up the meeting and sent the children
    home. I can’t believe it has been 50 years today!

    • that’s funny Aunty, because my JFK memory was of walking home from an afterschool meeting of the Brownies (or possibly I was a Girl Scout by then, a month shy of my 10th birthday).

      what I most clearly remember was talking on the phone with some little friend of mine who told me how upset her parents were. my immediate response, I am embarrassed to say, was “Why? I thought they were Republicans.” hey, I was 9, ok!

  37. I was a junior in college and everyone on campus was completely stunned and the mood lasted for days. Students and faculty were quiet and clustered around grainy black and white TV sets. The memory of that day is very strong but what stands out to me the most is the fact that it was such a profound turning point in the country. After that day, nothing was ever the same. The changes in civil rights were welcome and necessary but everything else led us down the road to where we are today. The 60’s dream has become our current nightmare.

  38. it’s really fun to read all these memories from everyone, but especially regular commenters, who have just been screen names up to now. very interesting. also, I’m really happy to know I’m not the only one who’s old enough to remember that day!

    when I watch these commemorative programs on TV, tho, the thing that always strikes me is Walter Cronkite. what a classy guy. looking at Cronkite in 1963, it’s hard not to compare him to a “news anchor” in 2013 who suggested that someone should defecate in the mouth of a former presidential candidate. that Cronkite and Martin Bashir are even members of the same profession is really, really wrong.

  39. I was a senior in high school in a Catholic school when the nuns announced over the loud speaker during our lunch period that the President had been killed. They were very emotional and classes were cancelled for the rest of the day.

  40. My mom was nine years old. Hopefully she wasn’t even thinking about having her third kid (me) at that time. I was still still in the oven for another 17 years…

  41. I’ll always remember that time because not only did we lose a great president, but my best friend died a few days later in a plane crash. I was in 6th grade when JFK was killed. He was the first president I really remembered and Jackie was so young and stylish. We were in class when the principal announced Kennedy had been assassinated. It was scary and we all cried. It seemed so surreal. I worried too, that Russia had finally declared war. All those duck and cover drills had made a lasting impression.

  42. I was in the office in a very Southern city when I heard the news on the radio. I walked out the door onto the sidewalk. A man was walking past and I asked if he had heard the news that the President had been shot.
    I will always remember his reply. “Yep, couldn’t happen to a nicer man”.

  43. I was in the fourth grade and we were at recess. The end of recess bell rang, but no one came for us. So we played on, feeling that we were getting away with a child’s dream, extra recess. Finally, I can only describe it as a feeling of too much recess. We in a body went to the door to the school, tired and wanting to go back into class. They let us in and I saw that our teacher, Mrs. Bond, was crying. She explained that President Kennedy had been shot and died. She left the room, probably to shield us from her tears. I took a black crayon and drew a childish memorial to Kennedy, a sort of shield with the facts listed. I still have it. They let us go early that day, but we lingered to listen to car radios. The next week the principal called an assembly and told us how proud he had been that we had wanted to know more and hadn’t just headed home.