Coming up on Nov. 22 is the 40th anniversary of the assassination
of President Kennedy. It might be a timely occasion for us to look
back at that eventful day and era, and to reflect on what he meant
to America, his accomplishments during his shortened presidency,
and what each of us was doing on that ill-fated day.
Back on No. 22, 1963, I was employed in the N. Y. office of a
European scholarly publisher. I heard about the assassination on
42nd Street as I was returning from lunch to my office on 52 Vanderbilt
Our office manager of a staff of five was an English-born lady
and a British subject, who had often made known to us that Americans
lacked culture and that everything British was better. On my return
to the office I told her the president had been shot and was dead.
At that time, our American company president was on holiday and
I was the senior in-house staffer, and in charge. On hearing the
news, she coolly looked at me and asked: "Shall I send the
girls home? ... After all, he WAS your president." Of course
we did... but I will never forget her reaction and that unconcerned
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It is just a little over week to the 40th anniversary of that tragedy
in Dallas. It would be interesting to many of us, I think, to see
posted here, some personal recollections from Guestbookers who are
also able to recall that Nov. 22 day in 1963 -- especially those
who were in Newark at that time.
I remember being in the bath room combing my hair-------the t. v.
was on and we were listening to the ft. ball game when all hell
broke loose. The words -blaring aloud that J. F. K. had been shot
and I went to see the screen when they showed Jackie hovering over
J. F. K.-the limo was racing along trying to get out of the area.
Total shock went through our house hold as well as the world. It
felt like we were in a time warp-we were in denial and in tears.
Camelot came to an abrupt halt. The camera men were trying to find
the shooter or shooters-people were crying every where a camera
went. History was made but so sad a day as well as the days that
I was a jr. in Belleville High School an they made an announcement
on the PA system
Just as Jim, except that I was a freshman in ESHS, the announcement
that President Kennedy had just been shot, was made over the PA
System. Not a sound was heard in the classrooms, or the hallways.
Within a short time after that, the announcement was made that the
President had died. We were all dismissed from school...everyone
leaving the classrooms with disbelief on their faces, and walking
like Zombies...and others weeping and sobbing openly. When my brother
and I got home, we found our parents already in front of the TV...is
how all four of us then were, glued in front of the TV, for the
next 3 days...still not wanting to believe what happened.
Yes, as you say, "Camelot came to an abrupt halt" ...
and its reigning Queen, Jacqueline Kennedy, and the glamour she
brought to the White House was no more.
All, As a 7 year old 3rd grader at St. Benedict's Grammar School,
Down Neck , I clearly remember our Principal, Sr. Veronica standing
atop the landing of the fire escape which led to the 2nd floor auditorium
loudly ringing a hand held bell. It was afternoon recess and I recall
thinking that time was up too fast, and then we were rounded up
by class and headed off to our classrooms where the announcement
was made over the PA system the JFK was shot. School was dismissed,
and we all went home. My mother, in tears, watching the television
saying to my older brother and me "The President is dead! Oh
my God, They've shot the President! "My father was home early
from work and as a family we sat glued to that TV set, our world
had changed that dark November Day. I have a copy of the Newark
News Magazine from the 1st Anniversary of JFK's assassination, I'll
try to reduce/copy it and forward to Glenn.
Nat, a very sad anniversary it is. "Oh, what might have been".
It was such an ordinary day, as I recall [ Nov.22, 1963], until
the reports of the terrible events in Dallas started to come over
the radio and TV. For a fleeting moment I might have recalled Orson
Welles' "the War of The Worlds" radio broadcast. However,
these reports were the horrible truths. When Walter Cronkite said
"President Kennedy had died "! it later brought to mind,
one fond memory. Three years earlier, one bright, sunny November
day [Nov. 6 1960 ], working, Main PO downtown Newark. We learned
that a Democrat candidate was having a "motorcade" past
City Hall. We all rushed out to see our future president. He was
in an open car waving as they do. He had the appearance, air of
confidence, and charisma of a young handsome movie star. I could
understand, years later where John Jr. got some of his great looks.
That is another story of another tragic loss. Youth, with so much
I was having my hair done at Woodward and Lothrop in D. C. Several
of the operators who were there said something to the effect that
the president had been shot in the head. It was very eloquently
put and I was upset. I still didn't believe it even after I left
the store, I saw Walter Cronkite making the announcement on a TV
in the store but it really hit home as I was passing the Bureau
of Engraving on 14th St. on my way to crossing the bridge into Arlington.
The flag was being lowered to half staff. We were really in a fog.
The cemetery was just down the street from our apartment on Columbia
Pike and we spent the coldest day in the cemetery on the day the
President was buried.
Hello everyone. I was a personal body guard for President and Mrs.
Kennedy during their trip to Mexico in June of 1962. I had just
finished graduating from the Marine Security Guard School in Arlington
Virginia and was awaiting my visa to go overseas to work as a Marine
Security Guard at the American Embassy in Seoul, Korea. Out of a
class of 60 or so there were seven of us who were waiting for our
visas to come through. We were attached to the State Department.
They took the seven of us, in civilian clothes, weapons and all,
and had us go to Mexico along with the Secret Service to guard the
President. I have a wonderful letter from President Kennedy and
the American Ambassador to Mexico thanking me for my service framed
and hanging on my den wall.
I was in Korea, at the Embassy, sleeping, when at around 4 in the
morning the news first broke on at Armed Forces Radio Station, a
year later, when the President was shot. Shortly thereafter we received
a call from the Marines on duty at the Embassy for all of us at
the house to get down there right away. The U. S. military all around
the world went on alert and for the next several days we had all
of the big-shot Koreans coming to the American Embassy to sign a
"Guest book" we had set up there.
Yes...indeed that was a sad day in history! I was enrolling my little
girl in a day care facility when I heard it on the radio. We took
a cab home and the driver was crying.
What followed was heart wrenching and obviously never forgotten
by those of us who saw the whole thing on TV.
Mrs. Kennedy was a class act...when she showed us all the White
House it solidified the moment forever. Most of us never saw the
inside and I for one was grateful that she helped us to witness
something so special.
The days following the assassination were sad for the entire universe.
What a lovely moment we had before our world came crashing down
I was at work. It was 1pm. The announcement came over our page system.
We all stood still, did not make a sound. My place of business closed
for the funeral. My place never closes, not even for snow storms.
Saw the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald live on TV. Guess everyone
I was driving my cab down Clinton Ave. at the time when it came
over the two way radio
Jule...you never cease to amaze me with your "moments in time"!
You were an honor guard for JFK and the lovely Mrs. Kennedy...of
course you were! Would you be anything less? I can bet that you
could write a book about your life and we all wouldn't be able to
put the book down because it was so good!
Must be the Newark in you...right?
Hello Mary Ellen. I have had an interesting life - not over yet
though. Thanks for the kind words.
I was also at work like many others on that fateful day. I have
a piece of me still back there in Dallas forever in time.
The Kennedy's also made me feel for the first time really connected
to this Country in a special way. The stillness could be felt for
days the disbelief and sorrow.
John, Jackie and their children & family, will forever be a
part of History. The loss to this country is unfathomable.
Thank you all for sharing and remembering the Kennedy's and all
the countless others who gave their lives in service to this great
Country. And are still doing so today in Iraq and elsewhere. And
also for sharing your personal thoughts and remembrances. And the
Legacy that was "Camelot".
I remember I was outside our auto dealership and was just closing
a sale on a new car, when a UPS truck drove up and the driver asked
if we'd heard that the president had been shot. We all dashed inside
and put the radio on just in time to hear the announcer say that
it was now official - the president was dead. I don't remember very
much about the rest of the day. The shock was tremendous and one
of the saddest days in our history
T h a n k y o u a l l for your prompt responses to my reminder here
yesterday about the upcoming 40th anniversary of JFK's death.
You have all made a piece of American history come alive and provided
personal insights for others to share that they will never find
in the history books.
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Click on photo to enlarge: