Remembering JFK Assassination is a Look Back at Childhood – Brian’s Blog
I was eight-years-old and in the third grade when President John F. Kennedy was killed on Nov. 22, 1963, so my memories of that day come through the eyes of a child.
It was the Friday before Thanksgiving in 1963, so no doubt my third grade class at White Swan’s Robertson Elementary School was occupied with making paper turkeys and pilgrim’s hats. We were at lunch in our small cafeteria when one of our classmates who had been attending a special education class that used television told us that the president had been shot. We did not believe him, as we viewed him as a sort of class “screw up”, but in retrospect realize that he was developmentally disabled.
Our classes for the rest of the day were cancelled, and the teachers, with the exception of a few who volunteered for playground duty, went off to watch the news on the school’s lone TV set.
For the rest of the afternoon, we enjoyed a prolonged recess. We were playing our favorite playground game, “Army.” You have to remember that our favorite TV shows at the time were all about World War II, and my friends and I were usually soldiers or marines, fightng imaginary battles on the playgrounds. Since it was the height of the cold war, we decided that it was the Soviets that were responsible for President Kennedy’s death, and took our pretend Tommy guns out in a quest for vengeance.
It’s amazing that 50 years later, no one really knows for certain who was responsible for JFK’s death.
I remember school being cancelled the following Monday, and my family watched the funeral on our Philco black-and-white TV.
Funny thing is, I don’t remember Thanksgiving that year, or Christmas.
How about you? What are your memories of Nov. 22, 1963?
You can see the JFK Presidential Library’s official webpage on his death here.