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11/22/63 -- for us old-timers only

 
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 02:00 pm
I simply cannot believe that this happened 50 bloody years ago!!! It is all still so current and fresh in the back of my mind.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  3  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 02:02 pm
I was working for the Social Security Administration in Bloomfield, New Jersey. The janitor of the building…a very inappropriate guy who seemed always to be saying the wrong thing at the wrong time…came in and said, “Kennedy has been shot in Dallas.”

I thought it might be one of his dumb jokes…and just disregarded it. I was busy trying to make an important phone call…and I just could not get a dial tone. I tried several different lines we had…and no dial tone.

Then it hit me.

Could it be?

We had a radio in the office (never on) and I turned it on. Sure enough…President Kennedy had been shot at…but as I remember it, the radio reporter did not even know if he had been hit. But very shortly the news came that he had indeed been hit…and just minutes after that…that he was dead.

I remember seeing my boss in his office slumped over his desk pounding his hands onto the desk and heaving in great sobs.

Within a half hour we were told to close the office and to go home.

It was a horrible trip…with people looking like it was the end of the world.

Say what you will about different presidents…I remember when John Kennedy was president, we all dreamed of how great it must be to be in politics and to be involved in the great decisions of the day.
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 03:34 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
Say what you will about different presidents…I remember when John Kennedy was president, we all dreamed of how great it must be to be in politics and to be involved in the great decisions of the day.

He was an inspiring man, a very inspiring man, particularly for young adults. Obama can deliver inspiring rhetoric, but Kennedy was an inspiring leader.

He made you want to get involved, not in politics, but in "public service", which was how the Kennedy family referred to it. People wanted to join the Peace Corps, they were excited about the prospect of landing on the moon, and, at least for those of us in the North, we were heartened to see him face down a defiant governor, and federalize the Alabama National guard, so that black students could enter some of the previously all white schools in that state, helping to lessen the continuing ugliness of institutionalized racism, and inspiring us in the fight for civil rights. We really did feel "the torch has been passed to a new generation", and the youthful Kennedy was that generation, and we felt we would be too. He inspired hope and strengthened commitment to ideals.

Even my grandmother was so moved by Kennedy that she had a framed photo of him on the wall in her home.

And there was so much good-natured humor directed at him, and enjoyed by us. Do you remember this LP record...

http://carlanthonyonlinedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/the-first-family-1962-which-won-a-grammy-award-for-best-selling-record-in-1963.jpg?w=700

I don't know how many times my family enjoyed listening to that record, and laughing each time. And, beside humor, it generated warmth and good feelings.

For those who don't remember...
Quote:
The First Family is a comedy album recorded on October 22, 1962, as a good-natured parody of President John F. Kennedy, both as Commander-in-Chief and as a member of a large, well-known political family. Issued by Cadence Records, it was honored as the "largest and fastest selling record in the history of the record industry" selling at more than a million copies per week for the first six and one-half weeks in distribution, by January it had sold more than 7 million copies. Cadence president Archie Bleyer credited the album's success to radio airplay. By time of the release of The First Family - Volume Two, the sequel, it had sold 7.5 million copies — unprecedented for any album at the time, let alone a comedy album.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_First_Family_(album)


I heard one commentator this week say that the Warren Commission Report, and the controversy it generated, was the start of the government mistrust which has continued ever since. It was a more innocent time prior to Kennedy's assassination, in so many ways. And so much was lost when that shot was fired in Dallas.


Lustig Andrei
 
  3  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 03:44 pm
Like all politicians, JFK promised the moon while campaigning for office. But he actually gave us the moon!!!
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 03:59 pm
@firefly,
Yup, Firefly, I remember Vaughn Meader and his Kennedy impression very well. I really enjoyed the album...and I feel certain the first family enjoyed it also.

I agree with your last thought...that a lot of innocence was lost when those shots were fired. But the real trouble came when Reagan took office...and made "government" the official enemy of the people. In fairness to Reagan, I suspect he never meant it to play the way it did...but whether intended or not, the Reagan presidency spelled the doom of people wanting "government" to succeed in helping make life a bit more comfortable and fair. Now it is fashionable to consider "government" to be something evil...and for the people to do as much as possible to oppose it...in effect, making the NECESSARY job of governing ever so much harder. It has, in a sense, made us an ungovernable people.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 03:59 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:

Like all politicians, JFK promised the moon while campaigning for office. But he actually gave us the moon!!!


Well put, Andrew!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 04:20 pm
I wasn't kidding when I said that the physician I worked for after university classes told us one of our patients slept with him (tch, tch to the doc), I take it when he first knew, maybe even that day - he was probably stunned himself to hear that. I still liked Kennedy, me a clueless virgin at the time. Work talk. I assume he swore us to be quiet as he ordered us the glasses of whatever we chose. I didn't drink then, so probably a coke.

I'm not trying to start hasarai, this stuff apparently was well known back then.

This was before Dallas. I was as I already said, the only person walking and sobbing when I left the shoe store, a mess of grief.

We had so much hope.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 04:59 pm
I was in 6th grade, a safety patrol helping kids cross the street to the school.
A boy came up and said "Kennedy's been shot, the nigger-lover had it comin'"
Another boy started whaling on him.
I half-heartedly broke it up.
Roberta
 
  4  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 05:04 pm
Glued to the TV and crying on and off. Sobbing.

Saw Oswald get shot. Live. And then dead.

My grandmother, a hardened and fierce Democrat, hung JFK's picture up next to FDR's on a cabinet door in the living room. "Such a young man."
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 05:35 pm
@panzade,
In 1963, my father worked for someone who was truly a rotten human being. When Kennedy was shot, my father heard the news first and went to tell his boss about the report of the President being shot. His boss replied, "They shot the bastard? Good, I hope they killed him."

It took all of my father's self-control not to punch the man in the face.

He simply said, "I'm going home," and walked out.

So, some were not grief stricken about the event--like that kid you mentioned.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 05:40 pm
@firefly,
It was Kennedy's assassination (or maybe Watergate) that began the death spiral of newspapers. Things were happening so fast in both events that the news papers couldn't keep up and people started keeping their TVs on for breaks into regularly scheduled programs.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 05:47 pm
@firefly,
Quote:
like that kid you mentioned.

The kid was a product of his home and environment. I felt sorry for him.
eurocelticyankee
 
  3  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 05:48 pm
It was a sad sad day, not just for the US but for the world.
My Mam loved him, there was always a picture of him and Jackie on the wall in our house.
He was adored here in Ireland, still is.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 05:49 pm
I'd go along with that. I just heard an interview on the radio of a Canadian journalist who had just started with NBC News. He and a CBS man threw a bunch of cash in the front seat of a taxi as soon as they learned what hospital the motorcade was headed for, and arrived a few minutes later. They finally got someone to make a statement about the president, and they ran outside, ran completely around the hospital to the front lobby, where they both got on pay phones. Chet Huntley and Walter Cronkite were telling the nation that the president was dead when many newspaper editors were just learning he had been shot. They learned that from television and radio.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 05:50 pm
@panzade,


I hadda play this . My wife said that this was used as background music during 911 too. I think in 9/11 I was way more in shock than I was 50 years ago
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 05:54 pm
The British sci-fi series Dr. Who was almost cancelled at the outset, because it was scheduled to premier the day the president was shot. So they moved it over one day, and decided to go with it because they had four episodes in the can already. It was a run-away hit. Kennedy's assassination didn't dominate the new media in the UK the way it did in the United States. I was watching the day long coverage two days later and saw Jack Ruby shoot Oswald. Newspapers can't match that.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 06:01 pm
@eurocelticyankee,
When i went to Ireland for the first time, i stayed in a B & B in Waterford run by an old lady who ought to have been retired by then. She had a large photographic portrait of Kennedy on the wall of the dining room, with crossed Irish and American flags behind it, and trimmed in black crepe. Of course, at least in those days, the Irish were offended if you tried to tip them, but i was prepared for that in advance. I gave her two of the Kennedy half-dollars that i had gotten from the bank before i came over, and they were perfect, un-circulated. She took them without saying anything, tears filled her eyes and she just fell on a chair weeping, staring at the coins. So, i just to;ld her goodbye and quietly left.
eurocelticyankee
 
  0  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 06:22 pm
@Setanta,
Good on you Set, that was nice.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 08:52 pm
I was in seventh grade and happened to be in the school hallway when a boy came up to me and said "Didya hear? They killed the president." Just then, the teacher for American government came running out of his room, just sobbing. School was dismissed.

Ruby shooting Oswald was surreal. The Dallas police seemed out of their realm, anyway. Ruby was a hanger-oner around the precinct and no one even checked his ID or wondered why he was in the hallway.

I wonder if we will ever know the truth about how and why Kennedy was killed. Just this week, new theories came out saying the driver of the limo turned around and shot Kennedy in the head and another one that claims the Secret Service man behind the limo took out his gun and it went off when he jumped on the back of the limo. A re-released book about Oswald and Maria maintains that Oswald was the lone shooter and he was a discontent and abusive man who was mad at the word. This was his second assassination attempt on a government official.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 11:06 pm
For years I was confused by the conspiracy tales about JFK's murder. But, ultimately, I think Oswald acted alone.
 

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