The Arizona Daily Star asked readers to share their remembrances of the President John F. Kennedy assassination. The following were shared via Facebook.
President Kennedy’s assassination is one of the first clear memories I have, as I was two weeks shy of my fifth birthday. I remember standing in our living room and my mother was extremely upset. She told me someone had done a very bad thing and that the president had died. I had a hard time understanding the concept of death, but knew something awful had happened. The television was on all weekend — which was unusual for back then. All the stores were closed and everyone was so quiet. Some people even draped black on their houses.
Lisa Zusman Record
That was my first memory I have. I was 2 years old. My mother and I were in our living room watching the parade on a black-and-white TV when Kennedy got shot. My mother began crying uncontrollably; she was hysterical and sobbing. I knew that event changed my mother at that moment like I had never known or seen in my life before.
Lunchtime on the playground at Townsend Junior High when a classmate with a forbidden transistor radio told us Kennedy had been shot. A short time later in class with a north-facing window the teacher told us to look at the flag flying at half-mast in front of Tucson Medical Center ... that’s how we were told he had died.
Millie Petrie Bentley
My dad took a picture of my grandmother shaking Kennedy’s hand; he wasn’t aware that she was in the picture till he got the photos back. She covered the face of another lady in the picture with a flower sticker, so hers is the only person shown with the candidate. The picture is at my parents’ home.
We were not told about the assassination in school that day. My mother was uncharacteristically quiet when she picked up my sisters and I from school. She said: “President Kennedy was shot today. He’s dead.” That was all. We drove home in complete silence. I was in the first grade; it was my first experience with evil.
I was a freshman at Tucson High and was walking to my class and a lot of students were crying. Someone said JFK was shot in Dallas and was dead. I was stunned, and it was a very sad day.
I was in fifth grade in Dallas when it happened. We were called in to our classes and it was announced over the loudspeaker. Most of us cried, and we were upset because it happened in our city. I will never forget that day or that great man.
Barbara Michalski Blanchard
I was a teller at 1st Federal Savings and Loan in Detroit. A 6-foot-4 Detroit traffic cop came up to my window. He was crying when he told me. The president of the bank decided to send everyone home, but several of the single tellers decided we could stay for our customers. Glad we did, since everything was closed down for many days for the funeral. I still have the memory card we received in church that week. Loved JFK! May he rest in peace!
I remember that day well. I was in fifth grade and in my classroom watching a movie when our principal came into the classroom crying. He took our teacher outside and told her what had happened. They both came back in the room crying. All of us students were scared and did not know what was going on. They went to the front of the class and told us our president had been assassinated. All of us were crying when they told us that horrible news. Our teacher then turned the TV on so we could watch the news while the school made arrangements to send us all home early. It was a sad time for our country and such a senseless loss. My dad saved newspaper clippings from that time that I now have. I will keep them forever as a reminder of that fateful day so many years ago.
I was in kindergarten, and I vividly remember how sad both my parents were and watching it on our black-and-white TV.
So proud to be from the same city that gave the world a great man! I wished he had known how much he was loved globally.
I was fishing on a lake in Lawton, Okla. It was a windy day and we almost capsized in the lake. When we arrived home, we were told of the shooting in Dallas. Needless to say, we were all glued to the black-and-white TV for the next day or so.
I was teaching fifth grade at Menlo Park School in Tucson that fateful day. I and several other teachers were eating lunch when the school secretary came rushing into the room exclaiming that the president had been shot and was dead. I immediately went to the storeroom where the classroom TV was kept and I rolled it to my classroom. For the rest of the afternoon, we watched the news reports and discussed what all of this meant — to us and to our nation. Several of the children cried.