by Delia

Where were you and what were you doing when you heard that John F. Kennedy had been shot? It may very well be the defining moment in American history for those currently age 55 and older. For most of us, it’s a moment frozen in our minds. Just after 12:30 PM CST, shots rang out in Dallas, Texas, ending the life of the President of the United States. Days of mourning culminating in a televised funeral, then years of investigation, theories and accusations, but what most of us who were alive then remember is what we were doing.

I was a fourth grader in a Catholic school in central California. We were herded into the fifth grade classroom, along with the sixth graders, to listen to events unfold on the radio. A Michigan colleague was in third grade, and recalls hearing the president died which was followed by three days of televised coverage. Another colleague was a high school student in Columbia City, Indiana, and just happened to be in an assembly when the announcement came. Another, only four years old at the time, recalls how shaken his parents were by the news. All are very vivid memories from four different people in four places, all about the same event.

We aren’t going to go into the history and aftermath here. There have been many books, documentaries, movies, articles and investigations over the years for that. We are interested in making sure that all of us pass along for posterity our experience and reaction at the time. And we invite all of you to share, either here in a comment to this blog, or on our Facebook page, one or two sentences about your memories of that day. Where were you when you heard?