South of Tonight

Sporadic murmurs and other pomegranates from a one-way street

Fifty Years Ago Today

Fifty years ago I was in Los Alamos, New Mexico in English class when our teacher was summoned out into the hall. She returned with shock on her face. With her hand on her breast she said “He's been shot! He's been shot!” What? I didn't hear any gun shots. We then learned what had taken place in Dallas. Since it was just about lunch period we were dismissed and shuffled to the cafeteria. It was there, over the PA system, we followed the evolving story. It was there we learned President Kennedy had died. It was Walter Cronkite who delivered the message to a quiet lunchroom. Many began to cry. I did. School was dismissed and we went home to stay glued to the television set for the next several unbelievable days.

The death President Kennedy struck our school very hard. The President and Vice President Johnson had visited our school the December before. There was a rally at the football field. Kennedy made a speech. The Vice President sat in his chair looking very dark and gloomy. After the speech the President walked the along short fence shaking hands. I didn't get to shake his hand but did touch his sleeve. It was a very exciting day.

Since then we have learned of the hatred of the President that bubbled under the surface in 1963 Dallas. It was not pretty.




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