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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
« Much for Which to Be Thankful! | Main | Audio from Friday Night's Academy »

Forty-Seven Years Ago Today (Repost)

Little did he know that seconds later he would be entering eternity.

Forty-seven years ago today, JFK was assassinated in Dallas by a lone gunman named Lee Harvey Oswald.   Sorry, I don't buy the conspiracy theory nonsense (Click here: Riddleblog - The Latest Post - Oswald Did It, Acting Alone . ..).

I'll never forget it. This was one of the most formative events of my childhood. I was at school (it was a Friday morning) and our principal rushed into the classroom, whispered something to the teacher, who then visibly gasped while fighting back tears. That's something an elementary-age school kid never forgets.

Once the clunky old TV monitor was set-up in front of the classroom, we watched the "live" news on NBC.  In those days, "live news" amounted to all the network anchors chain-smoking on camera while they "reported" the latest news coming in by telephone from reporters in the field.  There were no satellite hook-ups, and no real "live" news coverage except that reported via telephone.  News stories, like this one, were shot on film, taken to the nearest TV station and then broadcast.  When it became clear that this was a national tragedy, and there were fears that this may have been some sort of first strike by the USSR (or even Cuba), we were all sent home.

My family were conservative, Orange County republicans, and staunch evangelical Protestants. My dad (who had been an FBI agent during WWII) disliked JFK immensely. JFK was a papist, his father (Joe Kennedy) "was a crook," and JFK was getting us into a war (the first American "advisers" were on their way to Vietnam--including one of my dad's best friends who had been in the OSS and was in this new organization called the CIA). 

But that Friday evening, November 22, 1963, my dad was grief stricken. "JFK was our president," he said.  "This was an attack upon America."  I'll never forget it.

In a great irony, JFK, C.S. Lewis, and Aldous Huxley, all died the same day--Friday, November 22, 1963.

Reader Comments (17)

I'm not big on conspiracy theories, either, but this event has always made me wonder a bit. When he was a senior in high school, my son got the chance to spend a few weeks in DC along with a few of his classmates working on a small piece of the Warren Commission's revision. There are a lot of missing pieces, but most of the info that has never been made public on a wide scale basis points to a certain politician from Texas who happened to conspicuously be at certain places at certain times that certainly looks suspicious. Now that his widow has finally passed away it would not be a surprise to see the door to this drama slowly re-opened.
November 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
I wondered why AMC was showing the JFK movie tonight with Kevin Costner . . . I guess there was a method to their madness!
November 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew C
Happens to be my birthday, a peculiar way to remember as well! Was in 10th grade homeroom awaiting afternoon dismissal.
November 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPB
I enjoyed your account. It was a neat reading about your father.

I'll bet your dad would have some real strong opinions about the world that we live in today!
November 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd
Thanks for sharing this Kim. I wasn't around at that time, but I do recall when I was in 3rd grade, missing recess because I had gotten in trouble, when the principal came in and told us all that President Reagan had been shot. Fortunately, the outcome of that was much brighter than for President Kennedy.

Matt Holst
November 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Holst
"Sorry, I don't buy the conspiracy theory nonsense"

Are you saying you believe in Oswald's "magic bullet"?

I think we all need to gain a healthy perspective from Seinfeld on this one.

November 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHoward
Similar experience here. First grade, brand-new elementary school and the Intercom system had not yet been fully functional. The Principal had to go from room to room declaring "Our President has been shot!" (We did not know at that time that he had died.) Our knowledge of what a president actually did (and where he did it) was, of course limited, but I do remember it was quite impactful, as many of the girls were crying.
November 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRobert W.
Second grade. I was sick the day of the funeral, and _nothing_ else was on the LeTube that day, of course. Selfish brat that I was.

Come on Kim, didn't you see X-files? It was Smoking Man, when he was younger and healthier.
November 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter"lee n. field"
Mark Fuhrman's book, "A Simple Act of Murder" is a good read and does an excellent job of explaining why Oswald was the lone gunman. I recommend it to anyone who doesn't want to labor through Vincent's mag nus.
November 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFrank M.
No way that was done by one gunman from behind. Kim, Kim, Kim, ...
November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug
Being raised Roman Catholic, we had pictures of the Pope and JFK side-by-side in our family room. I recall the place when I got the news, Miss Hetkowski’s fourth grade class. We were released from school and the bus took us home. I remember sitting glued to the TV for the rest of the day and throughout the weekend, up until the funeral. I think my mother was watching when Oswald was shot on Sunday.
November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTom Albrecht
Regarding the "magic bullet," computer models of the available footage including the famous Zapruder clearly show that it was no magic bullet, but a single shot. The bending and moving of a human being is not the forensic equivalent of a block of wood.

I did my medical school training at Parkland hospital and knew who the players at the hospital were. It is not a subject that you talk about there. There is no conspiracy theory at Parkland. There is only grief over JFK and relief at saving John Connolly. I would never doubt the medical opinions of the local surgeons at Parkland. Of course, they have been sworn to secrecy, but in all interviews ever made public, they have been consistent.
November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike Storey
Thanks for the post, Kim. I really brought back memories of the day in the 2nd grade when my class got the news.

BTW, the "magic" bullet required no magic as can be read in Gary Posner's book, "Case Closed".
November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Davilla
Great post, Kim!

My parents were Kennedy Democrats. They were also grief stricken by the event. JFK's assassination was every bit as shocking to Americans as Pearl Harbor or 9/11.

After studying the assassination for many years I have also concluded that the Warren Commission was right all along. The so-called 'Magic Bullet theory' is actually the "Single Bullet Fact." (See the outstanding ABC video "The Kennedy Assassination-Beyond Conspiracy," 2004)

Here's my five favorite books on the JFK assassination:

* Death of a President by William Manchester

* Lee: A Portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald by His Brother by Robert Oswald

* Kennedy and Lincoln by John Lattimer

* Case Closed by Gerald Posner

* Reclaiming History by Vincent Bugliosi
November 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKenneth Samples
A side note: John was on a helicopter with McNamara when it came under fire, they had to land under cover. I'll never forget listening to him tell the tale.
November 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhb
Prof. Samples, Pastor Riddlebarger and all of the great Riddlebloggers, have a blessed Thanksgiving.

We are on our way out to go to San Diego. Hope to attend a WELS church in Carlsbad tonight.

November 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle
That is exactly how I remember the event of Kennedy's assassination. I was in 5th grade at Westgate elementary school in Arlington Heights, Illinois. It was in the morning (although I do not remember the day). The same old black and white T.V. monitor was dragged into our classroom and all the teachers and principal were holding back tears. I remember vividly where I was standing when the news was told to everyone.
November 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel

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