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Remembering JFK

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Scroll below to read more viewer e-mails, sharing their memories of Nov. 22, 1963.

Name: Diane Anderson

Hometown: Flower Mound, Tx

I am from Dallas and was in the sixth grade when Pres. Kennedy was killed. My mother had taken me downtown to see the motorcade. I remember seeing the car pass very quickly. There were thousands of people lining the streets to see him. I still remember Mrs. Kennedy’s pink hat and suit.

Immediately after the motorcade passed, we walked back into the Sanger-Harris building, we were standing in front of to say goodbye to my mother’s boss. Then we walked right back outside and all hell broke loose. Sirens were going off, people were running and screaming. My mother and I ran to the car and turned on the radio and found out that the President had been shot. That was the first time I ever remember seeing my mom cry.

When I got back to school, I went into the principal’s office and told him what happened. He turned on the radio in his office to hear the news and then came on the loud speaker to announce it to the school several minutes later. These are my memories of Nov. 22, 1963.

Name: Mike Daugelli

Hometown: Chico,California

I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was at my desk in the storeroom when a truck driver making a delivery said the President had been shot. We thought he was joking, but when we turned on the radio he was not. I went home immediately since I lived within walking distance and turned on the T.V. I stayed home three days glued to the T.V. I was so upset that I could not go to work. One of my saddest days of my life.

Name: Manuel Hall

Hometown: Haleiwa, HI

At the time of the assassination, I was Nellie Connelly’s (Governor John Connelly’s wife) hairdresser. We were all looking forward to a JFK Welcome dinner at the Coliseum in Austin that night.

My shop was full of politicians’ wives and state employees. I was working on Mrs. Donald Thomas’s hair. Donald Thomas was Lyndon Johnson’s campaign manager at the time. She got a phone call and told me to turn on the TV.

There was a secret service agent in my shop preparing to escort me to the hotel to comb Nellie Connelly’s hair and possibly Mrs. Kennedy if she requested it. I never got to find out. All of us who had tickets to the dinner were given LP Albums entitled “His Last 24 Hours.” It was a compilation of all the speeches JFK had made the last 24 hours of his life.

Name: Judie Bennett

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

It is hard to describe the feelings during JFK’s presidency especially among college-age young people. The word ‘Camelot’ does indeed describe the shining hope we felt. I was walking across campus at the small college I attended in North Carolina when I heard the news— shock and sorrow that is what I saw on the faces around me and the face I saw in my mirror.

Name: Jack Horohoe

Hometown: Kenmore, New York

I was a 20 year old sailor serving aboard the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. when I got the news of the president’s death. My ship was named after JFK’s older brother who was killed during World War II and it had many connections to Kennedy family.

I met the president one year earlier during his visit aboard the ship during the American Cup races. Actually shaking his hand and speaking to him made it a more personal loss for me.

For the past 40 years I have often thought about that day in Dallas and vowed to make the pilgrimage to Dealey Plaza to see for myself where it all happened.

This year I will make it...I will be there in the plaza on November 22nd to remember.

Name: Mark Fedenis

Hometown: Detroit

It’s amazing how our memories fade of so many things over the past 40 yrs, but Nov. 22, 1963 remains in the forefront of our memories. I was in the 2nd grade at St Jude Catholic School in Detroit, and will never forget our pastor Fr. Ording leading a packed church with 1500 sobing adults and children in prayer. The following 3 days were spent glued to the TV coverage. I couldn’t miss a minute of this , the first loss of a “loved one” in my life.

On the 25th anniversary, there was a complete re-broadcast called “As It Happened” that I taped and watched over and over, only to have it damaged by water. I hope the 40th anniversary will include another re-broadcast.

Name: Phyllis Merlino

Hometown: Spring Hill, Fl.

The pill box hat became very popular that year because of Jackie. It was my special project in sewing class. I remember how proud I was of it and my birthday was coming up soon, Nov 23rd to be exact. All those joyous feelings came to an abrupt end. I will be 54 in just a few days and despite all the years gone by, it still feels like yesterday.

Name: Judy C. Adams

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

I was 23 years old and working at the Texas Education office in Austin. All morning long, all the young women in the office were talking about seeing Jackie. Austin was the next stop for the President. We were talking about where we would stand to see the motorcade go by. As we were finishing lunch, someone came screaming in that the President had been shot. A few minutes later, they said he was dead. None of us could believe it until I looked at the building next door as they were lowering the flag. Our building consisted of at least 5 floors, and as we were leaving, there was a silence that was deafening. To this day, I feel such sadness when anything is shown about that day.

Name: Gail McClellan

Hometown: Hagerstown, MD

I was 13 when President Kennedy was murdered. I am now 53. I will carry the shock and horror of that time with me to my grave. I am certain that if President Kennedy had not been murdered, he would have been re-elected and different political decisions would have been made. We would have de-escalated and ended the war in Vietnam.

I should also like to believe that my generation would not have gotten so heavily into drugs and rebellion. After growing up in the 1950’s, we (my generation) lost something on November 22, 1963 at too early of an age, that we would never be able to recover-our innocence. To this day, I still feel a great loss and sorrow.