Life changes have interfered with my blogging for the past year or so and today is my first day, November 22, 2013, back on the writing circuit. Fifty years ago today a life changing event for America shocked the world in general and upset the lives of Americans.
November 22, 1963 was a Friday afternoon in a Catholic elementary school where I taught third grade and the first Catholic president had just been assassinated. Worried parents started coming to pick up their children before official closing time.
My second child, and first daughter, was born in early September 1963 and my first child and only son had just turned two 9 days before the assassination. Of course our little family was only on the periphery of the breaking news at the time but John F. Kennedy was the first president my husband and I voted for in the presidential election of 1960.
Just weeks before his death, JFK came to Little Rock where many lined the streets to watch his cavalcade from the airport. We were on the street downtown to see Kennedy because my dad wanted his first two grandkids to see a president in person. Now we felt we had a personal connection with this president.
Beginning the day of the assassination, everyone was glued to television news for the next several days. Mothers like me were busy doing what mothers do and saw much of the activities while passing through the room where the television set was. I happened to stop and watch long enough to see Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspected assassin.
The next few days were very quiet. No busy traffic and very little noise could be heard. We all knew a major change had just taken place and no one knew exactly what it meant for our future.
Looking back to 1963 and the emotional events of the day, some of us recognize now that the Kennedy assassination was the beginning of an attitude of skepticism and distrust of American government for many people.