Do you remember Nov. 22, 1963?
Locals discuss memories of the day Kennedy died in today's News-Regiser
Nov 22, 2013
By Starla Pointer
Of the News-Register
(Starla Pointer / News-Register) I don’t. Not quite, anyway. But I do remember, vividly, seeing President John F. Kennedy’s funeral procession on our black and white console television three days later.
I remember the flag-draped coffin on its caisson, rolling down the wide avenues of Washington, D.C. I especially remember the riderless horse with boots turned backward in the stirrups of its saddle. The horse, named Black Jack, is probably what transfixed me, as I was 3 1/2.
Almost everyone my age and older has some vivid memory from the assassination of the president. Many remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they first heard the news — ironing shirts, leaving a college history class, having lunch. Others remember their feelings on that awful day — shock, disbelief, fear for our country.
When they talk about JFK’s assassination, they talk about television news, as well. It was the first big, nationwide event that played out on TV.
Television had been around for a while, but it still wasn’t a fixture in every home, as it is today. Some people watched the news on TVs in store windows, because they didn’t have sets of their own.
It was also the first time the national networks broadcast live continuing coverage of an event. As a result, many people witnessed Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald, the man suspected of killing the president.
Fifty years after Nov. 22, 1963, I spoke with a selection of local residents about their memories.
In most cases, I didn’t even have to mention President Kennedy. The date alone was enough to bring memories to the surface — and for a couple of the people I interviewed, it was enough to bring tears.
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