Most of us who were old enough to remember know exactly where were were and what we were doing the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
I was in a speaking engagement that week in Prescott, Arizona. David Curtis, a college friend, was the minister there at the time and he wanted to take me to see Montezuma Castle and Camp Verde, Arizona. This was an hour’s trip from Prescott. We could easily make the trip, have a little time to visit the sites, and be back in time for the evening service.
In Camp Verde we visited a small museum with artifacts illustration life about time shortly after the Civil War. We saw a framed newspaper front page on the wall with some wording like “President Dead.” It was about Abraham Lincoln. We stopped at a store in the center of the little town to get some refreshments. Someone came in and said, “Did you hear about the president?” Then another person said something similar. We went along by saying we had heard. We thought it was some of the local promotion.
After a few minutes someone mentioned specifically that Kennedy has been shot in Dallas. Well, you know that we had the car radio on all the way back to Prescott.
In 2003 my wife and I visited the same area. The old newspaper article was no longer displayed on the wall of the little museum. I asked the lady who showed us around about it. She confirmed that it had been there, but that she did not know where it was now (2003).
Where were you that fateful day?
I was in sixth grade at Reedurban Elementary in Perry Township, Ohio. I had gone down with another boy to the cafeteria to bring back our daily bottles of milk for the class. While we were counting out the milk bottles we noticed the janitor and lunch ladies clustered around a little AM radio that they kept behind the counter and by the window. The janitor turned to us and really looked scared and told us someone shot the president. That was a scary thing for kids our age to hear. I told our teacher when we got back to the room and got promptly scolded for saying such things. A few minute later, Mr. Johnson who was our principal came across the PA system and announced that President Kennedy had been assassinated. Even today I remember thinking that was a scary word. No one who is old enough to remember ever forgets where they were that day.
This time I am really innocent- it was 3 1/2 years before I was born!
I had just turned 11. My dad was in the air force and we were stationed in Germany. For the holidays my parents decided to visit France. The day before we had been in Paris sightseeing. We spent the night at Évreux-Fauville AF Base and the next morning we woke to a commotion about the base being closed and everyone in mourning. It wasn’t until we saw the newspaper that we knew that the president had been shot in our home state. The travel was cut short as my dad had to report back to Germany. I remember that everywhere we stopped along the way back that people were crying and talking about what had happened.