Friday, November 22, 2013

50 Years Ago, 50 Years Later

Fifty years ago today, I was 10 years old and innocent.

For an entire generation, that day defined us here in the United States:  the day President Kennedy was assassinated.  We can all tell you, we people of my generation, exactly where we were and what we were doing.

So can another generation for December 7, and still another generation who remembers January 28 (the date in 1986 that the Challenger exploded.) For my son's generation, the day to remember is September 11.

So where were we on November 22, 1963?  And how did we find out about the assassination?

We interrupt this blog for an important announcement: The amazing part of technology is that, starting at 1:40 pm Eastern Standard Time (the time CBS programming was interrupted by the first news bulletin), you can all find out, as CBS streams their nonstop coverage through Kennedy's funeral on November 25, 1963.

CBS will also tweet coverage under hashtag #JFK50, and share on Facebook, all methods that would have been science fiction to the people in 1963.

We can read about the events of November 22, 1963 from the perspective of a British newsman.

Finally, a lot of online resources are popping up with source material, including new audio and video, in connection with the Kennedy presidency and assassination.

And now, back to our blog.

For my spouse, in elementary school, the school announced it just shortly before the school bus boarding time.  My spouse was in the school library waiting for the bus.

Me, I was home with a broken leg (being home instructed by the NYC schools).  My mother had left me to go shopping and came back, sobbing.  She turned on the TV and that's how I found out.

But my generation is fading away and the December 7 "greatest generation" loses more and more of its members daily. The January 28 generation also will fade.  And yes, even September 11, 2001.  Time is the one thing common to all of us mortals.  It moves too quickly, the older you get. 

The sad thing is, for my son's children, is that there will come a day to remember, too.

So today and this weekend we can relive that not so wonderful day of yesteryear.  

(Speaking of reruns: This is a partial rewrite of a blog post from a past November 22 anniversary, updated.)

What day defined the childhood of your generation in your country? What terrible thing happened that day? (It is sad, isn't it - we don't remember the wonderful things the way we remember the terrible things.)


  1. I wasn't old enough at the time to remember that awful day, but I still remember people who had witnessed it talking about it in sadness for years afterward. And your point is well-put, that each generation has to endure in its turn these very sad events which shock and dismay.

  2. I remember that day. I was in school and they put the radio broadcast on over the public address system. We walked to the buses almost in shock. How sad, how senseless!

  3. In my innocence, which I intend to keep, I pray for a world of love and peace and believe it is coming so hopefully your son's children will live with JOY, I know mine will :)

  4. For the last week, English TV has been featuring Kennedy's death. I lived in Australia at the time and remember the terrible sorrow of the day. He was a hero of the time. Sad to think that the generation who lived through that time will disappear soon.
    As for the thing I remember most from my childhood, it was Queen Elizabeth's crowning. She was so wonderful and gracious. And she still carries out her duties and abides by her promise of being faithful to her country.

  5. It happened the year my Mum was born, it must have been such a terrifying thing to witness! :(


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