Where Were You on November 22, 1963? CategoriesMemories & Musings

Where Were You on November 22, 1963?

As Baby Boomers, we have had many significant events occur in our lives. One in particular was the assassination of our 35th President, John F. Kennedy. We commemorate the 51st anniversary of that event this month. As indicated in the title, that occurred on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. I was 7 years old and in second grade at the time.

I remember that day so clearly. I went to a Catholic grammar school in Newburgh, New York. Our Parish was building a new school and the younger classes were in makeshift classrooms in the church basement. The old school building had the “older” kids. This particular day, Sister Grace Ann was teaching class and another sister came into our classroom and whispered something in her ear. I remember Sister Grace Ann clasping her heart in shock and slowly lowering herself to the steps near where she was standing.

She didn’t say a word. She put her hands over her eyes, obviously crying. As a 7 year old, I was a little scared and uncertain about what was going on. I never saw Sister Grace Ann act like that before. When she composed herself, she told us that our president was shot.

Kennedy was the youngest man elected President as well as the youngest to die. He was also the first Catholic elected president. Needless to say, our church and classrooms had pictures of President Kennedy on the walls. We knew who he was, but I don’t think I totally understood what his assassination meant to our country at the time.

During those years the Kennedys were always in the news. Many have said that the Kennedys were America’s version of royalty! President Kennedy was really the first “TV” president of our country. On that particular day, the news was filled with video footage of the now famous scene of the President and Mrs. Kennedy in the convertible riding down the street waving to the crowds. Suddenly the president slumped over and Mrs. Kennedy was reaching for something. There was horror on the faces of the spectators and Secret Service scrambling around. The scene was chaos!

John John SaluteThe most memorable video of that time frame was of the children saying good bye to their Dad. I will always remember that haunting photo of “John John” standing in front of his Uncle Robert, saluting his father as the funeral procession passed by.

This was such a sad time for this country and was one of those events where most of us would remember exactly where we were when we heard he was assassinated.

President Kennedy was a popular president who loved this country. His life was ended entirely too soon!

Where were you on November 22, 1963?

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Marie Giammarco is a mid generation Boomer who came of age in suburban New York, 50 miles north of the city. A child whose mom and grandparents were Italian immigrants, her close knit family defined her growing up years. The product of an environment that revolved around food, health, and physical activity, she saw many elderly people age before their time because they lacked these things. She has a passion to help Boomers and Seniors to be active and live a longer, more healthy life.