Editor's post: Do you remember Nov. 22, 1963? If so, please share those memories with us
Gary King, editor | Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013
Most area baby boomers and many younger may remember the Lewis VFW Bar when it was a two-room schoolhouse. Back on Nov. 22, 1963, a real-time history lesson played out there as students from the grades 1-4 classroom were moved to the 5-7 classroom to listen to a radio broadcast.
As students waited for buses to arrive for an early dismissal, teachers had them doubled up in the school desks as the newscaster, voice wavering, attempted to report bits and pieces of information about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
That’s one memory of that day among millions.
But a huge part of our population today wasn’t even alive then.
A story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune this week (“They know their ABCs but not their JFK: Fifty years after the Kennedy assassination shook the world, students are mainly indifferent”) told of how not a single one of the 30 juniors interviewed at St. Paul Central High School knew that Nov. 22 will mark the 50th anniversary JFK’s assassination and only five could cite Dallas as the location. “It’s interesting stuff,” said 16-year-old Lucia Toninato. “But it’s not really relevant.”
Undoubtedly results of such a survey would vary from school to school.
At Frederic High School, for example, students spent time not only learning of the assassination, but of the conspiracy theories that have refused to go away.
Countless books and articles - and movies - on the assassination and theories of who planned it and carried it out, have been published over the past half century. And now, with the arrival of the 50th anniversary, even more re-hashing of the event is planned.
One of the most mesmerizing accounts of that day is a book written by William Manchester, the only person given full access to every member of the Kennedy family in the months and years following the assassination. “Death of a President” is spellbinding in its simple, journalism-style narrative of the minutes and hours leading up to and following the shooting of JFK. It should be recommended reading for every high school student as part of history class.
Perhaps the most touted new offering is a book titled simply, “Who Really Killed Kennedy?” by New York Times bestselling author Dr. Jerome Corsi. The book promises to be the “definitive source,” of the biggest who dunnit of the past century.
According to the press release e-blasted from his publisher, the book offers …
* the ballistic evidence that proves there was more than one shooter
* the rarely studied final few frames of the Zapruder film that prove the wound in the back of JFK's head was an exit wound
* the eyewitnesses who saw Oswald in the second floor lunchroom when Dallas police rushed in the building
* the two previous attempts to assassinate JFK in November 1963
* how JFK double-crossed Richard Nixon and the CIA to win the election of 1960
And with that said, we're now poised to publish your version of events that day - what you heard, where you were, what you felt.
For our Nov. 20 issue, we’d like to publish your remembrances of that day - if you’re old enough to remember. Or perhaps your remembrances of the stories your parents told about that day.
Or perhaps you’ve only read about it and would like to weigh in with your thoughts.
One person, no longer with us, used to recall how he was on his way to Balsam Lake that day when he heard the news on his truck radio and he had to pull over to the side of the road to regain his composure. But that effort gave way to tears.
The Leader published memories from local residents in one of its November issues back in 1983 - 20 years after the assassination. It was clearly easier then to find folks who recalled that day clearly. But then again, it’s a memory that rarely fades for those who lived it, no matter where they were that day. Where were you?
Please send your memories of Nov. 22, 1963 to email@example.com or via the feedback form at right.