Saturday, November 22, 2008

45 Years Ago Today

On November 22, 1963, I was only four years old and living with my family in Appleton, Wisconsin (the hometown of Joseph McCarthy). We only lived in Appleton for about 14 months, and -- being so young -- my memories are generally dim.

I do have some vivid recollections of the days following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, however. Not, as those older than me would have, of remembering where I was when I first heard the news. I am sure I saw Walter Cronkite's news bulletin just after noon, however, because he broke into a broadcast of As the World Turns on CBS-TV, and that was a show my mother always watched. So unless I was taking a nap at the time, I was in the room where the television was playing.

Here is a compilation of news bulletins from CBS, the ones that I must have seen or heard live.

My most vivid memory of that weekend is of the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby. That happened on Sunday. We had just had breakfast and may have been preparing to go to church. Suddenly my mother, who was watching TV, screamed. She (along with millions of others) witnessed the shooting and reacted in a way that roused me from my toys.

For all these two-score-and-five years, I have kept two newspapers with headlines from the days following the assassination. This is the front page of the Sunday (November 24, 1963) edition of the Appleton Post-Crescent, with a full-color photo of JFK lying in state in the East Room of the White House:
And here is the front page of The Milwaukee Journal (then an evening newspaper) from Monday, November 25, with that famous photo of Oswald being shot by Ruby:

I suspect many bloggers will be sharing their memories of November 22, 1963, today. (Here's one from a Milwaukee native just a couple of years older than me.) If other bloggers want to share links to their own memories, feel free to post them in the comments section.

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