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Friday, November 22, 2013

Fifty Years Ago Today

One of the most-watched videos on YouTube:

As most old enough to remember November 22, 1963, I recall that day is if it were yesterday....

A seventh grader at the time, I was in study hall and working diligently to get my Virginia History homework done. Mr. Carson, all the students' favorite teacher, came in to tell us, "The President of the United States is dead.  He was shot in Dallas, Texas." Classes at the private school I attended in 1963 were held in the Richardson House, a brick Antebellum mansion with at least four porches.  All classes for those above fifth grade were immediately halted, and we went to the porches to pray and to sit in silence after the prayers.  None of us students headed for the playground.  Instead, we waited for the buses to be readied for early dismissal because of the concern that our entire country's national security was in jeopardy. After all, the Cuban Missile Crisis and bomb-shelter drills still loomed large in our nation's consciousness. Once home, everyone sat glued to the television sets until after the funeral for President John F. Kennedy.

For other personal comments about that day, see the comments section at the Washington Times article Share your memories of JFK’s assassination 50 years ago.

If John F. Kennedy were alive today, he would be ninety-six years old.

Comprehensive web page: The Kennedy Assassination.

For those interested, there is an animated video about that day in Dallas below the fold.


  1. The media coverage here in Dallas has been non-stop for about two weeks now, AOW. I have learned quite a bit about the assassination, and the political tone in Dallas at the time.

    It's very surreal to stand on the street where it all happened.

    1. Jen,
      A recent opinion piece in the NYT was pushing the concept of "Kennedy assassination guilt."

      The author specifically exempted Memphis (the site of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.) and Los Angeles (the site of the assassination of RFK). A surreal essay.

  2. JFK Was Shot By A Leftist Scumbag More In Line With Dems Today
    JFK was a guy who believed in everything the GOP believes in today, and some low-life leftist SOB shot him.

    Come to think of it, Lincoln was shot by a GD racist Southern Democrat.

    Is that all you on the left can do is kill World leaders?

    Lee Harvey Oswald was a left-wing nutjob. A communist.. He would have been called a progressive in today's world.

    1. Jackie Kennedy said: "THEY have killed him" and "Look what THEY have done."

      Then it came to her attention who and what Oswald was. She then remarked: "He didn't even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights. Ihad to be some silly little Communist."

    2. More of Jackie Kennedy's various quotations here.

  3. It took awhile before we realized that Camelot was a fabrication, but it was a time when Americans wanted to believe in someone. Jack Kennedy and his wife, the perfect couple, adored by the press, became the best hope for America. It was a short dance. If Kennedy were alive today, he would not embrace the likes of Barack Obama; I’m sure that he’d be disappointed that Caroline grew up to do exactly that.

  4. I see that my good friend Mustang has an excellent post today, on this 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK: "Where has he gone?"

    Worth your time and consideration.

  5. What would our country be like had he lived?
    Such a crying shame.


    1. Andie,
      What would our country be like had he lived?

      Stephen King wrote a novel about that very matter. I highly recommend 11/22/63 by Stephen King.

    2. Andie,
      If you read the novel, let me know what you think.

  6. I was never a fan of JFK. He got us into Vietnam and the Great Society and War on Poverty programs passed under LBJ were Kennedy's ideas. But, he had done nothing, in my opinion, to deserve being assasinated. I was watching live news when Jack Ruby murdered Lee Harvey Oswald. I wonder if we will ever know the truth of the whole affair.

  7. Personally, I think the loss I felt back then was less about Kennedy, and more about the assault on the institution of our presidency. I agree with Robert’s insinuation that Americans too easily allow themselves to become patsies to a great PR effort —as reflected by that hope and change pap we’ve had to endure for the past 5 years.

  8. "What would our country be like had he lived?
    Such a crying shame."

    Well, for starters we wouldn't have had the LBJ disaster(s)!

  9. I too was in 7th grade at the time. I remember watching on television at home with my mother. Something I will never forget.

    I don't remember any talk of his politics, but he was our President and he had been killed. That seemed to be all that mattered.

    Right Truth

    1. Debbie,
      I do recall one political statement that day -- a statement that I heard from one of my teachers: "You know what this means, don't you? Goldwater cannot possibly be elected next year."

  10. The entire JFK Image is largely a fraud. He had "charisma." If memory serves me correctly, his candidacy brought that peculiar term into our vocabulary. He also had incredible EFFRONTERY -- one THE greatest BS artists who ever lived -- but he was "All Front" with little substance to back it up -- the human equivalent of a Potemkin Village, one could say.

    He was neither kind nor good. He was a poseur -- a mountebank -- a vain, haughty creature born largely of his FATHER'S astonishing HUBRIS -- as were -- and remain -- ALL the Kennedy men.

    The "Camelot" image was no more authentic than a Hollywood Romance in Technicolor. His behavior behind the scenes was -- let us be kind, avoid vulgarity, and say "compulsively self indulgent."

    We should not be asking ourselves what the country would have been like had he not been shot, we should instead be lamenting the success old Joseph P. had in effectively stealing the election from Richard M. Nixon.

    1. FT,
      Yes, the JFK Image is largely a fraud. Making a saint out of the deceased? Quite often that happens after someone dies.

      However, my position about the assassination of JFK is this: he was a sitting President of the United States, and the very Office of President was attacked by means of his brutal murder on November 22, 1963.

      I don't make pilgrimages to his grave, so I don't count myself as one who has fallen for the Camelot myth.

      I do well recall my mother telling LBJ in 1960: "The only way that you'll become President is if JFK dies in office."

      I overheard Mom's end of the phone conversation in which she uttered those words, to which he apparently replied, "Oh, [Mom's first name] don't be that way." The only reason that I heard what I did was that I was lurking out of Mom's sight at the top of the stairway of our house.

      Yes, my mother actually did know LBJ personally and telephoned him after he was nominated to run as Vice President. She loaned him $3 back in the 1930s so that he could rent a room in a boarding house in Washington, D.C.

  11. I was 6 and all I remember was my mom crying at the TV. Later, I realized that she wasn't politically aligned with JFK's policies, but she had cried because of the insult to the office of the president of the USA - this wasn't a third world country and assassinations were not supposed to happen here, and she had cried for the man and his young family and their personal loss.

    1. Cube,
      this wasn't a third world country and assassinations were not supposed to happen here


  12. Leslie Parsley said...

    "Thanks for posting this. BTW, did you know that Alan Seeger was an uncle of Pete Seeger"

    Oh Lord, another reason to Hate Alan Seeger!

    1. What a STUPID remark! I may think Pete's a fool, who's just grown more foolish with the years. He's well past ninety now, and "still going strong" according to reports I've gotten from some of his still-ardent fans -- contemporaries of mine who latched on to "PROTEST" and "COMPLAINT" (I.e. Bitching, Whining, Moaning, Groaning, and eternal ACCUSATION) as a Way of Life back in the SICK-sties, and have never grown up.

      Pete -- like Joanie the Phony Baez -- was always a lousy singer whose original material and instrumental accompaniments were as flat, witless, tedious and depressing Phony Joanie's mewling voice. Poor Pete has only gotten worse with age, as most of us do, Alas!

      The only ting wrong with Alan Seeger's famous poem, "I Have a Rendevous with Death" is that JFK "mythmakers" and "hagiographers" claimed it was JFK's favorite poem. They even went so far as to claim Johnny often asked his dear wife Jackie to recite it to him during the tranquil evenings at home they spent together during their idyllic marriage.

      THAT tore it! The stench of BS suddenly became overpowering. I gagged, retched, got dizzy and almost fainted dead away when I read that claptrap.

      The Kennedy mythmakers have consistently been so blatant, so arrogant and so presumptuous they naturally assumed that we the people have no intelligence to insult.

      They were WRONG. Those of us with brans have realized for a very long time that the entire Kennedy Thing was a TRAVESTY.

  13. I know this is off topic, but I commented on your comment at my blog and I thought you might find it interesting.

  14. Are we supposed to know Alan Seeger? Please enlighten us, if you expect your stray remarks to have any impact. WHo is Alan Seeger?

    ---------------------------> Katharine Heartburn

    1. Alan Seeger wrote the poem "I Have a Rendezvouz with Death" -- one of JFK's favorite poems, I think.

  15. "What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of "Liberal." But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."


  16. For three whole days after the assassination, there wasn't a halfway decent cartoon for a kid to watch... :(


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