Friday, November 15, 2013

November 22, 1963: Where I Was on the Day JFK Died

On November 22, 1963, I was in the seventh grade at Margaretta Junior High School in Castalia, Ohio. Our class was just leaving Mrs. Arheit's music class, and on our way to Mr. Bracy's mathematics class when we heard rumors of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. It seemed unreal. I remember that we were asking Mr. Bracy if it was true, and he was visibly shaken, and he didn't really know any more than we did. After we got home from school, the television was broadcasting all the news, and it really was true that our President had been slain. That evening was supposed to be the lighting of the Christmas lights in downtown Sandusky, and I can remember thinking that I would surely rather be at a happy Christmas event, than hearing this tragic news. Later that weekend, our family went up to our great grandparents' home for Sunday dinner after church. Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Orshoski had asked us for dinner. Because our family was big (we had five children in our family at that time), we set up a card table in the living room for the children.

As we were eating dinner, on the television screen, we saw someone shoot Lee Harvey Oswald! It was unbelievable! I had always been sheltered from "adult" topics and violence, and I could see the shock on my parents' face when they realized what had happened. It seemed like the end of the world to me, and I was sad about the death of the president, and the violent death of Lee Harvey Oswald too. It was a turning point in my life, marking the end of innocence. Everyone in my seventh grade class certainly remembers that November afternoon in 1963.


Miss Merry said...

I was in first grade. I remember my teacher going in the hallway and crying - this was scary. Then when we went home, our parents made every child in the neighborhood stay in (worried about Russians taking advantage of the situation). All three networks had news coverage which was very boring to a 1 yr old, 3 yr old and 6 yr old. Since I live in Norwalk - the more understandable and therefore sadder circumstance was the nursing home fire in Fitchville that claimed over 63 lives that evening.

Dorene from Ohio said...

That was such a tragedy, the fire in Fitchville, and of course the loss of our President. What sad, sad events took place that day!