Tuesday, November 22, 2016 – November 22, 1963 – Where Were You?
It was 1:20 PM. I was sitting on the last row, second seat in Mr. Michael’s ninth grade physical science class at Magnolia High School, Magnolia, Texas.
The loudspeaker came on. We heard Mr. Lyon, the high school principal, say “President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas and has died.” He went on to say something about when the bell rang, go to your next classes, but buses would be coming and we would all go home.
My next class was English I with Mrs. Burnside. The next time I would walk a long hall way filled with people and surrounded by surrealist silence would be September 11, 2001. It is the silence and shock I remember the most of both of those historical events.
My mother was in the Rexall Drug Store on Main Street in Tomball when she heard the news. As she placed her items on the counter, the owner asked if she had heard. When she said yes, he said “I’m glad. If I had had a gun I would have done it myself.”
She said “We do not kill our leaders; we vote them out of office. I do not want these items.” She turned, left and never returned the store again.
Looking back, the assassination of President Kennedy marked a significant change in The United States and around the world. The world that followed was not pretty. Riots, protests and giant waves of anti-establishment against all sorts of issues such as war, race, gender, poverty, illiteracy, religion, and more took place. Each issue divided us as a nation even more.
We watched it all unfold in black and white on three national channels on the technology of that day – television. The weekend brought even more sadness and shock as the nation cried with Walter Cronkite and other national reporters. We watched never before heard or seen events unfold in front of us.
November 22, 1963. The world changed and we changed with it.