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It was afternoon and I was on my way to a chemistry class. I had stopped for a drink of water when the news came over the speakers in the classrooms.

For those who weren’t alive at the time: remember what you felt on September 11, 2001 for a taste of November 22, 1963. It was a massive change for the worldview of my generation and it marked the beginning of a period of disruption and decline in the civility of American society. Arthur had died and Camelot fell.

At his inauguration John Kennedy made the point: “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

The colors of my world will never be as bright as they were on November 21, 1963.


1 Steve Bates { 11.24.15 at 12:14 am }

In my case, I was sitting in geometry class, in the obsessive alphabetical order Mrs. Perry insisted upon, and all of us, like you, heard it over those ancient loudspeakers. (TV? in the classroom? The first I saw of those was on the occasion of one of the very early space flights, but there wasn’t much for the TV viewer to see, and the experience was seldom repeated in my school days.)

I idolized Kennedy and was chagrined and grief-stricken that he was to be replaced by Lyndon Johnson, who I later came to appreciate in his own right, but Kennedy’s assassination was at least the beginning of the end of a suitably influential liberal wing of our federal government. Indeed, Bryan, those colors have never again been so bright… <sigh />

2 Bryan { 11.24.15 at 3:51 pm }

LBJ got JFK’s program through Congress. He was a bare-knuckle politico from the old school, but he got a lot of very good things done for people. If he hadn’t bought into the whole ‘domino theory’ in Asia, he would have run and been reelected and we might have been spared Nixon.