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This Day in History, 1963: Kennedy Assassination

Today, of course, is the 42nd anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy.

Having not been alive for it myself, I've never had the same emotional connection to the tragedy as people of an older generation. But in my lifetime, I've been witness to a few national tragedies that allow me to understand what it must have been like for the country.

The odd thing for me is that I post this living a short walk from the Kennedy birthplace on Beals Street here in Brookline, a national historic site that I have only visited once -- the Monday after John Kennedy Jr. died in a place crash.


I used to live in Boston, and my old boss lives on Beals Street, just up the road from the Kennedy birthplace. I never visited the birthplace, even though I went to my boss's house several times and otherwise spent loads of time around Coolidge Corner. It's out of that muted emotional connection, having been born 15 years after Kennedy's assassination.
When I visited, it was primarily because with John Jr.'s death, I realized I had never been. There was a TV news crew there looking to interview mourners and they wanted a soundbite from me. I told them that I really wasn't of the right generation, but they were insistent, and I'm usually sympathetic when a reporter needs a quote for a story. (My Dad was a journalist.) So I gave them a generic quote about tragedy, and it made the evening news.
The Kennedy assassination convinced my mother to marry my father. He had asked, she thought it was rather quick (they had only been dating a bit over a month), but then Kennedy died, and she figured, "life is short, Syd seems to be a good father to his daughter, do it." And they've been happily married for the past 41+ years
In the wake of tragedy, good things can happen. Thanks for sharing that story.
I was alive but pre-sentient, so the Kennedy assassination I remember is Bobby's. But people of my parents' generation did seem to be worked up over JFK's for long enough that I eventually became aware of it (while I was still a child, I mean).
Which means that tomorrow is the 42nd anniversary of Doctor Who.
I had completely forgotten! Yes, Doctor Who.

Love the icon.
Somehow, it always fails to get the same press coverage as Kennedy. Go figure.
I was just a few weeks shy of 3 when it happened, and it'd seem that I should at least remember the adult reactions around me, but I don't. Even though I do have some memories from that period. On the other hand, I do remember Mercury launches from that period, which shows that my priorities were set very early on. :- )
The only time I've ever seen my father cry was when he took us to see the movie JFK. I don't think he knows I saw.
I was only about 18 months old, and have no memory of either Kennedy assassination. I do remember Chappaquidick & Watergate & a bit of the Johnson Presidency.

My husband has a connection with JFK's assassination--he was born 9 months later. Which makes me wonder how many children were born post-9/11?

December 2016

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