Sixty years ago this day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. For most in America and many throughout the world JFK's murder was terribly electrifying. The course of events that were altered or were never to happen can only be speculated upon by those who remember that day. Our parents and elders at that time have mostly passed on so that those who now remember that day 60 years ago were in their youth.
This morning I listened to Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul", a 17 minute retrospective of the swirling ripples and tides in society that followed John Kennedy's death. Rather than being about a politician the song hints about a trauma that altered the course of national history and the lives of its citizens. Nested in the lyrics are social references in pop culture over the decades that followed worth listening to, perhaps a few times over, to ponder and weigh.
On the fiftieth anniversary of Kennedy's assassination I visited the classroom I was in at Presidio Junior High (now Presidio Middle School). I wanted to sense what ghosts might still linger within the four walls of that school room. That Friday morning in 1963 I was in my mechanical drawing class when my shop teacher Maxwell C. Gillette quietly slipped into the room and earnestly whispered something to our drafting teacher Mr Johnson. Mr. Johnson’s back stiffened. They both looked at the floor shaking their heads. Mr. Gillette left the room and Mr. Johnson cleared his throat drawing our attention to announce President John Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas.
The rest to that day, that full weekend of speculation and episodic drama, and the shock of it would unfold over the years forming a backdrop of the lives of those who remember.
Where Were You When John F. Kennedy Was Assassinated 06/03/02 - posted by Helen