History

President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, 1963. (Courtesy of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library / PBS)

I was in a sixth-grade science class watching a movie. Someone had just turned “cyanotic blue.” The PA system went on and the principal said the president had been shot. I thought: “He’ll be OK. Assassinations are history, like Abraham Lincoln. They’re not something that could happen now.” The next period, our P.E. teacher told us the president was dead. The scariest thing was seeing how shocked our teachers and parents were. I wasn’t used to seeing adults cry.

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