JFK recollections: Those interesting times
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Nov 22, 2013 | 366 views |  0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On Nov. 22, 1963, I was a seventh-grader in Chattanooga, Tenn. We had a homeroom teacher who presented all of our classes during the day except one. For that period, our teacher and another traded places. We had been left unattended by our homeroom teacher and were waiting for the other teacher to come in when our primary teacher finally returned to the classroom. She said, “Children, the president has been shot.”

They let us out of school early and, because my mother worked and my school was only a few blocks from the middle of town, I walked down Market Street (it was a different era and it was not uncommon then for kids to walk around by themselves). I remember an unusual amount of people on the sidewalks but it seemed terribly quiet somehow. As I walked past stores, televisions were set in doorways and people clustered around them to watch the reports as they came in.

A couple of days later, I was watching a live broadcast and saw Lee Harvey Oswald get shot by Jack Ruby. For several days we watched a lot of television. All that was broadcast dealt with the assassination and the aftermath. I remember a lot of live broadcasts — all black and white — like the funeral procession and Arlington, in addition to Oswald and Jack Ruby.

(A few years later, I got a call at the theater where I was assistant manager, advising me of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and putting me on alert in case there were angry crowds. A couple of months after that, while listening to late-night radio, I heard a live broadcast of Robert Kennedy speaking upon winning the California presidential primary, and I was still listening a moment later when he was shot. They were interesting times.)

Chris Albert


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