Readers from many Kentucky communities shared their stories about what they experienced the day a nation was stunned by the assassination of President Kennedy. Here are some of the most notable responses.
Joe McGlone, 61, Lexington
Marvin Allen, Lexington
Wendell Butler, 55, Frankfort
Dolores Seaman, 75, Cynthiana
Milton Adams, 72, Georgetown
Larry Dyer, 69, Lexington
Ann Thurn, 72, LexingtonJulius Caesar
John Meurer, 65, Lexington
Bob Howard, 61, Harlan
Helen Morgan, 67, Nicholasville
Albert Campbell, 86, Lexington
Ray Lowry, 83, Lexington
Sue Hendricks, 75, Lexington
Margaret Barton Williams, 75, Lexington
Nancy Jarboe, 71, Versailles
William D. Gregory, 74, Mount Veron
Alyce S. Emerson, 57, Lexington
Chris Jones, 61, Harlan
Walter C. Cox Jr., 91, Lexington
Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, 73, Lexington
Pat Rosenthal, 63, Winchester
Frank W. McMullen, 66, Lexington
Kim Masse, 56, Lexington
Don Mills, 77, Lexington, former editor of Lexington Herald
Hal Marz, 73, Lexington
Harolene Karauguz, 81, Lexington
Matilda Howard Helton, 62, Stoney Fork in Bell County
Norma Adams, 85, Frankfort
Thomas O. Haglage, 76, Richmond
David Ditto, 63, Nicholasville
Barbara Holcombe Poynter: I am now 68 and live in Florida. I just walked out of Spanish class and looked downstairs in the day room, and all were crying and watching TV. Seems as though time stood still, and everyone watched television constantly for days. This was a great loss and shift of our country. Oh how I wish we had the morals and consciousness of that time.
Jim Odham: Was on my way to trigonometry class my sophomore year in college. Heard it on news. Professor did not show up for class. Everyone wondered why prof did not show. I said "maybe it is because the president is dead." (I did not know the others had not heard the news). Some girl yelled out at me, "That is sick, you are a sick person, how disgusting." I guess it was hard to believe something like that could happen. (No the girl never acknowledged how she behaved or apologized for her verbal attack on me) Always wondered if she remembered that. I remember the national mourning and watching events on TV. Such a loss for president's family and nation.
Rhonda Dickerson Oney: On my way to my first dentist appointment.
Barry Richard Coffey: I was in Barren County, Kentucky, the fifth grade in Eastern Elementary school, Miss Betty Hammer's class. Most of the students cried and were frightened since we had been conditioned from our "duck and cover" drills during the eminent nuclear first-strike fear days. I will never forget watching Walter Cronkite on black-and-white TV. ... I will never forget.
Carol Covato: I was living in my hometown of Dixon, Ill. I had just graduated from high school and was 17 years old, ... working in the restaurant part of Ford-Hopkins Drug Store. The cook had the radio on in the kitchen and came out to tell all of us in the store ... workers and customers alike ...what had happened. I was the youngest in the store, so I don't suppose it hit me like it did those much older people around me. There was a lot of talk and a lot of crying. To me it just seemed surreal!
Mary Blevins: I was driving home from town. Heard it on my car radio and was very sad and upset. I am 71 now, and I will always remember that day and the days that followed his death. I was a young pregnant woman at the time and was blessed with a baby girl on Nov. 25.
Mary Ruth Humphries: I was living in the village of Connersville, five miles outside Cynthiana. I was 18 years old and recently married to my high school sweetheart. We had a small black-and-white TV in our tiny living room and I remember sitting and watching history take place before my eyes. Our country mourned his death, and even to this day the country feels the truth has never been revealed over why and who was behind his assassination.
Mary Vanhook Leonard: We were never allowed to eat in front of the television, but that Sunday after church, we were watching TV when Jack Ruby stepped up and shot Oswald. I will never forget that; I had my plate of food sitting on my lap and I jumped up at the sound of the gunshot and my food went flying. I have the newspaper clippings from the assassination of both Kennedys and Oswald. ... Everyone stayed glued to their TVs, wondering what was going to happen next. A scary time in our history, and you never forget where you were or what you were doing when it happened.-->
Al Owens: I had just walked out of the American history class on the UK campus in Lexington. I saw some girls crying, and someone asked, "Why are you all crying?" One of the students, through sobs, said, "President Kennedy has been shot." Several of us who were leaving the class stood there in shock. I was an 18-year-old freshman and I felt a big emptiness in my soul, an unexpected void that left me a bit dazed. Later, when his death was confirmed, I wept that such a thing could happen in our country, and I began to realize that in the unseen world around us, in the background, sinister forces were evidently at work among us. Today I realize they still are.
Janet Lykins: I was a junior at Mt. Sterling High School, in my history class with Miss Lane. Suddenly, our class was interrupted by the message from the principal over the intercom: "Our president, John F. Kennedy, has been shot!" History was being made at that time as sad and scary as the incident which had just be announced. Our class remained silent. What went through my mind was what was going to happen next. My brother had been called up during the Cuban crisis to the Army base in Ft. Chaffee, Ark., and my dad had died of a heart attack in October. We watched the events that followed the assassination of President Kennedy on our black-and-white TV.
Harold Gaunce: I was at home sick from school that day, first grade, watching TV with my mom. I didn't understand fully why she was so upset, crying, calling friends and family up, and it was hard to get through. Most people had party lines back then and the General Telephone switchboard was jammed.
Gladys H. Fugate: I was in gym class at Caney Consolidated Elementary in Breathitt County, Ky. I will never forget that feeling of heartbreak and helplessness — it has only been surpassed — at least in my mind (when it comes to the world outside my family), and that was on 9/11/2001.
Jim Beirne: In class with U.S. Army at Ft. Lee, Va. Fortunate enough to be allowed to go to his funeral. A lasting memory; his horse Black Jack would not stop prancing the entire way.
Linda Crawford: I was at high school. They let us go home. I went home — to an empty house. I forgot we moved that day while I was in school! Went to the new house, to my room, and just cried all night.
Chuck Henson: I guess many of us at our age were in school that Friday. I was in 10th grade at Hialeah High School in typing class. The teacher yelled at us to stop typing and listen to the loudspeaker in the classroom. I remember the silence in that room after the typewriters stopped.
Peggy Wilson: I was in civics class at Bryan Station Junior High. All classes stopped immediately. The radio broadcast was put on our PA system. Our teacher (Mr. Shifflett) cried. Everyone was in shock. No one talked — there was just overwhelming sadness, shock and anger — for days.
Elizabeth Hatcher Springate: I was in fifth grade at Madison Elementary in Richmond. They let us out of school — we did not learn of the shooting at school. I got home, my mom and our baby sitter were sitting in front of the TV, crying. They told us what happened. We were in shock, disbelief and so sad. We watched TV all weekend and until after the funeral on Monday. The whole world stopped and grieved.