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Mine aren't up yet...I usually try to have them ready to turn on right after Thanksgiving dinner, but this year, we've circled December 7 as the date. I love our lights, but here's no way we'll hold the tiniest little LED candle to the record-setting display that an Australian family flipped on the other night. Check it out!
Visit Willamette Valley Wineries for all the details on the Thanksgiving Weekend open houses that over 160 wineries are hosting!
Bill Deiz (TV journalist, and the son of the late Judge Mercedez Deiz, the first African-American woman to practice law in Oregon): I was in line at the cafeteria at Portland State at lunch time and we were horsing around when the lady behind the counter frowned and told us to be quiet, that something was happening to President Kennedy. We knew he was in Dallas but hadn't given it much thought. Then the terrible news came over the radio that Kennedy had been shot and that he was in critical condition. Classes were dismissed and I caught a bus home and turned on the TV and wept for most of the rest of that day and the next. We loved JFK and most of those of us who were alive that day still do! I didn't realize until yesterday that John Kennedy was born the same year as my Mom. She too was raised a Catholic and we always felt a family connection to the Kennedys and especially to JFK. So his death hit us very, very hard. I think being a John Kennedy democrat was in my genes.
I don't remember how I heard, I was only 6. But I have a very strong memory of later, at school and telling a friend that the flag was half way down because the President died. An older boy heard me and said: He's not dead, he's only sick. If he was dead, they'd take the flag all the way down!
I was in fourth grade in California. Our teacher was called out of the room and when she came back in she was crying. She said the President had been shot and we would be sent home for the day to be with our families and watch the news coverage. Being a typical kid, I was thrilled to get the rest of the day off, and a little angry that Mom made me watch the coverage when I got home instead of letting me go out, play, and enjoy the afternoon off.
Richard K Jarvis:
I was in my fourth grade classroom at Newport's Yaquina elementary school overlooking the bay when the teacher stepped away for a moment, then came back in and told us straight out what happened. I remember a strong, heavy sense of gloom fall on us. I walked to the window, looked out on that bright sunny morning and cried.
I was in Junior High at Meadow Park, and in the hall way at my locker, when I heard, I went to tell another friend, and she didn't believe me....after that, I just remember watching the tv, and the funeral procession and the sadness of it all. Jump ahead to when I was a senior at Sunset High, the entire year was devoted to the Mock Democratic Convention, and gearing up for it in the Spring of 1968. Robert Kennedy was our guest speaker, and we all had great excitement that he came to Sunset.....shortly after his visit, he was killed in Los Angeles....we lived in a time that was still so innocent, but yet so violent...
sophomore at washington hi here in pdx.. dissecting a frog in mr packham's biology class when over the school intercom came the announcement that rocked our world... i believe we were allowed to finish that class period(late am) and were able to leave school and take the rest of the day with friends and family. When I got home I was glued to the tv watching walter and cbs news throughout the entire story.
I was a junior, sitting I my room at St. Mary's Hall (now Corr Hall) at Villanova University, working on my physics lab report on the coefficient of mu. An underclassman came to my room and said, "The president's been shot." About 100 of us gathered on a staircase in the lobby and listened as the voice of Walter Cronkite came from a TV in the faculty room, "...the President of the United States is dead." Many of us wept openly and we all filed into the nearby chapel to say a prayer. Within 24 hours, most of the campus was vacated as many students and faculty went to Washington DC to be part of the next four historic days. Most of what I heard and saw in those dark days inspired me to change my career path and become a journalist.
I was in France, 14 years old and was shocked and scared given the previous year event of the Bay of Pigs. What would happen to us? A lot of French people loved the Kennedys. We were scared of nuclear war then.
I was in fifth grade, and taking my turn helping in the school cafeteria. One of the cooks was crying, and told us that the "President's been shot!" In my young mind, I thought, "you mean Lincoln?" I couldn't comprehend that our current President had been assassinated. I remember walking with my friends on the playground, and one of them was just sobbing. Back in class, our teacher spent the rest of the afternoon just letting us talk about it and our feelings. I really didn't face the reality of it until I watched the news with my family that evening, and then later, the incredibly moving funeral. I will never forget the impact it made on me, and for some reason the riderless horse hit me the hardest, as well as the hymn that was playing as the procession moved through the crowds - the Navy hymn, "Eternal Father". To this day when I sing this hymn, I remember that day.
I was in PE class as a freshman in high school. My first thought was that it couldn't be possible. My second thought was "LBJ"
Hal Widsten (former program director of the great Super 62 KGW):
I was 5 months into my first Radio job in Fremont, Nebraska, and had just finished hosting a "swap shop" program on KHUB. The bell on the AP teletype machine in the hall rang rapidly about 20 times....something that never happened... And we saw the first "Flash" from Dallas, followed by more frenzied ringing of the bell and additional information.
Our News Director grabbed the paper from the machine, ran to the control room, and went on the air. The rest of us were stunned by the news. It was my lunch break, and I went home to my apartment and watched the network coverage on a used black and white TV I had just bought the day before. The weekend was spent playing quiet instrumental music on the air, interspersed with information. There was a sadness that had swept over everyone I saw that weekend. It lasted through the funeral and into the Christmas holidays. The only other days like that in my lifetime followed 9/11.
I was in 3rd grade. They called us all into an assembly, told us the President had been shot. Teachers were crying so we did too. Then they sent us all home.
I was in 2nd grade. Our music teach heard the bulletin driving between schools. She told the principal, who then went to each classroom. Our teacher told us the news and told us to put our heads down on our desks and pray for our President! Yes, we were asked in school by a teacher to pray...Corky Coreson:
I was in the 4th grade. Mr Clarance Franks, my teacher, was also our principal. To me he was Atticus Finch. A teacher came to the room and whispered to him. He turned white. He left the room to compose himself. He returned visibly shaken and his voice cracked as he said, "Students, the President has been killed." I wasn't sure what it meant but because the stalwart Mr Franks was shaken... it frightened me to no end!Rev. Bud Frimoth:
I was serving Kenilworth Presbyterian Church in SE PDX and we were having a meeting -- something presbys do a lot!... and someone interrupted the meeting, crying as she entered the room to say the President had been shot. She had heard it on her radio (no internet at that time) and wanted us to pray for the "new" president and for our nation. A very powerful moment
I was a young (19 years) mother of 2 very small children. We lived in Twin Falls, ID at the time. I was shopping with a friend and we had just walked in to the JC Penneys store in down town Twin Falls. TOTAL disbelief and just knowing that he would be made "well" in time ...after all he is/was the President. We sat stone faced in front of our TV's for over a week in total disbelief and praying that we would wake up and it would all be over, after all those things just didn't happen in our country. I ached for Jackie and their children, for his extended family, but most of all I ached for our country. How would we EVER get beyond this.
I was sitting in Mr. Zass' chorale class at Highland Junior High School in Ogden, Utah. We were practicing a rather exuberant song, and when we finished, we heard the tail end of a P.A. announcement. We didn't get the context, so the teacher wrapped up the class, and the bell rang. Then, as we made our way to our next hour's classes, we began to pick up disjointed fragments of fact and fiction of what happened. As I entered my next classroom, I found the students and teacher in dead silence. The P.A. system was now broadcasting to the school a radio report of President Kennedy's assassination. I could hardly believe what I was hearing. Girls began to cry, boys hung their heads in their hands. I had a feeling of dreaded numbness overcome me. How could this happen? Why would someone kill President Kennedy. Soon school was dismissed. I remember, as I walked home, how empty the streets were. It was as though the world - at least, my world - had died. When I arrived home, my mother was sobbing in tears.
My most prominent memories of that particular day are of walking the seven blocks home, having been released at 11 a.m. Pacific time and, upon arriving home being told that President Kennedy had died. I also remember very clearly wondering how an arrest had been made so quickly and how everyone was so certain that they had apprehended the right person.
I remember coming down the stairs and seeing my mom crying. It was the first time I had ever seen her really crying.
I was in the third grade and I remember them telling us but what stuck with me the most was watching the proceedings on TV and realizing his kids were without their father and it made me sad.
My sister Rose Reid in NYC sent the following: I was sitting in 4th grade, and went to the restroom, as I passed the principal's office, the door was closed, and it was never closed, and they had the radio on. On my way back I heard the announcement that the Pres. was shot, when the Sister saw me , she put her finger to her lips. I stood there for a moment and went back to my class room, turned to the person sitting next to me, and said. Something is really wrong, I think we are going to war. Then the announcement came over the PA, that we were to pray for the Pres.
I asked my Facebook friends to write about the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and to go beyond the usual how-did-you-hear, and talk about their feelings and reactions in the moment. The responses are profound, funny, and very real. Here are some; I'll try to add more.
I was in elementary school. The principal came on the intercom and screeched her usual "Hello this is your principal'. We all started to do our usual ignoring. Then she told us that the president had been shot. I don't remember her exact words. I remember going through a few thoughts - first I thought it equaled that he was dead. Then I remember realizing that it didn't necessarily mean that he was dead. Then we turned on the huge radio that we had in the classroom. (No TV. I don't believe classes had TVs in their rooms then.) We heard a blow-by-blow news conference. I remember being scared. Then we heard an "unconfirmed" report that he had died. We said "but it is unconfirmed"! We held our collective breath and we waited and hoped. And when we heard that he was, indeed, dead, we just wailed. At recess the girls were crying. We were in the bathroom crying and crying. We didn't hug each other, just cried. I don't know why we didn't go outside and cry. School was not in session on the Monday that was his funeral. We were all home, watching the funeral on our black and white Tvs.
Jill Schneider Smith:
My most vivid memory was the confusion: all kinds of stories were circulating thru the cafeteria at Beaumont. The first I heard was that the president's wife had been shot. Then we heard the president had been shot but was okay. Finally the truth came out and the whole school came to a stand-still. I was only nine, so I didn't have a full understanding of all that was happening, but I knew that things would be different after that.
I was a high school senior and very supportive of JFK's election to President. It was the beginning of lunch time and I thought those telling me were playing a cruel joke until I got to the little burger stand across the street and the TV was on. We cried, hugged, and totally forgot about eating. The teacher of my English class after lunch was from Dallas and she was devastated by the fact that it happened in her home town. It was the end of a long term boyfriend because he couldn't understand why I was so upset. Of course, I remember the funeral on TV and all of the protocol that followed. A lot of tears were shed during that time, and to this day I still tear up when thinking about it.
I was at school that day eating lunch at Lynch Plaza and when we heard he was assassinated I just kept expected to see the enemies to charge down the hills. So remember the day was 11.
I was home sick from second grade, in my Grandma's kitchen. The news came on the radio and I knew it was something big. That night my mom cried and we watched events unfold. My heart still breaks a little when I see the picture of John-John, his chubby little legs under his dress coat, saluting his father's passing coffin. I feel like that event was an end to innocence for my generation. The next few decades brought great upheaval, violence and social change. And now John Kennedy lives in a kind of unrealistic view in my mind . . . young, handsome, courageous, immortal. I know he was far from perfect. But he lives on in my mind as a great American statesman.
I was in sixth grade Catholic school and I do remember a nun (as it the Mother Superior?) coming in and telling all of us that the President has been shot. We stopped our classwork and took out our rosaries and prayed.
I was 4 1/2 yrs old and was taking a bath. I remember hearing my Mom sobbing and was sure something had happened to my Daddy...had no idea what else would make her cry like that. I remember watching the funeral and being sad that Caroline and John's Dad went to Heaven.
Kristena A. LaMar:
I was a sophomore in high school, and heard it over the p.a. system at the top of the stairs under my high school's great skylight. We had all been frightened through the Cuban missile crisis, and I recall thinking that this was a very dangerous, scary world, and I began believing then that I wouldn't live very long.
I was a sophomore in high school, (now called 10th grade) and it was announced over the public address system. We were all shocked and upset even at that early age. I had seen senator Kennedy when he came to Portland and like many young people was impressed with his youthful good looks and charisma. He spent a little time in our little town, in those days, Gresham.
I was three years old and remember the folks watching and indicating what a shame that was. One of my brothers made a joke (as any 5 or 6 yr old would) and said "he kicked the bucket" - my Dad punished my brother for saying that.
I was very young. And I remember I was so concerned MY Daddy wouldn't ever come home, like Carolyn and John's, and so every day at noon I had to talk to him on the phone, so I knew he hadn't gone to Heaven yet. This went on for quite some time.
8th grade, Chief Joseph grade school. Walking down the hallway, the school secretary, Mrs Cram was hurrying down the hall and saying the President had been shot. They sent us home early that day.
I was in 7 th grade when a teacher announced president Kennedy's assassination. One one my classmates said he was glad because he wanted Nixon to be president. We were dismissed from school early.
i was 13 in junior high at lunch when one of the teachers walked in crying. i asked what was wrong and she told a group of us. i had lost my father in august of that year and now remember thinking that carolyn and john had lost what i had lost. i felt a little closeness to them for some reason. today i wish they would teach about the history that those of us who are in our 60s lived through. i don't think it's being taught as much as it should be.
I was very young. Just 3 years old. I remember my favorite cartoon "Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse" was being interrupted by the special bulletin. My grandma was crying.
Carl M. Click:
I was three yrs old, I only remember my seven yr old sister sobbing, and not knowing why. All I knew then was you cried when you hurt yourself some way, but she hadn't fallen or anything. Eventually learned it was a different kind of pain.
I was having lunch in 4th grade, our principal spoke on the loudspeaker and asked us to return to our classrooms, collect our coats and WALK home! I lived about 1/2 mile away. We watched TV (black and white) for the next 3-4 days, went to church and spent time with friends. I too remember seeing Lee Harvey Oswald shot on TV. I never get tired of seeing, reading or listening to the moments leading up to his death.
I was having lunch in 3rd grade when the principal announced, in person, that Kennedy was shot. The end of Camelot. No, I didn't think that then, but I do now.
I was 9 years old home with tonsillitis and the news came and they said Kennedy had been shot. I ran and got my Mother from the kitchen. We sat and prayed watching tv. He was my Moms President. He was Catholic and she thought he was going to save the world. I had remembered his speech from his Inauguration and thought that he was heroic. My Dad came home later and said that he thought it was Communists and that we were going to be attacked. For the next several days we were glued to the tv as if were the lifeline to the world. I cried. I was awed by the caisson and white horses and the beautiful black horse riderless being led in the procession. For the first time the world out there intruded into my bubble of safety and childhood. I somehow knew the world had changed forever.
Jeanne Larche' Hartfelder:
The assistant principal came, in person, to my 4th period algebra class in 9th grade. We knew this was going to be something important. Then he said the President had been shot in Dallas and wasn't expected to live. There was total shocked silence and then many of the girls started to cry. They let us call our parents, if we wanted. I did and my mom told me to go back to class. The rest of the day is a blur, but we all knew the world had just drastically changed forever. We watched TV, non stop, at home until coverage ended several days later after the funeral.
Connie Jean Shipley:
I was in Biology class at a Catholic High School. The non-Catholic teacher read a note from the Principal asking us all to say some Hail Mary's because the President had just died. The disrespectful way the teacher read that note has been in my mind many times over the years. While I was concerned about the government and felt a tremendous loss of opportunity for the country to heal and grow, my thoughts were also of concern for the teacher and what happened to him in his life to make him handle the situation so poorly. It was a low bar of human interaction that I have worked to avoid through my life.
Remember being in the gym at Palisades Elementary in Lake Oswego, just before lunch and it was chicken day. A poor child, lunch was a significant event. The loud speaker came on announcing the president had been shot and asked us to pray for him. I remember thinking he can't die- he can't- he provided so much hope, and leadership- he was the dad I didn't have. For the next few days, as school was cancelled, I sat in front of our tiny B/W TV watching the events play over and over, learning all I could about JFK. Reflecting back now, I was influencied to pursue public service as a career. "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.
Another teacher came into our classroom to tell my first grade teacher the news. I knew something awful had happened and moments later we were told and then sent home for the day. Four days of experiencing national grief followed. To this day I am still curious about it. I've been to Washington DC several times and no trip is complete without a visit to Arlington National Cemetery to pay tribute to a president who raised our collective desire to reach for better greatness as a nation. Even as a child, I think I got that.
Gail Lee Bailey Lindquist:
Came out of a class, at Marshall High, saw people crying, thought to myself, wow, some teacher must have really given a mean or sad lecture. I got to the cafeteria, and found out, from Mr. Pesky, that our President Kennedy had been killed. That is when I started crying A very sad and scary day for a 16 year old girl, not to mention the rest of our country. Oh, and I was home, watching the television, when Ruby shot Oswald. How weird and surreal that was....very unsettling for a teenage girl.
My 5th Grade teacher at Fernwood, Mr. Moon, brings a radio into our classroom, a Rheem-Califone, as I recall. Ugly one. He plugs it in, and as the vacuum tubes are warming up, he says " I want you all to listen to this..."
I was at school it was lunch time I remember I came in with my lunch.the teacher was out in the hall talking to another teacher.crying when she came in she told us.what had happend.I was in 3rd grade.
I was at home that day due to bronchitis, and was watching "I Love Lucy" or some other show like that when the announcement came. I was sorry that it had happened, but if I'm brutally honest, in my 8 year old selfishness, I was more upset that that was ALL that was on the TV. Today's kids wouldn't understand the concept of only 4 channels, no DVR, no VHS, no play stations, no iPod, and only a record player and hopefully some books for entertainment once the TV played only the news. I was more impacted by the crowds waiting to view his body in the Rotunda, and the funeral procession with the casket drawn by horses and the backwards boot in the stirrup, and John-John saluting his Dad's casket. My world was too safe and secure at that point to consider greater implications coming from Kennedy's death. THOSE fears were more real during 9/11-once I was a parent that was responsible for protecting MY children. I think that Robert Kennedy's assassination was more impacting and shocking once everything settled down after John Kennedy's death.
I heard the news after getting out of class. I was a high school freshman and was stunned by the news. I felt it was unheard for this to happen. I knew bad things happened because I lived with a father who escaped through the Nazi lines and had his back broken in a belly-in landing at Riverside. But this was so unreal to me to lose the President of the United States. Be still in a state of shock I slipped down the basement steps and fractured my right leg. I don't remember much after that day except parts of the funeral cortege in my drugged state after surgery to try and put my leg back together.
When the loudspeaker interrupted social studies with the utterly shocking news that shots were fired at the Kennedy motorcade in Dallas, I hope-hope-hoped that the next announcement would be how many stitches the President had. I'd just had stitches and they weren't too bad. When the awful words were spoken that Kennedy was dead, I started shaking. I believed that we were, right then and there, under attack by the Russians, a horrible moment that my generation was taught to prepare for and absolutely expect. Only a year earlier, we'd been through the Cuban Missile Crisis, and that was scary as hell. Even in little kids like me there was a blood-chilling sense that nuclear doom was imminent. Our generation, right down to the very young, was instilled with an existential dread of nuclear annihilation. It's no surprise that we went wild when we came of age in the Woodstock era. Kennedy's death seemed to me that day to be part of a terrifying continuum; some weak-chinned little man acting on behalf of God knows who had killed JFK and now they were coming to bury all of us just like Kruschev said they would. I'd never heard of the Mafia or the CIA. In silence we filed into the gym to watch Cronkite, and for days to come I was locked onto the coverage, hoping someone would have a reassuring answer--indeed, any answer-- to one question:
Why? I still don't know. I wonder if we ever will.