For those few of us who were alive that day (which had the impact of 9/11), where were you?
I was in 6th grade in Ohio. The principal knocked on the classroom door, and told our teacher about the shooting, which she conveyed to us (this was around 1:30 CT). About an hour later, he returned, and we were told JFK had died.
I followed the news carefully, and knew he was in Texas, although I guessed this happened in San Antonio, an earlier stop.
I had been in 1960 (at the age of 7) a huge JFK supporter, followed the election closely. This was devastating news.
I didn’t spend the weekend glued to TV – I actually went ahead with my plans and walked to my neighborhood theater to see
Lawrence of Arabia the next day.
But most of the rest of the time through Monday (all schools and businesses were closed) I spent glue to the TV – the massive viewing of the casket at the Capitol on Sunday, the funeral and burial Monday. I was listening in my bedroom to the radio though when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot and killed (which was shown live on TV), but immediately came down to watch the aftermath.
Thanksgiving was later that week. A totally weird day, a feeling which lasted through Christmas, and didn’t start lifting until the Beatles first broke out in the US (the frenzy was in part a way of breaking the national depression).
I had just started covering films and the Oscars weeks before this happened. I was new to the office and still trying to get to know some people.
Nobody left our office – most were afraid to. We all crowded around the television. Immediately there was talk of Soviet attacks and conspiracies.
It is, of course, important to note how this huge event shaped the remainder of the decade. LBJ killed many American boys over in Vietnam and ruined lots of lives and wrecked lots of families. I still remember the chill that went down my spine when my brother’s birthdate was called during that ridiculous draft lottery. I’ve always held firm the belief that had Kennedy lived he would have stopped the Vietnam mess before it happened.