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DaCruzNut

Where were you?

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November 22, 1963. Another one of those days where time stops, and anyone alive at that time can tell you exactly where they were, what they were doing and when, and how, they heard the terrible news…..

. On November 22, 1963, when he was hardly past his first thousand days in office, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was killed by an assassin's bullets as his motorcade wound through Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was the youngest man elected President; he was the youngest to die.

Of Irish descent, he was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. Graduating from Harvard in 1940, he entered the Navy. In 1943, when his PT boat was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy, despite grave injuries, led the survivors through perilous waters to safety.

Back from the war, he became a Democratic Congressman from the Boston area, advancing in 1953 to the Senate. He married Jacqueline Bouvier on September 12, 1953. In 1955, while recuperating from a back operation, he wrote Profiles in Courage, which won the Pulitzer Prize in history.

In 1956 Kennedy almost gained the Democratic nomination for Vice President, and four years later was a first-ballot nominee for President. Millions watched his television debates with the Republican candidate, Richard M. Nixon. Winning by a narrow margin in the popular vote, Kennedy became the first Roman Catholic President.

His Inaugural Address offered the memorable injunction: "Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country." As President, he set out to redeem his campaign pledge to get America moving again. His economic programs launched the country on its longest sustained expansion since World War II; before his death, he laid plans for a massive assault on persisting pockets of privation and poverty.

Responding to ever more urgent demands, he took vigorous action in the cause of equal rights, calling for new civil rights legislation. His vision of America extended to the quality of the national culture and the central role of the arts in a vital society.

He wished America to resume its old mission as the first nation dedicated to the revolution of human rights. With the Alliance for Progress and the Peace Corps, he brought American idealism to the aid of developing nations. But the hard reality of the Communist challenge remained.

Shortly after his inauguration, Kennedy permitted a band of Cuban exiles, already armed and trained, to invade their homeland. The attempt to overthrow the regime of Fidel Castro was a failure. Soon thereafter, the Soviet Union renewed its campaign against West Berlin. Kennedy replied by reinforcing the Berlin garrison and increasing the Nation's military strength, including new efforts in outer space. Confronted by this reaction, Moscow, after the erection of the Berlin Wall, relaxed its pressure in central Europe.

Instead, the Russians now sought to install nuclear missiles in Cuba. When this was discovered by air reconnaissance in October 1962, Kennedy imposed a quarantine on all offensive weapons bound for Cuba. While the world trembled on the brink of nuclear war, the Russians backed down and agreed to take the missiles away. The American response to the Cuban crisis evidently persuaded Moscow of the futility of nuclear blackmail.

Kennedy now contended that both sides had a vital interest in stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and slowing the arms race--a contention which led to the test ban treaty of 1963. The months after the Cuban crisis showed significant progress toward his goal of "a world of law and free choice, banishing the world of war and coercion." His administration thus saw the beginning of new hope for both the equal rights of Americans and the peace of the world.

Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.

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Rather than dwell on the heartache of the day, I thought I’d like to remember JFK by his sense of humor. So, here are some of my favorite quotes:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I was warned to be out of here in plenty of time to permit those who are going to the Green Bay Packers game to leave. I don't mind running against Mr. Nixon but I have the good sense not to run against the Green Bay Packers."

"The pay is good and I can walk to work".

"When we got into office, the thing that surprised me most was to find that things were just as bad as we'd been saying they were."

"I see nothing wrong with giving Robert some legal experience as Attorney General before he goes out to practice law."

"I have just received the following telegram from my generous Daddy. It says, "Dear Jack: Don't buy a single vote more than is necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide."

"Mr. Nixon in the last seven days has called me an economic ignoramus, a Pied Piper, and all the rest. I've just confined myself to calling him a Republican, but he says that is getting low."

"I have sent him [former President, Harry S Truman] the following wire: 'Dear Mr. President: I have noted with interest your suggestion as to where those who vote for my opponent should go. While I understand and sympathize with your deep motivation, I think it is important that our side try to refrain from raising the religious issue."

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I was a junior in electronic class in our city's technical high school. I transferred to the school just that Sept. A couple of us were working on a "tube" TV when the news flash came on CBS. Our instructor went to the office with the news and our class was full of principals, assistants, secretaries, nurse, teachers, etc., until the news broke that he died. Rita was a freshman at the same high school, however we did not meet until 32 years later.

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I was a sophomore in high school. I remember that they announced over the loud speaker that the president had been shot. Many of us were crying, and needless to say, we didn't get any work done at school after that. The next few days, we were all glued to the tv to watch the news reports and the funeral. It was a very sad time!

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I was in 8th grade. I was walking to catch a bus home when someone told me the President was shot. I remember thinking that it was probably exhaggerated, but when I got home and saw my mother and grandmother watchig TV and crying pretty hard, it really hit me hard.

Howard

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Long time ago but I remember it so well - an announcement came over the school P.A. system (North Vancouver, British Columbia) that Kennedy had been shot - shortly after we were let out and sent home. So many kids were upset by the news - he was so young and charismatic - it made us sit up and take notice of U.S. politics. I can remember, also, being glued to the tv for so many days afterwards. But the most poignant momen, for me, had to be John-John saluting his father - so much tragedy in one family. TTFN Jennifer

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I was only 4 years old and remember it well. My mom and I were in the basement; my older sister at school and my dad at work. My mom was ironing and was watching TV while I sat on the floor playing with my dolls. They broke in on the TV to tell the breaking news and I remember my mom looking at the TV, putting down the iron, sitting on the sofa and crying. I remember that day as if it happened yesterday.

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