Where were you when Kennedy was killed?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 22, 2003

Editor’s note: To read the News-Herald’s full story of that day, please see Times Past on Page 5.

&uot;I was working in repairs at the shipyard at the time. It was a shock …although I didn’t even know about it until about 4 p.m. when I was heading home. They (the managers) didn’t want to interrupt work to pass it on to us. It wasn’t like it is now when everyone has cell phones.&uot;

– Aleck Winslow, retired shipyard employee


Email newsletter signup

&uot;I was in my third-grade class, and it was announced that Kennedy was killed. Everybody was kind of stunned. We were all so young that I don’t think it really hit us. I just remember sitting inside my house with my whole family watching the funeral.&uot;

– Suzanne Langston, Lakeland High School history teacher

&uot;We were in a school assembly in the football stadium at Kellam High School, and a teacher came out and made the announcement that the President had been shot. I didn’t find out he was dead until I got home.&uot;

– George Woody, Lakeland High School librarian

&uot;I was in fifth-grade at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School when it came over the announcements. I got a weird feeling, because I wasn’t used to seeing things like that. Nobody knew what to expect after that. I was sitting in front of my TV when (accused assassin Lee Harvey) Oswald was shot. I know that two wrongs don’t make a right, but I still felt some kind of justice.&uot;

– Edward Smither, Lakeland High School

athletic director

&uot;I was at home getting ready to watch the soap operas, and it came across the TV that Kennedy had been shot. It took a long time to tell us that he was dead. I was really sad, but we were all just awed that somebody had the nerve to kill the President of the USA.&uot;

– Margaret Knight, Suffolk Public Schools bus driver

&uot;I was in Ms. Ethel Lane’s fourth-grade class at Southwestern, back when it was a segregated, 12-grade school. She told us what had happened. When I got home, my daddy was outside harvesting peanuts, and I went out and told him, and we were all very sad.&uot;

– Stephanie Odom, Lakeland High School girls’ basketball coach

&uot;I was at East Suffolk High School on Sixth Street, the last year it was open. They made an announcement, and everything went quiet. I think we all felt the same as we did when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed; a feeling of hurt and disappointment to think that someone would do something like that. He was a good president for all people.&uot;

– Ulysses Whitfield, Suffolk Public Schools bus driver

&uot;I was teaching second-grade in Yonkers, N.Y., and suddenly we had a warning that a message was going to be repeated to the building, and everything quieted down. Over the intercom we heard, &uot;The president is dead!&uot; And my little kids looked up at me. They (the announcers) never said another thing. All we got, &uot;The president is dead!&uot; said very vehemently. School was dismissed and I got the kids ready and sent them home. You just say to yourself it’s nothing. It’s just completely foreign. For the longest time you don’t even realize what you just heard. You just go completely blank….It was horrible. It was so sad.&uot;

– Florence Arena, News-Herald columnist and resident of Hillcrest Retirement Center