November 21, 2010

Where Were You When John F. Kennedy was Assassinated?




      On Friday, November 22, 1963 at 12:30 p. m., I was working at Doctor’s Hospital in Columbus Ohio. I’m certain the news of Kennedy’s assassination hit the lab late that afternoon.

     The following Monday someone had the forethought to bring a small black and white television set into the lab. The media reports were steady.  We all gathered in front of the set, with its poor black and white images, when we could.

     I had just graduated from the medical laboratory program at Erie County Technical Institute in Williamsville, New York. This was my first job. I found this job when I went to Columbus with a friend, Alice Leister King.

     As I placed samples of pathological tissue into wax cubes, cooled them, sliced thin slices with the microtome, placed these slices on a slide, stained them, and prepared them for the pathologist’s examination, I thought about the same process going on in a Texas hospital—with the tissues of a famous person. However, it was likely that his immediate tests were done by using frozen tissue sections—eliminating the wax embedment,  allowing for more immediate results.

     While working, I watched the funeral parade, listened to the news reports, and otherwise followed the story. I recall a smidgen of discomfort, the discomfort that accompanies any violent, unexpected change. However, I had all the confidence that the country would continue on, although a bit less naively.

     The sixties in Columbus were a time of transition. Although I attended what I believe to be the nation’s first Viet Nam protest, I was politically naïve. I had sense that things were bad, but couldn’t relate at that time.

     It’s where I was in my life.

I invite you to tell your story of where you were and what you were doing when JFK was assassinated. Please type it into the comment box below.


I asked a few people I know what they recall doing when they heard JFK was assassinated. Below are their stories.

     A Rev. was working in Warren, N. J. working in his workshop.

     Was in Panama, where the movie playing at the Balboa Theater was A Hole in the Heart. Because he was working at military base where there was a large contingency of military men, and the president was commander in chief of the military, they received word of the assassination pretty quickly.

     Mr. Scott was working for an engineering company. When he heard he just got up, walked out and went home.

     One man was selling stuff in Uniontown—goodies—pens, hats, jackets. He recalls a friend entering the work area carrying a rebel flat. “Edgar, you’re a nut,” he was told. “I won’t have anything more to do with you.”




The snow came softly and gently: Feb. 5, 2010

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