July 20, 2012

Where were you when President Kennedy was shot on November 22, 1963?


Most days for the past three months, I have posted a question on Facebook relating to our youthful times in Levittown or something about other common experiences. Recently, the question was "Where were you when President Kennedy was assassinated?" No other question has received as many replies.


Tim Lavey: I was taking a nap between classes during my freshman year of college. A fellow student ran in and woke me up to tell me that the president had been shot. I couldn't figure out who would want to shoot the president of our college. True story.

Wendy Max Dunford: We were all in the gym, waiting for a class meeting to begin, when rumblings started going through the crowd that something had happened. Someone, not sure who, (it might have been Mr. Quirk) finally came in and made the announcement and told us all to leave quickly and quietly, gather our things, and go straight home. I remember girls crying softly in the hallways, then walking home on eerily quiet streets.

Jim Anton: on a ship in the Sea of Japan- we went to general quarters and had no idea what had happened.

Frank Eriksen: In class. 10th grade DAHS. Mr. Reilly came on the PA and closed the school. Never forget it. Mainly cause it ruined Thanksgiving, my birthday and there were no NFL games that Sunday.

Tom Filiberto: I was in New York City, on Chambers St., where a few years later would be the site of number two World Trade Center.

John Lucas: In the hallway near the DAHS cafeteria.

Dennis Champney: DAHS athletic fields gym class. Howie Pivnick came running out and told us.

Susan Weldon: sitting on the lawn at Columbia University with friends.

Frank Barning: I was in Carbondale, Ill. (Southern Illinois University) at a journalism symposium for college newspaper editors from around the country. I went back to my hotel room to pick something up only to find a maid sitting on the bed crying. She pointed to the television set.

Linda Cacioli Lawson: Working in the Metropolitan Insurance Company Office on Division Avenue in Levittown.

Karen Kelly: In Division Avenue HS I can remember every detail.

Emily Estow Carroll: At a movie with college friend. When I saw the newspaper headline I too thought it was the college president. We were shattered by it. Some girls' parents came to take them home.

June Johnson: I was a freshman in college and my Spanish teacher made the announcement. He was crying because he thought the a Cuban killed President Kennedy. I was stunned and was glued to the TV when I got home. Saw Oswald shot on live TV. All of the events were so surreal.

Toni Crescenzo Gelfer: I was in the boys gym in a class meeting with my whole grade. Mr. Levy was there with us, I think. Then we were are dismissed, early. Very surreal.

Walter Wally Linder: In The US Navy electronics school, in Millington Tenn.

Jackie Berns Karp: I had just gotten off my school bus and headed toward our shopping center. When I got there, people were standing in front of the TV store watching and crying as they heard of the news of President Kennedy being shot.

Virginia Fechtmann Blair: We were on a DAHS 7th Grade Science Field Trip to the Museum of Natural History 7 the ( then) Hayden Planetarium in NYC. At the end of the Planetarium show, someone came on the PA & announced that JFK had died. We were stunned, then people started weeping.

Sue Chasin Ross: Walking to a class during my sophomore year of college. Nothing ever shocked me again til 9/11/01.

Len Sandok: I was walking out of a psychology class and back to my freshman dorm. Many of the women (I called them girls back then) who were walking to class were crying. I finally stopped and asked what had happened. Our dorm had one small black and white television located in the lounge. There must have been 150 of us crowded into that lounge all weekend.

Roberta Landry Bremmer: I had just come out of a nutrition/dietary class at Mt. Sinai Hospital School of Nursing in NYC.

Marti Welch: I was working at Grumman and was at a copy machine on the second floor of building 5, directly across from the military unit located there. Truly amazing how we all seem to remember exactly where we were for this wretched event.

Andrea Ferrari Vail: At a field trip to the Hayden Planetarium. An announcement was made that he had been shot and we all thought it was a joke at first. Then when we realized it was real, there were a lot of tears. I remember the bus ride home and being able to look down into cars on the LIE and seeing people crying and all of us crying along with them.

Laurence Bory: I was in college, and entered the fraternity house at 11:30 am to find the cook crying. "they killed him, they killed him" was all she could say through the tears. The small black and white TV on top of the refrigerator was showing scenes of Dallas, and the commentators and anchors were trying to make sense of a senseless act. Cronkite was reassuring us that justice would be done, that a brave young President would be honored, and the US would go on. I remember thinking as I did on many subsequent moments during the '60s, how history might have been different, had he lived.

Arnie Galeota: I was in my car during my lunch break from my new job at a shoe store in Massapequa. I was eating McDonald's and the bulletin came over the radio. Then it came over the Musak in the store which never had any interruptions of their music. Everything closed up immediately and I sat and watched the rotunda procession for two days.

Dorothy Kuppler Opelt: I had just come back to work at Grumman Aircraft in Bethpage and one of the men said "did you hear that Kennedy just got assassinated?" At first I thought it was a joke as these men were "jokesters" but then we all realized that it was true and we were stunned.

John Koehler: Working at Repubic Aviation. Most people left work early.

Michelle Fromm-Lewis: I was at my desk at Petroleum Heat and Power Company. It seemed like the entire world went silent - then someone turned on the news. What a shock!

Andrea Leporati Rago Crawford: at the switchboard for Schaefer Beer. Bob (Rago) was at the Coast Guard Academy and called me.

Phyllis Hirsch Smith: I was feeding my three month old daughter and there was a news bulletin on the TV,

Sandy Adams: In New Mexico with seven week old twins.

Ed Thomas: Sophomore year at Dartmouth. A group of us pledges were on the house roof, cleaning the gutters when the manager of the Occom Inn, next door, yelled up to us, "Hey, WTF are you guys doing up there! The President's been shot," At dinner that evening, the dining hall was totally quiet. One of the blue ladies on the serving line was crying.

Jay Barabash: In a 500+ student freshman chemistry class in one of the Illinois Institute of Technology's lecture halls (Chicago) - prof made the announcement and we all rushed to the student union building to watch it unfold on TV.


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