JFK's assassination: What we rememberLoading
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    Here are historic Sacramento photos from the time of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, along with edited remembrances from Sacramento Bee readers. See more comments, or contribute your own on The Sacramento Bee’s Facebook page.


    Passersby gather in a Sacramento furniture store on Nov. 22, 1963, to follow televised news of the assassination. Published in The Sacramento Bee, Nov. 23, 1963.


    What I remember

    “I was 21 years old, eating lunch at my office desk downtown when somebody rushed in shouting ‘The president is dead!’ I thought it must be someone local, like the president of Kiwanis or something similar. I was shocked when he said it was JFK. They let all of us go home for the rest of the day.”

    - Harriet Buchanan, 2013
    Sacramento Bee
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    Walter Cronkite announces death of JFK on CBS News, Nov. 22, 1963.


    What I remember

    “I was a sophomore in high school. I was in music class when the announcement came over the loud speaker; we all cried. It was very sad. He was a great president.”

    - Sylvia Villa, 2013
    CBS News
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    Front page of The Sacramento Bee, Nov. 22, 1963.


    What I remember

    “I was in the fifth grade at Neil Cummins School in Corte Madera. It was the mid-morning recess, and my friend Marty and I hadn’t gone outside like we were supposed to … . Our teacher, Mrs. McKinney, a gray-haired lady with charming Southern manners, charged into the classroom in a lather. She collared Marty, threw him to the floor, and switched on the TV. We protested Marty’s treatment. We thought our teacher was overreacting to our breaking the rules by not leaving the classroom. Mrs. McKinney turned and said, ‘Shut up, you two!’ Then the TV came on and we learned the awful news. The president had been shot.”

    - Clay Brandow, 2013
    Sacramento Bee
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    The shock of the assassination news shows on the faces of women in downtown Sacramento. Published in The Sacramento Bee, Nov. 23, 1963.


    What I remember

    “I was watching the ‘Dialing for Dollars’ movie when the announcer broke into the movie and said, ‘We have just received news that the president has been shot.’ I thought, what a terrible thing to say! I thought he was just kidding and was going to call the station to complain about his comment. Then the real news team came on and confirmed it. It felt like a ton of bricks hit me. JFK was the first president I ever voted for. We had to be 21 to vote in those days. I still have the newspaper from that terrible day.”

    - MaryLou Posch, 2013
    Sacramento Bee
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    President John F. Kennedy and California Gov. Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, Sept. 28, 1963, during Kennedy’s visit to Northern California to dedicate just-completed Whiskeytown Dam and Reservoir, about six miles west of Redding.


    What I remember

    “I heard it in English class. I believe they dismissed the school kids to go home. I remember one kid laughing and said that he was glad. Anyway a bunch of guys chased him down and let him have it.”

    - Jim Heinze, 2013
    Sacramento Bee
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    President John F. Kennedy, Sept. 28, 1963, during his visit to Northern California to dedicate Whiskeytown Dam and Reservoir.


    What I remember

    “I was a 20-year-old serviceman in the Air Force. The base where I was stationed was in lockdown, and there were rumors that a war was about to start. According to the rumors, the Soviets had ordered the assassination because Kennedy had embarrassed them in the Cuban missile crisis.”

    - Greg Morris, 2013
    Sacramento Bee
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    Sen. John F. Kennedy enjoys breakfast in the Governor's Mansion during a visit with Gov. Pat Brown in 1960. Kennedy was seeking Brown's support for his presidential candidacy before the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Also pictured are Amanda, the cook (standing), and Brown's wife, Bernice.


    What I remember

    “I was in Wuerzburg, Germany. We went on full alert.”

    - Bernie-Evelyn Haley, 2013
    courteCalifornia State Parks fro | California State Parks, John F. Kennedy Library (Terrell, Look)
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    Front page of The Sacramento Bee, Nov. 23, 1963.


    What I remember

    “I think everyone from that time remembers exactly where they were when they heard the news and how they reacted. America had such high hopes in JFK. He was the golden one. I was in college, and a group of us left campus for lunch. We heard the breaking news on the way back to campus. We pulled over on the side of the freeway and cried.”

    - Sue Bear, 2013
    Sacramento Bee
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    The state Capitol dome forms a backdrop for mourners during a candlelight service for President Kennedy. Published in The Sacramento Bee, Nov. 24, 1963.


    What I remember

    “The announcement came over the intercom when I was just leaving a language class on my way to eighth-grade home economics. The home ec teacher commented to a group of girls who were crying, ‘Why are you crying? It's not like you know him personally.’ I didn't do so well in home ec. I don't know if it's because I wasn't suited to it or that I just had developed an intense dislike for the teacher. What a crappy thing to say to a bunch of kids who were experiencing fear and uncertainty.”

    - Lynne Mann Conner, 2013
    Frank Stork | Sacramento Bee
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    Weinstocks-Lubin is one of several local businesses that took out full-page memorial advertisements. Published in The Sacramento Bee, Nov. 24, 1963.


    What I remember

    “I was 13 years old in eighth grade when it was announced over the school loudspeaker that the president had been killed. We were excused from school for the rest of the day. I remember feeling confused and frightened. If the president could be murdered, then no one was safe.”

    - Jacqueline Naud, 2013
    Sacramento Bee
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    More than 3,000 youths held lighted candles on the Capitol steps in Sacramento. Published in The Sacramento Bee, Nov. 24, 1963.


    What I remember

    “I was 13 years old and in Mr. Webb's social studies class at Peter Lassen (now Johnson West) Junior High. My friend, Steve Mcginty, was the class president and not in this particular class. Someone came into the door at the rear of the classroom and said the president had been shot. My first reaction was, who would want to shoot Steve? But we quickly learned that it was President Kennedy. School was excused and all the kids returned home. I remember my mom crying and the TV on. It was both a horrible and fascinating four days that followed.”

    - Robert Benjamin, 2013
    Frank Stork | Sacramento Bee
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    All state and local governmental offices and schools and colleges were closed for an official day of mourning. Published in The Sacramento Bee, Nov. 25, 1963.


    What I remember

    “I cried because my folks were so upset. I was 6 years old. The TV was on all day. We had a picture of (President Kennedy) in our living room when I was growing up.”

    - Maureen Martindale, 2013
    Sacramento Bee
Here are historic Sacramento photos from the time of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, along with edited remembrances from Sacramento Bee readers. See more comments, or contribute your own on The Sacramento Bee’s Facebook page.
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