Archive - November 20, 2013

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Where Were You When John F. Kennedy Was Shot? Bill Preston (Thailand 1977-80) Remembers
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Where Were You When John F. Kennedy Was Shot? John Sherman (Nigeria/Biafra 1966-67) Remembers

Where Were You When John F. Kennedy Was Shot? Bill Preston (Thailand 1977-80) Remembers

Dwight Morrow High School, Englewood, New Jersey. Tenth grade biology class. There was the usual buzz of adolescent chatter as we straggled in from gym the previous period and shuffled to our seats. Restless teens, we were looking past biology to the end of the school day and the long Thanksgiving holiday. I took my seat in the back of the classroom just in front of Martin Levine. Our biology teacher, Dr. Hill, radiated a fierce intelligence and seriousness of purpose that kept you on your toes and made you want to up your game. He wore those generic, no-nonsense black-framed glasses that bestowed an added, if superfluous, sense of gravitas. The moment Dr, Hill walked into class, we all sensed something serious had happened. One of two African-American teachers at Dwight Morrow back then–both of them PhDs, unlike their majority white peers–Dr. Hill carried himself with quiet dignity and . . .

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Where Were You When John F. Kennedy Was Shot? John Sherman (Nigeria/Biafra 1966-67) Remembers

[Recently, I was surprised to find the following diary entry. I had not remembered that I’d composed it in my dorm room at Indiana University in the fall of my sophomore year:] November 22, 1963 3:33 P.M. It is hard to describe my feelings at this hour – shock, disbelief, fear. I was waiting in the hallway in Ballantine Hall here at Indiana University to see Mr. Solt, a history teacher, about my schedule. Reading the bulletin board outside of the philosophy office, I overheard one of the secretaries in that office telling that she had heard on her radio that President Kennedy and Vice-President Lyndon Johnson, along with the Texas Governor (Connally) had been shot in Dallas, Texas, and had been taken to the hospital. Walking in the history department I told those secretaries what I had heard. One had just been talking on the phone to her mother . . .

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