A Somber Anniversary

President Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy arrive in Dallas on November 1963  President and Mrs. Kennedy arrive at Love Field, Dallas, Texas. Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
President Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy arrive in Dallas on November 1963 President and Mrs. Kennedy arrive at Love Field, Dallas, Texas. Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Many Hunt County citizens were not around when President John F. Kennedy made an ill fated campaign trip through Texas 52 years ago on Friday, November 22, 1963.  The presidential party had visited San Antonio and Houston before remaining overnight in Fort Worth.  The next morning the campaign party made the short flight to Love Field and a motorcade trip through Dallas.  The rest is history.

Nancy Hargrove recalls “she was a student in the 8th grade at a country school in Cub Run, Kentucky when the principal came into the classroom and relayed the news to her History teacher.  The teacher then told the class.  There was complete silence and shock. She recalls that some students started to cry”.

Phillip Tripp of Greenville was a young sailor in the US Navy, doing shore duty, at an ammo depot, in Concord, California. He told HCN “I had just delivered a missile to a bunker for storage, and when I returned, the PO1 informed me that JFK had been shot. I figured it was some kind of trick they were playing on me and I told them so. They had some small radio turned on and the reports were coming from it. Since they were all electronic trained, I figured it was just part of the trick. Very slowly, I finally decided it was true. The unthinkable had happened”.

Eddie Daniel of West Tawakoni said “I was on the 7th grade at Lake Worth, Texas and in recess when a, friend came and told me and a few others that the teacher had been told by the principal that the president had been shot. (Remember, no cell phones back then). Kids were crying. About an hour later they rolled in a large B&W TV for us to watch. Everybody was glued to their TV’S that night.”.

This reporter was an eleventh grade student in Brigham City, Utah at Box Elder High School.  We were playing volleyball in the gymnasium when a student missed a volley and shushed everyone as the PA system crackled to life.  The tragic news from Texas was announced that the president had died.  Students sat down in disbelief and some cried.  I had a date that night with the preacher’s daughter and we went to the Roxy Theater to watch Beach Party with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon.  The news reel was projected and it showed the president leaving Washington two days ago.  I have never heard a theater so quiet in all my life when that news clip was shown.  Some patrons got up and walked out.

Those that were around have memories of the event that are as clear as if they were chiseled in stone. Please tell us your story and we will publish some on Sunday and Monday.

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