Archive for November, 2013

November 22, 1963

November 22, 2013

Just after lunch, in Mrs. Chilton’s class. Sixth grade, East Greenbush, New York. My mother was a teacher in a different classroom that day. My father was a broadcaster in Albany. Thanksgiving was just a few days away.

Just after lunch, our principal, Mr. Crosby, who was always prone to looking very serious when he was making a joke (which we students loved about him) came into the classroom, looking extremely serious indeed. We wondered what the joke might be…maybe something to do with Thanksgiving. He simply asked that we stay calm. The President had been shot. We looked at him, and each other, as if to say, “That’s not funny, Mr. Crosby!” That year, TVs were placed in the rooms because it made it possible for classes across the state to view the same programs at the same time. In those days it was called “Educational TV”. The TV was turned on to Walter Cronkite. The lights in the room were turned off. After the news became official, we went home. Some of us went on busses, many went home with parents. For some reason , I went home on the bus. Mom came home later. Dad stayed at the radio station and came home later that night. The school and the bus were bathed in a deep silence and sadness. Fifty years later, that silence and sadness are impossible to forget.