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By Paul Losch

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About this blog: I was a "corporate brat" growing up and lived in different parts of the country, ending in Houston, Texas for high school. After attending college at UC Davis, and getting an MBA at Harvard, I embarked on a marketing career, mai...  (More)

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Remembering November 22, 1963

Uploaded: Nov 14, 2013
My now deceased parents remembered Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination, and 9/11.

I was a fourth grader when Kennedy was killed, and all I recall about it was that it was a confusing weekend. My family went to church on Sunday, and Lee Harvey Oswald was killed while we were singing hymns.

I lived in Texas a few years after the assassination, and one of my classmates in high school said that there was applause in his Dallas elementary school when it was announced that Kennedy had been killed. Unbelievable.

I fervently hope that such tragic events do not occur again. But I suspect something will happen in the not so predictable future.

What do you remember? What was your reaction?

Comments

Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Nov 15, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I was at a local drug store, waiting at the soda bar to buy an ice cream float ($.25), when the TV over the bar made the announcement of Kennedy's being shot. I was about 17—a senior in high school. I only vaguely understood what was going on. I don't remember if anyone started crying, or even said anything of note. All eyes were glued to the TV set, with the pictures of Dallas, in black-and-white, now etched into my memory.

Given the subsequent events—Oswald quickly being accused of the crime, and Jack Ruby killing Oswald for no good reason. These killings, followed by decades of claims and counter claims about who did what to whom, has sorely tried my belief that Oswald was a lone gunman. In fact, I no longer believe that he acted alone, or if he really even did it.

Then, with Robert Kennedy killed after that—the scenarios proposed by the government about all these nuts with guns just does not hold much water for me.

The claim that Kennedy would not have put the US into the Vietnam war is open conjecture—but certainly he would have done it differently than Johnson did. It's hard to argue that the course of history was not changed by Oswald, and those most likely behind them.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace,
on Nov 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Paul,

I am convinced that Oswald di it alone. I have seen no evidence that he did not. However, that is not interesting to me.

> I lived in Texas a few years after the assassination, and one of my classmates in high school said that there was applause in his Dallas elementary school when it was announced that Kennedy had been killed. Unbelievable.

Paul, such hearsay evidence should not be promoted by you. It is inflammatory, and you should be better than that...high school kids say many things...and now you are promoting it, as an adult? Give me a break.




Posted by Jay Park, a resident of Mountain View,
on Nov 15, 2013 at 10:29 pm

I wasn't born before the JFK assassination, but I do remember the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt. That was when I was a young high schooler. Lots of confusion, school was shortly dismissed after the news broke.

It is doubtful that many of my classmates had enough maturity/wisdom to grasp the the scope of the event. I certainly didn't. Reflections on those events long past are colored by our current interpretations.

Especially for charismatic and highly polarizing personalities like JFK or RR, I wouldn't trust hearsay, anecdotal historical commentary when much of that might have ulterior motivation.

With the increased nastiness of partisan politics, discussion about JFK's assassination (and the motivations behind it) will only get more shrill and mind-numbingly inane.

But enjoy the discussion.


Posted by The parade is passing you by, a resident of Midtown,
on Nov 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm

"I fervently hope that such tragic events do not occur again. But I suspect something will happen in the not so predictable future."

Are you living in some kind of bubble, Paul? Or are you not familiar with history?
Or is it only a tragic event if you are effected?
How about the murder of Olof Palme or Yithzak Rabin? What about the Khmer Rouge or the slaughter in Rwanda? Or how about 9/11? Heard of that event?
Sometimes the things you post on your blog are incredible.


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Nov 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm

It's pretty obvious from the Zapruder film Kennedy was shot from behind and from in front, otherwise his head would not have snapped back and parts of it gone flying off backwards. Some people must never have shot a gun to think it's possible to get that effect from behind and up. They try to say the nerves or reflexes can make a body do strange things, but nerves have a finite speed which is rather slow and cannot overcome physics immediately.

Then there was the second look they took at this assassination which included profiling the recording of an open mike of an motorcycle officer showed that the acoustic echo profiles of the shots were different, concluding that they came from two directions. The echoes from the shot's sources were bouncing off different building surfaces and arriving at the open mike differently.

All the other quirks surrounding this may not prove anything that would stand up in a court of law, but all the connections and inconsistencies show that for there not to be some kind of conspiracy of a cover-up in addition to the killing itself the whole country would have had to be totally incompetent in the 60's.

And to believe that Jack Ruby dying of cancer would assassinate Oswald to save Jaqui Kennedy from having to go through a rough trial is absurd. To say Oswald was a lone gunman is either uninformed or ignorant.


Posted by The parade is passing you by, a resident of Midtown,
on Nov 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Here you go CPA :

Web Link


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Nov 16, 2013 at 11:26 pm

There was an interesting Nova program on the JFK assassination this evening. It's worth watching. There was one like it decades ago as well where they did roughly the same thing - that it could have been done by a lone shooter. Hard to watch that Zapruder film over and over and over.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Nov 17, 2013 at 9:50 am

I think that for something as major an event as the JFK assassination, the pondering of world events changed by it is being done a little too much on tv and in the written word at present.

However, the reflections of a personal note is much more interesting I think. The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth is a great fictional example of how one individual's life was changed by the news. The fact that someone stopped to hear the news on a car radio started a series of events that altered his life is not only good fiction but also completely credible.

I myself remember the day as being confused as to why it interrupted my tv shows. The hushed conversation between adults only confused me more. I knew something "big" had happened but as far as I was concerned it was all something I was told I was too young to be told about. The memories of that confusion made me as a parent on 9/11 talk to my young children without hiding the news, but attempt to deal with their concerns at their level.

I would be interested to read about anyone else who feels that it made bigger changes in their small world than the obvious changes in the bigger world.


Posted by Craig Laughton, a resident of College Terrace,
on Nov 17, 2013 at 10:31 am

>I would be interested to read about anyone else who feels that it made bigger changes in their small world than the obvious changes in the bigger world.

It was a shocking and emotional time. I was 13 years old at the time, just at that point when opinions begin to develop in a young mind. However, I don't think the JFK killing was the deal that shaped my outlook. My deal was environmental concerns, then the Vietnam war. My parents thought that it was a shock, but temporary...Pearl Harbor was a much bigger deal, because it meant immediate war, and that war affected them personally, in a huge way.

I think that 9-11 was a much bigger deal, given that it was similar to Pearl Harbor.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Nov 17, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Here's a link to the Nova show referenced above--

Cold Case JFK
Web Link


Posted by Steven Earl Salmony, a resident of Stanford,
on Nov 22, 2013 at 5:25 am

Web Link


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