President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on this date in 1963. If you grew up in Dallas, this is especially seared in your memory, not unlike 9/11. I was in the 5th grade and I remember the day like it was yesterday. The great Anglican apologist, C.S. Lewis, who has influenced so many people in their faith, also died that day, but few noticed because of the tragedy in Dallas. Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac records the following for today:
Kennedy hadn’t formally announced that he was going to run for re-election in 1964, but he was laying the groundwork. He embarked on a tour out west to sound out potential themes — like education and national security — that he could center his future campaign on. Florida and Texas were key states that he would need to win, so he planned to visit both states. He and his wife Jackie, who had been out of the public eye since the death of their son Patrick in August, started in San Antonio, then moved on to Houston and Fort Worth, where they spent the night of November 21st. After a few public appearances in rainy Fort Worth on the morning of the 22nd, the Kennedys took a 13-minute flight to Dallas’s Love Field. The rain had stopped, so the plastic bubble was left off the top of the convertible limousine that carried the Kennedys, Governor John Connally, and his wife, Nellie. The party embarked on a 10-mile route that would take them to the Trade Mart, where the president was scheduled to speak at a luncheon.
But, of course, the motorcade didn’t make it to Trade Mart. As they drove through Dealey Plaza, Lee Harvey Oswald opened fire from a sixth-floor window in the Texas School Book Depository. The president was rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds to his head and neck. He was pronounced dead at 1:00 p.m., and Vice President Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office at 2:38. President Kennedy was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, November 25 — his son John Junior’s third birthday.
Last month, President Trump ordered the release of nearly 3,000 records related to the assassination. The National Archives will release them in batches over the next few months.
I’m a 4th generation Texan, born and raised in Dallas, except for the first 9 years of my life. I grew up as an Army brat until my dad retired and we moved back home to Dallas when I was in the 4th grade. I lived in Asuncion, Paraguay as a pre-schooler and was fluent in Spanish and Guarani when we returned to the States. But alas, you lose it if you don’t use it.