Probably the one, most profound thing that leading-edge baby boomers still can recall happened during their high school senior year, fifty-two years ago. What were you doing on Friday, November 22, 1963? For me, it was being bored in a French class conjugating verbs, when the school’s intercom interrupted that drill, and our principal announced that America’s thirty-fifth President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas.
Shortly after that announcement, Vice President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as our thirty-sixth President of the United States, with Jacqueline Kennedy standing alongside him on Air Force One just before it departed to return President Kennedy to Washington, D.C.
The death of Kennedy, our president and a decorated naval officer in World War II, was riveting. The eagerly anticipated weekend before Thanksgiving became especially somber with all the television coverage devoted to what had just happened.
Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged shooter was captured on Saturday, November 23. On Sunday, November 24, as Oswald was being moved to a more secure jail, an enraged civilian, Jack Ruby, emerged from the crowd of onlookers and fatally shot Oswald.
President Kennedy was buried on Monday, November 25. The image of his young son, “John-John,” saluting his father was indelibly imprinted on almost everyone’s mind.
The days of American Camelot were over. Three days after the funeral, on Thursday, November 28, a very somber Thanksgiving was celebrated. And then, it was time to get ready for the holidays.