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Residents remember the day JFK was shot PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, November 21, 2013 9:00 PM

Herald staff reports

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Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States of America. To some born in more recent years, JFK himself is a figure from American history, a tragedy not much more contemporary than the deaths of Presidents McKinley and Lincoln. Even the grainy film footage and live coverage of Dallas’ Dealey Plaza, themselves groundbreaking as far as media coverage, are considered the stuff of textbooks.

But most Americans who were at work, at school or even of preschool age on Nov. 22, 1963, remember exactly where they were when JFK died. To remember and help those who were not there know what this tragedy meant to our country and how news delivery itself has changed, the editorial staff of the The Delphos Herald approached local individuals and asked, “How did you find out about the assassination of JFK?”


“I was a freshman in high school and I was preparing an oral book report on JFK. After he was shot, I had to re-vamp the report into past tense. It was so vivid in my mind and I still think of it. I read the report the day after the assassination and the class was very somber and I was teary-eyed while reading it.” — Mary Jo Behrns


“I was shopping and came home and turned on the television, which was black and white. I cried and was in shock. The news broadcasts were continuous. My son, Mike, was 3 months old, my daughter, Teri ,was 3 years old and I remember my husband, Gary, was in Landeck working up on Ollie Gengler’s house.” — Louise Sroufe


“I was at home. I was stunned that it could happen and felt sorry for Jackie Kennedy.” — Carol Cunningham


“I was in the house taking care of my month-old daughter. I cried, was very upset and did not think it was possible.” — Sis Schimmoeller


“I was working in the Franklin School’s cafeteria at the time. Along with everyone else, I was in shock. We had to go on with what we were doing.” — Joan Allemeier


“I was a seventh-grader at St. John’s and on the playground when we found out. I remember Taffy Miller started crying. I was upset and liked him because he was a good president and would have been greater if he would have not been killed.” — Linda Johnson


“I was a sophomore in high school and was in class when we found out. I remember teachers crying about the assassination.” — Mike Rode


“I was in the 11th grade and in government class when I found out. It was a huge shock to the class and kids were crying. I was numb, it was huge and there was so much sadness in the teachers and students.” — Sandy Laus


“I was pregnant with my first child and working at Giny’s Beauty Shop teasing Minnie Sargeant’s hair. I was not crazy about him as a president; he was more conservative. It felt a lot like 9/11; helpless and no control over what was going on. It was an unexpected, horrible event with sad moments like Jackie climbing onto the car to gather pieces of his brains and skull.” — Nancy Rosen


“I was working at Ford Motor Company and heard it on the news. I followed some of it. It was just another killing.” — William Tracy


“I was in sixth-grade when the church janitor, Andy Hoover, came into our classroom and told the Sister what had happened and she then told the class. We said a prayer for him. I was stunned and concerned that he might die. When I got home, my Mom and everyone was crying.” — Shirley Beining


“I was at home mopping the bathroom floor listening to the radio when I heard the news. It was hard to believe.” — Judy Wilson


“I remember seeing it on TV and the funeral and seeing Oswald get killed when it happened. I was real young and still in grade school. It was more of a nervous scare because I really didn’t know what was going on.” — Ron Brickner


“I was on vacation with my father in Florida around Cape Canaveral and we had just got up when it came across the radio. I was numb and sad at the same time. He was a president I really liked and thought he was a president that could do a lot for us. That numb, sad feeling stayed with me for a long time. Even today, I think we still miss him and that feeling comes back to me just thinking about it.” — Nancy Lhamon


“I was sitting on the chair in the living room with the TV on and I was reading the newspaper when I saw it on TV. When Oswald was shot, I saw that live on TV, too. I was just thinking ‘Is this reality? Is someone pulling our leg’?” — Judy Weaver


“I was in 11th grade at Elida High School and there was a lot of major concern among students. I realized there wasn’t a lot I could do about it. The teacher shared the news and we discussed it a lot in school. I wasn’t too overexcited about it because there was nothing I could do but there was the idea of the country falling apart.” — Thomas Poling


“I was at home watching TV and they showed it on the news. That took care of the whole day. Nobody likes to see that happen to anyone.” — Ron Rice


“I was in third grade on the playground and it got real quiet real quick. The teachers tried to explain it to us.” — Jim Weeden


“I remember I was scrubbing the kitchen floor and my neighbor Rose Kaverman called. I listened constantly to the radio. Sunday morning, I was getting ready for church and saw Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald.” — Alice Arnzen


“My mailman pulled in the driveway and honked and told me something terrible had happened. My TV wasn’t turned off for four days. I was watching when Ruby shot Oswald. I cried a lot and was shocked that something like this happened.” — Shirley Hoehn


“I was working at Delphos’ telephone switchboard and someone called in and told us. We were all shocked.” — Ann Miller


“I was working for Firestone in Akron so I was at work. I remember going out with some coworkers after work and we just couldn’t believe it. It was unreal like some kind of crazy nightmare.” — Ralph Stoner


“I was on a Greyhound bus headed for Jacksonville, Fla. My husband was in the Navy and I was moving down there to make our home. I heard the news in the bus terminal during a layover. It was shocking. I didn’t think about how that stuff could happen here.” — Shirley Jarman


“I was living in Lansing, Ill., and I had turned the TV on so my little boy could watch it while he was home from school for lunch. He said to me, ‘Momma, they shot the president.’ I thought, ‘You’re supposed to be watching Bozo the Clown.’ I was filled with disbelief. I couldn’t believe anyone could do that in this country. He was the first president I could vote for.” — Joyce Hale


“I was working at Fruehauf. Sparky Teman came back from lunch and told us the president had been shot. I was surprised and I didn’t believe it at first. I felt lost. Why this?” — Skip Will


“I was in the sixth grade and in school and I heard on the PA system. I was shocked. At first they didn’t say he was dead. Everything got quiet.” — Dave Stemen


“I was at home making cookies when I heard about it on the TV. It reminded me of what my grandma said about when Lincoln go shot. ‘I can’t believe it! They killed the president’!” — Doris Keller


“I was at home and I heard it on the radio. I was shocked and sad.” — Lola Stechschulte


“We were at home getting ready to go to California. I probably heard it on the radio. I was in awe that something like that could happen.” — Mary Flanagan


“It was the first time in my life I paid any attention to the news. I was a freshman in high school and they announced it over the loud speaker. We all went into the gym and watched the news on a small black and white TV. That’s when we heard he died. Then we all got sent home. I was shocked. I didn’t think things like this could happen in this country. I looked at things differently. I had a petty spat with a friend that day and we agreed we didn’t need to argue on a day like that.” — Mary M. Grothause


“I can just remember watching and watching the television as the events unfolded.” — Jo Briggs


“I remember exactly what I was doing when Walter Cronkite came on TV. I was cleaning in the living room and even had the sweeper in my hand when I saw Walter Cronkite and I knew something has happened. He had a hard time getting it out. I was stunned and then numb. I couldn’t finish was I had been doing at all. It really made an impression. It was horrid.” — Kay Best


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