, Salem, MA

Local News

November 22, 2013

Nov. 22, 1963: Where were you when Kennedy was shot?


David Labovitz


‘All still so vivid’

I was 7 years old and sitting in my second-grade classroom at St. Joseph’s School on Lafayette Street in Salem. I still can picture the scene: the principal coming into the class to tell the sister, her crying and telling us, and me looking at the clock, seeming to want to register the time I witnessed all this.

The next few days were also very memorable; everyone and everything was so somber. People were in shock at what had happened. Everyone was glued to the television, watching the events unfolding in Washington and Dallas. I even remember seeing Oswald shot on TV. All businesses were closed on Monday, the day of the state funeral. I remember all my family, including my grandparents, gathered in the living room to watch the funeral. It is all still so vivid in my mind; it’s hard to believe that it happened 50 years ago.

Gisele L. Deschenes


‘He had raised the hopes of people’

I had just been interviewed and had accepted my first position as a social worker in Lynn, Mass.

The joy of the occasion as I drove by Richardson’s Ice Cream ended with the news flash on the car radio.

It had been just a few years earlier on 1-20-1961 that my wife, Shirley, and I, as American University students, had attended the inauguration of John F. Kennedy at the Capitol Building in Washington. We sat just behind Eleanor Roosevelt.

As they played “Hail to the Chief,” we and others saw a new era of peace and justice ahead. He raised the hopes of people. That all ended in a tragic afternoon shooting. I thought then that the country would heal very slowly. Sadly, it was true.

Edward Raynard


High alert at sea

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