, Salem, MA

Local News

November 22, 2013

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


The bus ride home was subdued. My mother remained in silent grief as my father returned home from work early with a somber face I’d not seen before or since. The entire family found itself transfixed before the television for the next three days.

We took a break after Sunday Mass to visit my paternal grandmother in Lawrence. There we watched in stunned horror as live images of Oswald’s murder assaulted us all the more.

There has never been a series of days in my life until 9/11 anywhere near comparable.

Dan Flathers

Toms Brook, Va. (formerly of Danvers)

‘My generation’s Pearl Harbor’

I was sitting with some classmates in the dining hall at Salem State College in the early afternoon between classes, enjoying a newly discovered food — a bagel with cream cheese — when an announcement came over the all-call that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. I rushed home, turned on the TV to CBS and Walter Cronkite and proceeded to audiotape the next six hours of CBS News on my Wollensak audio tape recorder. I have never been able to listen to the programming but realize that this event was my generation’s Pearl Harbor, Challenger disaster or New York Trade Towers.

William H. (Bill) Clark Jr.


Bill Clark is a Danvers selectman.

Hearing the news in Turkey

November 22, 1963, I found myself in the U.S. military theater in Ankara, Turkey. I was working at U.S. Agency for International Development and lived kitty-corner to the rear of our embassy there. There were three of us from that building. All of a sudden, the movie stopped and Kennedy’s death was announced. Shocked, we were directed out of the theater, and we headed to the embassy where one of us worked in the communications section. She went inside while we waited and then returned to us with the horrible news.

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