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Where were you when JFK was shot?

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 21 2013 05:06:49 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 22 2013 06:45:07 AM CST

Many Americans say the assassination of President John Kennedy changed the course of history.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

Many Americans say the assassination of President John Kennedy changed the course of history.

Most of them remember exactly where they were, and what they were doing that day 50 years ago.

Some say November 22, 1963, is the day America lost its innocence.

"I don't think there's anyone who doesn't remember where they were on that fateful day," said David Livirrie.

At 12:30 p.m. CST, Kennedy was fatally shot by a sniper while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas.

"Well, 50 years ago I was 38," said Olive Hawk.

Sitting around a table at Country Meadows in Bethlehem, a group of seniors were homemakers, manufacturing supervisors and school teachers.

Each one of them has vivid memories of the moment they learned the President was murdered.

"I think it affected everyone," Livirrie described. "Everyone cried on that day."

"I'm shaking right now," Florence Silver added. "It was terrible. We were all crying, children, teachers, principal, everybody. It was a terrible moment."

Silver was a teacher at a school in Rhode Island, overseeing recess that day. She says it feels like it was yesterday.

"When John Kennedy was killed, we actually felt as if a member of our family was killed," she said.

The news was broadcast non-stop on the radio and television. Millions of people stopped what they were doing, even left groceries in the car to hear what happened.

"The youngsters came home from school and we just sat and watched," Hawk remembered. "All the coverage and everything."

People drew different lessons from that day, and felt different things. For Anna Haight, it was optimism.

"Personally, I didn't think it was fatal at first," she said. "At least I hoped it wasn't, because we all loved President Kennedy, and I think we still do."