Warming Centers for the Metro St. Louis Area
Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

A look back at the JFK’s Assassination

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(KPLR) – In Monday's Jacology, Charles Jaco looks at the half century since JFK was killed:

A word of explanation to anyone born after 1959:  If you're gen X or gen Y or a millennial, and any of your baby boomer relatives or co-workers have been acting a little odd over the past few days bear with them. We've arrived at the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. And besides being astonished that time has flown this fast and we find ourselves living in the future, we boomers are replaying that weekend in our heads, over and over. And this year, the days of the week are exactly as they were then, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Friday, November 22nd. I had walked home for lunch break in eighth grade and was going back to school when someone burst out of the corner drug store yelling that the President had been shot. We ran back to school. Black and white TV's were rolled into every possible classroom, something unheard of. After about an hour, it became clear this was a cataclysm, and we were sent home.  We plopped ourselves in front of the flickering tubes in our houses and apartments, and didn't move for two days.

Saturday November 23rd. The dynamic young President was dead. Some guy named Johnson was president. And police in Dallas had arrested somebody named Lee Harvey Oswald. The business of live national TV was something new. And every man, woman, and child in the United States pressed close to the phosphorescent tubes in their living rooms, trying to figure out what had happened. Sunday, November 24th. We saw Lee Harvey Oswald murdered on live TV by somebody named Jack Ruby. Monday, November 25th. The state funeral for President Kennedy.  His son saluted the coffin. The rider less horse at the head of the funeral procession bucked and shook his head. Like the rest of us.

We kept asking ourselves, my God, when will things get back to normal? Eight months later the civil rights act passed. 10 months later came the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and we were in a full scale war in someplace called Vietnam. 20 months later riots ripped apart the Watts neighborhood in LA. And then came the rest of it. All the rest of it. And half a century later, we can still hear that whisper, when will things get back to normal. Now, we know better.

I'm Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.

Follow Charles Jaco on Facebook and Twitter:
Charles Jaco on Facebook
Charles Jaco on Twitter
Email: charles.jaco@tvstl.com

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.