Thursday, November 24, 2011

48 years ago …November 24, 1963

It was a Sunday and my husband, myself and a close friend were in our NY City apartment. grieving over the assassination of President Kennedy. We were also glued to the TV set because the accused killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was about to be transferred from the Dallas police station to a nearby county jail.

Nowadays we are used to 24 hour news broadcasting and instant replays. In 1963, however, it was a big deal to be watching this event “live” and we didn’t want to miss a bit of it. The TV screen showed the halls of the Dallas Police station, jammed with reporters and we had no inkling of the dramatic events that were about to unfold before our very eyes.

Suddenly the door opened and Oswald was escorted into the room. He was barely before our eyes when a man leaped forward and shot him at close range. None of us could believe what we’d seen.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning photo above was shot by Robert H. Jackson of the Dallas Times-Herald. It is amazing that he could react so quickly. That same picture had flashed before our eyes but was soon obscured as a roomful of men wrestled the shooter to the ground. It wasn't long before he was identified as Jack Ruby...a well known man about town

Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner, had gained admittance to the Police station by impersonating a newspaper reporter. No one thought to check for weapons and it was easy for him to draw his gun and fatally wound the 24 year old Oswald. Ruby was tried and convicted of murder but he petitioned for a second trial and died in 1967 of cancer before he could be tried again. (He went to his death convinced that he’d been poisoned with “cancer cells”.)

Ruby never explained why he shot Oswald and speculations have been going on for years as to their connection with the crime syndicate and the assassination of President Kennedy. When I hear those arguments it never fails to take me back to that November day in 1963 and to the shock of watching an execution take place before our eyes and the eyes of a stunned nation


Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Same here, Ginnie. Something I will never forget.

Happy Thanksgiving!

1:40 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

I was watching that too, Ginnie, and when he got shot, I was appalled that someone would do that right out in public, where they were sure to get caught. I doubt we'll ever know the true story!

7:05 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I too can recall seeing this happen, and had forgotten that it happened around this holiday. It was indeed unforgettable to my teenage mind.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

I also remember that and was watching live. I felt then that we humans had totally to pot. I remember saying out loud,"Dear God,what on earth are we coming to."
Didn't understand then and don't now.

5:18 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

I was only five years old at the time but I still remember that day. My parents were watching it. I didn't quite get what was going on but I knew it was something big!
Love Di ♥

6:43 AM  
Anonymous schmidleysscribblins, said...

Too sad, and I don't even like to think about it. I was distraght like many others.

Recipe: Two packs of strawberry or cherry jello, chopped celery, crisp fall apples, and cranberries. Add the chopped items to taste. I only use half the water on the jello and add a bit of Splenda or sugar to make it sweeter and offest the sour cranberries.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Ginnie,

Amazing photo and a very interesting write up of something which is etched firmly in your mind.

One sleepless night I switched on the TV and saw to my horror one of twin towers was burning and a plane was deliberately and slowly approaching the other tower. I was thinking it was a movie. Soon the plane crashed into the other tower and the building burst into flames. Within a little time both the towers collapsed and I could see people running screaming to escape from the debris. Well TV has advanced so much these days that I could see all this really happening in my house far away in India.

Best wishes,

9:56 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

I was a kid but remember seeing that. It made me very frightened.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It was a shocking time. Sad.

5:05 AM  
Blogger possum said...

We had just come in from feeding the horses and were sitting in the tack room in front of the TV with our feet up for a few minutes before heading to the old barn. I could not believe my eyes either. I was in college at the time, so it was a major source of conversation for weeks. Oh what theories we had! I wonder when we will ever know the truth about so many events.

6:03 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

I too remember. I was a college freshman, and I sang in a choir that was touring that Sunday. I recall being in the home of someone who had come to hear our concert, and then invited us for Sunday dinner. We were watching the television (as you say--live TV being a rarity where news was concerned), and we were just stunned to see this shooting live on TV>

3:17 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Here in Canada we watched that moment in history in disbelief. Private ownership of handgun is forbidden here for the most part.
When it comes to the US gun laws and violence we call such moments as this an "OMG only in America moment". This is not really fair I know for Canada has some homicides by gun here. Canadians are bewildered by the American fascination with guns not to mention a history of vigilante justice.

10:27 AM  
Blogger A Lady's Life said...

from what I understand Kennedy was against war and war meant money for a lot of people. So I am entitled to believe it was either the establishment (CIA) or the mafia who killed Kennedy.
The Natalie Wood death also didn't sit right with me.All I can say is poor woman.

12:33 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home