Fifty Years Ago

November 22, 2013
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Today is the anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  Like most events of this magnitude, people my age remember where you were and what you were doing.  I was working at Purdue University as a graduate student, and I was just coming back to campus from one of the experimental farms.  My wife, Sally, on the other hand, was a senior at Lawrenceburg High School and remembers the Aurora/Lawrenceburg basketball game on that night.  When Lawrenceburg and Aurora engaged in a basketball game, it would be referred to in the media as a “war”.  Sally remembers this particular evening that the atmosphere in the gym was totally different.  There was, of course, the moment of silence before the game.  Then the athletes played, the cheerleaders attempted to cheer, but as a fan it was as though you were watching a surreal movie in slow motion.  There was very little reaction from the fans.  Sally can’t even remember who won.  A contest that was usually so important to each school became just a game they had to get through.  To the average American, no one thought that the image that John F. Kennedy had acquired through the media could ever have been shot at much less killed.  It would take weeks for the realization to sink in for most of us.

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