There has of course been much written and broadcast about the assassination of John F. Kennedy—particularly during this 50th anniversary. So I will leave the detailed analysis to the more skilled and knowledgeable writers and historians, will keep my comments short, and share only this brief reflection sent during the work day at about 10:30am on November 22, 2013 to a few co-workers and friends.
I believe it was about 10:30AM Pacific time when John Kennedy was assassinated 50 years ago. I was in the 7th grade at Weathersfield Elementary school (before middle schools came about) in Thousand Oaks, CA. The announcement was made over the intercom and we listened to the events unfolding on the radio during lunch at our outside table area. Regardless of ones party politics, I would say it was a pivotal moment and a wake up call to the political world for this otherwise oblivious young kid. The tumultuous 60’s were underway and further assassinations were to come (Martin, Bobby, etc.), the civil rights and united farm workers movements had taken root and of course the Vietnam war would come into greater personal focus as I moved nearer to draft age. Although I may not have realized it at the time, my future had changed forever on that day. So take a moment to reflect at 10:30am today, as be it you were born or not, or you know it or not—your life changed forever too.
Addendum: I had only been cognizant of one assassination, Frank Steunenberg's, and barely knew anything about it at the time. Our family still did not speak about that tragedy very much. Maybe I knew about Lincoln too but I was not yet the history freak that I am today. To have such a history changing assassination occur in my lifetime had never occurred to me. Little did I know what lie ahead.
List of assassinated American politicians (scroll down for Frank).
The Legend of Uncle Angus McDonald! (a blog post I ran across. I will keep an eye out for Uncle Angus).
The Political Game (Idaho blogger, historian, political commentator Tara Rowe provides a nice series of articles and resources leading up to the 50th anniversary).
John F. Kennedy in Idaho
Speech of Senator John F. Kennedy, High School Auditorium, Pocatello, Idaho September 6, 1960
Senators Frank Church and John Kennedy
JFK & Idaho