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Novembers To Remember

To many of us that were in school during the 1950's and 1960's, most can recall what they were doing on Friday, November 22nd, 1963.  Our recent election is something that will go down in history as well.  Fellow classmate and friend Dave Robertson, class of 1968, sent in this story regarding this election and at the same time, brought back the memories of almost four decades ago.

This page is for us to remember and talk about what we were doing on that historic day in 1963.  To have your comments or story posted on here, just email

From Dave Robertson, Class of 1968

I was discussing the election with my 8th grader, and told him to try and
remember everything he could about these times, because they will be
talking about this for the rest of his life. Ironic that my own 8th grade
November (and I'm sure the same is true for many of you) was even more
memorable - November 1963. We lived in Phoenix at the time, and I remember going home to tell my mother that the President had been shot. She didn't believe me, so we turned on the TV in time to see Chet Huntley giving the word that "the President is dead".

In another odd coincidence, my Dad was in Dallas that day - connecting
flights from Cincinnati to Phoenix. He had been in Lexington, KY (where
we eventually moved in 69 - and where I still live) and was on his way
home. As you might expect, Love field in Dallas was a nightmare, and no
flights were being allowed to leave. Once flights resumed, I think Dad
eventually got home in the wee hours of the following morning.

Being way before the days of cable TV, I recall that there was nothing on
any of the channels except Kennedy coverage for days. Sporting events
were cancelled, etc. and basically the world stopped. I'm sure we still
had a black&white TV, but it seemed that everything was suddenly black,
white, and dull gray. Phoenix wasn't exactly known for its bad winters,
but I've been told this feeling was greatly multiplied in places such as
the Northeast with snow and slush on the ground. To this day, I don't
remember when exactly we went back to school, but I would assume it was not immediately on Monday.

Fast forward a couple of decades and the last "Kennedy connection" for me was that I graduated from the JFK Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg NC in the late 80's. His presence is still evident there in so many ways.
How different the world might be today had we not lost JFK and then RFK.


From Sean Curtis, Class of "Winter" 1970

In November of 1963 there were two things most on my mind.  The first was getting out of school for both Thanksgiving and Christmas and graduating Mountain View Elementary and going to Mt. Gleason Junior High.

Randy and the Rainbows had their one hit wonder called Denise playing on the radio as well as Jimmy Gilmer's Sugar Shack.  I remember these songs especially as I had always been sneaking a small Sears transistor radio to school.

On Friday, November 22nd, 1963, our 6th grade class went on a field trip to the Water & Power station located on Foothill Blvd in Sunland.   Mrs. Moore, who was our teacher, caught me with my radio earlier so needless to say I didn't listen to any music that day with it.

Just like it was yesterday, I can remember the worker at the power station taking us around and talking about the transformers and how electricity is then routed to the homes and businesses in the area. 

The school bus driver, Mr. Kirkpatrick, came in to where our tour of the facility was taking place and took Mrs. Moore and the Water & Power employee to the side and spoke with them for just a minute.  I could tell by the look on both of their faces that something was wrong but nobody said anything to us at the moment.

Mrs. Moore was really shaken and Mr. Kirkpatrick helped her get us on the bus as he said that something came up and we had to return to the school right away.  I thought that it was so unusual for her to be standing up holding on to one of the support poles by the driver just talking to him quietly.

When we arrived at school, it was't quite noon or maybe it was just about noon.  Mrs. Moore took us to our classroom and told us what had happened in Dallas and that President Kennedy was killed.  The reactions from the students were so varied.  Some immediately thought that we were going to go to war.   Some cried and others just sat there stunned.  Just a few minutes later, the fire alarm went off and we all went out to the playground where Mrs. Harmon, the Principal, told us that because of the assasination of President Kennedy, school was dismissed and that we were all to go home.

That whole weekend was filled with live coverage of what happened and I knew that I was seeing history being made before my eyes.  When Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald on live TV, that image stuck in my mind for all of these years.  Even after 37 years we still don't have the answers as to what happened and in our lifetime, we won't get to see what the real investigation states.

That weekend in November has been frozen in time as far as my mind is concerned.  It will be interesting to see what others remember.

From Bill Fesler, Class of 1968

I remember it so well ! I was at Mt. Gleason Jr High school in my typing class and the message came over the P.A. Speaker in every classroom "The President of the United States has just been assassinated".   I remember all of the girls in our class started crying and the whole school was let out early that day...........a day to remember !

Bill Fesler, Class of 1968



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The 2000 Election Will Go Down In History As Well!

Thanks to Steve Garrison for sending in the above pic

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