It’s Tuesday (the cruelest day), November 22, and that date is burned into the brains of many of us in the Sixties, for it was the day, in 1963, when John F. Kennedy was killed. Everyone I know who was at least ten years old at the time remembers where they were when they heard the news. I was at Stratford Junior High School in Arlington, Virginia, and the news of the shooting and death were announced over the school’s public address system.
It’s hard to describe the sense of shock that overcame America at that time. People stopped their cars while others gathered around to hear the car radio, people hugged each other and cried, and the whole country was unmoored. Walter Cronkite looked at the clock and teared up as he announced Kennedy’s death. The sight of his wife Jackie in her bloodstained dress as she got off Air Force One, a dress she wouldn’t change because she “wanted people to know what they did to Jack,” haunts me still.
If you were alive then, and remember where you were when you heard the news, please post that below in the comments.
Here’s Cronkite on the CBS news, announcing the shooting and death:
On this day in 1928, Ravel’s Boléro, a song that I like to hear occasionally (after all, it’s repetitive) was first performed in Paris. I much prefer the “Sunrise” section of Ravel’s Daphis et Chloé, which I find one of the most evocative and wonderful bits of “modern” classical music. Have a listen; it’s a peaceful and relaxing way to start your day. This lovely version is by Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony.
Also on this day, in 1968, the Beatles “White Album” was released and, in 2005, Angela Merkel was elected as Germany’s Chancellor.
Notables born on this day include Abigail Adams (1744), Charles de Gaulle (1890), Terry Gilliam (1940), and Billie Jean King (1943). Those who died on this day include Walter Reed (1902), Lornenz Hart (1943), both Aldous Huxley and C. S. Lewis (1963, the same day as Kennedy), Mae West (1980), and Lynn Margulis (2011). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is trying to help with the fall gardening:
Hili: Autumn is a time for trimming.A: But don’t overdo it.
Hili: Jesień to czas na przycinanie.
Ja: Ale nie przesadzaj.