Although Thanksgiving was on November 22 this year, in 1963, November 22 fell on a Friday. I was five years old (okay, quit doing the math...I'm 49, YIKES!).
My memories go back to a select few when I was about 4 1/2 years old, but become a little more frequent as I started kindergarten.
On November 22, 1963 I was in kindergarten. This was a day that truly had an affect on Americans everywhere.
Our kindergarten room was so much fun. We had a huge area with tables that we sat at, and another very large area with a piano and open space so we could dance and play. Our teacher would often play the piano for us as we danced and sang. I recall doing the "Hokey Pokey" quite a few times that year. We also had a painting center, and my teacher was very good at making sure that we participated in many different activities each week.
The school itself was big, as it was an elementary school attached to the junior high. It was by no means a new building, but wasn't extremely old either. The two schools combined covered grades kindergarten through 8th grade. I recall that there were two different principals, as my best friend at the time was the daughter of the junior high assistant principal. I'm sure that we also had separate P.A. systems.
On this particular day, an announcement came over the P.A. saying that our president, John F. Kennedy had been shot and died.
My teacher was standing near her desk when this was announced, and she continued to stand there...and she began to cry. She was not sobbing, yet there were tears streaming down her face, and there was absolute silence in our room for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably only a couple of minutes. As children, we knew that something terrible had happened, but couldn't quite grasp the importance of it all.
I remember watching all kinds of things on television about President Kennedy's death and funeral. Of course, way back then, we had three television stations, ABC, CBS, and NBC.