Opinion: Six decades ago
November is significant for many reasons. In my humble opinion, Thanxgiving is obviously the most important holiday on the American calendar. A time to gather with family and friends to give thanx for all the goodness and blessings in our life.
Ironically, the next day, Black Friday, is supposedly the biggest retail day of the year. First, we give thanx, and then too many people go out to buy more stuff.
All the televisions I have ever owned were bought on Black Friday. For the last few years, we avoided the stores and sales like the plague. This year I will do the same thing.
Another significant anniversary took place on Tuesday almost six decades ago.
“Shots rang out in Dallas, killing President John Fitzgerald Kennedy,” said Walter Cronkite in an often-viewed news clip.
In 1963 I was in the third grade. An announcement was made over the intercom at James Monroe School, and we were all sent home.
I clearly remember some of the big kids on the playground saying that if JFK was dead, it meant Nixon would be president, and he would make us go to school on Saturday. Now to a third-grader, that was a very big deal.
This time of year, the television programming gurus tend to run a slew of JFK assassination telecasts.
In our house that day, it was as if we had lost a close family member. My mom, QuoVada Hill, had campaigned for Kennedy.
She had written a letter to then-Senator Kennedy and received a response. The letter was later auctioned at a fundraiser for the Polio foundation. My brother Rocky and my husband both had polio. For my mom, the fight was personal.
In 1960 Mom took my brother Brian and me door-to-door, passing out JFK literature and collecting “Dollars for Democrats.” In 1960 I was five years old.
Like kids trick-or-treating, we would knock on a stranger’s door.
As soon as the door opened, Brian would play a little ditty on a song flute. I would sing, “Shoo-fly, don’t bother me cuz I’m gonna vote for Kennedy.”
In retrospect, it sounds a bit scholky, but who could resist giving a few cents or more to two adorable children?
A week after the assassination, President Lyndon Baines Johnson formed a blue ribbon panel to investigate the assassination of JFK.
The Warren Commission was established to investigate the assassination of JFK. One of the commission’s members was former Central Intelligence Agency director Allen Dulles. JFK had fired Dulles and promised to scatter the pieces of the CIA to the four winds.
J. Edger Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was heavily involved with the Warren Commission. He and Robert Kennedy, and by extension JFK, were sworn, enemies.
Even my favorite author Stephen King has had a turn at the conspiracy in his book 11/22/63. In his version, a time traveler uses a portal to go back to Sept. 9, 1958.
In the book, he stops the assassination. However, when he returns to his present, the world is a very dark and dangerous place.
The conspiracy theories surrounding the JFK assassination have created more books than can be imagined. I own a lot of them. Not only do I own them, but I have also read all those books.
In my naivete, I thought by reading those books I might someday solve the biggest crime of the 20th Century.
When I visited Dallas in the 1980s, my cousins Jim, Louise, Ryan Scott and I went to the infamous “School Book Depository.”
It is now called the Sixth Floor Museum. Through a plexiglass cube, visitors can view the sixth-floor shooter’s nest.
While I didn’t walk around on the “Grassy Knoll” and find any shell casings, I did see it with my own eyes.
Surprisingly, when I visited JFK’s grave at Arlington Cemetary, I bawled my eyes out. I knew I would be affected but even I didn’t know how deep my feelings were.
Long days and pleasant nights. Have a blessed weekend.
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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.