In my mind the year 1963 was a year that none of us should have ever forgotten. I already had suffered a loss on September 27th when my mother Bernice Crittenden Knight died from lymphoma at the age of 34. The months that followed were not happy ones for me but no one could have prepared us for what was to happen on November 22nd of that year.
I will always remember the somber words of our principal Mr. Bowen on the intercom Friday, November 22, 1963. He announced to the students of Cowansville High School that John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, had been assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas.
So my question to the CHS Facebook group was:
Where were you in school when you heard JFK died?
From what should have been a tight well-remembered incident, it some how turned into confusion and memory loss for a lot of us and the post should have been titled:
Do you have any clue where you approximately were on November 22, 1963?
Decker Way-I was in Mr. Douglas's class and can't remember which subject though. It was sad news even for us Canucks!
Jean Beattie- I was sitting in a Grade 10 physics class between Tim Bousada and his then-girlfriend Elena (last name escapes me for the moment). A feeling of total shock and disbelief seemed to be experienced by all of us. The teacher, Mr. Douglas, was out of the room for a brief time, so we all began to talk about it immediately.
Decker Way- Houston we have a problem- as I was in Mr. Douglas class in grade 11- guess we need a referee here!
Jean Beattie- As I recall, he taught physics at both grade 10 and 11. Were you in his class when the news came of JFK's assassination? I may be mistaken--it might have been chemistry class.
Decker Way- He may have been doing double duty that day but I seem to remember him being in the classroom when the news came over the intercom---of course that was just shy of 50 yrs ago and I am not really sure of what I had for breakfast yesterday! See what you started Linda!
Audrey Bromby- I was in Mrs. Shufelt's class (I think?). Everyone was shocked. I was concerned for my mother as she loved JFK. We watched all the news and funeral. We watched as John Jr. and his sister Caroline followed the funeral procession and when John Junior saluted his father's casket as it passed. It was very sad and now John Jr. has passed too!
Linda Knight Seccaspina- You sat next to me Audrey, so yes Mrs. Shufelt was our teacher. I think.
Sheila Perry- I was at Catherine Booth Hospital in Montreal-nursing training-actually watching on black TV in a patient's private room!
Barbara Goettel Lacroix- I was in Grade 8, in Mrs. Fowler's class - we were writing a exam. Another teacher came in and they seemed upset and we were told after our exam. I went home as white as a ghost and told my parents. After that we were glued to the T.V.
Noreen Duross- I was hanging up baby clothes on the line when my neighbour told me about it. I was definitely "there" in the 60's - just too busy with life and a young family to have time for the fun you younger guys had!
Valerie Ethier Cameron- I was 14, and in Brome Mississiquoi Hospital after having my tonsils out. I heard the news on my little transistor radio and I told one of the nurses when she came into the room. She didn't believe me, but returned a few moments later and asked to borrow the radio.
Kenny Bay Hall- You people are young uns,as I already had 10 years of work under my belt when JFK died and I was living in Streetsville where Hazel McCallum was mayor and she is still mayor,only now they call it Mississauga.
Bob Bromby- November 22 1963..For years I would have swore that I was sitting in Mrs. McCutcheon's class (grade 8), but I see in the 64 Hylite that I was in grade 10 that school year ...63/64...
Margaret Clay Jacob- I only remember as some other of you, that the teacher seemed upset and then told us about it after the exam was over. It seems to me that it was about the time of the World Series and a lot of the boys had transistor radios to listen to that, when suddenly the topic changed. I was also in grade 10, but with my memory, I might be wrong about the baseball.
Carole Beattie- I was already out of school by then and I had just come out of the post office. I met someone I knew on the sidewalk and she told me the tragic news. I always have found it very strange that when someone hears something that is really a 'shocker' you can remember exactly where you were at the time. It is almost as if it was imbedded in your brain forever.
Jean Beattie- MCJ: you're right about the baseball--that's how our class learned about it.
Bob Bromby- Seems awful late in the year for baseball???
"I have a baseball "professor" here waving at me that there was no baseball on that day in 1963 and he was only 3 years old!"
Decker Way @Carole- It has always been said that "one remembers exactly where they were" when bad news is heard however this thread is proving that to be an "urban legend" as we have Mr. Douglas in two classes at the same time, others in different grades, even the date of the world series is in doubt---anyone got the class schedules for gr 10/11 for Nov '63?
Jean Beattie- I repeated baseball, but perhaps it was a football game?!
Jean Beattie- You know, Barbara Goettel Lacroix and I were in the same grade (not always the same class/homeroom teacher) so I'm probably wrong about grade 10! Therefore also wrong about physics, as that science was available only to grades 10 & 11, I think.
However, we were definitely in a subject classroom and not our homeroom class, and Tim was sitting in front of me, Elena behind. I believe it was another boy at the back who first picked up the news, and Elena, with roots in the US, almost went hysterical.
Barbara Goettel Lacroix @ Jean - You were in the same class as me. In the Hylite you are sitting between Maureen Forster and Sandra Yates and I am standing right behind you. You were right, it was Elena Monroe!
Jean Beattie- I've been out of the conversation for several hours--didn't you say you had Mrs. Fowler as a teacher? I don't remember her! I suspected you and I were in the same class but wasn't sure which years--thanks for solving that, Barbara :)
Barbara Goettel Lacroix- Jean - that's right, and you did also.
Jean Beattie That was grade 8, right, Barbara? She was new to the school that year, along with the Richmond brothers... Some brain cells are reviving...
Decker Way- World Series Oct 2-6 1963 Dodgers over the Yankees 4 games straight--so NOT baseball on those transistors according to Wikipedia.
Jean Beattie- Considering the time of year- I just know it was a broadcast game that absorbed all the boys' attention.
Decker Way- But what game would be being played at 11:30 am on a weekday morning?
Bob Bromby- Was it 11:30am? I thought it was in the afternoon that I heard the news and I don't recall any games being broadcast on the the radio. Heck! what do I know?
I'm still thinking I was in grade 8 and must be thinking about the 'cuban missile crisis'. Those hippie years seem to have played around with the space/time continuum.
Kenny Bay Hall- Shots rang out at 12.30 central time Nov 22, 1963.
Decker Way- DUH you got me had to make it morning to fit my memory LOL
Kenny Bay Hall- It was a Friday
Decker Way- Ah, that explains it!
Audrey Bromby- Strange I remember when JFK was assassinated but can't remember where I was when I heard about Elvis or Michael Jackson.
Claudia Forster Allen- I was down in the cafeteria for some weird reason. Maybe helping prepare a meal . . people came running down and turned on the TV and we all sat and watched . It was very upsetting and we were all in shock. The first first time in history the school was actually "QUIET"
John Farrell- I believe I was in Howie Johnson's Grade 7 classroom and a girl had gone to the washroom and came back to class and told him what had happened. When I first heard that it was in Texas, first picture that flashed through my mind was cowboys, horses and open fields. To later find out it happened during a motorcade through a major city kind of made more sense.
Maureen Forster Page- I was in grade eight. The idiot of the class, cant remember who it was, laughed and was severely reprimanded.
Kendall Damant- Grade 8, at the top of the stairs. I forget the teacher's name (sorry..) but I can see her face; she had short black hair & I even remember it was a pink dress!! She came in crying her eyes out, told us & I didn't understand why it was so important, so I guess I join you in the corner, Maureen!!!
Barbara Goettel Lacroix- That's right Kendall - if you read my post further back, I mention that we were in Mrs. Fowler's class. Maureen, we were in the same class - funny but I can't remember anyone laughing. We were writing an exam & were only told after everyone finished.
Kendall Damant- Of course, Barbara; Mes, Fowler!!!!!! DUHHHHH!!!!
Kendall Damant- Out of sight, out of mind, eh Jean? That was forty eight frigging years ago!! But it's all coming back like it was yesterday. I think that we remember EVERYTHING in our lives; the memories are in the filing cabinet, it's just a matter of finding the file, lol!
Carole Beattie @Kendall- Yeah, I once tended to agree with you but if you have been following this thread I think it blows that theory.
Linda Knight Seccaspina- When you find those files Kendall let me know how you did it. That's why I write to keep the mind greased up and continually moving.
Kendall Damant- Too funny, Linda!
Linda Knight Seccaspina- Ahh Kendall I wish it was a joke. My memory got lost somewhere between 1985 and 1991. If you see it send it home!
John Farrell -Linda, he could send it home-but it would probably just get lost!
Kendall Damant- Here's the test, Linda; IF YOU REMEMBER THE '60s, YOU WEREN'T THERE!!
Audrey Bromby-When was the 60's again?
John Kenedy was a friend on mine as The Byrds sang, and indeed to everyone else in the world- Rest In Peace John!
He never knew my name
Though I never met him
I knew him just the same
Oh, he was a friend of mine
Just like all of us have become friends once again.
Cowansville High School
11th in a series of -"6 seconds of Cowansville High School"
Those Darn Kids from Cowansville High School
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