50th Anniversary of JFK Assassination. NW Staff Remembers.

The faculty members of the SM Northwest staff recall their memories of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Photo Courtesy of: Wikipedia

“I was living in Iran at the time president Kennedy was shot.  President Kennedy was immensely popular in Iran and around the world. When President Kennedy was shot, my father  and Iranians all around the country  were  stricken with grief and a sense of  loss and sadness. My father who was a cultural Ambassador between Iran and other countries at the time, traveled the world extensively and  was a fervent  admirer of President Kennedy and his  views on injustice and racism in America. Our house was always full of  foreign guests and President Kennedy’s  name was brought up frequently in discussions related to justice and equality. Through great man such as president Kennedy, Mahatma  Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, our father taught his children that all men are created equal regardless of race, color, or national origin. Lets’ remember what these great men lived and died for and encourage each other and our students to treat each other with respect and moral  fortitude.” science teacher Ziba Vossoughi


“I was home from school sick as I recall, watching TV. Mostly I remember the entire weekend with the TV on only to the coverage because that is all there was on the three channels available.  I really remember the funeral procession with the wagon and horses and little John- John saluting.  I lost my father when I was five, so I think it made an impression on me to see the Kennedy children.  Of course it was in black and white.  I think seeing Oswald killed on TV was the most powerful.  That kind of thing has never happened in America before, first a president was killed and now to see the killer killed.  It was very powerful.” librarian Carolyn LaFever


“I was on M-14 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, going to a doctor’s appointment in our red VW bug. It came over the radio. Mom slowed way down and listened intently without speaking. It scared me to see her so intense. We didn’t go to the appointment. I don’t really remember much after that until Time and Life magazine came in the mail and we all poured over the articles and pictures (of course they were in color our TV was not).” – SEEK teacher Catherine Morrison


“The assassination of JFK is one of my most vivid childhood memories. I was sitting in my third grade classroom when one of the second grade teachers suddenly appeared in the doorway.  She motioned my teacher over, and I heard her whisper, “The president has been shot.”  Both teachers abruptly left the room.  When my teacher returned, she solemnly announced that the president had been shot and killed in Dallas, Texas.  In the moments following, utter chaos erupted in the classroom.  Students started sobbing and shrieking that the communists were going to take over and that we had no president.  The teacher somehow calmed us all down, and we went on about our work. That weekend, television coverage on all three channels was non-stop, live reporting of the events that were unfolding.  On Sunday morning, as I was playing with my Barbies, my mom (who was glued to the TV screen), shouted out that Lee Harvey Oswald had just been shot and killed. The next day, Monday, was a national day of mourning so that all America could watch Kennedy’s funeral on television. School was cancelled for the rest of the week since Thursday was going to be Thanksgiving. The world shifted dramatically after that as the “Camelot” era ended.” – English teacher Fran Koenigsdorf

“It was after lunch and I was in 8th grade. I went to band and the band director, Mr. Stockberger, was sitting on his director’s stool with his head down. He looked awful. We asked him if he was okay and he said that the president had just been shot and it didn’t look good. There are no words that can describe that horrible feeling I had. I think I felt really scared. Between classes, you could have heard a pin drop. No one talked in the hallways. Everything was closed the day of the funeral and my mom was home with me. She ironed while we watched the funeral. I remember her crying when John John saluted his father’s casket. Again, it scared me. I didn’t know what to think or how to react to all of the events. As I look back, it was an end to a time that felt like innocence. We were now vulnerable to all the bad things that could happen in the world. Looking back at the pictures, I have noticed some things. All the women have on dresses, even if they were just going out to watch the motorcade. The men had on collared shirts. Many men wore hats like my dad did. The FBI agents were smoking while they were working. People gathered around car radios and windows with posted news since everything wasn’t as available.”- science teacher Charleen Mankameyer