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“I’m John Wilson. I was 18, I was still in high school. I was on my way home from school and I heard it on the radio, and come home and told my mom and dad about it,” Wilson said.
“Rebecca Burwick, had a brand new baby, and I was sitting in my green recliner, ugly thing, watching as The World Turns while I nursed her,” Burwick said.
“I’m Larry Clark, and I got off at noon to go home for lunch from work, and I was going over the Glenstone by dock. Right in the middle of it, had the radio on, and they said that was, he’d been shot,” Clark said.
On November 22, 1963 at approximately 12:30 Central Time, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. For those old enough to comprehend the significance at the time, the exact details of that moment resonates 50 years later.
Gwendolyn Fossett was a hairstylist. Her usual client was abnormally late, and she remembers worrying about her.
“She came in about 15 minutes late and she said ‘they shot the president! They shot the president,’” Fossett said.
Norman Gilmore was just a teenager, playing in a high school softball game.
“And when it came over the speaker that President Kennedy had been assassinated, nobody said a word, we all walked off the field. And as we were walking off, it came over the loud speaker that we would have a moment of silence, and he wasn’t able to finish it because everyone started crying,” Gilmore said.
Even halfway around the world, while stationed in Japan, Dan Rominger learned about the news.
“We got up early Saturday morning, turned on the radio and that was all that was on the news. AFN radio, that’s all they were broadcasting that morning,” Rominger said.
Sitting around a table at the South Side Senior Center, these Springfield residents agreed it was a day that shook America.
“Very, very sad, disappointing day,” Wilson said.
“We will not forget that,” Clark said.
“And that was the saddest day in history,” Gilmore said.
For KSMU News, I’m Anna Thomas.