Remembering President John F. Kennedy on Thursday's Access Utah

Nov 21, 2013

Many of us remember where we were the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Friday will mark the 50th anniversary of that tragic event. We’re going to open up the phone lines to you on Thursday’s Access Utah from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. to express your memories, thoughts and feelings. 

You can share your comment now on our Utah Public Radio Facebook page or via email to  And you can call 1-800-826-1495 during the show. Tom Williams will be joined by Ross Peterson, Professor of History and Special Assistant to the President at USU. We’ll also hear clips from President Kennedy’s speeches and from news reports. Share your memories, thoughts and feelings about JFK on Thursday’s Access Utah.

Comment from our facebook page

Steven MacIntyre:The opening paragraphs of a newspaper essay I wrote on the occasion of John Lennon's death:

"It is no revelation that truly shocking news impresses indelibly on the mind the ordinary details of life. Yet I still wonder at the clarity with which I will always recall life' mundane events the day I learned of John Lennon's death. For many, Martin Luther King's and Robert Kennedy's assassinations evoke the same kind of memories. And nobody who was old enough to comprehend its significance will ever forget the day John Kennedy was shot.

John Kennedy's assassination occurred on a school day, I remember, like any other — a not unpleasant, slightly overcast autumn day. Early that afternoon the teachers and students were summoned to an assembly room where the principal announced that the president had been shot and killed. We would all be going home early, he said.

One particularly vivid recollection is the kid — I forget his name now — who became so agitated that he began fluttering around the hallway chirping his incredulity: 'What a lot of bull! What are they talking about? I don't believe it.'

The other kids, me included, were impressed by this display of assured skepticism. But it proved his undoing. A young teacher — on the ragged edge after hearing the report — picked the kid up by his neck, forcing him to stand on his toes and slammed him against the lockers.

Now, 17 years later, we are sadly treated to another day to remember…"

Shalayne Smith Needham: My mom remembers that day...she said it was like a dark cloud had come over the nation. She heard the news while she was driving that he had been shot...later in the grocery store one of the clerks confirmed to people that he was dead. It was such a shock that the clerk nearly fainted while trying to pass along the devastating news.

Tom Williams: My mother tells me that she took me and my sister Jane, then ages perhaps 2 and 1 to see President Kennedy's motorcade drive through downtown Great Falls, Montana. So I saw JFK. My memories and feelings come, however, as with many of us, through the old news reports and the recordings of the speeches etc. which still hold emotional power.