13 Remember the Day JKF was Shot

Remember the day JFK was shot?

This exercise is about that day in Dallas when America stopped to sit in front of our black and white tv’s and mourn.  Here is a link to poems and essays about JFK written by grade school children almost 40 years after his death.  http://www.nps.gov/jofi/forteachers/essayandpoetry.htm.  I’ve chosen two of these for the class but you make like some of the others on this page.  Next a historic article:

Here are some excerpts

Dallas, Nov. 22–President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot and killed by an assassin today.

He died of a wound in the brain caused by a rifle bullet that was fired at him as he was riding through downtown Dallas in a motorcade.

Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who was riding in the third car behind Mr. Kennedy’s, was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States 99 minutes after Mr. Kennedy’s death.

Mr. Johnson is 55 years old; Mr. Kennedy was 46.

Shortly after the assassination, Lee H. Oswald, who once defected to the Soviet Union and who has been active in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, was arrested by the Dallas police. Tonight he was accused of the killing.


At 8:45 A.M., when Mr. Kennedy left the Texas Hotel in Fort Worth, where he spent his last night, to address the parking lot crowd across the street, Mrs. Kennedy was not with him. There appeared to be some disappointment.

“Mrs. Kennedy is organizing herself,” the President said good-naturedly. “It takes longer, but, of course, she looks better than we do when she does it.”

Later, Mrs. Kennedy appeared late at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Fort Worth.

Again, Mr. Kennedy took note of her presence. “Two years ago,” he said, “I introduced myself in Paris by saying that I was the man who had accompanied Mrs. Kennedy to Paris. I am getting somewhat that same sensation as I travel around Texas. Nobody wonders what Lyndon and I wear.”

Read through parts of the above and also read some of the children’s work.  I made copies of two of the children’s poems and handed them out so those who are hard of hearing could follow along.  Ask the group what they think about all of this, what do they remember.  Who were they with when they found out, what were they doing, where were they going.  What did people say around them, their friends their family.  How did they feel.
Ask them to write about this day, before they found out and after.  Describe everything they can remember.  As usual, go around the room and help those who need it and after 15-20 minutes or so, read what they have to the group.
For those who are drawing a blank, try asking them to do the same exercise around the World Trade Center – 911 attacks.

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