Author: Bob Hubbard
I was in the first grade at Meadow Brook School in Hillsdale, N.J. We were not told about the assassination in school and to this day I don’t know if anyone did know before school got out. My father had been away on a business trip that day and returned home while I was in school. He went out early that afternoon to run errands leaving my mom home with my two younger siblings. While he was doing his errands, he had the radio on. He heard about the shooting on the radio and raced home to tell my mother. By this time she had dozed off on the couch after a week of taking care of three young children. Upon his arrival he woke her up and she asked why he had done so. He told her the President had been shot in Dallas. Mom of course, couldn’t fathom that as the reason he woke her up and replied, “you woke me up to tell me that?!” We never let her live it down.
My parents turned on the TV to see if anything was being reported and at that point, nothing was and as we all know now, the TV networks could not get up to speed to broadcast the event due to the technology at the time and due to the fact they had to confirm such an important news story before they broadcast it, unlike today where they seem to broadcast anything without confirming it and retract it later. Since there was no news of the event on TV, my mom thought dad had too much of something but he immediately turned on a radio in the house to prove to her he was not losing it. At that point, the only thing that had been confirmed was that shots had been fired at the motorcade and the President and Gov. Connally may have been hit. In short order it was confirmed they had been hit but how badly they did not know and minutes later rumor had it the President was dead though not confirmed.
By this time it was getting time for my father to pick me up at school. He had never picked me up before and as far as I recall, he never did so again. I came out of school not knowing anything about the shooting. I opened the door and Dad had the radio on and told me the President had been shot and just confirmed killed. I was in disbelief of course. He said they had been reporting the news for some time and related the story I just told. He said it had been only a short time since they confirmed the President was dead and since they announced it on CBS news at 2:38 and dismissal time was 2:45, that was correct.
I went home and being only 6, I went out to play but found no one was out. There was no traffic going by, not a soul out except for the paperboy delivering his papers with the radio on loudly and held to his ear. At that point I went back in to watch TV with the family and wait for more news. We watched for what seemed an eternity before anything happened. I remember when they took Kennedy’s casket off the plane and the jostling that went on to do it proper. Kennedy’s brothers wanted to carry the casket. There was not much else to report that night. I remember there was a camera outside the White House of the driveway but no on air reporter. Whatever news came from the studios of each network.
We kids went to bed and did not obsess with watching the TV the next day. I did not see Oswald killed but do remember the funeral procession on Monday as school was out. With the supposed assassin caught and dead, it seemed the case was closed and though painful, we all moved on except for the conspiracy theorists who cashed in on the fact that the facts of the case were slow to materialize and they exploited the ignorance of the general population.