November 22, 1963 is a day most Americans will never forget. Whether you were alive then or learned about the tragedy in school years or decades later, the assassination of our 35th president, John Fitzerald Kennedy, will never be forgotten.
"Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" is a question that continues to reverberate today, often with responses that demand our attention and leave us with a lump in our throat. It was a moment in our country's history, a tragedy which is still one of the most terrible things to have happened in the United States. Someone had killed our president -- it was unthinkable.
Back in 1963 the media was very different. Wires were received via real paper -- we had the rip and read format. Television news was relatively new and radio was a key way people got their news. There was no social media and we had to depend on the country's journalists to tell us what happened. No one can forget Walter Cronkite making the announcement that Kennedy had died. He was visibly moved but did the job he had to which was to tell the country what had happened.
It's vital not just to remember the historical significance of that sad November day 50 years ago, but also for journalists to look back and realize how far journalism has come. Back then television news would have probably broken into programming to announce a news bulletin and then immediately have gone back to the soap opera or whatever show was on. Today news breaks and journalists are on the scene quickly, providing us with the latest updates almost as soon as the incident takes place. We can see the news happening and feel what people are feeling.
Regardless of the passing of 50 years, the footage available allows us to feel and see the collective mourning and disbelief people felt when the news was told. So on this day of remembrance, this post is not just to commemorate a beloved man and leader, but to also go back in time to see how we were being told of the tragic events that unfolded on November 22, 1963.
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