Video: Your memories of JFK and the day the world changed

From: Mrs Valerie Kellett, Hollym Road, Withernsea, East Yorkshire.

President John F. Kennedy
President John F. Kennedy

I REMEMBER the day very well and think of JFK’s assassination on “his anniversary” of November 22, 1963.

I was at my auntie and uncle’s house, a small terrace house, rented and in need of repair. I was collecting their weekly payment as my mother had a credit trading business and need I also add, she never ever missed a payment. I was watching a small nine inch square TV.

My uncle was fast asleep in “his” chair, and in the middle of my auntie talking to me, I shouted really loudly: “He has been shot.” Startled, she asked me who had been shot. I replied that it was JFK and she asked me who he was.

President John F. Kennedy

I was so upset as I was interested in him because he was having an affair with Marilyn Monroe and I adored her. “The President of the USA” I replied with tears in my eyes. “Is he important, like Clark Gable?” she asked. “More than him,” I replied.

I can picture the event to this day, watching him waving to the millions of people who worshipped him. It was so quick, the shot was loud, and so sad.

The house my auntie and uncle lived in was demolished years ago to modern roads, but the memory of the shock of seeing and hearing the shooting of the President of the USA will never be demolished from my mind.

From: Alan Chapman, Beck Lane, Bingley.

THE Labour Party’s media machine, the BBC, are currently repeating old clips of the assassination of Democratic USA President JF Kennedy as it comes to his 50 Memoriam. The anniversary falls on November 22, his death being in 1963.

However, on that same date in 1990 another significant event occurred: UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher resigned to become a legend.

She won her first General Election in 1979 with an overall majority of 43. Her second victory, the landslide, was gained in 1983, overall majority of 144.

This was the response from the UK electors to her outstanding victory in the Falkland Islands. We were proud to be British and we felt like a proper nation following years of trade union-led decline.

She secured her third term in 1987 to become one of the longest serving Prime Ministers in our country’s history, and her majority was 102.

As we know, history shows she was stabbed in the back by the “wets” in the 1990 Conservative Party, the idiot Michael Heseltine and his cronies sharpened their knives.

How we need a new Margaret Thatcher now to get this country sorted out! She would have put Europe in its place and never countenanced “gay marriage” – it would not have reached a vote in the Commons!

From: Martin Towers, Old Hexthorpe, Doncaster.

IN the July of 1963, I had left my Wythenshawe, Manchester school, Newall Green Secondary Modern, and had spent the summer holidays at home and a week’s youth hostelling with some of my friends in the Yorkshire Dales. By the time September came, I was ready to go out into the big wide world.

I had been recruited by the YMCA on their British Boys for British Farms scheme and after an eight-week training course near Derby, found myself working on a North Wales sheep farm. So it was that on Friday, November 22, 1963, that is where I was. I had been up since 7am to milk the Welsh Black cows by hand and I suppose we had done something with the sheep but after 50 years I cannot remember.

As it was Friday, it was Young Farmers’ club night and I made my way to the village of Frongoch, near Bala, to where it was held in what was known as the WI hut. I can remember that there was a talk and a 16mm film on Eritrea and how the Bible was being distributed to the local people, however the main conversation of the evening was of the events in Dallas, Texas and the assassination of JFK.

About a year later, it was Young Farmers’ club night, but we were visiting a neighbouring club in Betws Gwerfil Goch, a village near Corwen. We had been asked to a public speaking competition with them and other clubs in the vicinity. I had been chosen to represent our club even though most of the proceedings were in Welsh and I did not speak the language. The subject I chose was the assassination of JFK.

I was introduced, in Welsh, and proceeded to deliver my speech in English. After I had finished, I was given a vote of thanks. The other clubs duly gave their speeches in Welsh and the adjudicator gave the result in Welsh. To my surprise, with my speech, the only one in English, our club won the competition.

I still have the small cup that I won on that night.

From: Mrs Wendy Abbott, Boulsworth Avenue, Kingston Upon Hull.

ON November 22, 1963, I was standing at the bus stop on my way to watch my then boyfriend, a musician in a blues band play at a gig when a friend approached me to say that it had just been announced on the local news that the President of The United States had been assassinated.

Fifty years on and this tragedy still remains the subject of intense debate. John F Kennedy’s death prompted an avalanche of books onto the market, each author offering their own theory as to what happened. In the absence of any firm evidence I fear the mystery will never end.

It is difficult to judge what his lasting legacy would have been since he had only been in office since 1961 when he was killed. He initiated the proposals to end the Cuban Missile Crisis, averting what could have been a disastrous situation, and for that he will be remembered. In addition to his achievements John and Jacqueline Kennedy also brought a touch of glamour to the White House the like of which will never be seen again.

From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.

WHEN JF Kennedy was shot on November 22, 1963 I was a 17-year-old school boy at St Peter’s School York.

I had just gone up to my study in The Rise boarding house and when I switched on the wireless the news of the assassination was the whole topic.

I remember I could hardly believe what I was hearing.

I have always been a firm supporter of the Right, but I suppose he helped me to understand the benefits of listening to “all sides”.