Author Topic: When President Kennedy Died & Mr. Hartstein informed our 6 Grade Class at PS 69  (Read 1855 times)

Offline Hifi

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One of the few memories that are permanently etched inside me is when at around 2:00 while I was just counting down the minutes in my 6th grade class at PS 69 till the weekend started, a female teacher suddenly burst into our classroom and whispered something into our teacher, Mr. Hartstein's ear, who turned absolutely white. I never saw anyone turn white before and haven't seen it since. He was frozen in shock for about a minute or so and we were all wondering what the hell was wrong with him. Then without saying anything, he picked up a piece of chalk and walked to the blackboard and without saying anything, wrote that President Kennedy Has Been Shot which I think was amended a few minutes later to President Kennedy is Dead. We then were let out early. Mr. Hartstein who was a good man unfortunately died a few years later from a fall from his stairs at home.

As I was a dumb 11 year old and PS 69 had a lot of us, I then went outside and played punch ball in the schoolyard with a lot of other kids as the gravity of the situation didn't register. I just remember I was so ticked off that weekend which was before cable TV, that all the TV channels didn't have any of the regular TV Shows on for the next 3 or 4 days. Somehow incredibly, I still find it hard to believe to this day, the NFL played their regular scheduled football games. My family & I had gone that Sunday to visit some friends of my parents in New Jersey and I remember just as we were leaving them and driving home, that my dad's friend ran to the car and said that Lee Harvey Oswald was just shot dead. The whole thing was like a cartoon to my 11 year old mind and I think I might have started laughing at the whole thing- the President gets assassinated, no TV and now the Assassinator has been shot dead. Felt like one of my Saturday morning cartoons.

Of course as I grew older I realized that Lee Harvey Oswald did not assassinate Kennedy, the Warren Commission was a cover-up and basically the President of the United States does not have real power (at 11, I thought the President "Ruled" the United States). Anyone want to share their experiences of November 22, 1963 and that weekend?
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 04:57:19 AM by Hifi »

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