Vol. 10


The Assassination

November 22, 1963; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

It was 1963 — November 22 — and Barbara DeLuca was riding to school on her bus in Cincinnati, Ohio. Barbara was in sixth grade; she was eleven years old. She was dressed not too fancy in her knee skirt and blue cotton sweater, just right for a young middle-class girl. Barbara wondered what was going on with all the whispering. She asked her friend if she knew what the excitement was about. Her friend said that for the first time the entire class was going to get to watch a television program at school. “Even if it’s going to be for educational reasons, it’s still going to be cool,” Barbara said, in an elephant voice.

Late that morning, the teacher turned on the television. The boys and girls eagerly watched a show about the ocean. After lunch and recess, the teacher discussed with the class what they had watched. They were talking about the seven seas when the principal came in. He bent down and whispered to the teacher.

The principal strolled out of the room, and the teacher sat with her head in her hands. Instinctively, the class knew something was wrong. They knew the news they were about to hear was not going to be pleasant. The boys didn’t make noises; the girls weren’t talking about accessorizing their cats. Finally, after what seemed like forever, the teacher rose from her chair in a cloud of sorrow, her eyes stung red from crying. The teacher cleared her throat and stammered, “Our president has been shot.”

The students gasped and began to whisper to one another, but as the reality of this sunk in, they were silenced again for the rest of the day. Many of them spent the remainder of the day crying, and couldn’t wait to get home to their families. On the bus ride home, the only topic of conversation was the assassination of President Kennedy. Everyone forgot about the excitement of the new television.

When Barbara got home, she saw her mom weeping in front of the TV. Barbara didn’t bother to ask if her mom was all right; she knew she wasn’t. She quickly and quietly went to her room to read, thinking that would clear her mind of the assassination. However, all she could think about was how her president had been shot.

When Barbara’s father came home from work, they all gathered around their small new television to watch the continued coverage of the assassination. The news showed the new president being sworn into office. The news also showed a previous speech made by Kennedy. He told the nation that they needed to stay brave in times of total distress. As Barbara listened to this, it strangely made her feel better. She listened intently. This speech inspired her to be like the president. She wanted to stay strong like many people’s hero, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the late president of the United States.

Maddox J. Corbin, grandson of Barbara; New Jersey, USA


This copyrighted story may be copied for limited classroom use or reprinted in an article about The Grannie Annie.


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