Yes, I remember where I was. I was barely four years old, and my mother would plant me in front of the television to watch Captain Kangaroo in the mornings. The 22nd was also a Friday that year, and Cap'n was over when the news began to break, but apparently I was very upset when the following Monday's show was pre-empted for coverage of Kennedy's funeral. I vividly remember the John-John salute; JFK Junior was almost exactly a year younger than me, and was exactly three years old on the day his father was buried, and that brief touching moment stayed with me more than any, no matter how many times I saw the Zapruder film or the footage of Oswald's own whacking.ETA.
One can only guess how different a world this would be if it had been raining in Dallas that day and the top had been up. Kennedy would have wound up with most of the credit for the succeeding domestic triumphs, but with the blame for Vietnam that brought down his successor; LBJ might have run and won in '68, and instead of a legacy with no Kennedy, we might have one without a Nixon. Or, Reagan might have come along some multiple-of-four years sooner than he did.
Certainly, though, the biggest coverup wouldn't have occurred, and that's the hindy-sighty coverup, not of the "conspiracy," but of the divisiveness and hatred that was already taking hold in the country with Kennedy as a flashpoint. Whether because of his Catholicism or his progressive politics, he was probably the most hated incumbent at the time of his death than any before him save Lincoln and any since him save Obama. "Wanted for treason" posters lined the streets of Dallas, and at least one invitee at the luncheon he never attended that day was reported to have told another attendee, "My son sure would have liked to have had that shot."
Lest you think that was only the sentiment of the creepy-ass crackers of the day, I know it wasn't. For I also know where my sister was at the moment the news broke out. She was a senior in high school, out in a drivers' ed car with an instructor I would have 14 years later. The radio must have been on, and as the kids in the car expressed shock and grief, Mr. Reinart's sentiment (if not his exact words) was, "Good riddance- that man was a Commie."
Somehow, his sins were forgiven him, and he got a half dollar, an airport and a space center (briefly, an entire Florida town) named for him. I'm sure it's a Fixed Point in Time the Doctor could never mess with (query: did the show ever reference the event, given its temporal entanglement with the series premiere?), but if I had full control of the TARDIS, I wouldn't mind a world with a Canaveral Space Center, an Idlewild Airport, and Ben Franklin on a useless coin.
I posted the portion of this entry about our drivers' ed teacher on a Facebook group of folks from my hometown, and nobody seemed totally shocked. Rather, his dickiness seemed to be virtually universally acknowledged. But one former student gave back some schadenfreude about him:
She, whether before or for awhile after my time, took multiple-choice tests with the man that were hand-scored. Apparently he used a template to grade the tests- and he was too lazy a bastard to change it for each test. Or, for that matter, to change it ever:He used the same Scantron answer sheet for every test he gave. All you need to know was 1-B,2-A,3-D,4-B...etc. Everyone had the "answers". What a maroon (a la Bugs Bunny).
I don't remember that scam in my day, but it warms my heart to know he got fooled. I DO
remember that he recommended a nerdy kid in our graduating class for the Drivers' Ed Award at our commencement ceremony who, at least three years later, STILL hadn't managed to acquire a driver's license.
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