| It Has Been A Rough Year |
I am adding this additional chapter to my introduction, because after I initially wrote the introduction, it was very difficult to come back to it and try to make sense of all that I have experienced through the various stages of my life and the trials that I have endured or overcome. I wish ...
| The Birth of Charles Leonard Wiggins |
The story has already been written for awhile on my blog "From the heart of Praise, Prayer and Perseverance. 0; Here is a link to that posting, Below are the pictures of the blessed event.
http://fromthehea rt-dotwigg.blogsp ot.com/2008/03/an other-2-prayer-re quest-answered.ht ml
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Deborah's Story > Chapters > WORKING MY WAY BACK TO THE BEGINNING
| Date Range: 10/01/2009 To 10/31/2009 ||
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| | November 22, 1963 that is a date that I will not forget. It was the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
I was a fifth grader at Pilgrim Elementary School. My teacher was Mr. Howard Green. He had us working long column addition problems on the board. I had just completed a problem and sat down at my desk. The boy who sat next to me was named Warren Austin. As soon as I sat back down he began ranting about my answer being wrong. He was upset because he felt that my incorrect answer was going to ruin our rows no missed problem record. I was sure that the answer I had calculated was right. Which cause us to have a minor tiff as our classmates worked their problems and returned to their seats.
Mr. Green had just begun to check the answer to the problems when the school secretary Mrs. Wright came into our classroom to tell Mr. Green the news. She looked very upset and she blurted out, "The President has been shot!" We all gasped out loud as she turned to leave. I believe that she was going from room to room to make the announcement. We started talking and Mr. Green immediately restored order. He drew out attention back to the board and the problems.
He had just finished checking the problem that I had completed. It was right and I was feeling pretty good about that fact. He had checked Warren's problem and was moving on down the line when Mrs. Wright returned to our classroom. This time she was crying as she announced, "The President is dead."
It became very quiet for a moment. Mr. Green stopped checking problems and stood there looking at the empty doorway. We didn't really know what to say or do at that moment. When you're ten years old it is difficult to comprehend an assassination.
A few minutes later school was being dismissed. Mr. Green told us to get our coats and head straight for our homes. We gathered our things and headed out of the building. I walked home with a group of friends.
As we walked down Taylor Avenue we were talking about the news of President Kennedy's death. There were people coming out of their houses and traffic was heavy on Mt. Vernon Avenue. The workforce had been sent home for the day.
When I arrived at our house, my grandmother was sitting in her favorite chair with the television on. Which was unusual for her. She only watched television during the day when the World Series was on the air. Walter Cronkite was giving commentary about the events in Dallas. I removed my coat and sat down in the front room to join her. It was obvious that the murder of President Kennedy had shook up Cronkite completely. He struggled to give the details of the events that had taken place. My grandmother just sat and watched without saying a word.
One of my most vivid memories was the television coverage. At that time televisions were broadcasting in black and white. Color programming was the emerging upgrade and it was still pretty new. We didn't have a color set at the time. We had a floor model Philco. There were only three networks then. All stations signed off by one in the morning during the week. Each one of the local stations would announce the end of their operating hours and play the National Athem to indicate they were signing off. Since schools and businesses were closed, I had talked my grandmother into letting me watch until the sign off signal came on. At one o'clock the coverage continued. This is the first time that I realized that television could air programs all night long.
The assassination of President Kennedy is one of the events that changed my perception of this nation. Kennedy was a popular president among African Americans (Negroes). A lot of the adults were angry and very upset over his death. Our elders were sure that his intent to inact legislation that was pro-colored people was one of the reasons behind his murder.
It does not seem like 46 years have passed since the death of John F. Kennedy. Perhaps that is because the moment is etched within my memories as a person.
I hope that you never have this experience as an American.