Where were you on November 22, 1963?

Published 5:19 PM ET, Mon November 18, 2013
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Paula Matuskey, 15 years old: "Shocked, we looked across the room at each other, in total disbelief. Even hardened football players who were in our class were visibly crying. And somehow, even that early, some of us knew that this was going to forever change our society, our expectations and our country." Courtesy Paula Matuskey
Gail Powell, 8 years old: "I do recall that I was going to the elementary school cafeteria to get lunch and I could hear a radio playing. One of the cafeteria workers was crying! I asked someone what was going on and I will never forget what I heard: 'The President has been shot.' " Courtesy Gail Powell
Kathi Cordsen, 11 years old: "I didn't know much about death, I never knew anyone that had died, it just wasn't a part of my life's experience. I started crying, thoughts of Caroline and John John raced in my head. I was embarrassed that I was crying so I ducked my head under my desk. I soon learned I wasn't the only one crying, even the boy in front of me was." Courtesy Kathi Cordsen
Marcia Wendorf, 13 years old: "As usual, my mind was wandering when the classroom door opened and a girl popped her head in. This was unusual, the algebra teacher didn't brook any shenanigans in her classroom. We all swiveled our gaze to the girl, who said that President Kennedy had been shot." Courtesy Marcia Wendorf
Natalie Montanaro, 5 years old: "My parents were not ones to share adult talk with us and so the way I heard was by the newscasters. The constant airing of the 'ask not what your country can do for you' speech did leave a lasting impression." Courtesy Natalie Montanaro
Harry Pandolfino, 9 years old: "There was a sudden crackling on the school PA system, the sound of the mic being put up against a radio. And then we heard the news. We were all herded into the church to pray, then released early from school." Courtesy Harry Pandolfino
Derek Farthing, third grade: "The school's janitor came to the door and in a low voice spoke to Ms. Melvin, my third grade teacher. Her hands rose to cover her face and to still her sudden-shocked voice from raising our concerns. After composing herself, she turned to us and stated, 'The President, President Kennedy, was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas.' " Courtesy Derek Farthing