Friday, January 21, 2011

Ask Not... 50 Years Later

Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's inauguration.

What a shock to think this happened a whole half-century ago!

I am one of that ever-shrinking number of people who were around in 1961 and actually remember the inauguration. Well, parts of it anyway.

I was in third grade and my teacher Mrs. Smith took our class to her house (she lived three blocks from the school so we walked) to watch the event on her television. Before we left she told all of us to pay careful attention to an old man who would be reading a poem. She said, "His name is Robert Frost, and he won't be alive very much longer."

And that's exactly what I remember from the inauguration -- an old, thin man with a shock of white hair. The wind blew his paper away, but he kept talking. I don't remember seeing the President take the oath of office, or hearing him deliver his famous, "Ask not what your country can do for you..." speech. I don't remember seeing Jackie or anyone else standing near him.

But I remember Robert Frost.

Mrs. Smith was right too, Robert Frost died two years later in 1963. I also keenly remember that terrible day in 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated. But that is a sad story for another time.

What historical events do you remember from your childhood?


Margay said...

I have the terrible misfortune of sharing a birthday with the day Kennedy was shot, so it's an event I'll never forget. Ironically, my nephew's son was born on 9-11.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Oh dear, Margay, those are a couple of unfortunate coincidences.

A good friend of mine's birthday is 9/11, plus she is Muslim so you can imagine how terrible she felt. :-(

It is too bad that we are more often reminded of the unhappy historical events rather than more positive ones.


Helen said...

Aunty Cindy

I remember the first walk on the moon we were taken to the school hall and they had hired a black and white TV for us to watch it on. And I remember the day when Kenedy was assinated and there was lots of TV coverage here in OZ.

Have Fun

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Helen,
How kewl that you got to watch the moon walk at school! It was summer holiday here and my best friend and I went to the movies and saw The Love Bug, so we missed the event. But we saw it later... so many times I lost count!