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Through the eyes of an eleven year old!


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Almost every time I give any thought to the assassination I remember back to actually living through those days and what my thoughts were even back then.

One of the books that I purchased soon after the actual event was "There was a President" and basically it was the transcript of a news organization (WNBC I think), this book would bring back that weekend the most vividly for me!

The reason I bring this to your attention is that I can even now still remember that after I found out about the amount of time (6 seconds) the three or four shots took and the weapon that was used, I knew even at the age of eleven that there was no way that anyone could have single handedly pulled that off (I had a Daisy B.B. rifle and I couldn't do it acurately so how could a guy with a bolt action be able to?) and we were then asked to believe that a lone nut "Lee Harvey Oswald" was taken into custody and for all intents and purposes he was "The Culprit", How convenient!

The icing on the cake was when the Dallas Police decided to move their lone suspect to a more secure location and we would all get to see this nut, then as we all watched as this transfer was taking place suddenly a guy in a dark suit and a fedora stepped out in front of the cameras and the cops and stuck a pistol in Oswalds gut and fired, Oswald's knees buckled and he went down like a house of cards and once again within a very short time the nation gasped and we all wondered if this was all part of "The Set-up" was there a master plan that this was part of?

At eleven years of age when I had heard that the snipers nest was found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository and that there were fried chicken bones found on the window sill my very first reaction was that there would be a million fingerprints from that assassin all over the place and the weapon and when I heard that they had to pull apart the rifle in order to find a "single" print I knew there was more to this whole scenerio then we would ever know about.

These are just a few of the thoughts that I remember from that time in my life and now that I look back at the history from then till now and the enormous amount of inconsistencies that continue to gather I realize that we have all been groomed into either believeing what we have been told about this murder or many of us feel that we have to go along with the popular belief.

There are still today things that I would rather not believe but because of time passing I now know that the Boogy Man is alive and well and living right in our midst, L. Fletcher Prouty basically called it right a Shadow Government, the signs are all over the place if we only choose to see them, Elected officials that are not really elected at all, criminal activity that was ordered by our so called leaders, wars escalatted and weapons of mass destruction that are never found and the list goes on.

After all is said and done we need to look at who is getting the most out of the things that have been overlooked since that day in Dallas in 1963.

I wonder what your thoughts were back then, I think it would very interesting to see, Take care, Scott :lol:

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Hi Scott,

I enjoyed your recollections. I was a couple of years older than you when President Kennedy was murdered. My initial impressions, formed by the logic of a 14 year old mind, have remained with me to this day.

I was in last period history class when another teacher came in unannounced and whispered something in our history teacher's ear. I saw a look on her face that I will never forget. I have come to realize that it was one of shock and horror. She immediately suspended her lesson, and instructed us to begin reading a chapter in our book. About ten minutes later, the principal came on the intercom and made a very brief announcement that President Kennedy was dead and there would be no more school for that day.

There was mass shock and confusion in the school halls. No one knew what happened. I think people were too shocked and numb to cry. By the time I made it to the school bus, early reports were coming in. We waited on the bus for a very long time. A couple of students had transistor radios. The only thing I knew then was President Kennedy was dead, having been shot from a tall building in downtown Dallas, and that no suspect was in custody.

I vividly remember wondering immediately who could have done this, and how could they have possibly avoided capture? It just seemed impossible to shoot the President of the United States in a downtown area and get away unseen. I couldn't wait to get home and be with my mother. She liked John Kennedy very much. I had seen him in person in 1960, when he came to the Claypool Hotel in Indianapolis on a campaign stop. I had begged my father to take me, so I could get Stan Musial's autograph, but that's another story.

When I finally got home, my mother was in front of the television set, distraught and disbelieving. As the early accounts of Oswald's capture and arrest started coming in I could not imagine how someone could make a clean getaway, then shoot a policeman, make another clean getaway, and then get captured while in a movie theatre. It just didn't add up. I wanted to hear what the suspect had to say. The newsmen were saying he was denying everything. I spent the rest of the day and night and all day Saturday gazing intently at the television. My sadness was unlike anything I had ever experienced, yet I hung on every word coming out of Dallas and Washington.

Reports had Oswald still denying any guilt in either murder. I thought if he had really shot the President, he would have had to know he could never make it out of the Book Depository. He would have had to be prepared to be caught or killed, with the rifle still in the building. And with all the "evidence" pouring in, how could he continue to maintain his innocence? I wanted to see this Oswald. The only answer is that he must be insane.

Watching events unfold live at the Dallas Police Station was mesmerizing. Never before in my life had I watched news happen live. I kept wondering that, even if Oswald was up there shooting how could the police be so sure that he had no help. To me that would be something impossible to know so quickly after his capture, especially given his denials.

Finally, Oswald was brought before the news cameras. In addition, they were playing videotape of him being led, handcuffed in the halls. What I saw in my own mind has remained with me for almost 43 years. Replays have only reinforced my impressions of when I saw him for the first time. To me, Oswald did not look like a man that had done what they were claiming. It was obvious in his countenance and demeanor and tone of voice. Intially he seemed angry that he was being held. He was asking for a lawyer. To me, he had the reactions of an innocent man. I could see it in his eyes. I trusted my all too young instincts and intuitions. I just didn't believe he did it. Everything was too pat. Too many things didn't seem to add up.

News reports were saying that Oswald was being questioned at great length. I couldn't wait to hear what they were asking and what he was saying. I wondered if he would somehow break, and admit what he did, and prove me wrong. I was watching the next morning when Oswald was silenced forever. I remember thinking: now we will never know what he might have said. We only know what he said while being interrogated in custody. I immediately looked forward to the transcript of the tape recordings to know more about this mysterious alleged killer that had only been in front of the news cameras for a few cryptic moments. It only took a day to learn that no recordings were ever made. I remember that almost intolerable feeling of disbelief when I learned no recordings of Oswald in custody were made. I didn't understand how that could ever happen in America.

I also remember being ridiculed and even vilified in school the next week for even suggesting that I thought Oswald might be innocent. That ridicule made me stubborn to admit I might be wrong. Somehow they had gotten the wrong man. By that time, thanks to Merriam-Webster, I knew what the word "patsy" meant. I wondered how Oswald knew that word.

Then Johnson announced the formation of the Warren Commission. My mother admired Justice Warren. I harbored hope that they would discover the truth. I wanted to have the last laugh on people that were so adamant about Oswald's guilt.

As the months went by, it seemed each almost daily there was a new revelation about the assassination. There were reports of people seeing Oswald and Ruby together and an infinite number of unanswered questions. I actually expected the Warren Commission to come out with a blockbuster announcement of some sort, that's how convinced I was that Oswald was innocent. And the only thing I had, in light of all the "evidence" against him, was this gut feeling that he was telling the truth in front of the cameras. I wondered why others couldn't see what I saw.

I remember a feeling of disappointment and resignation when it was leaked that the Warren Commission was going to find that Oswald acted alone so soon after they convened. It was as if all the interest and spark of a genuine investigation was gone. I went back to the things that normally captured the interest of teenagers in those days. I began thinking of cars, girls, and college.

When Mark Lane's Rush to Judgment was published, it was an epiphany of sorts for me. He raised important questions, and I delighted in querying my college acquaintances how they could believe the Warren Commission. None of us had read the 26 Volumes, just the Report. Now Lane was bringing out so many things that were in those 26 Volumes that was exculpatory of Oswald, or at least cast doubt on the official version.

Ever since then, I have read everything I could get my hands on and spent untold hours talking about and wondering what really happened that day in Dallas. I wish I knew.

Mike Hogan

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I found both these personal accounts fascinating and moving.

A question for both of you.

Did it ever occur to you in the 60s - or to others in your circles at the time (family, friends etc) - that the mass media could or would systematically deceive you about an event as significant as the JFK assassination?

In other words, did you confidently expect the media, overall, would try to discover and expose the truth, whatever it was?

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I found both these personal accounts fascinating and moving.

A question for both of you.

Did it ever occur to you in the 60s - or to others in your circles at the time (family, friends etc) - that the mass media could or would systematically deceive you about an event as significant as the JFK assassination?

In other words, did you confidently expect the media, overall, would try to discover and expose the truth, whatever it was?

Thank you Sid,

During those times (1964) I had access to alternative publications like Ramparts and The Minority of One. I remember being interested because they seemed to be the only ones questioning the official version. I would say I had hope that someone or something would break the case.

With the publication of Whitewash, Inquest, and Rush to Judgement, I was convinced that for some reason, the truth was being kept from us. Shortly thereafter, books followed by Sylvia Meagher and Josiah Thompson. It was revealed that a district attorney in New Orleans was conducting his own investigation. To me, and many other Americans, the offical version was crumbling.

When CBS announced they were doing an extensive investigation into JFK's murder, I had hope that finally someone in the media was going to hold our government accountable for the incredibly inept (or dishonest) investigation they conducted. After Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather debunked any possibilty of conspiracy, I knew then that the major media could never be counted on to expose the truth, whatever the truth was.

Mark Lane's follow up book, Citizen's Dissent cemented the issue for me. His account of the functions of the media as it pertained to him convinced me that citizens could no longer trust what they read in the newspapers or watched on television. And of course by that time, Vietnam had become the major issue with young people on campus. The US Government had lost much credibility, as evidenced by the mounting protests.

When Jim Garrison published A Heritage of Stone in 1970, I became resigned to the fact that we would probably never know the truth. Whether or not one feels Garrison's investigation was flawed or not, his observations on the military industrial complex were forceful and brave. To me, his eloquent and passionate writing has stood the test of time, and the things that he wrote about warfare are applicable today.

Sid, I got to rambling here. A much longer reply than I had originally intended. The short answer to your question could have been I felt the goverment deceived us early on. The failure of the media to hold them accountable was unforgivable, and still is. Any coverup would never have succeeded without a complicit and accommodating media. American citizens deserve a portion of the blame for allowing these things to have happened. I think most, if not all of my family and friends came to feel much the same way.

Mike Hogan

Edited by Michael Hogan
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I found both these personal accounts fascinating and moving.

A question for both of you.

Did it ever occur to you in the 60s - or to others in your circles at the time (family, friends etc) - that the mass media could or would systematically deceive you about an event as significant as the JFK assassination?

In other words, did you confidently expect the media, overall, would try to discover and expose the truth, whatever it was?

During that weekend I remember hanging on every word that made the air, the telecasts were so erratic and seemed to be just on the spur of the moment reporting, I think it may have been the first time I stayed up all night to see what the next report would bring.

Remember that in New York in 1963 there were only three major channels (National) and they were the ones that we all watched and so I can't speak for everyone but in my house we changed the channel constantly.

During a family get together, maybe Christmas, the adults sat around talking about the assassination and one of the men there spoke up and said it was his opinion that there was more then one sniper and the reason for that was very soon after Kennedy was killed the situation in Vietnam was being escalated and someone in high places was making lots of money from that, he then said something that I have never forgot, "Who had the most to gain from the assassination?" and if you can answer that question then you will know who was behind it!

That thought process changed the way I look at any and all news since that day.

Thanks for your input, I think reading different peoples accounts of that day is just so interesting, Scott

Hi Scott,

I enjoyed your recollections. I was a couple of years older than you when President Kennedy was murdered. My initial impressions, formed by the logic of a 14 year old mind, have remained with me to this day.

I was in last period history class when another teacher came in unannounced and whispered something in our history teacher's ear. I saw a look on her face that I will never forget. I have come to realize that it was one of shock and horror. She immediately suspended her lesson, and instructed us to begin reading a chapter in our book. About ten minutes later, the principal came on the intercom and made a very brief announcement that President Kennedy was dead and there would be no more school for that day.

There was mass shock and confusion in the school halls. No one knew what happened. I think people were too shocked and numb to cry. By the time I made it to the school bus, early reports were coming in. We waited on the bus for a very long time. A couple of students had transistor radios. The only thing I knew then was President Kennedy was dead, having been shot from a tall building in downtown Dallas, and that no suspect was in custody.

I vividly remember wondering immediately who could have done this, and how could they have possibly avoided capture? It just seemed impossible to shoot the President of the United States in a downtown area and get away unseen. I couldn't wait to get home and be with my mother. She liked John Kennedy very much. I had seen him in person in 1960, when he came to the Claypool Hotel in Indianapolis on a campaign stop. I had begged my father to take me, so I could get Stan Musial's autograph, but that's another story.

When I finally got home, my mother was in front of the television set, distraught and disbelieving. As the early accounts of Oswald's capture and arrest started coming in I could not imagine how someone could make a clean getaway, then shoot a policeman, make another clean getaway, and then get captured while in a movie theatre. It just didn't add up. I wanted to hear what the suspect had to say. The newsmen were saying he was denying everything. I spent the rest of the day and night and all day Saturday gazing intently at the television. My sadness was unlike anything I had ever experienced, yet I hung on every word coming out of Dallas and Washington.

Reports had Oswald still denying any guilt in either murder. I thought if he had really shot the President, he would have had to know he could never make it out of the Book Depository. He would have had to be prepared to be caught or killed, with the rifle still in the building. And with all the "evidence" pouring in, how could he continue to maintain his innocence? I wanted to see this Oswald. The only answer is that he must be insane.

Watching events unfold live at the Dallas Police Station was mesmerizing. Never before in my life had I watched news happen live. I kept wondering that, even if Oswald was up there shooting how could the police be so sure that he had no help. To me that would be something impossible to know so quickly after his capture, especially given his denials.

Finally, Oswald was brought before the news cameras. In addition, they were playing videotape of him being led, handcuffed in the halls. What I saw in my own mind has remained with me for almost 43 years. Replays have only reinforced my impressions of when I saw him for the first time. To me, Oswald did not look like a man that had done what they were claiming. It was obvious in his countenance and demeanor and tone of voice. Intially he seemed angry that he was being held. He was asking for a lawyer. To me, he had the reactions of an innocent man. I could see it in his eyes. I trusted my all too young instincts and intuitions. I just didn't believe he did it. Everything was too pat. Too many things didn't seem to add up.

News reports were saying that Oswald was being questioned at great length. I couldn't wait to hear what they were asking and what he was saying. I wondered if he would somehow break, and admit what he did, and prove me wrong. I was watching the next morning when Oswald was silenced forever. I remember thinking: now we will never know what he might have said. We only know what he said while being interrogated in custody. I immediately looked forward to the transcript of the tape recordings to know more about this mysterious alleged killer that had only been in front of the news cameras for a few cryptic moments. It only took a day to learn that no recordings were ever made. I remember that almost intolerable feeling of disbelief when I learned no recordings of Oswald in custody were made. I didn't understand how that could ever happen in America.

I also remember being ridiculed and even vilified in school the next week for even suggesting that I thought Oswald might be innocent. That ridicule made me stubborn to admit I might be wrong. Somehow they had gotten the wrong man. By that time, thanks to Merriam-Webster, I knew what the word "patsy" meant. I wondered how Oswald knew that word.

Then Johnson announced the formation of the Warren Commission. My mother admired Justice Warren. I harbored hope that they would discover the truth. I wanted to have the last laugh on people that were so adamant about Oswald's guilt.

As the months went by, it seemed each almost daily there was a new revelation about the assassination. There were reports of people seeing Oswald and Ruby together and an infinite number of unanswered questions. I actually expected the Warren Commission to come out with a blockbuster announcement of some sort, that's how convinced I was that Oswald was innocent. And the only thing I had, in light of all the "evidence" against him, was this gut feeling that he was telling the truth in front of the cameras. I wondered why others couldn't see what I saw.

I remember a feeling of disappointment and resignation when it was leaked that the Warren Commission was going to find that Oswald acted alone so soon after they convened. It was as if all the interest and spark of a genuine investigation was gone. I went back to the things that normally captured the interest of teenagers in those days. I began thinking of cars, girls, and college.

When Mark Lane's Rush to Judgment was published, it was an epiphany of sorts for me. He raised important questions, and I delighted in querying my college acquaintances how they could believe the Warren Commission. None of us had read the 26 Volumes, just the Report. Now Lane was bringing out so many things that were in those 26 Volumes that was exculpatory of Oswald, or at least cast doubt on the official version.

Ever since then, I have read everything I could get my hands on and spent untold hours talking about and wondering what really happened that day in Dallas. I wish I knew.

Mike Hogan

Terrific account of that piece of history, the things that stick with us are just incredible, thanks, Scott

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My experience was eerily like that described by Mike. I still recall the way my teacher's eyes widened within her face which had turned ashen when another instructor whispered into her ear what had just occurred. I was several years younger and we heard the news very early on. We were immediately formed into two lines at the classroom door and marched somewhat silently down the highly reflective linoleum floors in which the lights had been dimmed (perhaps to save electricity during classes). I can still hear the clacking of the 2" Cuban heels which many of the boys wore then. I was the reluctant President of my class at that time - running only because of the prodding of friends and an obligation which I felt to my brilliant and exhuberant new national leader who encouraged at every opportunity that we push ourselves harder - accept new challeneges - become more and accomplish more - for our own growth and for the betterment of the country. My teacher held my hand from the classroom and all afternoon until the time to board the busses for home. We were the only two classes to make the trek to the school's only television in the cafeteria and monitor the unfolding tragedy. I remember the announcement that the police had found a British Enfield 303. Then, they discovered the German Mauser in the TSBD. Later, when they "reidentified" the Mauser as the Mannlicher-Carcano - I began to get a very sick feeling about what was transpiring. I had always believed government proclamations without question - but I found this nugget of misinformation to be inexplicable and unforgivable. In a police investigation of a murder - particularly of the leader of the free world - you ascertain specific data - check it - and record it. You don't make guesses about what you think something might be - or, jot down what you think something looks like - then announce to a grieving nation your mistaken and incorrect assumptions as fact. I began to dread the appearances of the Dallas Police representatives who seemed more and more like moronic ghouls - automatons of evil - robots, wound up and set upon a dark course of premeditated results. I also watched Lee Oswald every chance I could, live and on tape, being led through the station corridors. To me, he responded and reacted in every way, like an innocent man caught in the machinery of something deaf and unstoppable. When he was so conveniently murdered in the station basement on Sunday morning - I was changed forever. When the LIFE magazine came to our home in February of 1964 - I immediately thought the photograph was fraudulent. The body was at an extreme angle and seemed stretched-out - legs too long. Neither the face nor the overall body-shape resembled the rather smallish, slight young man I had watched several months earlier - who had - considering the extreme conditions and circumstances - behaved so reservedly and politely.

Edited by JL Allen
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I was 18 when JFK was assassinated. I was living in the UK and had just become active in left-wing politics. I was already aware that the media lied about important political events. However, at the time, I saw JFK as a typical American politician. I therefore had little reason to question that JFK had been killed by a lone nut, although I did consider it a bit suspicious when Oswald was murdered by Jack Ruby. At the same time, as someone living in the UK, America seemed to be a violent place, so I was not as shocked as I would have been if it had happened in another country.

My suspicions increased in 1968 with the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. At the time I was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement and I suspected there was some sort of connection between this and the deaths of these three men.

I did not begin to study in detail the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK until a few years ago. It did not take me long to realize that these men had been killed as part of a massive conspiracy (I also think it is possible that Malcolm X’s death could have been part of the same conspiracy). I also now realize that JFK was not a typical American politician and that if he lived, the world would now be a very different place.

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My experience was similar to yours at 11 and 14. I think it is interesting that those of us who were so taken with this story from the start, were also suspicious from the start, would notice the dissparity between the national media's story and how we preceived LHO's demeanor. And we would continue to care deeply regardless of how much time passed.

I too did not believe the media from day one, and Oswald's murder on tv cinched it. That he was called a "Commie" from the beginning just reeked with cover-up. That they were so POSITIVE was another big clue. (Real murder cases don't proceed this way. Developing a suspect takes time, finding probably cause even ore so.)

I was also 14, in 8th grade. ALtho I am from Canada, that year I was living in Quincy MA with relatives. Like many kids my age I adored the young president so his murder had a profound affect on me. (IN fact it would shape parts of the rest of my life).

Now when I occassionally cut and paste a particularily relevent thread from here, which demonstrates that it was a coup d' etat and how that event connects to today's dire events, relatives and friends tell me to let it go, move on. Our media is directly to blame for those who don't understand why this event was, and remains, so relevent . The conspirators trained the press well. BUt try telling people that we don't have a free press. They will tell you you are crazy and to go live in China.

Dawn

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