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Rochester remembers JFK

13WHAM News is remembering President John F. Kennedy throughout the day Friday.

Don Alhart shares your memories, including where you were when you heard the news, and how the news media and others reacted in 1963.

Click on the links attached to each story to view our comprehensive video coverage:


Rochester Remembers

Our downtown studios at the time gave Channel 13 a front row seat to the emotional reactions of Rochester.

A third floor camera in the old central trust building pointing down on Clinton Avenue gave people the chance to stop by and share a memory, or tell us where they were when they found out the president had been shot:

The day, and the people, would live with Dick Burt forever.

This is Dick Burt reporting from in front of the Manger Hotel on Clinton Avenue. Its just about 10 o'clock this Friday evening and normally at this hour and this time of the week you would expect large crowds at the corner of Clinton and Main. The streets are somewhat deserted this evening- perhaps somewhat reflecting the fact that many people in Rochester have found that their normal Friday evening activities have been curtailed.

"For this weekend, most social events have been cancelled, that we will refrain from reading the list.

Ray Laws was in the studio, to pass those updates along, and how Rochester was reacting.

Those who went to St. Marys Church, gathered at Washington Square to pray.

Absolute shock, said Burt. Literally people felt as it were a member of their family; they suddenly had lost a very close, dear relative.

Emotions were not easy to control that day 50 years ago. Most who watched television that day will never forget the words of Walter Cronkite:

"President Kennedy died at 1p.m. central standard time- 2 o'clock eastern standard time- some 38 minutes ago.


A Nation Remembers

50 years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, the city paused today to remember that fateful day.

Thousands packed Dealey Plaza to hear Dallas' mayor reflect on the timeless link between the city and the 35th president.

"In tragedy? Yes. But out of that tragedy an opportunity was granted to us, the chance to learn how to face the future when it is darkest, said Mayor Michael Rawlings.

A plaque was also placed in the plaza with quotes from the speech President Kennedy was set to give that day.

In Boston, singer James Taylor performed at a private concert at the JFK Library in memory of the slain president.

Thousands across the country took time to remember Kennedys life and death.

Visitors gathered at Arlington National Cemetery with bagpipers playing at his gravesite.

Many Americans who were alive in 1963 remember where they were when President John F. Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald as his motorcade traveled through Dallas.

But 50 years later there are new memories honoring the iconic president slain on that November day.


Norm Shupe Saw Kennedy Speak Two Months Earlier

Norm Shupe said he doesnt remember much about what happened 50 years ago but knows exactly where he was when he heard President John F. Kennedy had been shot.

He was a sophomore at the University of Wyoming.

He said people were running all over campus saying Kennedy had been shot.

Shupe didnt believe it at first. He said even his friends who were tough guys on campus broke down crying. Classes were cancelled and he went home to be with his family.

They watched news coverage of the Presidents assassination for the next few days. Just two months earlier, Shupe felt lucky to be able to see President Kennedy when he visited the Universitys War Memorial.

He spoke to the crowd of about 11-thousand people. Shupe said the topic of the speech, conversation, was boring, but he said he was a great speaker with a magnetic personality.

He said JFKs assassination shook him up and still affects him to this day.


WNY Students Learn About JFK

Penfield, N.Y.-- Many high school students are learning the details of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy for the first time.

In classes across the country -- teachers had to decide how they wanted to present the material -- and the theories behind what really happened.

Evan Dawson visited Penfield High School to find out what some students think.

The students learned about the gravity of the loss that day, and felt a glimpse of what the nation felt 50 years ago.

I guess sadness, because we learn about him, and we learn about the things he had planned and I feel like he had great potential, Penfield Senior Allie Geoca said. 

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