Many Americans will never forget where they were or what they were doing on November 22, 1963—the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. That memory—of the moment when Americans first heard the news that the president had been shot—became a cultural touchstone for a generation. Now, 50 years later, we have asked members of the Goucher community to share their memories of that day. Here are a few of them (to read more, turn to p. 2 in the summer/fall issue of the Quarterly):

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We were Goucher seniors, the class of 1964. We were invincible. But on November 22, 1963, our world changed. On campus, the news reached us in the afternoon. Coming out of classes in Van Meter Hall, a bunch of us gathered on the walkway. We were stunned. President Kennedy was dead. We moved as zombies toward the Haebler Memorial Chapel. As a sanctuary, it seemed the right place to be. There was no prepared service. We sat as a group; others came in, too, singly, in small groups, all silent. After some time, individuals got up. Classmate Sarah “Sally” Bowers Adkins ’64 and I left together and walked slowly across the campus.

-- Emily “Bunny” Huebner ’64

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I remember so well being in Elaine Koppelman’s freshman calculus class; someone from the administration came to the door and whispered to her; then this normally unshakeable, very poised woman, told us tremulously of the assassination and, in tears, dismissed class.

-- Danielle Garrick Lochhead ’67

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I do remember very clearly where I was when I heard the awful news. I was in chapel choir rehearsal, on the lower floor of the chapel. Mary Ellen Curry, a classmate of mine who left Goucher sometime before graduation, came rushing in to tell us that the president had been shot and killed. We were all shocked. I don’t recall, though, whether or not we continued with the rehearsal or went back to our dorms to watch TV.

A few days later, some Goucher friends (Joan Finne Ferdinand ’64 was one of them) and I went to Washington, DC, to watch the procession taking President Kennedy’s body to the Capitol Rotunda. We waited in the cold for several hours, on a corner across the street from the Capitol, until the caisson came by. I think we could see Mrs. Kennedy and the children across the street, but maybe that’s a remembrance from all the times I’ve seen that familiar photo. We were probably within the first 1,000 or so people to go through the Rotunda; the line stretched down Pennsylvania Avenue as far as one could see by the time we got out. All in all, it was a very emotional and moving day for us. Two days, actually, that I will not forget.

-- Lynne Kalish ’66

Photo Credit: Abbie Rowe. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston