Claremore Daily Progress

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November 22, 2013

Where Were You?

50 years later JFK’s death serves as touchstone event



Ed Wisslem
“I was a sophomore at Connors Junior College in Warner, transitioning between classes. As I was moving from one class to another, somebody said President Kennedy had been killed,” said Ed Wisslem, admissions clerk at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum. “I remember everyone standing outside in the hall talking about it. Everyone was in shock, in disbelief. It was hard to imagine a young, vibrant President in the prime of his life, just robbed of it all.”
Dean Dowden-Parrott
“I was a senior at Eastern Union Community High School in Afton, Iowa. I was in government class strangely enough, when a teacher came in and announced that Kennedy had been assassinated,” said Dean Dowden-Parrott, treaurer at Claremore First United Methodist Church. “If I recall, we did have a TV in the building where students gathered to watch the news of what happened. The girls were crying and the guys were all stunned.”
Jim Blouch
“I was in the 6th grade at St. Margaret Mary in Harrisburg, Penn. A sister came in the classroom crying and told us the President was dead,” said Jim Blouch, Rogers County Democratic Chairman. “It was a horrible day. My parents could not believe it.”
Don Purkey
 “We were on a company business trip in Sherman, TX. at the Air Guard base. We had gone out to eat at a local resturant when we heard the news,” said Don Purkey, Claremore city councilor. “Somebody popped off and made a bad remark about the President at a table next to us, so we left quickly before things got out of hand.”

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