In November 1963, I was 23 years old, a Ph.D. student in political science at Stanford University. On Friday morning, Nov. 22, about 10 minutes after my class in advanced probability theory began, a cute, red-haired classmate rushed in and yelled, "The President's been shot! The President's been shot!" Then she turned around and walked out.
We were all stunned. Our professor, Emanuel Parzen, reminded us that this was the weekend of the annual Stanford-Cal football game and said, "Rumors are always rampant on this weekend."
After class, I walked over to the Student Union and walked upstairs to the television room, which was jammed packed with students and faculty. I remember watching Walter Cronkite, tears in eyes, saying that President Kennedy had died....
Everyone was stunned. There wasn't a dry eye in the room.
I have often thought about that day. The next few days that November remain a blur. I was really glad to spend the following Thursday, Thanksgiving, with my family down the Coast. We were all still shocked by the news of Kennedy's assassination. We asked one another where they were when they heard the news. That was the question we often asked people after that tragic day.
In 1968, we would see Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy die from assassins' bullets.
But many good things happened during the 1960's, especially in the world of popular music. I began my writing career in 1966 and have pursued it ever since. And I met my best friend in 1968. Although we have had our ups and downs, she and I are still together.
But whenever November 22nd comes around, I always think about what happened to President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on that day -- and pray.
Abraham, Martin and John