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Binghamton Remembers JFK: 50 Years Later

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

A half-century after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, people who were alive at the time recalled where they were when they learned of the news.

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

The tragic events of November 22, 1963, were noted by some who visited a memorial to the president at Kennedy Park near the intersection of Chenango and Henry streets in downtown Binghamton.

Listeners of WNBF Radio’s Binghamton Now program called to share their memories with Broome County historian Gerald Smith.

Smith said he was in third grade at John Harshaw Elementary School, which now is Chenango Forks Elementary. He recalled a commotion out in the hall involving teachers as word of what happened in Dallas spread.

Smith said his teacher, Mrs. Stanton, left the classroom. When she returned from the hallway, she was crying. Smith and the other students didn’t know what was going on.

Five minutes later, the school principal announced that something had happened and students would be dismissed shortly.

Several listeners remembered their shock as they learned of the president’s death at their workplaces.

In some cases, businesses tried to continue operating despite the distraction caused by the news. Many workers left their jobs to head home to be with their families.


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