This week marks 50 years since the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Those of us who experienced that day know where we were when we heard the news. He was president for only 1036 days. In September of 1963, just seven weeks and six days before his death, he made his last trip to California to talk about the need for conservation of our water, something we are still struggling with today.
After the shock of the events of November 1963, and the images that we still hold in our memories of Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy and the children going through the ceremonies, somehow we got through that holiday season. We heard from Mrs. Kennedy again on January 14, 1964, for her public presentation of gratitude.
Mrs. Kennedy refers to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in her speech. She invites listeners to come to the yet-to-be-built structure in Boston, Massachusetts. She could not have imagined then that we can now take a virtual trip at anytime:
Since 1963, our world has changed in many ways. Sometimes we need visionaries to show and tell us what is possible. Here is a clip of writer and social critic James Baldwin talking with students in the Bay View neighborhood of the City in 1963 for a KQED documentary that aired in 1964: