The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

November 24, 2013

Kennedy news etched in memory

As everyone knows, President Kennedy was shot and killed 50 years ago — on Nov. 22, 1963. Everyone who was 4 years or older on that Friday afternoon knows exactly where he was when he heard the news.

I was a fourth-grader at old Washington School, a handsome, monumental building at Gilbert and Madison streets. My dad had gone there for all eight grades.

Our teacher was a kind, older woman named Mrs. Beatrice Rhodus. She lived in an apartment in the 200 block of West North Street. I was in love with a dark-eyed beauty named Carla Barnes, but she didn’t know it.

As I recall, it was a cold, gray afternoon. We lived across the street, at 316 W. Madison St., so I ate lunch at home. At about 1:45 p.m., another teacher called Mrs. Rhodus into the hall and gave her the news.

Our teacher stepped back into our room, obviously shaken, and said something like this: “Children, President Kennedy has been killed. Let’s all bow our heads.”

We were all absolutely dumbstruck, which is unusual for a bunch of 10-year-olds. The silence was so uncharacteristic that one of my classmates started laughing.

I was born in 1954, and I can’t remember a thing about the Eisenhower administration. When Kennedy was elected in November 1960, my father — a Nixon man — formally predicted that the end of our great Republic was near.

Although you’d never know it now, Nixon lost to Kennedy by the slimmest of margins. In Vermilion County, he got 26,571 votes to Kennedy’s 19,520.

Dad and many other Republicans thought that Kennedy stole/bought the election, but I sort of liked him.

First of all, he was born on May 29. I also was born on May 29, so we had something important in common.

Second of all, I enjoyed the movie “PT 109,” which starred Cliff Robertson as Lt. John F. Kennedy. It told the story of the president’s adventures as a Navy skipper during World War II. A Japanese destroyer cut his flimsy little patrol boat (PT 109) in half. Kennedy swam his men to safety, then carved a rescue message on a coconut. How cool was that?

Text Only
Local News
  • County to improve portion of Perrysville Road DANVILLE -- Perrysville Road will be the focus of roadwork by Vermilion County Highway Department crews this year. The Vermilion County Board approved a resolution this week to fund the county's portion of the project, which will stretch southeast fr

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS-CN 04-17 Job fair photo Job fair proves popular DANVILLE -- Lorie Ricksy of Danville was all smiles as she was asked to fill out yet another job application Wednesday morning at Danville Area Community College's Career Connections Job Fair. "It's been awesome," she said as she stopped at the emplo

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Public housing flat rate rents see changes DANVILLE -- Public housing residents who pay flat rate rents will see increased rents this year. A letter sent to residents last month was in the agenda packet for today's DHA board of commissioners meeting at 4 p.m. at Churchill Towers' community ro

    April 17, 2014

  • Police Reports Incidents reported to police include: Danville Monday: Property damage at Clover Signs, 806 E. Main St. Property damage in the first block of Park Avenue. Burglary in the 2500 block of East Williams Street. Domestic battery in the 1100 block of North

    April 17, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls: Monday, 11:34-11:40 a.m. -- A medical call in the 700 block of Wayne Street. Monday, 11:37-11:56 a.m. -- A medical call in the 1200 block of Chandler Street. Monday, 5:07-5:15 p.m. -- A medical call in t

    April 17, 2014

  • Run to benefit camp

    April 16, 2014

  • Digital checkout limit increased

    April 16, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    April 16, 2014

  • Hoopeston council hears water project update

    Mike Streff, Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC, updated city council members Tuesday on the continuing progress of the ground and elevated water storage tank project.

    April 16, 2014

  • Trojans get past Ramblers

    STAFF REPORT ATTICA, Ind. -- Regan Foster hit a home run and drove in three runs as the Covington softball team defeated Attica 8-5 on Tuesday in Wabash River Conference action. Andi Taylor had three hi

    April 16, 2014

AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
NCAA basketball
NDN Video
Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Miley Cyrus Hospitalized After Severe Reaction To Medicine Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Toddler climbs into vending machine 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America
Must Read