On a bright sunny November day 50 years ago, the world seemed to come to a grinding halt in Dallas. President John F. Kennedy’s assassination lo those many years ago is a topic that comes up again and again in movies, books and television programs. This year, some might say, it has been coming up even more as the country moved closer to the 50th anniversary of the event that took place on Dealey Plaza in Dallas.

On a bright sunny November day 50 years ago, the world seemed to come to a grinding halt in Dallas. President John F. Kennedy’s assassination lo those many years ago is a topic that comes up again and again in movies, books and television programs. This year, some might say, it has been coming up even more as the country moved closer to the 50th anniversary of the event that took place on Dealey Plaza in Dallas.


While the theories about just what happened and how it happened are too numerous to try to explain at one sitting, the idea that different generations might see the event from different viewpoints is not. Would people who were adults when President Kennedy died see the event the same way that current high school or elementary school children? What would be the differences or similarities in their views on the situation. Would children born in a digital age even recall the man in the open car that day in Dallas?


Well, Fairview Elementary School fourth grader Libby Langford sure does. "I think he was really brave to go out on a parade (in an open car) with no protection," Langford said when asked about President Kennedy. "Like I always heard these stories about how he got killed, and … he was the president when they walked on the moon," Langford continued.


Just a few grades up from Libby, Jackson Rainbow, a local young man who is home-schooled, said he can recall that the shooting happened in November but not the exact date. The youth struggled with the name of the man who had shot President Kennedy, but when a nearby adult offered up the name "Lee," Rainbow completed "Harvey Oswald." Rainbow later said he knew that Oswald was then shot and killed by a man, and Rainbow believes that to be the first live shooting ever televised.


Denison High School senior J.C. Ivers said history is his passion, so what happened to President Kennedy that November day has always fascinated Ivers.


"What comes to mind the most is the assignation of course. That is what you hear about the most about him," Ivers said. When asked if he thinks that people would still be talking as much about President Kennedy 50 years later if he had not been assassinated, Ivers took a minute to think about it.


"Probably not has much. He would still be an important president, but he wouldn’t be on our minds as much," Ivers said. Ivers said the conspiracy theories that have been tossed about in the media for years have continued to keep President Kennedy in people’s minds.


He added also that President Kennedy and his wife Jackie were very public people, perhaps the most public of people to hold those positions, so they both stay in people’s minds.


Samuel R. Booney, 70, of Dallas was attending Austin College in Sherman on that day 50 years ago. He and several class members accompanied AC Professor Kenneth Street to Fort Worth to a breakfast to hear President Kennedy speak. Booney said his work as an attorney takes him often to the courthouse that looks out over the spot where the assignation took place. This week, Booney said, that place is crowded with people who have come to mark the anniversary. "One judge even cancelled (a hearing) because he is going to speak at the ceremony," Booney said.


Booney said he remembers hearing President Kennedy speak the day he died. "He was funny," Booney said. Booney and the other students then went back to Austin College where Booney was taking a final exam when he found out about Kennedy’s death.


When asked if he thinks people would still be talking about JFK 50 years later if he had not been assassinated, Booney said probably not in the same way. "We would talk about him like we do (President Jimmy) Carter or (President Bill) Clinton, but not like we do Kennedy."


Booney, who grew up in Dallas, said the world’s view of Dallas changed after the assignation. He said this week the world’s attention is once again focused on Dallas.


That sentiment summed up the thoughts of 90-year-old Issac Edward Issacs about Kennedy’s hold on the imagination of the country.


Issacs was an educator in Northeast Texas when President Kennedy was killed.


"I could hardly believe it at first that it could still happen in this country, to kill a president. But I knew this great nation would carry on one way or another," Issacs said.


He said he had not voted for Kennedy in the election. He added that he doesn’t buy Oswald as Kennedy’s killer.


"He (Oswald) didn’t have enough sense, no sir. No, gosh no. But it’s best, maybe, that we don’t know," he continued.


When asked who might be responsible, Issacs pulled no punches.


"I believe that the mafia was behind the whole thing."