Columbus residents remember the assassination of President John -, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus residents remember the assassination of President John F. Kennedy


In remembrance of John F. Kennedy, News Leader Nine looked at what some people in Columbus, Ga. were doing 50 years ago when he was assassinated.  

President Kennedy was shot in the head on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas while riding his topless limousine. Lee Harvey Oswald was accused of the crime and arrested that same day.

Bill Huff, a Columbus resident, says he was a college student at the University of Georgia when he heard the news.

"It was lunchtime, Huff recalled. "I was in economic class when I heard that our president had been shot. The teacher dismissed the class, and I was walking back to my Kappa Alpha Order fraternity house. Sometime after one o'clock, we heard that John F. Kennedy died. It was a tragic day for America."

Although it was an unforgettable day, Huff explained that he was surprised to see Kennedy's assassination stand as a big story in 2013.

"I did not think that it was going to be a big deal as it was today," Huff said. " I thought it was going to be one of those stories kids will find in their history book. However, it is great for us to remember Kennedy."

Terry Hurley, the owner of Dinglewood Pharmacy on Wynnton Rd., was a senior at Auburn University when it happened.

"My two friends and I went down to Montgomery to do a physical to join the international guard," recalls Hurley. "But all of a sudden, they shut down the base, and we heard on the radio that the president had been shot."

Hurley said he never imagined such tragic event would occur.

"I mean, Kennedy was such a dynamic guy," Hurley says. "I was glued to the television for the next three days to learn about his assassination. I think that was the revolution part for television journalism."

Allen Woodall was 29-years-old and working for various radio stations in Columbus in 1963. Woodall worked for WDAK radio, WEIZ and South 106 WSTH. Woodall is now retired, and he is a curator for the Lunchbox Museum in Columbus.

"I was in Wisconsin when Kennedy was shot," Woodall said. "I was representing our radio stations, when I heard about Kennedy's injury on radio while I was driving.'

Woodall said he pulled his car over and entered a restaurant to watch Kennedys' assassination on television.

"It was so gloomy that day," Woodall recalled. "After 30 minutes, Kennedy was pronounced dead. I kept wondering, ‘What's going to happen to our country?' I mean, Kennedy was such a dynamic leader. I wish we had his kind of leadership in our country today."

Ruth Ann Heisey, the retired owner of Ruth Ann's restaurant on Veterans Pkwy, says she was managing a restaurant in Hershey, Pa. at the time of Kennedy's assassination.

"I was just married with two kids, and I was only 23-years-old," says Heisey. "We had the television on, and when we saw what happened, I burst into tears and all customers were in shock. We all stood up and grieved about it."

Heisey says that she respected Kennedy for his leadership. "He was our president. I could not stop crying," Heisey said. "Maybe people were more sensitive to things than they are now, back in the day. But how could you not grieve? I wondered what was going to happen to us."

Across the nation, citizens held a moment of silence today to remember the 35th president.

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved

Powered by Frankly