Audio: Gainesville Reflections On 50th Anniversary Of JFK Assassination

By and on November 21st, 2013

At a time when they were in different parts of the country, six people who now live in Gainesville reflected this week on the memories of where they were Nov. 22, 1963, when former President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Robert Porter (who begins speaking at 0:22) was at the University of Iowa attending school to become a surgeon.  On the day of Kennedy’s assassination, Porter found himself at home due to an illness.

Dick Martin (0:56) was in the army and on his way back to Maryland after returning from a training exercise. He found out about Kennedy’s assassination when he was riding in a Jeep on Interstate 95 and another car on the interstate flagged him down and told him to listen to the radio.

Susan Williams (1:36) was a junior in high school. Williams said she was sitting in the football bleachers for a pep rally they were having for the football game that night.

She said his death was announced over the loud speaker (1:50), which killed the pep rally.

Nancy Torres (2:09) was teaching classes in Mount Pleasant, Mich., at Central Michigan University. She remembered waking up that morning to watch the news. Kennedy had come down to the lobby of his hotel and the reporters said to him, “Where’s Jackie?” and, “We want to see Jackie!”

“Well she’s worth waiting for isn’t she?” Kennedy said. That was something Torres said she will always remember.

Walter Kalaf (2:50) was a senior minister in Jacksonville, Fla., preparing his sermon. He heard the news when his wife came home.

Audrey Christiansen (3:27) was a second-grade teacher at the time of Kennedy’s assassination. Christiansen said she was able to relate to Kennedy because he had a son that was almost 3 years old as well. She said Kennedy’s son’s birthday may have been the day of the funeral.

This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

More Stories in Local


A Student’s Battle With Cancer Inspires Him To Give Back

After five cycles of chemotherapy and 13 surgeries for Stage 1 lymphoma, Francisco Lourenco hand-wrote a nine-page book on his cancer experiences for other cancer patients at UF Health.

A Hawthorne man has created a camp to provide a retreat for veterans to commune with nature and each other.

Camp Freedom Offers Local Veterans Relaxation, Community

Soldiers Freedom Outdoors is a non-profit organization that works with Bradford County veterans and their families. Through Camp Freedom, veterans and families can engage in outdoor activities and find relaxation and community.

Gainesville Church of God member Kristen Crisp moves a larger pumpkin into the wagon to flip. The pumpkins have to be flipped every other day so they don't rot, something Crisp said she wasn't aware of until associate pastor Ron Sanderson told her today was the day to flip them.

Gainesville Church To Donate Pumpkin Proceeds To Feeding Centers

Gainesville House of God plans to donate 100 percent of its proceeds from its annual pumpkin patch to feeding centers locally and in Guatemala.

Florida Gun Supply To Hold Anti-Muslim Rally In Ocala

Florida Gun Supply has scheduled an anti-Muslim rally for Saturday at the Masjid Darul-Islam Center near Ocala. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office will be on scene.

The guy in the picture is Jim Williams, who wrote the guidebook to Florida mussels. He’s probably counting these species after a survey in this photo. There is text at the bottom with more info about Florida species. – Tierra Curry

Freshwater Mussel May Be Placed Under Endangered Species Act

Freshwater mussel, the Suwannee Moccasinshell, became a top priority Monday following the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to propose that the species be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments