Texoma men remember President Kennedy

By: Nicolette Schleisman Email
By: Nicolette Schleisman Email

SHERMAN, TX -- 49 years ago, tragedy rocked not only North Texas, but the whole nation. The 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was assassinated in Dallas.

The two men we spoke with have Texoma ties, but are also tied together by the events of November 22, 1963. After they saw President Kennedy, just hours before he was killed.

JFK was shot as his motorcade rolled through Downtown Dallas, only an hour after Austin College Professor, Dr. Kenneth Street, saw the President in person. When he heard the news, he drove to the scene.

"Right underneath the viaduct, but you could not tell anything had happened. I still haven't gotten over that yet," said Dr. Street.

49 years ago, Street took a handful of his students to hear the 35th President speak at a breakfast in Fort Worth, then to Love Field to see the Kennedys arrive in Dallas.

"We got up right up against the fence. And we saw the plane come in land right there and then it came around. So when they got in the plane, they came right over to the fence where all of us were. And one of the students shook hands with Mrs. Kennedy," said Dr. Street.

Sam Bonney was one of the students who saw JFK in person.

"I remember him making jokes about Jackie not being able to come down to breakfast cause Jackie couldn't find her shoes. I remember how charismatic he was, I remember how jovial he was. He was in a good mood," said Bonney.

It was just hours later that Lee Harvey Oswald, perched in a sixth floor window of the book depository, shot President Kennedy in the head.

"I remember it being just surreal. Because I mean here you seen this guy talking and joking and stuff and then boom - 3 hours later, he's dead," said Bonney.

Oswald himself was shot two days later. Bonney has since moved to Dallas, and drives past the book depository and grassy knoll area often.

Street is now retired, but neither man will ever forget November 22, 1963.

"That weekend was the saddest weekend I spent in my life," said Dr. Street.

This year, Dallas commemorated JD Tippit, the officer who Lee Harvey Oswald shot, leading to his ultimate arrest for the death of President Kennedy.


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