The US Presidency 1961-1963: A Conversation with Baby Boomers

The United States Presidency of 1961-1963 was a momentous time in American history. It saw the election of John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, and his subsequent assassination. It also saw America’s involvement in the Vietnam War escalate rapidly. In this post, we’ll be speaking with baby boomers about their memories of this turbulent time.

Connie, 66, is a retired teacher from Pennsylvania. She remembers where she was when she heard that JFK had been assassinated. “I was in my living room, ironing my clothes for work the next day,” she says. “I just couldn’t believe it when I heard the news on the radio. I remember feeling so sad, not just for our country but for his young family.”

Dennis, 64, is a retired truck driver from Ohio. He voted for Kennedy in 1960 and remembers him as a “charismatic and inspiring” leader. However, he says he quickly became disillusioned with Kennedy’s handling of the Vietnam War. “I remember watching the news and seeing all those young men being drafted,” he says. “It just didn’t seem right. I wish Kennedy had listened to those of us who were opposed to getting involved in that quagmire.”

“A tumultuous time in American history”

The US presidency of 1961-1963 was a tumultuous time in American history, one that is still remembered vividly by many baby boomers today. Connie and Dennis’s stories show that even those who lived through it can have different perspectives on what happened and why. What everyone can agree on, however, is that it was a time that shaped our country in ways that are still felt today.