Graham was a junior at Lindale High School when Kennedy was assassinated.
“My strongest memory of (the assassination) was the continuous coverage on TV, and everybody glued to TV. It was a very scary time, because we didn't know what was going to happen next – we didn't (immediately) know who did it – it could have been a Russian thing, so it was kind of scary.”
“There was a great fear,” added Moak; “you have to remember we had grown up and still were having regular 'bomb blast drills' at school. Everyone had a plan of what to do in case of nuclear attack … (the assassination) only intensified the feelings of fear.”
Adding to that surreal feeling was seeing JFK's assassin – Lee Harvey Oswald – murdered live on TV.
“It was a murder, live on television, and that added” to the gloom surrounding the president's death, Carmody said. “It was a gloomy time, and it took us a long time to get over his death.”
The country rallied however, with citizens finding solace in their faith and the smooth transition in leadership.
“One thing that many of us took for granted that day, but later learned was one of the strengths of this country, (was) the immediate, orderly and flawless transfer of power, even in the chaos and grief of the moment,” Moak said.
Fifty years later, President Kennedy's death continues to fascinate people.
“That's because a larger percentage of the public think it's a conspiracy, and unsolved crime,” said Graham, admitting when he saw the 1991 Oliver Stone movie, “JFK,” he was among that group. “It's a good movie, if you're a conspiracist … that got me interested (in researching JFK's death because he) didn't know it was a controversial issue.
Showing a visitor around his Flint home, Graham points out the different rooms dedicated to specific research, including a spare bedroom filled primarily with information about Kennedy's death.