22 November, 1963

My friends and I had been sitting at a table in the school cafeteria talking about politics and how interesting it was going to be to watch Barry Goldwater (who we presumed would be the Republican nominee) run against President Kennedy in 1964. I took a break from the conversation and went over to the desert area to get some ice cream. The girl behind the counter was transfixed by the transistor radio in her hand. When I started to talk to her, she shhhed me and turned up the volume. The announcer was repeating a news flash from UPI about the President being shot in Dallas.

I walked back over to the table and broke the news to my friends. We left and went down to a classroom with a TV set. We spent the rest of the afternoon watching Walter Cronkite relay the story from Dallas. There were no more classes that day.

There will be a lot of retrospective stuff published today, and I suspect that much of it will either omit or distort one key fact—Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who killed President Kennedy, was a leftwing nut job; he was a communist.

Mt. Rushmore Redux

Jazz Shaw poses an interesting question: What if the Mt. Rushmore monument hadn’t been built yet? Who would be on it now? Or could it even be built today?

Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln would surely be on the rock. Who would get the fourth space? Would Reagan replace Teddy Roosevelt? Some folks might want JFK or Barack Obama (first black President and an Nobel Peace Prize same as TR). Mr. Shaw suggests Dwight Eisenhower. I’d guess that there would be a big push for FDR, and I think a case could be made for Andrew Jackson.

Still, I’d bet that it probably wouldn’t be built. The thought of the environmental paperwork reminds me of this joke:

God comes to Noah and says, “There’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is that I’m going to destroy the world with a flood, but you and your family will be saved on the Ark you will build. The bad news is that you have to do the paperwork for the EPA.”