Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy birthday, Sir Winston Churchill


Today, we say Happy Birthday to Sir Winston Churchill:
"He was born on November 30th, 1874. We remember him as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. Churchill was one of the most important leaders in modern British and world history."



George Harrison died on this day in 2001


We remember that George Harrison died of cancer on a November day like this in 2001.  His death was not a shock because we knew that he had been deteriorating for months.

George was a teenager when he met Paul & John in Liverpool.  Later, they formed the band that ended up as The Beatles.  

It's hard to believe that it was so many years ago.   Where did the time go?

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


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1874: Winston Churchill was born

churchill

We love “leadership” and great leaders to run our countries.   Today, we remember Winston Churchill, one of the giants of the 20th century who was born on this day in 1874:

“Churchill came from a prestigious family with a long history of military service and joined the British Fourth Hussars upon his father’s death in 1895. During the next five years, he enjoyed an illustrious military career, serving in India, the Sudan, and South Africa, and distinguishing himself several times in battle. In 1899, he resigned his commission to concentrate on his literary and political career and in 1900 was elected to Parliament as a Conservative MP from Oldham. In 1904, he joined the Liberals, serving in a number of important posts before being appointed Britain’s First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911, where he worked to bring the British navy to a readiness for the war he foresaw.
In 1915, in the second year of World War I, Churchill was held responsible for the disastrous Dardanelles and Gallipoli campaigns, and he was excluded from the war coalition government. He resigned and volunteered to command an infantry battalion in France. However, in 1917, he returned to politics as a cabinet member in the Liberal government of Lloyd George. From 1919 to 1921, he was secretary of state for war and in 1924 returned to the Conservative Party, where two years later he played a leading role in the defeat of the General Strike of 1926.
Out of office from 1929 to 1939, Churchill issued unheeded warnings of the threat of German and Japanese aggression.
After the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Churchill was called back to his post as First Lord of the Admiralty and eight months later replaced the ineffectual Neville Chamberlain as prime minister of a new coalition government. In the first year of his administration, Britain stood alone against Nazi Germany, but Churchill promised his country and the world that the British people would “never surrender.” He rallied the British people to a resolute resistance and expertly orchestrated Franklin D. Rooseveltand Joseph Stalin into an alliance that eventually crushed the Axis.
In July 1945, 10 weeks after Germany’s defeat, his Conservative government suffered an electoral loss against Clement Attlee’s Labour Party, and Churchill resigned as prime minister. He became leader of the opposition and in 1951 was again elected prime minister.
Two years later, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his six-volume historical study of World War II and for his political speeches.
In 1955, he retired as prime minister but remained in Parliament until 1964, the year before his death.”
There are several lessons from Churchill’s life:
1) Failure is a part of life.  Mr Churchill failed but never gave up;
2) “Call out evil”, as he did over and over again when he spoke about Hitler in the 1930’s; and,
3) Take time for your hobbies, from writing to painting.  
Winston Churchill was a giant of a man.  I hope that the young people are reading about his life and how he used words:







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Monday, November 29, 2010

George Harrison 1943-2001


We remember that George Harrison died of cancer on a November day like this in 2001.  

His death was not a shock because we knew that he had been deteriorating for months.

George was a teenager when he met Paul & John in Liverpool.  Later, they formed the band that ended up as The Beatles.  

George played lead guitar and did some background vocals as well.  He was referred to as the "quiet Beatle" because he was always playing behind John and Paul.  

It's easy to be "quiet" when you are playing behind the "songwriting" machine of Lennon-McCartney!  Nevertheless, his wonderful guitar is heard in everyone of The Beatles's hits, from "Ticket to Ride" to "Day Tripper" to "Come Together".

George was always there but we just didn't notice him that much!

He did compose and sang "Something", a # 1 song and the only time that one of George's compositions was selected as the A-side of a Beatles' single.  

It's hard to believe that died that many years ago.   Where did the time go?


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1963: Ernesto Lecuona died and left us a legacy of great songs




Ernesto Lecuona, the greatest Cuban composer of the 20th century, died on this day in 1963.  His story is one of music and more music:
"Ernesto Lecuona was born in Guanabacoa, Cuba, across the bay from Havana, on August 6, 1895, but for an unexplained reason he actually observed his birthday as August 7, 1896. 
His musical talent was already discernible at age three. Following initial piano studies with his sister, Ernestina, he continued at the Conservatorio Peyrellade with Antonio Saaverda and the famed Joaquin Nin. 
At 17 he graduated from the National Conservatory of Havana with a gold medal in performance. 
He had become a prodigious pianist indeed and his talents were soon on view for the first time outside Cuba when he appeared at Aeolian Hall, New York City in 1916. 
While his ties to his native Cuba were always strong, this initial performance in New York paved the way for an increasing presence in the United States, both as concert pianist and as composer, which eventually led to his permanent move to Florida in 1960, following the rise to power of the Communist leader, Fidel Castro in 1959. 
Lecuona produced a veritable torrent of music during his 70 years, including a number of major pop songs, such as the well-remembered, "Malaguena" the bright and rhythmic, "Siboney," with which one can almost hear the clicking accompaniment of castanets "Always in My Heart" and "Andalucia," better remembered for its Americanized version, “The Breeze and I," which became in the late '30s a popular recording hit by the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.
While we honor the late Ernesto Lecuona for his wonderful collection of memorable and tuneful songs, his talents in music-making were literally all over the map. 
In addition to more than 400 songs, he also created 176 piano pieces, 53 theater works (zarzuelas, operettas, theatrical revues and an opera), 31 orchestral scores, 6 pieces for piano and orchestra, 3 violin works, a trio, 5 ballets, 11 film scores and many incidental arrangements.
Lecuona's work stretched considerably beyond the printed score sheet. He was the co-founder of the Havana Symphony Orchestra, the Lecuona Cuban Boys Band and La Orquesta de la Habana. 
During the '30s and '40s, he was hired to create a number of motion picture scores for MGM, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox, and his score for the 1942 Warner Bros. film Always in My Heart was nominated for an Academy Award. 
At one time he also served as honorary cultural attaché to the Cuban embassy in Washington. He also gave successful performances in Carnegie Hall.
Lecuona, who had moved permanently to Tampa, Florida in 1960, died three years later of a heart attack while on a trip to Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands. 
He is buried in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, NY."
He died many years ago today and left us a wonderful musical legacy.  







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We remember C S Lewis (1898-1963)


Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland, on this day in 1898.     He died on November 22, 1963.

We know him as C S Lewis, the author of many books like "The Screwtape Letters", "The Chronicles of Narnia", and "The Space Trilogy".    The "Narnia" books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.



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November 29, 2001: We learned that George Harrison died after a long illness




We remember George Harrison today.  Of course, George died of cancer on a November day like this in 2001.  His death was not a shock because we knew that he had been deteriorating for months.

George usually wrote and sang one song in every Beatles' album.  However, he really excelled in Abbey Road with "Something" and "Here comes the sun".

George was a teenager when he met Paul & John in Liverpool.  Later, they formed the band that ended up as The Beatles.  

George played lead guitar and did some background vocals as well.  He was referred to as the "quiet Beatle" because he was always playing behind John and Paul.  

It's easy to be "quiet" when you are playing behind the "songwriting" machine of Lennon-McCartney!  Nevertheless, his wonderful guitar is heard in everyone of The Beatles's hits, from "Ticket to Ride" to "Day Tripper" to "Come Together".

George was always there but we just didn't notice him that much!


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We remember Louisa May Alcott (1832-88)


Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, on this day in 1832.    

We remember her book "Little women", a best selling story about the March sisters from 1869.      She followed up that successful publication with "Little Men" (1871).    

In the 20th century, her book was turned into a very popular movie in 1949 and later in 1994.



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George Harrison died in 2001



Image result for george harrison images

Time flies and we remember that George Harrison died many years ago on this day in 2001.  He died of cancer.

George was the lead guitarist for The Beatles.  He joined John's first group along with Paul.  They eventually added Ringo before they recorded "Love me do" in 1962.

Enjoy "Something" and "Here comes the sun", two of his best songs from "Abbey Road".    



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Sunday, November 28, 2010

We remember Roy Tarpley (1964-2015)


We remember Roy Tarpley who was born on this day in 1964.

Most of us remember the very talented Roy Tarpley, one of the big stars of the Mavericks back in the late 80's.   

Sadly, Roy passed away in 2015.   What a talent and how sad that he lost his way!


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We remember Gato Barbieri 1923-2016


He was born Leandro Barbieri in Rosario, Argentina, on this day in 1923.  He died in 2016.

Leandro got the nickname "Gato" because he would go from one club to another in Buenos Aires.   

Over time, he recorded over 30 albums and won many awards, including a Latin Grammy lifetime achievement.

Your music was excellent!  By the way, he composed the music for "Last tango in Paris":




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Saturday, November 27, 2010

We remember Bruce Lee (1940-1973)



The amazing Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco on this day in 1940.  He became a legend in the early 1970’s and then suddenly died in 1973.  

Along the way, his movies became hugely popular and continue to over 40 years after his death.   He did not make a lot of movies but they were great indeed.

His story is rather interesting:   
Lee was born while his father, a Chinese opera star, was on tour in America. The Lee family moved back to Hong Kong in 1941. Growing up, Lee was a child actor who appeared in some 20 Chinese films; he also studied dancing and trained in the Wing Chun style of gung fu (also known as kung fu). In 1959, Lee returned to America, where he eventually attended the University of Washington and opened a martial-arts school in Seattle. In 1964, he married Linda Emery, who in 1965 gave birth to Brandon Lee, the first of the couple’s two children. In 1966, the Lees relocated to Los Angeles and Bruce appeared on the television program The Green Hornet (1966-1967), playing the Hornet’s acrobatic sidekick, Kato. Lee also appeared in karate tournaments around the United States and continued to teach martial arts to private clients, including the actor Steve McQueen.In search of better acting roles than Hollywood was offering, Lee returned to Hong Kong in the early 1970s. He successfully established himself as a star in Asia with the action movies The Big Boss (1971) and The Way of the Dragon(1972), which he wrote, directed and starred in. Lee’s next film, Enter the Dragon, was released in the United States by Hollywood studio Warner Brothers in August 1973. Tragically, Lee had died one month earlier, on July 20, in Hong Kong, after suffering a brain edema believed to be caused by an adverse reaction to a pain medication. Enter the Dragon was a box-office hit, eventually grossing more than $200 million, and Lee posthumously became a movie icon in America.
Like Hendrix and Morrison, you can identify his face in a heart beat:


P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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1967: The Beatles and "Magical Mystery Tour"



Where did the time go?    On this day in 1967,  The Beatles released their second LP of the year or "Magical Mystery Tour".     The other one was "Sgt Pepper's".

Side A were songs from the film.   Side B were the 1967 singles, including their new one "Hello Goodbye" already on its way to # 1 on Billboard USA.

The film was horrible, a boring movie about The Beatles going around in a bus.   It was nothing like "Help", "A hard day's night" or later "Yellow submarine".

The soundtrack was very good, specially the title song, "The fool on the hill" and "Your mother should know".    It's surprising that they weren't released as singles in the US.

Rolling Stone ranked this LP as #19 of movie soundtracks.   

So we remember The Beatles and this week in 1967:









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1941: DiMaggio beats Williams for the AL MVP

Image result for ted williams joe dimaggio images

Who should have won the 1941 AL MVP?   

Joe DiMaggio had a 56-game hitting streak and played for the AL champ Yankees who also won The World Series.   

Ted Williams hit .406 but played for a Boston squad that did not compete for the AL pennant.   

The MVP went to DiMaggio:  291-254 over Williams!



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We remember Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)


We remember James Marshall Hendrix who was born in Seattle on this day in 1942.   We remember him as Jimi Hendrix.

He died tragically in 1970.

Many people are not aware that Hendrix served in the US Army.   After being discharged because of an injury suffered during a parachute jump, he began working as a studio guitarist under the name of Jimmy James.

He found his way to London and created The Jimi Hendrix Experience.   He released several best selling LP's in the late 1960's, specially "Electric Ladyland" and his great version of Dylan's "All along the watchtower".

And the rest is musical history!  He continues to influence young guitarists today.



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We remember Bruce Lee (1940-1973)


The amazing Bruce Lee was born on this day in 1940.  He became a legend in the early 1970s and then suddenly died in 1973.  

His story is rather interesting:   
Lee was born while his father, a Chinese opera star, was on tour in America. The Lee family moved back to Hong Kong in 1941. Growing up, Lee was a child actor who appeared in some 20 Chinese films; he also studied dancing and trained in the Wing Chun style of gung fu (also known as kung fu). In 1959, Lee returned to America, where he eventually attended the University of Washington and opened a martial-arts school in Seattle. In 1964, he married Linda Emery, who in 1965 gave birth to Brandon Lee, the first of the couple’s two children. In 1966, the Lees relocated to Los Angeles and Bruce appeared on the television program The Green Hornet (1966-1967), playing the Hornet’s acrobatic sidekick, Kato. Lee also appeared in karate tournaments around the United States and continued to teach martial arts to private clients, including the actor Steve McQueen.In search of better acting roles than Hollywood was offering, Lee returned to Hong Kong in the early 1970s. He successfully established himself as a star in Asia with the action movies The Big Boss (1971) and The Way of the Dragon(1972), which he wrote, directed and starred in. Lee’s next film, Enter the Dragon, was released in the United States by Hollywood studio Warner Brothers in August 1973. Tragically, Lee had died one month earlier, on July 20, in Hong Kong, after suffering a brain edema believed to be caused by an adverse reaction to a pain medication. Enter the Dragon was a box-office hit, eventually grossing more than $200 million, and Lee posthumously became a movie icon in America.
Like Hendrix and Morrison, you can identify his face in a heart beat.



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Friday, November 26, 2010

"Just a season" by The Byrds, one of my favorite 45s!


The Byrds recorded some great songs, such as Bob Dylan's "Mr Tambourine Man" and "Turn, turn turn".

They were: Jim McGuinn, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, Gene Clark and Michael Clarke.

Crosby went on to form Crosby, Stills and Nash.  I think that Michael Clarke sang with The New Christy Minstrels, a very popular folk group.

McGuinn enjoyed a solo career.  He is a great guitar player!

They also recorded "Just a season".   It was not a big hit but I liked it a lot.   It's one of those 45s in my box!

Here is the video:


--------------------------

Written by Roger McGuinn and Jacques Levy

"If all my days was hills to climb and circles without reason
If all I was was passing time, my life was just a season
Dares and dreams and silly schemes and fillies running freely
I was young and no song was sung that didn't sound appealing
I'd have my fun with a shy girl and maybe hop a train
And I'd look back at her standing in the rain
Dirty hands and root beer stands and money like a river
Making deals to see how it feels to get more than you're giving
I'd have my fun with a gamblin man and bluff him with my face
And it's drinks for everybody in the place
If all my days was hills to climb and circles without reason
If all I was was passing time my life was just a season
If all my days was hills to climb and circles without reason
If all I was was passing time my life was just a season
Shouting crowds and mummer's shrouds and people going crazy
Always said what was in their heads it surely was amazing
I had my fun in the bull ring and never got a scar
It really wasn't hard to be a star
If all my days was hills to climb and circles without reason
If all I was was passing time my life was just a season"



Charles Schulz (1922-2000), the man who gave us Charlie Brown


Charles Monroe Schulz was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on this day in 1922.    He died in 2000.

Schulz created Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts Gang.   

We loved the characters so much that we read his comics, watched them on TV and holiday specials.


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A word about Huber Matos, 1918-2014


We remember Huber Matos who was born on this day in 1918.  He died in 2014:
"Matos’ death closes one of the most significant chapters in Cuban history. Matos, a schoolteacher, joined the Castro revolution against Fulgencio Batista and helped provide weapons to rebels by staging supply flights from abroad.
Matos also embodied the widespread disillusion that many Cubans felt toward Castro when it became clear early on that the revolution was turning toward Communism. 
In 1961, three years after Batista fled Cuba, Castro openly acknowledged the “Socialist character” of the revolution. But in his autobiographical book, How the Night Arrived, Matos says he began harboring doubts about Castro and the revolution only seven months after Castro took over.“I believe steps have been taken toward establishing a dictatorial government, probably of a Marxist nature,” recalled Matos of his thoughts in 1959 in his book, published in 2002.
Castro ultimately ordered Matos’ arrest and he ended up spending 20 years in prison. In 1979, he was released and quickly flew to Costa Rica, where his wife and children had lived since the 1960s.
The family then resettled in Miami.
After his death Thursday, the family revealed that in a letter he wrote before dying, he says he wants to be buried in Costa Rica. 
But the letter also says, according to the family, that he wants to be disinterred and reburied in his Cuban hometown of Yara, about 450 miles southeast of Havana, once democracy reigns on the island."

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/02/27/3962840/former-cuban-revolutionary-huber.html#storylink=cpy
Matos spent much of his post-prison life working with other anti-Castro Cubans.  His organization, CID, broadcast radio shows to Cuba daily.    

He will always be remembered as the man who spoke out against Castro.  He may have been the last man to speak to Camilo Cienfuegos before his small plane disappeared.

RIP Huber Matos!




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Thursday, November 25, 2010

November 1970: "Lonely Days" by Bee Gees


The Brothers Gibb's story has a few chapters.  We've enjoyed each one of them!

Chapter 1 took place in Australia where they sang as kids and even recorded a few songs.

Chapter 2 is when they exploded on the US and world charts in 1967.  They recorded international hits like "Massachusetts", "I started a joke" and "To love somebody". (My favorite is still "Holiday")

Chapter 3 is when they split up. Thankfully, it was very short!

Chapter 4 was the "reunion"of late 1970.  It started with 'Lonely Days" and a very interesting "Two years on" album. Shortly after, it was followed by "How can you mend a broken heart" and "Run to me".

Chapter 5 is everything from "Jive Talkin", to "Too much heaven" and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in between.  It was their most successful chapter.  It certainly sold a lot of records!

Chapter 6 were the solo efforts of the 1980's. It also included the songs and production of albums for Barbra Streisand ("Guilty"), Kenny Rogers ("Islands in the stream") and Dionne Warwick ("Heartbreaker').

Chapter 7 was a collection of nice albums up to Maurice's unfortunate death in 2003 and Robin dying in 2012.

"Lonely Days" is from Chapter 4 and released in November 1970.   

It was one of the best harmonies in rock music:




November 1977: Paul McCartney's "Mull of Kintyre"




In the 1970's, after leaving The Beatles, Paul McCartney created Wings and enjoyed a string of international hits.

Wings was Paul, wife Linda and Denny Laine, who used to play with The Moody Blues. (There were others who came in and out during the decade)

Wings released over 20 singles and several albums.

Paul went solo in 1980 and stayed solo to this day.

Many Novembers ago, Paul McCartney recorded "Mull of Kintyre", one of the most interesting tunes from his amazing repertoire.

According to songfacts:
"The song is a tribute an island in Scotland where Paul and his wife Linda had a farm.

The Mull of Kintyre island is known for its beautiful scenery and tranquil atmosphere. "
The song went to # 1 in the UK and all over Europe. It did not do anything in the US. Nevertheless, it is one of my favorite McCartney tunes! And I love those pipes!

Here is the song:



November 1964 and "Leader of the pack" was # 1 on the radio

Image result for the shangri las images



In late 1964, The Shangri-Las hit # 1 in the US charts with "The Leader of the Pack".

The girls were Mary Ann Ganser, Marge Ganser and Mary Weiss.  They had a unique style of singing and speaking in their songs!  

They were very young and had a few other hits but nothing came close to the success of "The Leader of the pack".

According to songfacts:
"This is a tale of young love, parental disapproval and death by motorbike."
It is one of my all time favorite "girl group" classics:







Wednesday, November 24, 2010

1963: Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald


On this day in 1963, millions of people watched Jack Ruby, a Dallas businessman, shoot Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged killer of President Kennedy.    Oswald died shortly after.

It happened as the authorities were taking Oswald to another jail.   It also occurred about 48 hours after the assassination of the president.

To say the least, the shooting shocked the nation.  It also opened the door to a ton of conspiracy theories about the president's assassination.  


For the record, I believe that Oswald shot President Kennedy on his own.  I came to that conclusion after reading Gerald Posner's "Case closed" in the 1990's.   

Ruby died of cancer in 1967.  As far as we know, Ruby never changed his story about why he killed Oswald.     Apparently, Ruby did not want Jackie Kennedy to come to a trial.   He took that explanation to his grave.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.






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We remember William F Buckley (1925-2008)



Image result for william f buckley
Like many of you, I became a conservative because of Milton Friedman, Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley.

Buckley was born on this day in 1925.  He died in 2008. (William F. Buckley Jr. Is Dead at 82)

In the mid 1970's, many of us young conservatives were recovering from Watergate.

In my case, I found Buckley's "Firing Line" show a wonderful place to see a conservative with wit, grace and a wonderful command of the language.   In fact, I would often jot down words and check them in the dictionary later.

Then I got hooked on his columns, National Review and some of his books. I must confess that I did not read most of Buckley's books.  I did enjoy one called "Overdrive" from the early 1980's.

Buckley's legacy is National Review, the magazine and wonderful website, and all of us conservative bloggers.

Buckley was a pre-blog conservative. However, he certainly inspired all of us to blog conservative ideas.

In sum, William F. Buckley had a wonderful life. Thanks for everything!

Can you imagine that round table in heaven?  Reagan, Friedman, Goldwater and Buckley!

We love you, Mr. Buckley!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We remember Robert Vaughn..........1932-2016



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1967: "Incense and peppermints' was # 1 this week


We remember Strawberry Alarm Clock, sort of a one-hit wonder, and "Incense and peppermints".    We called it "Psychedelic" music".   The song is really a fantastic arrangement in 2 minutes & 55 seconds.    The intro is super and I love the ending.



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1963: JFK:so many years later

Hard to believe but it was so many years ago:

"President John F. Kennedy is shot and killed as his motorcade drives through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy's suspected assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was believed to have used a mail-order rifle in order to shoot the president from the sixth story window of the Texas School Book Depository."

Yes, I remember this day.  We were in Cuba and I recall laying down on the living room floor.  The phone rang and my mom answered.  She said "Kennedy has been shot".  I recall silence and then my father came home a bit latter.

Later that day, I watched Castro on TV talking about the assassination.  I did not really understand the ramifications of the day's events but my dad watched TV and seemed worried.

We sat around and listened to "The Voice of America" in Spanish.  I think that many people thought that Castro would be blamed and Cuba invaded.

It just does not seem possible that it happened so many years ago. 


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