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201130 November 30, 2020

Charlotte Faye Massey
LHS '64
November 30, 1945 - November 21, 2020

    Charlotte Faye Massey passed away peacefully on November 21, 2020. Charlotte was born November 30, 1945, in Russellville, AL, to Fred Osborne Massey and Rosemary Underwood Massey.

    Charlotte was employed by the City of Huntsville Clerk-Treasurer Department for over 30 years. She was a member of the Church of Christ. She was a talented artist and photographer. She loved arranging flowers for friends and relatives. She also enjoyed her pets. For many years, she enjoyed involvement in service organizations and charity events, her favorite being St. Jude Children's Hospital.

    Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents, and by her sister, Freda Dianne Massey Dobbs. She is survived by her brother, Fred Steven Massey, and her many cousins, nieces, and nephews. A special thank you to her dedicated caregiver and cousin, Amy McCulloch Keel, and Amy's husband, Larry.

My Memories of the Day
President John F. Kennedy was Assassinated
John Drummond
LHS '65

    When we got the news that the President had been assassinated, I had just walked out of  fifth-period 11th-grade American History class, taught by Mrs. Wikle.  Rumor quickly spread in the hallways, received with disbelief, while walking between classes.  I think Mr. Hamilton made an official announcement during sixth-period.  At home that afternoon, my family received a phone call announcing a special memorial service that very same day, which was a  Friday night, at our church, St. Thomas Episcopal, located at 100 Bob Wallace Drive  (as one drove to The Whitesburg Drive-In, it was a one-story light-brown brick building on the right).  Due to the late notice,  attendance was sparse, but Pam Clark and her family were there, as well as my own.  It was a somber service, with many long faces and wet eyes.

    To my surprise, disappointment and chagrin, not a single mention of this historic anniversary was mentioned in today's Sunday edition of The Wall Street Journal, Atlanta newspaper,  the BBC nor The London Telegraph.

    The majority of our grandchildren, I suspect, have no clue as to whom John F. Kennedy was, much less about the circumstances of his death.  But then they probably don't know much about World War II or the Vietnam War either.

    I once read an interesting piece of trivia in an article about American Presidents, stating that every President who died while in office was inaugurated in a year ending in the number zero.  The example that first comes to mind is of course Abraham Lincoln, who became President in 1860.  But the article mentioned several others, most of whom died of illness rather than being killed.  The statistic is rather spooky, and the 2020-elected President will hopefully not add to this strange historical trend.

    Notable factors about Kennedy include  that he was the youngest President to take office at 43 (Biden will be the oldest, at 78), the first Catholic President, the first to have young children growing up in The White House, and the first to participate in a debate with his opponent on TV.  Kennedy wore make-up, was confident, smiling and relaxed, while Nixon was pale without make-up, nervous, humorless and sweaty.

    Kennedy's style and Massachusetts accent made him a popular target for humor, most of it good-natured.   The then little-known comedian Vaughn Meador sold a gazillion LP albums (33 1/3 vinyl; remember those?) of vignettes and jokes doing Kennedy vocal impressions.  I often wondered what happened to Meador's comedic career after November 22, 1963 but suspect that it was destroyed and he was quickly forgotten.  His future and fortune, among many others, changed forever after that fateful day in Dallas.

Editor's Note

        John has suggested we ask the rest of our classmates what they remember about that day. Do you have any comments to share?

        Memphis, TN - I did a little research on the deaths of presidents and found an article talking about a 20-year curse. It listed the following facts:

Abraham Lincoln, first elected in 1860, was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth just after embarking on his second term in office in 1865.

James A. Garfield won the 1880 election. He was shot in the back in a Washington railroad station waiting room in July 1881 and died of his wounds in September 1881.

William McKinley was re-elected in 1900. In September 1901, after giving a speech at an exposition in Buffalo, he was shot while shaking hands with well wishers. McKinley died of his wounds a little more than a week later.

Warren G. Harding, elected in 1920, expired of a stroke or heart attack in 1923. It was long rumored his wife had poisoned him.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, re-elected in 1940 for a third term, suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage and died just after having started an unprecedented fourth term in 1945.

John F. Kennedy was elected in 1960 and assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963.

Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980 but managed to cheat the Grim Reaper by a matter of an inch, the distance by which would-be assassin John Hinckley’s bullet missed his heart in 1981.

Of course George W. Bush was elected in 2000 and did not die in office either.

Ninth Grade Civics
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

    The first semester of my 9th grade at Lee Junior High I took a class in civics. I do not remember who taught that subject, but I am sure the things taught back then would differ greatly from anything taught in a civics class today. It was only taught for one semester and although it was an important subject, the lack of detail in my memory bank of anything happening in the classroom or even who taught it surprises me. 

    So, instead of just passing this subject over, I went to the World Wide Web to see what we might have been talking about in class that year. This is what I found on the Hobby Lark website.

    What are some fun facts and trivia from the year 1960?

John F. Kennedy was elected president of the United States by defeating Richard Nixon. JFK was also the first Roman Catholic and youngest person ever to be elected U.S. president.

Hurricane Donna battered the eastern U.S. from late August until mid-September. tells us that Donna is the only hurricane on record to produce hurricane-force winds in Florida, the Mid-Atlantic States, and New England. Donna roamed the Atlantic for a total of 17 days, and also holds the record for retaining major hurricane status in the Atlantic Basin for nine days.

The USS Enterprise—the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier—was launched.

The FDA approved the world’s first commercially produced birth control pill.

In the year 1960, General Motors was America’s biggest company, followed by U.S. Steel, General Electric, Chrysler, and Standard Oil of New Jersey.
Nearly half of America's population was under 18 years old.

The starting salary for a teacher was $5,135. It was $4,400 for a police officer and $9,400 for an engineer.

Over 90% of American households had at least one TV, and about 65% of Americans were churchgoers.

The average family income was $5,600, an increase of $200—or four percent—over 1959. For households headed by individuals 65 years and over, the average annual income was only $2,900.

The Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series by defeating the New York Yankees in seven games.

The 1960 Summer Olympics were held in August with Rome as the host city. For the first time, the games were televised live in 18 European countries, the United States, Canada, and Japan to the delight of millions of viewers.

Gunsmoke (CBS) was the top TV show, the last episode of The Howdy Doody Show (NBC) aired, and The Flintstones (ABC) premiered.

Ben-Hur won 11 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Music Score, and Best Costume Design.

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel—To Kill a Mockingbird—was published.

The last episode of the radio sitcom Amos ‘n’ Andy aired. Set in Harlem with black characters, Amos ‘n’ Andy premiered on March 19, 1928.

The theme from the film A Summer Place was number one on the charts for nine weeks.

The minimum wage was $1.00, the average family income was $5,600, and a new house cost $16,500.

A slice of pizza cost 15 cents, a McDonald's hamburger was also 15 cents, and candy bars were five cents apiece.