WV Public Broadcasting Staff
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Fifty Years Later
Thu November 21, 2013
Governor Commemorates 50th Anniversary of Kennedy Assassination
Governor Tomblin and his wife Joanne honored the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy a day early by rededicating a plaque that hangs in the lower rotunda of the Capitol.
The symbol commemorates Kennedy’s speech delivered on the Capitol steps June 20, 1963, celebrating West Virginia’s 100th birthday.
On that rainy summer day, the President began his remarks by saying, “The sun doesn’t always shine in West Virginia, but the people do.”
After revealing the plaque, Tomblin remembered where he was when he first heard of the President’s death.
“I remember I was in the sixth grade at Chapmanville Grade School at lunch time and one of my classmates had a little transistor radio like some of us may remember,” he said, “and the news came over that.”
“He was shouting around, 'They’ve shot the President! They’ve shot the President!' So, it’s one of those days that we who are old enough to remember it will always remember where we were when we heard that news, just as we did on 9/11.”