JFK – Michiana Responds

November 7, 2013 | By: Communications Staff

Consider attending our upcoming program JFK: What Really Happened 50 Years Ago with presenter Jack Gordon. Read more about our speaker here at his own website.

The program is at 6 p.m. on Wednesday November 6 at the Main Library. Mr. Gordon will discuss the JFK assassination, what really happened in Dallas, and why the truth still matters 50 years later. Expect video clips and graphic images in the presentation. Call 282-4630 for more information on the lecture.

Regardless of what happened in Dallas, we know what happened in Michiana. The Catholic communities in St. Joseph County felt a special bond with JFK. A decade afterwards I remember that my grandparents still had his framed photo on their living room wall. I don’t remember either being especially political, but JFK was the first (and so far only) Catholic president, and that was notable in their household, and, I expect, many others across the county.

In 1972 – almost 10 years after the assassination – the community named their new elementary school after the late president. The dedication for John F. Kennedy School was on October 29, 1972.

The dedication program included a student acceptance of the American flag from a representative of the local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter, a benediction from Father Grabarz from St. Stanislaus Parish, and ‘dedicatory comments’ from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. I don’t know if Mr. Kennedy’s comments were delivered in person, but long-serving councilman-at-large Odell Newburn delivered the Dedication Response.

The Kennedy School choir sang “The Power and Glory“, written by legendary folk singer Phil Ochs, while the LaSalle High School Glee Club sang Irving Berlin’s classic “God Bless America“. All joined in for “Oh My Soul, God Bless the Father“.

Find scans of the dedication program here.

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