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Looking back on 50th anniversary of JFK assassination

Dallas will observe the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination today with its first official ceremony to mark the event seen as the darkest day in the city's history. (Wikimedia.org)
Dallas will observe the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination today with its first official ceremony to mark the event seen as the darkest day in the city's history. (Wikimedia.org)

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - November 22nd, 1963 is still frozen in time for Wisconsinites who remember President John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas 50 years ago today. 

Marge Koenig of Wittenberg was living in Milwaukee with her four children. She said she couldn't believe what she was seeing when the news came on TV. 

Koenig said churches throughout Milwaukee opened their doors -- and she went to a service thinking, "What else could you do?" 

The old Milwaukee Journal reported on a late afternoon mass where Marquette professor Cyril McKinnon called it a "black Friday in the history of the United States. He said President Kennedy was the "personification of (people's) ideals, the center of the hope and faith in a better world." 

The Journal said Milwaukee's pace dropped to a crawl as cabs stood idle, people walked slowly, and there were no lineups at theater box offices that were normal for a Friday night. 

Koenig was among the thousands who wrote to Kennedy's widow Jackie -- and the former First Lady wrote back, thanking Koenig for her thoughts.

Koenig's sister now has that letter. She says the Kennedy assassination is something that always stay with you. 

Sandy Endlich, who now works for the state, said she comforted her mother in West Bend that day -- and she realized, "the whole world we knew was about to change."

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