Remembering JFK

Willie Mays remembers ‘sadness and fear’ after JFK’s death

John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy arrive in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. (PHOTO: AP Photo)
John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy arrive in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. (PHOTO: AP Photo)

On Nov. 22, 1963 — 50 years ago this Friday — the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas stunned the nation. In remembrance, LIFE Magazine published The Day Kennedy Died , which includes celebrities’ recollections of hearing the shocking news. The magazine shared Hall of Famer Willie Mays’ memory of the day with For The Win.

It was offseason for baseball and I was going to play some golf. I was just leaving, walking through the door. I’d left the radio on and heard a voice cut into the broadcast. It caught my attention. I backed up to listen.

The news didn’t seem real. The man said President Kennedy had been shot. My heart filled with so much sadness and fear. How could they shoot the President? I started to cry. I stood there and listened as hard as I could. Maybe I had heard it wrong.

But I’d heard it right.

I had been invited to the inauguration, but couldn’t make it. I always thought that I would have another chance to meet President Kennedy. I never did. But I have met many members of his family and that has been a wonderful thing in my life. They have gone forward and done great things with their lives.

Now, thinking back, there is still sadness and regret but even hope. I was sad for my country on that November day in 1963, but I see these young ones coming up and I have hope.

JFK’s death impacted many aspects of American life, including the sporting world . Like Mays, most Americans who can remember the day will never forget it


Key Terms…
  • stunned ↔ chocou
  • recollections ↔ lembranças
  • Hall of Famer ↔ membro do “Hall of Fame” (melhores jogadores de beisebol)
  • offseason ↔ na baixa temporada
  • a voice cut into the broadcast ↔ uma voz que cortou a transmissão
  • shoot ↔ atirar
  • I had been invited ↔ Eu fui convidado
  • but couldn’t make it ↔ mas não consegui comparecer
  • wonderful ↔ maravilhoso
  • sadness ↔ tristeza
  • regret ↔ pesar, remorso
  • coming up ↔ crescendo
  • the sporting world ↔ mundo esportivo


stunned chocou
Fiquei boquiaberto ↔I was stunned!
A noiva não está simplesmente deslumbrante? ↔Isn’t the bride just stunning?
She was stunned. ↔Ela foi paralisada.
offseason na baixa temporada
Airline tickets to Florida in July are generally less expensive since it’s off-season.
shoot atirar
shot – shoot – shot
ele foi morto a tiro ↔he was shot dead
I had been invited Eu fui convidado
Past perfect continuous communicates that occured and completed in the past.
wonderful maravilhoso
Que maravilha ↔How wonderful!
coming up crescendo
an up-and-coming young actorum ator jovem cada vez mais conhecido
Está se formando uma tempestade ↔A storm is coming up


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