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Where Were You When Kennedy Was Shot? Most Americans Can’t Say

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President John F. Kennedy is struck by an assassin's bullet as he travels through Dallas in a motorcade. (Credit: hree Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

President John F. Kennedy is struck by an assassin’s bullet as he travels through Dallas in a motorcade. (Credit: hree Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

CHICAGO (CBS) – As a nation remembers the shocking events surrounding President Kennedy’s assassination, a vast majority of Americans cannot answer this basic question.

“Where were you when Kennedy was shot?”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 74 percent of Americans are 54-years-old or younger. That’s about 230 million people who really weren’t old enough–or obviously not even born–to remember when the president died in Dallas 50 years ago.

Despite that, or perhaps because of it, Americans remain captivated by the events of that weekend. In Chicago, there are several important historical connections to Kennedy.

The Chicago Sun-Times editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin most famously captured the nation’s grief, with his portrait the Lincoln at his own monument, showing the 16th president weeping into his hands.

Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg tells the story of how Mauldin created such an iconic and lasting image in about one hour. Jackie Kennedy asked for a copy, and Mauldin provided her with the original.

A small Northern Illinois museum has one of the most extensive displays of memorabilia from that historic day in Dallas in 1963, WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports.

The collection at Historic Auto Attractions in Roscoe includes one of the Secret Service cars in Dallas, one of Mrs. Kennedy’s mourning veils, and the uniform of the Dallas police officer who arrested assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

Jack Ruby, who killed Oswald with a single shot in the basement of the Dallas police lockup, is buried next to his mother and father in the Chicago suburbs.

Ruby died in 1967 and his grave is located in Westlawn Jewish Cemetery in Norridge.

Born Jacob Rubenstein, Ruby grew up in Chicago and lived with his family in the Maxwell Street area.

The most famous film footage of Kennedy’s death, taken by Abraham Zapruder, was rushed to Chicago to be used in Life Magazine. According to Josiah “Tink” Thompson, who has been investigating the Kennedy assassination for nearly 50 years, Life’s editor Richard Stolley convinced Zapruder to provide him with the original version, which was sent to the magazine’s Chicago office as the magazine’s editors rushed to put together the story.

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