Cambridge JFK Monument

On November 21, 1963, San Antonio welcomed the President and First Lady to our city.  Many lucky students at Cambridge Elementary School had the honor of viewing the presidential motorcade from just a few feet away, as it traveled down Broadway past the school.  This moment was captured by photographer, Jim Berg.   In Jim's photograph, we have identifed several of our classmates, including Nancy, Lynn, Elizabeth, Larry, Florence, Rebecca, Sheri, Mannti, to name a few; many more were present but were off camera, Max, Dev, Blake, John, Julie, Ilse, Quinn, Boo Boo, Tay, John, others. 
Please let Toni know if you are in this 1963 photo



The shock & tragedy of the following day, November 22, is forever ingrained in our memories. 

56 years later, a special monument is in the works, and needs your help

The JFK Monument Project has been approved by the Architectural Review Board in Alamo Heights. 

The monument will be built at the corner of Broadway and Ogden Lane. It will be large enough to be clearly seen and read from a nearby car on Ogden or Broadway.

Fundraising is under way.  Please consider helping the project with a DONATION, and help spread the word to friends.

Cambridge Elementary and Alamo Heights Alumni  --  funding is needed for construction & installation.  
The monument unveiling will take place either Nov 21 or Nov 22, 2019
For more information AND how you can DONATE, contact Kenneth Pruitt
Kenneth Pruitt, (210) 415-8909, Fund Raising Lead
Email:  pruitt@gfrps.com  

Jim Berg (210) 260-6200



Mannti C. on far left striped shirt; Larry to right of Mannti; 


Nancy H (white headband); Lynn E (to Nancy's left); 

 

Mission Statement:

For the local generations that have come into their majority since November 1963, this monument will be erected this fall to recall the stark significance of the 24-hr period from 1.00 pm Nov 21, 1963 (happiness to see a POTUS) to 1.00 pm Nov 22, 1963 (horror and grief for the murder in Dallas – all caught on camera). The air/space between the photo and the plaque is marking the 24 hr transition from these two polar opposite emotions.

Having been bestowed ownership of this photo by Ginny Parotta of New Braunfels (daughter of the photographer), I have felt the duty to preserve the panorama snapshot as a historical teaching moment for all who will view the monument in the years ahead. ~ Jim Berg 


November 21, 1963 Kennedy Motorcade passes by Cambridge Elementary
Many of our 5th grade classmates are in this photograph, standing at the fence behind Cambridge Elementary on Broadway in 1963 when JFK, Jackie Kennedy and John Connally drove by in their motorcade. President Kennedy was assassinated the following day in Dallas
Photo courtesy of Jim Berg, MatsonCreative.com, no reproduction is permitted by law. 

Click to View a larger image

About the 1963 photo:  

"Recently I toured a friend's office in San Antonio who collects historic photographs. At the end of the tour, he showed me the framed photograph. I remembered it immediately. As 5th graders many of the class of 1971 are in this photograph standing at this fence behind Cambridge Elementary on Broadway in 1963 when JFK, Jackie Kennedy and John Connally drove by in their motorcade. JFK was assassinated the following day in Dallas. I was one of the kids in the photo. I remember our 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Hanson walking our class to the fence to watch the motorcade and I definitely remember the next day when she walked into the classroom and announced that the President had been shot. I believe most everyone remembers where they were when that happened." ~ Elizabeth Webb Wendel

*** Please contact Toni if you or anyone you knew were in this photograph
Thank you to Elizabeth Webb Wendel and Jim Berg for bringing this photograph to our attention. Photo courtesy of MatsonCreative.com, no reproduction is permitted by law.
Photo (10” x 25”) @MatsonCreative.com - $49.50.


Photos from the San Antonio visit

Link to JFK speech at Brooks Air Force Base

1963 footage


"Yes, I remember the day very well and I believe I am the smiling kid in the striped shirt at the far left side of the picture. I don’t remember the shirt, since it was most likely a hand me down from my older brother, but the grin on that mug looks familiar.
As JFK rode by I yelled out “Yeah Kennedy” to which he responded with a smile and a “We are the Champions” two hand clasp above his head. Really made my day, which heightened the shock from the events of the next day in Dallas. Two days later we all watched on live TV Lee Harvey Oswald being shot at point blank range at the Dallas Police station. In 1963, TV was still a new fangled device and seeing these events unfold live and in black and white was truly remarkable. Certainly not the antics of Mr. Green Jeans and Captain that a 10 year old student at Cambridge Elementary was accustomed to.
The events of that week in November certainly changed how I looked at TV from then on, and to an extent how I look at life. Enjoy it while it’s turned on, because in flash, the channel is gonna change."
Mannti Cummins


" ... I was shocked to see the JFK picture on the AHHS71 web as I am one of the kids in the picture from Mrs. Hanson’s class, and think I may be just to the right of Mannti Cummins. My hair was always in a burr haircut at that point (probably a precursor to my Marine Corps days) and I remember the day very well. (However, in my memory I thought we were on the playground side of the fence, but that’s what age will do to you.) 
In my recollection we were told on the PA system that the President had been killed, and I think we were sent home shortly afterwards. I remember Tim Timmins (my best friend) and I walking up Townsend Ave. to where Tim’s mom parked and we were talking about the assassination. I often tell friends on the anniversary of JFK’s death that I saw him the day before but don’t know how many folks just think it’s another tall tale from Texas. I’ll sure give them a look at this picture next November." ~ Larry Stenger 

" ... I was there at the time of the JFK photo, but was not in the pic. I was further to the south as is most of Mrs. Hanson's class. If I were there, you could easily spot me as I was a easily head and shoulders taller than everyone in the class and I was in the back row because of that. Along with us would be (to the best of my recollection) Dev, Blake Middleton, John Saunders, John McCaleb, Julie Brown, Ilse Garrett, Quinn Williams, Boo Boo Jockush, Tay Mason, and my memory dims...
But the day Kennedy was shot, Mrs. Hanson was called out into the hall. Blake and I had been playing chess as it was right after lunch and we were just getting ready to start class again. Mrs. Hanson came back in the room and started to say something and stopped midsentence and sat down at her desk with her head in her hands crying. At that same instance, Mr. Huff came over the speaker and made the "official" announcement. Julie Brown went nuts... completely hysterical, which caused Mrs. Hanson to get a grip and take care of her. (Julie's dad was an elected Democratic judge and I am sure she felt a personal relationship with President Kennedy and had probably met him in person, I would think, during the campaign.)

Everything was pretty surreal the rest of the day. Then, on Saturday, I was at the ranch and my grandfather was watching the live broadcast of news as Oswald was being transferred. It is my recollection I saw him get shot live. I am not sure this is true. It may have just been a recorded tape, but I know it was shortly thereafter, if not live." ~ Max Wier

"... And I remember the day we got the news that JFK was shot. Mrs. Coulter put her head in her hands and cried and I didn't really get it...
 " ~ Boo Boo Jockusch Reynolds

" ... I was in Mrs. Hanson's class and remember the day he was shot. Our class had been at PE when we were called back to class. I remember wondering why we were missing PE, and then Mr. Huff the principal came on the intercom to tell us that the president had been shot. I seem to remember a TV being turned on and Walter Croncite was there telling the world that JFK was dead. He had tears in his eyes. Julie Brown freaked out and a lot of the kids were crying. I remember just sitting there in a daze wondering what was going to happen to our country.
(in the JFK photo) I want to say that Sheri Gerth was in Mrs. Hansons class too. My eyes are getting too old, but I think that is Sheri behind the fence in the girl scout uniform. 
I believe David Camp was also in our class. I think Sara Ryan was in Mrs Meyers class in 6th grade. Jeff Cotham was in Mrs. Crawford's 4th grade class with me. He moved to Germany with his family during that school year. I just don't remember much of those days anymore, except spending time with Larry Stenger, Larry Williams and Taylor Sealy while they built go-carts and Christmas tree forts." ~ Ilse Garrett

" ... the photo of JFK, I was there in Mrs. Coulter's class, but no idea if I'm in the photograph.  I remember the day so well.  President Kennedy was very handsome, and seemed so bigger-than-life. Cheers" ~ Florence Bunten

" .... I remember being closer toward the entrance to the playground, to the left of Mrs. Hanson.  Thanks Elizabeth and Max for sharing the picture and pinpointing the source of that piercing shriek, but as others have noted, there was more.  Two other girls jumped up and started to scream and wave their arms.  Meanwhile a boy ran counter-clockwise around the room shouting, “The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming”—that, Larry, is when people are certain that it’s a Texas tall tale.  As he started his second lap, he tripped over a chair that had been pushed into the aisle; the resulting noise and confusion snapped Mrs. Hanson from her shock and grief and forced her to resume her role as teacher.  ~ Rebecca M.

" .... I remember where I was standing in this picture." ~ Lynn Erben


View our Elementary School Class Lists 
Elementary & Junior School 1959-1967