San Antonio’s John F. Kennedy High School will celebrate its 50th anniversary this Friday, on the same day their namesake and former president, John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
The Edgewood Independent School District high school was the first high school in the country named for the 35th President. The school name was first presented to the their Board of Trustees and approved September 10, 1962, just before the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the school opened its doors in September 1963.
Joe Gomez was a freshman at John F. Kennedy High School in 1963 when the school first opened, and he says even after all these years he still remembers where he was when he heard the news the president had been shot.
“I was in my math class,” Gomez said. “They made an announcement over the intercom: ‘President Kennedy has been shot’ they said.”
It became very silent, the whole school was just in shock, and no one could believe that something like that could happen, he said.
“At that point no one knew he had been killed,” Gomez said. “Everyone in class was in shock, sad, and just concerned…. We were just waiting to hear something.”
When they finally found out President Kennedy was dead, Gomez said the community, like the rest of the country was devastated.
“In the Hispanic community he was very well liked,…he was Catholic, and he was part of the civil rights movement,” Gomez said. “ It was hard for us students there at the school… it was was his name sake then and now we were proud to go to a school named after an amazing president.”