News

New York Woman Recalls Meeting JFK At Event In Queens

For Mary Mulvihill, President Kennedy's Death Remains Deeply Personal

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — For those who lived through it, the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated is unforgettable.

Everyone remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing when they got the news and nearly everyone who is old enough to remember has a story.

“I was walking to school and I found out and I walked back home,” Patricia Ryan told CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes on Friday, the 50th anniversary of the tragedy.

Mary Mulvihill grew up in Queens. For her, President Kennedy’s death felt very personal. Mulvihill met president Kennedy in 1960, at the age of 17 when he was running against Richard Nixon.

“Of course it was an Irish Catholic family and I was from an Irish Catholic family. I came from a family of 10 children and they had what, nine children,” she said.

A snapshot from the day that they met shows a smiling Kennedy shaking Mulvihill’s hand at her local American Legion.

Mulvihill was invited to the event after representing the post at a training program in Washington. The meeting lasted for barely a minute but the memory lasted for decades.

Mulvihill is now the executive director of the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center on Manhattan’s West Side. She told CBS 2’s Grymes that she took JFK’s inaugural address to heart.

“It’s really true. When your president says that you think, ‘wow, maybe I should do something,'” she said.

Kennedy’s words, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country,” are a lesson that Mulvihill hopes the younger generation will never forget.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories