ANDERSON, Ind. — For most of his life the legacy of President John F. Kennedy has been a part of Tom Broderick Jr.’s memories.
Broderick’s father, Tom, was Kennedy’s campaign chairman during the primary and general election of 1960, the year Kennedy defeated Republican Richard Nixon for the presidency.
During that campaign, Kennedy made stops in Pendleton, Anderson, and a farm in Lafayette Township with a large rally at Beulah Park in Alexandria.
For more than four decades a picture of Tom Broderick and Rosemary Lockwood with John Kennedy sits above a fireplace in the family home.
“That picture keeps the memory alive in our family,” Broderick said.
Former Madison County Democratic Party Chairman Bud Wood remembers that Kennedy spoke from the east steps of the old Madison County courthouse to a huge crowd of people.
“He shook hands with a lot of people,” Wood said. “I got to shake his hand.”
On Nov. 22, 1963, Broderick was a fifth-grade student in choir when the loud speaker came on and the principal said that Kennedy had been shot.
“There was complete silence,” he recalled of the choir room. “The teacher was upset.”
Broderick said when he got home he can remember his grandmother crying and that his parents were very upset.
“Kennedy was an influence on our family,” he said. “My dad said he was a common man, nice and outgoing. He had an impact on our family.”
Wood was working for the Anderson Fire Department in 1963 at Station 4 when word of Kennedy’s shooting came over the radio.
“It felt like it was the end of the world,” he said. “Everyone was in shock.”
Broderick said Kennedy’s legacy is of what he believed and his youthful vigor.
He said Kennedy was much younger than the previous two presidents, Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman.