50 years ago today

@ElicBxn (60810)
United States
August 1, 2016 11:06pm CST
What? You ask. 50 years ago, August 1st, 1966, a mad man climbed up on the University of Texas tower and started shooting at people. Where was I? I had been watching TV in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. My mom called and said: "Come on! We have to go catch the plane." I was just dialing down the TV when the news broke in with a shot of the UT tower. "Wait!" I called to my family. "There is something happening in Austin!" I turned back up the TV and a report came on about a shooter in the University tower. Mom and my siblings along with my grandfather came back inside. "There's someone shooting from the Tower," I told them, kind of giving them the briefest of updates. We watched the report for several minutes, but we had to leave to catch the plane. Now, this was 1966, so we didn't have to get to the airport HOURS ahead of time to check in. Needless to say, this is pretty much all what we talked about on the plane back to Texas. Happily, nobody we knew was killed or otherwise harmed that day. Having said that, it seemed that everyone we knew was on or near campus that day. 3 friends had gone to campus to a movie with their father who was teaching summer school. Another family friend had gone to a restaurant down around campus for lunch with friends. Charles Whitman shot 40 people, killing 16 that day before he was shot and killed himself. Until that time, there was no such thing as mass shootings, SWAT teams, heck, there wasn't even EMS, the ambulances were hearses from the funeral homes! A lot has changed since that hot summer day in Austin Texas and those of us who remember it have probably changed the most.
Texas Standard spoke to nearly 100 survivors of the UT Tower shooting. Now you can hear their stories.
3 people like this
4 responses
@Beatburn (3912)
• Philippines
2 Aug 16
It's good to be reminded of events such as these. We have to learn from history.
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (60810)
• United States
2 Aug 16
Its amazing that Austin has so many sad firsts. You can read about more in this discussion...
Before Jack the Ripper there was the Servant Girl Annihilator. Before there was the Beltway Sniper there was Charles Whitman. There are many things about...
1 person likes this
@nomus24g (22181)
• India
2 Aug 16
Good to know that, someone like u is tracking past events as old as 50yrs
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60810)
• United States
2 Aug 16
I was 12 when it happened. Not an adult when it happened, but old enough to be affected by it.
1 person likes this
@nomus24g (22181)
• India
2 Aug 16
@ElicBxn ok...if you witnessed it, then it is bound to have an impact on you, whatever the age is
1 person likes this
@allen0187 (33142)
• Philippines
2 Aug 16
I have to read up on this. People were crazy back then!
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60810)
• United States
2 Aug 16
Honestly, I think they are crazier these days. Back then Lee Harvey Oswald and Charles Whitman were not the norm, these days people shoot each other for no good reasons! Just so you know, John Connally, who was shot when Kennedy was killed, was still the Governor in 1966.
2 people like this
@Teep11 (7003)
• United States
2 Aug 16
40 people is a lot. There's so much going on. It's so difficult to hear about such tragedies. Think about the families. Prayers for peace.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60810)
• United States
2 Aug 16
And something like this had never happened before.