Friday, November 22, 2013

Kennedy assassination reports unfold on the wires

"STAY OFF ALL OF YOU   STAY OFF AND KEEP OFF   GET OFF" —wire services message after news flash about motorcade shooting in Dallas
President John F. Kennedy's assassination is all over the news today, as it was 50 years ago when he was struck down in Dallas. Television programs flash images of Jackie in her bloodstained pink suit (never cleaned, it remains in a vault at the National Archives), and a ceremony featuring the final paragraphs of the speech JFK never got to deliver is being held at Dealey Plaza. The University of Virginia library has a digital facsimile of the UPI wire services transmittals for the unfolding event, which is still horrific and gripping reading lo these many years later. (Right: the teletype printout of the UPI wire from Jacksonville, FL, from just before the first report of Kennedy’s shooting to the end of the day.)
I was at recess when the news spread like wildfire through the schoolyard in Ottawa, where my father was an exchange Air Force officer. For days, my traumatized parents haunted the basement where our tv resided, watching the live funeral coverage along with a shocked and grieving nation—and world. Anyone else who remembers hearing the news, please share when and where.
Robert Kennedy was photographed holding Jackie's hand and was at her side bolstering her up during the entire ordeal of the funeral. His and Jack's very special relationship is chronicled in The Kennedy Brothers: The Rise and Fall of Jack and Bobby by Richard Mahoney.
By one recent estimate, more than 40,000 books have been written on the Kennedy assassination(!) Larry Sabato, whose work on Kennedy's presidential legacy was profiled in a recent PBS documentary called The Kennedy Half Century, has this challenge for you on myths regarding J.F.K.
This photograph of then-Sen. John F. Kennedy and his brother, Robert Kennedy, was taken in April 1960 on the night of the Wisconsin presidential primary. The President was only 45 when he died. ( Life/Stan Wayman)
Read here about a previous attempt to kill Kennedy, after the election and before he took office.


  1. What is perhaps my earliest memory is not of the day Kennedy was shot, but the following morning. At the age of 3 I had mastered my first piece of technology - the Zenith TV set in the living room and was fruitlessly turning the dial in search of the Saturday morning cartoons. But there were none to be seen; all the channels - all four of them - were broadcasting coverage of the assassination.

  2. A great loss not only to the nation but to the world at large. Reading this post brought a load of memories. A very sad day, it was recreated by your post.