By Taylor Tompkins

New York Times, page one, November 23, 1963

Boston Globe, page one, November 23, 1963

Denver Post, page one, November 23, 1963

 

Assassination causes confusion, sadness across the nation

JFK

photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

 

 

Because of the chaos that ensued, there were many conflicting reports of what had happened when JFK was murdered. There are rumors that Lee Harvey Oswald ran past a pack of reporters while fleeing the scene. The details reported were similar but the confusion ensued and persist through conspiracy theories to this day.

Confusion also persisted throughout the country. Pam Anderson, who was fourteen in the 9th grade at Malakoff High School about 50 miles from the incident, remembers the day as one of “gloom.”

Anderson said she was in class when someone came over the intercom and announced that the president had been killed. Some of her classmates broke into hysteria but everyone was “wiping away tears.”

Her sister, Debra Wafford, was five years younger. Wafford said a teacher from another room wheeled in a black and white TV in so they could watch the updates and clarifications rolled in.

As seen here (http://www.boston.com/news/specials/kennedy/day2_jfk_assassinated/) the nation grappled with with a wide range of emotions and all were captured by newspapers and television reports.

 

Vice President sworn in

Texas State alumnus Lyndon Johnson was also a feature of every front page that was studied. LBJ was sworn in on an airplane. Many front pages prominently featured LBJ’s whereabouts in the hours following JFK’s assassination. Many White House reporters found Johnson working in his Vice Presidential office even after being sworn in. All eyes were looking at the new president who had been thrust into his new role.

LBJ

photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

 

Jackie Kennedy’s reaction

Jackie Kennedy’s reaction to her husband’s death were highly documented by the media. Video and photos of Jackie Kennedy cradling her husband’s head and covered In blood were taken. Due to their graphic nature, many outlets used their discretion when showing the images.

Headlines such as the Boston Globe’s “A Wife’s Anguish” were seen on front pages across the nation.

 

To cover this event today, I would talk to people who lived through the event to recall where they were and what happened when they saw or found out. When viewing the reports and speaking to those that were there, parallels between most recent major national tragedy were seen in citizen’s reactions. To see how the assignation changed the course of history through coverage from that day can be seen in broadcast from the day.

 

 

 

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