Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22, 1963 -- Cronkite Was The Messenger

We never want to forget one of America's darkest days -- and one of televisions's most important -- when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Many of us were in school at the time and we all recall with a varying set of memories the shock and horror at hearing that our President had been shot. For CBS, it fell to newsman Walter Cronkite to deliver the announcement to Americans, or at least the housewives watching daytime television -- a soap opera -- at the moment the news came over the wire.

As soon as live news coverage started, it was Cronkite before the camera as the gravity of the day's events unfolded and the grim outcome was sealed in history.

Many years later Walter Cronkite reflected on the events of that day:

Of course, Walter Cronkite wasn't the only national journalist to cover the events of November 22, 1963. ABC and NBC also had live news coverage, but somehow it's Cronkite that we all seem to remember, no doubt because of his longevity in the business and his sterling reputation as a newman of incomparable insight, intelligence and integrity. We highly recommend a visit to the YouTube channel JKF1963Videos, where you will a collection of all three networks' coverage from that terrible day. (Thanks to channel creator Robbie from Minnesota for compiling and collecting this video in one place.) There are also many fascinating interviews with Cronkite where he reflects further on his experiences, and they are also highly recommended for students of history and television.

The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy was a defining moment in the history of television, and in the history of a nation.

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