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In Dallas, Texas, three shots were fired …

At 12:40 p.m., Walter Cronkite interrupts an episode of “As the World Turns” to announce that President John F. Kennedy had been shot. There is no initial video of Cronkite, who instead announces the news over a CBS news bulletin slide. Cronkite instructs the audience to stay tuned to CBS as more details emerge.

Here is a special bulletin …

Though Cronkite is given credit for being the first television broadcaster to break the news, ABC News interrupts their radio program to announce a brief bulletin. This news bulletin is how many people would have first heard the news, as only one in 10 American’s owned television sets in the early 1960s. The news bulletin presents little information and promises to return to the broadcast when more information is received.


Frank, I’m informed you’ll have to repeat …

It’s easy to forget how news was relayed in the age of analog. This collection of NBC news clips, which seems to begin some time after the first two bulletins, is a prime example of how breaking news occurred. The NBC anchor is filmed speaking with a reporter from Dallas on the telephone, the reporter is reading his own notes and the United Press International news brief. When listening to the clip, you can hear the producer speaking over the broadcast, communicating in real-time with the anchor. Remember, this news broke while people were out to lunch, in school, in the middle of their workday; the whole country was taken by surprise — even the newsroom.

The flash apparently official …

In the early 1960s, Cronkite was God. His words and his cadence are how many Americans remember that time period, especially those who tell you where they were when the president died. My own grandmother often recalls sitting at home and joining millions of Americans to hear it from Cronkite. Cronkite was historically known for his stoic demeanor, here you see his cadence break, as he fights back tears and announces the death of the 35th president of the United States.

As he reached for his pistol I grabbed him …

Several hours after the fatal shots, Dallas police arrested a young man wanted in the murder of a local police officer. Lee Harvey Oswald was stopped by Officer J.D. Tippit, who he allegedly then shot. Oswald ran into a movie theater where police apprehended him.

I have not been charged with that…

Around midnight, Oswald is allowed to speak to reporters. He remains coy about his involvement in the murder of Officer Tippit and President Kennedy. Oswald claims that he only heard about the assassination from newspaper reporters in the hallway. Oswald speaks to reporters multiple times while he is in jail; throughout each conversation, he remains calm and outwardly defiant.

Lee Oswald has been shot …

Warning: The below video shows a man being shot in the stomach at point-blank range.

While being moved to another jail, network cameras carry a live feed of the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald is handcuffed to Det. Jim Leavelle and takes one bullet to the stomach. You can see Oswald writhe in pain and let out a loud gasp as he falls to the ground. Reporters and policeman scatter to detain the shooter, local businessman Jack Ruby. Minutes later Oswald would be moved to the same hospital where the president had recently died.