When President John F. Kennedy was shot on November 22, 1963, millions of Americans were transfixed by the incomparable breaking news. Television—for the first time—emerged as a way to keep informed. The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza’s next presentation in its Fall 2013 Author Series will feature four men who were at the epicenter of it all: former KRLD journalists Bob Huffaker, Bill Mercer and Wes Wise and former KRLD photographer George Phenix. The four reporters will discuss their memories of covering the Kennedy assassination and a new edition of their book at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 19, on the Museum’s seventh floor. Tickets are $10 for the program only, or included with Museum exhibit admission, pending availability.
Huffaker, Mercer, Phenix and Wise were among those responsible for covering the assassination and its aftermath for KRLD, a CBS TV affiliate at the time. From the presidential motorcade to Parkland Hospital, from Lee Harvey Oswald’s shooting to the trial and lonesome death of Jack Ruby, they fed news and footage to Walter Cronkite and all of the other CBS affiliates around the country. Their presentation will recall their experiences and highlight a new edition of their joint book, When the News Went Live: Dallas, 1963. The 50th anniversary edition includes new photos, insights and reflections on the state of news (and faux news) today. A book signing will follow.
Advance tickets for the program are available at www.jfk.org. Remaining tickets will be available at the Ticket Sales desk on the day of the program, pending availability. The program is one of eight included in the Museum’s Fall Author Series featuring authors with new books published in observance of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination. The Sixth Floor Museum is located at 411 Elm Street in Dallas’ Historic West End. For more information, go to www.jfk.org or call 214.747.6660.
About the Authors
Bob Huffaker, investigative reporter, broadcast the JFK motorcade, the Parkland Hospital vigil and the Oswald shooting on CBS. He was an army officer, police officer, English professor, and editor for Texas Monthly and Studies in the Novel; he wrote John Fowles: Naturalist of Lyme Regis and is honored in the Texas State University Star Hall of Fame and the Dallas Press Club Living Legends of North Texas Journalism.
Bill Mercer, voice of the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and the Southwest Conference, was a professor at The University of North Texas. He wrote Play-by-Play: Tales from a Sportscasting Insider and a history of the Navy LCI, aboard which he served in the World War II Pacific. Mercer is honored in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, the Dallas Press Club Living Legends of North Texas Journalism, and baseball’s All-Pro Hall of Fame.
George Phenix filmed Oswald’s murder, the Parkland and Love Field scenes, and the Ruby murder trial. He founded and published Texas Weekly, the state’s top legislative newsletter. Phenix also published several weekly newspapers and served as aide to Senator Lloyd Bentsen and Congressman Jake Pickle. He writes the popular Blog of Ages at www.blogofages.net.
Wes Wise, accosted by Jack Ruby the day after JFK’s assassination, before Ruby shot Oswald, was a witness in Ruby’s trial. A pioneer of play-by-play, Wise wrote for Sports Illustrated, Time and Life. He served as Dallas mayor and president of the Texas Municipal League and is honored in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame and the Dallas Press Club Living Legends of North Texas Journalism. As Dallas mayor, he saved the Texas School Book Depository and other historic buildings from demolition, and he led the city in reclaiming its national reputation.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; interprets the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza; and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history. Located at 411 Elm Street in downtown Dallas, the Museum is open Monday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Audio guides for the permanent exhibit are included with admission and available in a variety of languages. For more information, visit www.jfk.org or call 214.747.6660.