That Day in Dallas
“Dear Friends, I am writing this letter to several people at once, then having it duplicated, because the story I’m about to tell is at once too long and too painful to be repeated several times.” -Travis Linn
Broadcast of Assassination Coverage:
Description of the Assassination and its aftermath:
Description of Lyndon Johnson’s swearing in and the departure of Air Force One.
Full Broadcast clippings:
November 22, 1963 is a day in history that will never be forgotten. John F. Kennedy, the man who some praised as the greatest, or would be greatest president in United States history had been shot and killed in Dallas. As two writers, George D. Gaskell and Daniel Wright, note, “The president’s life and achievements, the manner of his untimely death, and what he might have achieved, touched the heart of the American public.”(1) That Day in Dallas rocked the entire country and it was through the journalism and experience of that tragedy that that the Collective American memory was born.
“The police radio broke into a blare, and three phrases were distinguishable… ‘Three shots…he’s hit…Parkland Hospital.’ Sirens pierced the air. At the Trade Mart, a note was handed to me. It read, and I repeated on the air with disbelief ‘Three shots fired at President. Unconfirmed reports say JFK hit.”
Travis Linn was a young journalist working in Dallas when the president was shot, and the artifacts that he saved from that day serve to remind us what the assassination meant. Travis’ was on air, waiting for the President to arrive at the Trademart, where he was set to speak, when someone passed him a note. This note was the way in which Travis found out about the assassination of president Kennedy. He subsequently covered the assassination on the radio and the Ruby trial that followed.
“I arrived to see the plane depart. As the wheels left the ground, to me it seemed to say, “I’m going away as fast as I can. I’ll ever come back. I wish I had never come…”
The American people came together and experienced the tragedy of the Kennedy assassination. Travis’ account reveals the unity and individuality of the country upon the death of the president. His letter represents both a unique first hand account of events through the lens of a young journalist and an example of the collective nature of memory as they center on nationally riveting events.