The Day That Changed The World

For those of my generation, and older, this is the day that changed the world. November 22, 1963 at 12:30 p.m. CST.

If you are going to read one book about the events of November 22, it might as well be this one. When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963 (Hardcover), by Bob Huffaker, Bill Mercer, George Phenix, Wes Wise.

It is a great book.

The stories of these four men are quite remarkable. Students, they were – for the most part – just starting out in their careers. Imagine that for a moment. Powerful stories.

Excerpt from the Publishers Weekly review of the book:

Before November 22, 1963, people depended on the morning or afternoon newspaper for their news. But once Kennedy was shot, America turned to television for up-to-the-minute reports—most of which were supplied that fatal weekend by Huffaker, Mercer, Phenix and Wise of Dallas’s KRLD, a CBS affiliate. As Huffaker explains, back then a TV reporter had to be able to do everything, from getting the scoop at the scene to writing the piece and reading it on the air. Mercer describes the huge sound cameras they’d lug, with film that they’d have to process and edit in time for the next newscast. As each of the authors gives his account of the segment of the Kennedy assassination he was most involved with—the race to get the injured president to the hospital, Oswald’s flight and capture, Ruby’s shooting of Oswald and Ruby’s trial—he opens a window into that earlier era of broadcast history. In the conclusion, the contributors make comparisons to today’s “embedded” reporters. One big difference emerges: in 1963, the KRLD crew had a whole nation awaiting their latest report.

When The New Went Live


0 thoughts on “The Day That Changed The World

  1. Bryan Person,

    As September 11 was for me, the Kennedy assassination was the defining you’ll-never-forget-where-you-were-when-you-heard-the-news moment for my parents’ generation.

    Last week (on PBS, I think?), I caught the end of a fascinating documentary about how this event titanically impacted both media coverage and consumption. For the first time, television had become THE place to follow the up-to-minute news developments.

    This book certain looks like a good one to pick up for the holidays. Thanks for pointing it out, Robert.

  2. Robert

    Hey Bryan,

    I think you’ll enjoy the book. The personal stories are quite compelling.

    I agree re: 9/11. It is a prominent event for me, too, but JFK perhaps holds strong in my memory as I was exposed to it at such a young age. And, yes, it did change the relationship we have with news. TV ruled after that.

    All the best.