From the archives: Walter Cronkite reports on John F. Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 22, 1963 (2023)


On Nov. 22, 1963, at approximately 12:30 p.m. CST, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas while riding in a presidential motorcade. JFK, the 35th president, was only 46 years old. CBS News Anchor Walter Cronkite reported on the details and aftermath of the tragedy from the studio in New York.

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Mrs Kennedy was in the car as we said with President Kennedy, he slumped into her lap.

And she is said to be bearing up reasonably well stunned, but not in a State of Shock as yet she was seen crying in the corridors of the hospital.

Bill Stinson, an assistant to Governor Connolly says, he talked to the governor in the hospital operating room.

He says, the governor was shot just below the shoulder blade in the back Stinson said, he asked Conley how it happened.

And he said, I, don't know, I guess from the back they got the president too Stinson said that he asked Conley if there's anything he could do and Conley replied, just take care of Nelly.


Me Nelly is a governor Connolly's wife, Governor Connolly could very possibly have been shot in the back, uh with the Assassin's bullets still coming from the front of the car.

He rode in a small jump seat in the center of the back of the specially built presidential limousine specially built for such, uh, public performances, such as this a matter of fact, the car is so built that the president sits higher than he would in a normal automobile so that the crowd can get a good look at him.

But as it turned out today, so that an assassin can also get a good shot at him further information here, the Catholic priest who helped perform the last rights father, Huber, Dallas said that he did not believe the president was dead at that time.

The priests left the emergency operating room at Parkland Hospital and walked out of the hospital.

There has been just a moment that information does not bear directly on the condition of President Kennedy.

It has comes from Kansas City Missouri, where our affiliate KCMO says that Mrs best Truman As Told, a KCMO that former President Truman is too upset to comment on today's tragic developments as we said, there has been no word at all on the official word from the doctors at Parkland Hospital, or the White House staff.

On the extent of the president's wounds.

Mrs Kennedy is in the hospital.

As we said so is Mrs Connolly, the governor's wife as or indeed, most members of The White House staff.

He was carrying a large staff with him on this tour to Texas It is believed that a gap in the motorcade perhaps saved Vice President Johnson from being a target of the Assassin today.

The Gap had opened up in the motorcade just before the Assassin's bullets rang out the priest who with Kennedy want the two priests, who were with Kennedy say that he is dead of his bullet wounds.

That seems to be about as close to official as we can get at this time.

They did see the president just a few moments ago.

And this is the bulletin that has just cleared from Dallas that the two priests who were in the emergency room, where President Kennedy lay after being taken from the Dallas Street Corner, where he was shot say that he is dead, Our, Man, Dan, Rather in Dallas reported that about 10 minutes ago, too right there trying to there's another picture taken just moments just moments split moment before the assassination attempt is here let's see if we can get a real close-up of that picture.

It has just arrived.

It shows a smiling Mrs Kennedy.

And the president in the front seat of the car in the back seat of the car, Mrs, Connolly and Governor Connolly.

You cannot see behind Mrs Connolly.

The Assassin took dead aim.

He got the president apparently with the first shot in the head and then Governor Connolly with the next two shots.

As we've reported to you.

The New York Stock Exchange has closed as a nation.

These reports are true.

Prepare us to go into mourning.

The Stock Exchange closed.

After prices began tumbling as words spread rapidly through the floor of the exchange of this event in Dallas all stock exchanges, apparently are now closed the New York cotton and wool exchanges, the American Stock Exchange, the coffee and sugar exchanges are closed they're counting for you again, the succession of events in Dallas Texas this morning, President Kennedy and Governor Connolly of Texas shot as their motorcade proceeded from Dallas Airport to downtown Dallas, where the president was scheduled to make a speech, the Assassin perhaps succeeded where it is that he did in killing President Kennedy.

The president taken to Parkland Hospital, where a moment ago, two priests left the room and said, they understood the president was dead.

Our own reporter in Dallas also says that he has information that the president is dead.

This official word has not come.

However, from Parkland Hospital as yet a secret service man was also killed in the fuselage of shots that came apparently from a second story window.

Now, from Washington government sources, say that President Kennedy is dead.

Those are government sources, still not an official announcement.

Government sources in Washington, the priests who left the emergency room, our correspondent Dan Rather in Dallas say that this is the information that the president is dead a television newsman haloff said that he looked up just after the shot was fired and saw a rifle being withdrawn from A fifth or sixth floor window of a nearby building.

He said, a policeman fell to the ground, pulled his pistol and yelled get down probably to attempt to return the shots earlier today, President Kennedy had been in Fort Worth Texas yesterday.

He was in San Antonio today.

He was in Fort Worth this morning.

He addressed a breakfast meeting as did Mrs Kennedy of some 2200 cheering people, Mrs Kennedy, very attractive in a pale beige address and a pill box hat had gotten a standing ovation from that crowd and had proved to be quite a campaigner in Texas in these last two days and was getting a lot of plaudits from the old political prose for that President Kennedy himself, Rose, rather early and went out into a parking lot near the hotel in Dallas, where he addressed informally, a rather large crowd of people and had pleased them with his quips about the fact that he was sorry that he could not bring Mrs Kennedy with him down to that particular meeting, but that it took her a little longer to get organized than than did him.

But that as he said, it's worth it and the crowd laughed and deported and and enjoyed the quip.

The president then went on to the breakfast meeting and saw thereafter.

His plane took off from Carswell, Air, Force, Base in Fort Worth and flew him to his rendezvous with death.

Apparently in Dallas Texas at the airport in Dallas, the uh, and throughout the streets of Dallas, the Dallas Police had been augmented by some 400 a policemen called in on their day off because there were some fears and concerns in Dallas that that there might be demonstrations at least that could embarrass the president because it was only on October the 24th that our ambassador to the United Nations adley Stevenson was assaulted in Dallas, leaving a dinner meeting there.

Thank you from Dallas.

Texas, The, Flash, apparently official President Kennedy died at 1 pm, Central Standard Time, two o'clock, Eastern, Standard, Time.

Some 38 minutes ago vice president Lyndon Johnson has left the hospital in Dallas, but we do not know to where he has proceeded.

Presumably, he will be taking the oath of office shortly and become the 36th.

President of the United States President Kennedy at Dallas airport.

This morning was cheerful and waving.

It had been quite a triumphal tour of Texas over the last 48 hours.

There were hundreds of people crowded around the uh, the president at the airport, wildly cheering.

There had not been any outstanding demonstrations, nothing like that.

The demonstrations that greeted adley Stevenson, the r u.

N, Ambassador in Dallas as I was telling you a moment ago on October, the 24th, when a lot of banners saying, get out of the U.N and coexistence is appeasement.

And that sort of thing I greeted him at a meeting.

He was greeted by hecklers in the Dallas Auditorium where he spoke.

And then as he left the hall, a lady demonstrator, there hit him over the head with a one of her picket signs.

He wasn't badly injured.

But he was was obviously shaken by the experience.

The lady later said that she was pushed from behind and that's.

Why the the sign fell and hurt adley Stevenson or other rather struck him.

He wasn't badly hurt as we told you a moment ago, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas Texas.


He was shot in Dallas at 12 25 as his car proceeded through the crowded streets of Dallas.

He died 35 minutes later in the Dallas Parkland, Hospital, Governor, John, Connolly of Texas was also shot by the Assassin, the condition in which Governor Connolly.

Now is we do not know as yet.

But apparently he is conscious and has talked to an aide there Vice President Johnson was in a following car and was apparently not hurt.

He has left the hospital and has gone to an unknown destination where it is assumed he will shortly take the oath of office as the President of the United States pictures of the president.

We have also we're beginning to hear now from points around the world.

Of course, in a succession of messages that will be coming in Dan Shore reports from Paris that from Germany that, uh, prime minister, Earhart of Germany heard the news on route back to bond from Paris and uh, uh, of course, Dan Shore said, not knowing at the time that he cabled us.

A few minutes ago that the president was dead said that Erhardt would probably postpone his visit to Washington.

It seems almost certain that that would be the case.


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