Covering Chaos

All Exhibits

Time Line of News Events: 12:30-1:00 p.m.

Texas School Book Depository
Tom Dillard Collection

November 22, 1963

12:32 p.m.

Dallas Times Herald—Photographer Bob Jackson sees a rifle protruding from the northeast sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository. His camera empty, he alerts Tom Dillard, chief photographer of the Dallas Morning News, who captures an image of the building seconds after the last shot is fired.

WFAA—John Allen reports that shots have been fired at the motorcade based on information from the police radio.

Dallas Times Herald—Reporter Ben Stevens hears word of the shooting, stands up, and announces to the city newsroom: "This is it. … It looks like Kennedy's been hit."

12:34 p.m.

UPI—Merriman Smith dictates a wire transmission from the AT&T radio-car. This is the first account of the shooting on a national and international level.

KBOX—Sam Pate calls in a report from the motorcade and goes on the air live just as Smith's wire clears.

12:36 p.m.

ABC—Don Gardner announces that three shots were fired at the motorcade.

NBC—After jumping off of the White House press bus, Robert MacNeil calls in a report from the Texas School Book Depository.

12:37 p.m.

Mutual News—Charles Warren in New York reads the UPI bulletin sent from Dallas.

Jay Skaggs Slide #6
Jay Skaggs Collection
12:38 p.m.

KLIF—Gary DeLaune interrupts the Chiffons’ song "I Have A Boyfriend" to read the UPI bulletin.

12:39 p.m.

UPI—Smith composes a second wire transmission from Parkland Memorial Hospital: "Kennedy seriously wounded, perhaps seriously, perhaps fatally by assassins bullet."

AP—Jack Bell dictates his first wire account from the AT&T radio-car.

12:40 p.m.

CBS—Walter Cronkite pulls the wire off the UPI Teletype machine. Without a ready camera, CBS interrupts As the World Turns with a bulletin slide and Cronkite's voice.

12:42 p.m.

WBAP—Bob Welch's account airs after the president is at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

ABC—Officials decide to begin continuous coverage.

12:45 p.m.

Dallas Times Herald—Managing Editor Charlie Dameron orders the front page to be ripped up and new mock-ups developed. 

Dallas Times Herald—Reporter Darwin Payne interviews Abraham Zapruder.

12:47 p.m.

NBC—The network airs a bulletin slide with Don Pardo reading the latest wire bulletins.

12:48 p.m.

CBS—Walter Cronkite appears live on camera and begins CBS's continuous coverage.

12:53 p.m.

NBC—The network begins continuous coverage by Chet Huntley, Frank McGee and Bill Ryan.

Securing a pay telephone at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Merriman Smith constantly filed updates as he learned new information. A Smith dispatch, which cleared just before 12:55 p.m., says, "Some of the Secret Service agents thought the gunfire was from an automatic weapon fired to the right rear of the president's car, probably from a grassy knoll to which police rushed."

Merriman Smith, United Press International
12:54 p.m., November 22, 1963
Adapted from UPI dispatch

12:57 p.m.

UPI—Wire reports state that priests have arrived at Parkland Memorial Hospital.