Oral History

All Oral Histories

Bess C. Abell

Personal secretary to Lady Bird Johnson in 1963, Abell was at the Johnson Ranch preparing for the arrival of the Kennedys when the assassination took place. Abell then served as the White House social secretary to Mrs. Johnson from 1963 to 1969. Recorded July 25 and August 2, 2011.

Alan Abrams

A senior at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas, Abrams saw the Kennedy motorcade on Lemmon Avenue on November 22, 1963. Recorded October 25, 2014.

Jackie Acres

A special needs educator and consultant for more than thirty-five years, Acres was a twelve-year-old student in Indiana at the time of the assassination. Recorded December 14, 2015.

Harold L. Adams

A fellow of the American Institute of Architects and longtime chairman and CEO of RTKL Associates Inc. (1987-2003), Adams worked for noted American architect John Carl Warnecke in the early 1960s. In that capacity, Adams consulted directly with President and Mrs. Kennedy on the Lafayette Square Historic District in Washington, D.C., and supervised a personal project for Robert Kennedy. Adams was actively involved in the planning, design and construction of President Kennedy’s gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery and consulted on early planning for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Recorded July 5, 2011.

Katherine Adams

An employee of the National Bank of Commerce in Dallas, Adams saw the Kennedy motorcade near the corner of Main and Houston Streets and heard shots fired in Dealey Plaza. Recorded September 8, 2010.

Lindalyn Adams

A community leader and an award-winning champion of historic preservation, Adams is Chairman Emerita of the Dallas County Historical Foundation. She was a key leader in establishing The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and devoted more than a decade to the project. Recorded January 15, 1997, and May 29, 2013.

Suzanne Adams

Adams had hoped to take her two children to Dallas Love Field to see the Kennedys depart Dallas, but after the assassination, she decided to go to Parkland Memorial Hospital. There she shot a few seconds of film with her home movie camera and was interviewed on ABC Television. Recorded April 3, 2009.

Barbara Adamson

Co-founder of the Woodrow Wilson High School Alumni Association, Inc., Adamson and her husband drove the Kennedy motorcade route through downtown Dallas moments before police closed off the streets for the presidential parade. Recorded January 28, 2013.

Ray Addington

As a high school senior, Addington briefly shook hands with President Kennedy as his motorcade passed by on Turtle Creek Boulevard in Dallas. Addington later served in the Vietnam War. Recorded April 12, 2015.

Ray Adler

An employee of the First National Bank of Dallas, Adler photographed a portion of the Kennedy motorcade and then sold his film to Life magazine. Later, he served as the chief photographer at the Dallas Times Herald and managed its file of JFK negatives. Recorded February 3, 1995.

Mr. Adler passed away on December 15, 2002.

Eileen Albert

A home economics teacher in 1963, Albert visited the Capitol Rotunda on the weekend of the assassination to pay her respects to President Kennedy. At that time, her parents were participating in “Operation Peter Pan,” caring for a twelve-year-old Cuban girl for one year until her mother could settle in Miami. Recorded July 1, 2010.

Jac Alder

In 1961, Alder co-founded the historic Theatre Three in Dallas, which tackled controversial subjects such as civil rights. He saw the Kennedy motorcade on November 22, 1963. Recorded October 29, 2012.

Mr. Alder passed away on May 22, 2015.

Imogene Alexander

A Dallas housewife in 1963, Alexander was an avid viewer of the long-running soap opera, As The World Turns. She recalls news of the president’s shooting interrupting the November 22nd broadcast. Recorded October 21, 2015.

Jack T. Alexander

A lieutenant with the Dallas Fire Department in 1963, Alexander did a safety inspection of the Dallas Trade Mart prior to the presidential luncheon. He was also acquainted with Jack Ruby, having inspected his nightclubs over the years. Recorded October 21, 2015.

Jamie Allen

Allen is currently education director at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. His presentation on music and the Kennedy assassination was recorded as part of a Museum teacher workshop. Recorded July 17, 2014.

Mark Allen

As a clerk with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the 1970s, Allen spent one year working with the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He is a longtime collector of Kennedy memorabilia. Recorded January 30, 2014.

Ralph Allen

A state trooper with the Texas Highway Patrol in 1963, Allen was assigned guard duty for Gov. John Connally during his recovery at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Allen was interviewed with his partner, Paul Boone. Recorded April 14, 2010.

The Rev. Earl Allen

A civil rights activist, Allen was pastor of the Highland Hills Methodist Church in Dallas in 1963. A leader with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), he helped organize a prominent 28-day civil rights protest at the downtown Piccadilly Cafeteria in 1964. Recorded June 23, 2006, and June 11, 2008.

William Allen

An United Press International photographer on the staff of the Dallas Times Herald in 1963, Allen photographed President Kennedy at the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth and took a number of images in Dealey Plaza and on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository following the assassination. His photographs of the infamous “three tramps” arrested in Dealey Plaza have generated significant research interest over the years. In 1964, Allen covered the Jack Ruby trial. Recorded November 17 and November 18, 2014.

Billy R. Allen

A community leader and minority advocate for many years, Allen served on the founding board of the African American Museum in Dallas. He was attending Henderson County Junior College in 1963.  Recorded May 11, 2015.

Pierce Allman

Program director at WFAA Radio in 1963, Allman witnessed the assassination from the corner of Houston and Elm Streets. He was then one of the first reporters inside the Texas School Book Depository, where he is believed to have encountered Lee Harvey Oswald leaving the building. Recorded November 30, 1995, November 20, 2006, September 25, 2010, January 26, 2013, October 4, 2014, and February 17, 2016.

Chuck Altman

A Massachusetts native, Altman served in the U.S. Army during the Kennedy years. While stationed in Germany in 1962, he knew conservative activist Bernard Weissman who later lent his name to the infamous black-bordered advertisement published in The Dallas Morning News on November 22, 1963. Recorded October 22, 2010.

Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler

A nationally renowned philanthropist and longtime member of the Southern Methodist University board of trustees, Altshuler was waiting at the Trade Mart for President Kennedy’s arrival and then served on the grand jury that indicted Jack Ruby the following Monday. Recorded May 25, 2001.

Dr. Lee Alvoid

Currently chair of the education department at Southern Methodist University, Alvoid was co-editor of her high school newspaper in San Antonio at the time of his assassination. She met President and Mrs. Kennedy, and attended a student press conference with the First Family, during their visit on November 21, 1963. Recorded February 6, 2013.

Jan Amos

Amos is the widow of Col. William Amos, a longtime U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer.  At a private dinner in 1969, she recalls hearing Brig. Gen. Joseph J. Cappucci implicate President Lyndon Johnson in the Kennedy assassination.  Recorded July 14, 2015.

Paul Amundsen

In 1963, Amundsen was a student at St. Mark’s School of Texas – Dallas. He has since written a book about the period. Recorded December 31, 1998.

Jim Anderson

From 1984 to 2010, Anderson was the City of Dallas Urban Planner in charge of historic preservation. During his career he worked with a number of historic buildings in Dallas, including the Texas School Book Depository, the Old Red Courthouse, and the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff. Recorded February 25, 2015.

Dean Angel

The overnight news broadcaster for KRLD radio in 1963, Angel worked for twenty-seven straight hours editing and processing film on the weekend of the assassination. He spent the following month on the payroll of CBS News working on the Kennedy story in Dallas. Recorded June 12, 2008.

Anna Angorina

A native of Kiev, Ukraine, Angorina shared memories of working as a schoolteacher under Communist rule during the Cold War. She immigrated to the United States in 1993. Recorded January 27, 2016.

Don Archer

A Dallas Police Department auto-theft detective assigned to the Trade Mart for President Kennedy’s luncheon, Archer later witnessed the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald and extensively interviewed Jack Ruby that afternoon. He ultimately informed Ruby that he was going to be charged with murder. Recorded March 11, 2002.

Mr. Archer passed away on April 26, 2014.

Gordon Arnold

An admitted eyewitness to the assassination, Arnold did not come forward until 1978. He was reportedly standing on the grassy knoll and fell to the ground when shots were fired. He also claimed to have encountered a man wearing a Dallas police officer uniform. Recorded June 5, 1989.

Mr. Arnold passed away on October 15, 1997.

Mary & Les Arnold

The widow and son of controversial assassination eyewitness Gordon Arnold, the Arnolds share their thoughts and memories of his life and experiences, including his reluctance to share his story of the president’s shooting. Recorded January 13, 2006.

Dorothy Ashenhurst

An eighth-grade schoolteacher in Garland, Texas, in 1963, Ashenhurst recalls how the events of November 22, 1963, affected the school and her students. Recorded July 22, 1999.

Ms. Ashenhurst passed away on September 19, 2011.

Samuel Atchison

A student at Sunset High School in 1963, Atchison worked as an usher at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff. He was scheduled to work on the evening of Friday, November 22, 1963, but the theater closed following the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald. Recorded February 3, 2014.

Thomas Atkins

Assigned by the U.S. Navy as the White House Cinematographer from 1963 to 1969, Atkins extensively filmed President’s Kennedy’s trip to Texas. His recognizable color footage was edited into the documentary film, “The Last Two Days.” Recorded March 14, 2011.

Mr. Atkins passed away on August 24, 2011.

Kathey Atkinson

A Dallas schoolgirl, Atkinson shook hands with President and Mrs. Kennedy at Dallas Love Field and later waited outside Parkland Memorial Hospital for news of the president’s condition. A Dallas Times Herald photograph of Atkinson in tearful prayer was distributed internationally. One year after the Kennedy assassination, Atkinson produced a charity event at Southern Methodist University to benefit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Recorded July 29, 2011.

Ms. Atkinson passed away on May 1, 2013.

Ann Atterberry

A reporter for the Dallas Morning News in 1963, Atterberry was standing along Elm Street and witnessed the assassination. She can be seen in the Zapruder film. Recorded November 10, 2003.

Ms. Atterberry passed away on October 23, 2009.

Charles Augins

A noted dancer and choreographer, Augins is currently Chair of the Dance Department at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. After experiencing high school desegregation in Virginia, Augins was a civil rights activist and participated in the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. Recorded April 3, 2015.

Donna Axum-Whitworth

Miss America 1964, Axum-Whitworth was in Dallas making a personal appearance on November 22, 1963. Recorded April 8, 1995.

Hugh Aynesworth

A science and aviation reporter for The Dallas Morning News, Aynesworth was the only known reporter to witness the president’s assassination, the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, and the shooting of Oswald by Jack Ruby. The author of JFK: Breaking the News (2003) and November 22, 1963: Witness to History (2013), he is considered an authority on the assassination. Recorded July 28, 1994, November 19, 1998, April 18 and November 19, 2007, October 5, 2013, September 18, 2014, August 7 and 24, 2015, and February 17, 2016.