Oral History

All Oral Histories

George Packer

A staff writer with The New Yorker Magazine since 2003, Packer was three years old in 1963 and has maintained a lifelong interest in the Kennedy assassination. His essay, “Leaving Dealey Plaza,” was published in The New Yorker on October 15, 2013. Recorded August 7, 2014.

George Padilla

A Kennedy fan in high school, Padilla did a public impression of the president based upon The First Family comedy album. On November 22, 1963, he briefly saw the Kennedy motorcade as it got on Stemmons Freeway immediately after the assassination. Recorded July 2, 2012.

Ruth Paine

A housewife in Irving, Texas, Paine met Lee and Marina Oswald in February 1963 and became a central figure in the Kennedy assassination story. Marina Oswald and her daughters were living with Paine on November 22, 1963, and Paine had previously helped get Lee Harvey Oswald a job at the Texas School Book Depository. Oswald’s rifle was stored in her garage in Irving. Paine actively cooperated with investigators following the assassination, and she testified at length to the Warren Commission in 1964. Recorded September 22 and November 19, 2019.

Tracy Palmer

A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Palmer was one month away from her fifth birthday at the time of the assassination. She has vivid childhood memories of that weekend. Recorded September 24, 2018.

Ike Pappas

A reporter with radio station WNEW-New York, Pappas flew to Dallas to cover the assassination story and spent the weekend at Dallas police headquarters. On Sunday, he was one of the closest bystanders to the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. Recorded March 1, 1993.

Mr. Pappas passed away on August 31, 2008.

Burton Paris

A Nixon supporter, Paris was a page at the 1960 Republican National Convention in Chicago. During the Vietnam War, he reported for the Armed Forces Radio Network (AFRN) in Europe. Recorded January 27, 2016.

Sally Jo Parise’

Parise’ was four years old in 1963. Watching the Kennedy funeral on television remains one of her most powerful early childhood memories. Recorded November 3, 2017.

Roy M. Parks

A member of the marketing department at WRR Radio in Dallas, Parks attended the Trade Mart luncheon on November 22, 1963. Recorded August 21, 2002.

Mr. Parks passed away on February 16, 2014.

Les Parson

A teenager in 1963, Parson began to study the Kennedy assassination in the early 1970s. During a 1988 flight to San Francisco, he engaged Gov. John Connally in lengthy conversation about the assassination. Recorded September 18, 2014.

Patsy Paschall

Paschall filmed the presidential motorcade before and after the assassination from a window in the Old Red Courthouse. Recorded November 22, 1996, and May 15, 1997.

Maribeth Ford Pate

An Oklahoma native, Pate was nine months pregnant at the time of the assassination. Her late husband, a reporter with the Madill Record, published an extra about the president’s shooting. Recorded April 26, 2013.

Sam Pate

A reporter for KBOX Radio, Pate was on Stemmons Freeway in a mobile news cruiser at the time of the assassination and covered the scene at Dealey Plaza and at Dallas City Hall. Several days later, he recorded a re-enactment of his live KBOX bulletins from November 22, including his famous remark, “It appears as though something has happened in the motorcade route.” Recorded June 22, 2005.

Mr. Pate passed away on August 3, 2009.

Pushpa Patel

A native of India, Patel was scheduled to have her wedding reception on November 23, 1963. The party was postponed because of the assassination. Recorded March 21, 2019.

Robert Patrin

Patrin served under and worked directly with General Edwin Walker while stationed in Hawaii in the 25th Division of the U.S. Army in the mid-1950s. In December 1963, Patrin began to research Walker’s possible connection to the Kennedy assassination. Recorded October 28, 2011, and February 24, 2012.

Barbara Patterson

Living on Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth in 1963, where her late husband was stationed, Patterson saw President and Mrs. Kennedy on both November 21 and 22, 1963. Recorded June 21, 2013.

Patricia M. Patterson

Patterson attended the Trade Mart luncheon on the day of the assassination. Troubled by the atmosphere in Dallas, she moved to New York City in January 1964. As a longtime business executive and civic leader over the years, Patterson became friends with a number of notable individuals including Lady Bird Johnson, Jack Valenti, Raymond D. Nasher, and Stanley Marcus. Recorded August 16, 2011.

Jerry Patton

Patton was a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School in 1963. After seeing the presidential parade on Main Street, he followed the motorcade to Dealey Plaza where he recalls witnessing part of the assassination. Recorded August 3, 2016.

Bill Paxton

A popular actor (Titanic, Apollo 13, Twister) and noted director, Paxton was eight years old in 1963. He went with his father and older brother to see President Kennedy speak in front of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth on the day of the assassination. Recorded March 23, 2007.

Mr. Paxton passed away on February 25, 2017.

Dr. Darwin Payne

A reporter for the Dallas Times Herald in 1963, Payne was in Abraham Zapruder’s office shortly after the assassination and covered the events of that weekend, visiting the Texas School Book Depository and Oswald’s rooming house in Oak Cliff. A prominent Dallas historian, Payne is now professor emeritus of communications at Southern Methodist University. Recorded January 20, 1995, November 21, 1999, October 23, 2003, April 20, 2006, July 24, 2012, January 31, 2015, and May 23, 2016.

Robert B. Payne

A Dallas lawyer, Payne was acquainted with some of the conservative Dallas businessmen who funded the anti-Kennedy ad in the Dallas Morning News. Payne visited Jack Ruby’s apartment and met Ruby’s sister following the Oswald shooting. Recorded December 18, 2001.

Mr. Payne passed away on April 4, 2009.

Donald Payton

A longtime Dallas historian, Payton was a civil rights activist during the 1960s. While serving on the Dallas County Historical Commission in 1988, he participated in an archaeological dig in Dealey Plaza just prior to construction of The Sixth Floor Museum’s Visitors Center. Recorded February 26, 2016.

David Pearson

A former UPI reporter and longtime PR executive, Pearson briefly served as information officer for the White House Study Group for a National Service Program during the Kennedy years. As a press officer with the Peace Corps, he assisted his friend, Sargent Shriver, at the White House on the evening of November 22, 1963. Recorded April 7, 2017.

Nancy Pedden

Pedden, an ardent admirer of Jackie Kennedy, was a high school teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1963. Recorded September 4, 2014.

Ms. Pedden passed away on November 5, 2017.

Rena Pederson

An award-winning journalist and author, Pederson was a longtime reporter, editor, and vice president at The Dallas Morning News. During her career, she covered a number of assassination-related stories, including the development of The Sixth Floor exhibit. Recorded February 5, 2018.

Addie Pauline Pegues

Part of a nurses registry in 1963, Pegues worked at several Dallas-area hospitals. She was assigned to Parkland Memorial Hospital on November 22 and 24, 1963, and briefly saw Jackie Kennedy following the assassination. Recorded August 20, 2013.

Ms. Pegues passed away on May 26, 2018.

Adam Peiperl

A native of Poland, Peiperl immigrated to the United States in 1953. He worked as an assistant photographer at the 1959 wedding of Jackie Kennedy’s sister, Lee Bouvier, and later captured a color home movie of President-elect Kennedy shortly after the 1960 election. Peiperl donated his film to the Museum in 2008. Recorded July 18, 2008, and July 27, 2009.

Mr. Peiperl passed away on November 29, 2019.

Francois Pelou

A reporter with Agence France-Presse (AFP) in 1963, Pelou flew from New York to Dallas after the assassination and covered the scene at Dallas City Hall. He was a close eyewitness to Lee Harvey Oswald’s shooting, and he was immediately interviewed by other reporters. In 1964, he covered the Jack Ruby trial. Recorded July 22, 2005.

Mr. Pelou passed away on May 4, 2019.

Eugene Pender

A public accountant in Louisiana in 1963, Pender was attending a tax seminar on November 22, 1963, and recalls several individuals applauding when news of the shooting was announced. Years later, he married assassination eyewitness Tina Towner. Recorded February 1, 2008.

Fred Pendleton

An engineer in Richardson, Texas, in 1963, Pendleton knew many of the individuals involved in the assassination story.  He had personal contacts at the Dallas Police Department, Trade Mart, district attorney’s office and Parkland Memorial Hospital. Recorded June 7, 2011.

Yvonne Pendleton

A sophomore in high school in Alabama at the time of the assassination, Pendleton later moved to Dallas to work at the Dallas Times Herald. From 1971 to 1978, she served as the paper’s award-winning fashion editor. Recorded October 6, 2006.

D. A. Pennebaker

A noted documentary filmmaker, Pennebaker worked with Robert Drew on the landmark Kennedy films Primary (1960) and Crisis (1963). Later, he directed The War Room, an Academy Award-nominated documentary on the 1992 Clinton campaign. Recorded April 15, 2004.

Mr. Pennebaker passed away on August 1, 2019.

Dr. James A. Pennebaker

Currently a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Pennebaker was a social psychologist at Southern Methodist University in the 1980s. In that capacity, he conducted a series of studies in cooperation with the Dallas County Historical Foundation regarding the emotional impact of President Kennedy’s assassination. Some of his findings were published in his book Opening Up (1990). Recorded October 17, 2008, and March 16, 2012.

Alan Peppard

A columnist at The Dallas Morning News from 1987 to 2017, Peppard wrote several assassination-related stories over the years, particularly during the fiftieth anniversary in 2013.  His late father saw the Kennedy motorcade on Main Street. Recorded June 29, 2015.

Mr. Peppard passed away on June 8, 2019.

George Perrault

A longtime U.S. Navy sailor, Perrault was part of the blockade of Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis. Stationed in Washington, D.C., in 1963, he was part of the Ceremonial Guard for President Kennedy’s casket at the White House and U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Recorded November 21, 2013.

Dr. Jerry Perry

A former professor of government at Angelo State University, Perry has worked with the State Bar of Texas – Law-Related Education Program since the 1970s. This Museum lecture on presidential elections, power and succession was recorded during a Library of Congress teacher institute. Recorded July 27, 2011.

David Perry

A Kennedy assassination researcher since 1976, Perry was a volunteer at the John F. Kennedy Assassination Information Center in Dallas in the early 1990s. Over the years, he has written a number of print and online articles and consulted on a wide variety of assassination-related books and documentaries. Recorded July 30 and August 24, 2015, and January 12 and March 3, 2016.

Tom Perryman

Assistant news director for WFAA Radio in 1963, Perryman covered the Kennedys in Fort Worth and, following the assassination, reported from Dallas police headquarters. He later covered the Ruby trial. During the 1960 campaign, Perryman twice met Senator John F. Kennedy. Recorded July 7, 2014.

Mr. Perryman passed away on May 2, 2018.

Eric Peschke

An Indiana native born almost two decades after the assassination, Peschke began constructing a LEGO™ model of the Kennedy motorcade route at the age of eight. He continued to work on this large building project over a twenty-five-year period before donating it to The Sixth Floor Museum in 2019. Recorded February 16, 2006, April 11, 2007, November 29, 2018, and May 8 and 9, 2019.

Leslie Peschke

Peschke was in the third grade at the time of the assassination. Her son, Eric Peschke, became interested in the assassination at age eight and constructed an intricate LEGO™ model of the Kennedy motorcade route, which he donated to The Sixth Floor Museum in 2019. Recorded November 29, 2018.

Evadeane Peters

During the 1950s, Peters was chairman of the Republican Party in Rockwall County, Texas. Although not a supporter, she went to Dallas Love Field and shook hands with President and Mrs. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Her political views later changed during the Civil Rights Movement. Recorded April 12, 2005, and January 7, 2015.

Dr. Paul C. Peters Family

Widow Lois, brother Dr. John T. Peters, and son Dr. Paul C. Peters, Jr. share memories of the late Parkland Memorial Hospital urologist Paul C. Peters and his participation in the treatment of President Kennedy in Trauma Room One. Recorded June 24, 2011.

Dr. John T. Peters passed away on February 11, 2020.

Gregory J. Peterson

A corporate attorney and significant art collector, Peterson was an eleven-year-old student in New York City at the time of the assassination. Recorded April 28, 2017.

George Phenix

A news photographer for KRLD-TV, Phenix was at Dallas Love Field and Parkland Memorial Hospital on November 22, 1963. On Sunday, he filmed the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. Recorded July 24, 1995, November 1, 2007, November 20, 2008, February 3, 2012, and October 19, 2013.

Jana Laird Phillips

Five years old in 1963, Phillips saw the Kennedy motorcade on Main Street. Her late father, Paul C. Laird, was mayor of Irving, Texas, from 1957 to 1959. Recorded September 25, 2013.

Michael Phillips

Four years old in 1963, Phillips stayed with family in Oak Cliff and Irving, Texas, that weekend. He has maintained a lifelong interest in the Kennedy assassination and witnessed some of the filming for Oliver Stone’s JFK (1991) in Dealey Plaza. Recorded August 15, 2014.

Jeffrey Pickens

A New Jersey native, Pickens and his childhood friend Andrew Kadin shared an interest in the Kennedy assassination. The two made a pact in 1967 to one day visit Dealey Plaza, which was realized when they reunited at the site of the assassination in 2005. Recorded February 17, 2012.

Rio Sam Pierce

A Dallas police officer for twenty-seven years, Pierce was in charge of basement security on the day of Lee Harvey Oswald’s scheduled transfer to the Dallas County Jail. Pierce drove his vehicle up the Main Street ramp at the same time that some believe Jack Ruby gained access to the basement. Recorded on November 6, 2002, September 27, 2011, and March 1, 2014.

Mr. Pierce passed away on December 23, 2015.

David Pietrusza

Pietrusza is an award-winning author and expert on presidential electoral history. His books include 1960: LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon (2008) and the children’s book, Mysterious Deaths: John F. Kennedy (1996). November 22, 1963, was his fourteenth birthday. Recorded September 17, 2008, and May 23, 2016.

Kari-Mette Pigmans

A flight attendant for four decades, Pigmans was a Pan Am stewardess aboard the White House press plane in 1963 and traveled around the world with President Kennedy. She was in Dallas on the day of the assassination. Recorded August 1, 2012, and March 28 and March 29, 2014.

Michael Jonathan Pike

Pike is the son of the late Roy William Pike, an acquaintance of and onetime bookkeeper for Jack Ruby, who was interviewed by the FBI in 1964. After hearing family stories and conducting research, Michael Jonathan Pike believes his father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. Recorded March 5, 2014.

Mary Woodward Pillsworth

A women’s news reporter for The Dallas Morning News in 1963, Pillsworth witnessed the assassination from the north side of Elm Street and immediately wrote an eyewitness account for her newspaper. The following year she joined the Peace Corps and served in Brazil. Recorded November 21, 2013, and November 7, 2015.

Ms. Pillsworth passed away on April 11, 2017.

Nat Pinkston

An FBI agent in the Dallas office in 1963, Pinkston was part of the local investigation into the assassination. He traced ownership of the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle to Lee Harvey Oswald. Recorded August 5, 1994.

Mr. Pinkston passed away on September 4, 2011.

Ann Piper

Piper and her mother attended meetings of the Dallas Unit of the conservative Pro America organization in the early 1960s. At a luncheon on November 21, 1963, some group members suggested wearing black armbands to protest President Kennedy’s visit the following day. Recorded March 12, 2013.

John Pleshette

A longtime actor and screenwriter, Pleshette was part of the original off-Broadway production of MacBird! (1967), a political satire blending the Kennedy assassination with William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. A decade later he portrayed Lee Harvey Oswald in the two-part ABC television movie, The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald (1977), much of which was filmed on location in Dallas. Recorded December 16, 2015.

Robert Plummer

Plummer is the nephew of the late Dallas Morning News reporter and assassination eyewitness Larry Grove, who wrote an emotional column the day after the assassination said to have greatly upset Jack Ruby. In the aftermath, Grove also worked with Hugh Aynesworth on investigative stories involving Lee Harvey Oswald. Recorded June 28, 2017.

John Polanichka

A U.S. Air Force staff sergeant in the 1960s, Polanichka was a security guard on Air Force One for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. He had assigned duties at Dallas Love Field and Andrews Air Force Base on November 22, 1963. Recorded September 24, 2013.

Mr. Polanichka passed away on January 18, 2018.

John Polites

Polites was a member of the U.S. Navy and served in the Honor Guard outside the White House during President Kennedy’s funeral. Recorded November 12, 1998.

Justice Stuart R. Pollak

Pollak was a law clerk to Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren at the time of the Kennedy assassination. He then served on the staff of the Warren Commission. His memories were recorded during a public program on the work of the Warren Commission. Recorded October 11, 2013.

Jerry Pollard

A Dallas police patrolman in 1963, Pollard participated in the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald at the Texas Theatre. Recorded June 19, 2009.

Mr. Pollard passed away on August 26, 2016.

Dr. Harlan Pollock

A first-year resident at Parkland Memorial Hospital in 1963, Pollock was upstairs in an operating room when the presidential motorcade arrived. That Friday was his son’s second birthday. Less than two days later, he was part of the anesthesia team during Lee Harvey Oswald’s surgery. Recorded July 15, 2005, and July 1, 2015.

Dr. Jeremy Popkin

Currently a professor of history at the University of Kentucky, Popkin was a high school sophomore in 1963. His late father, academic philosopher Richard Popkin, was an early assassination researcher and wrote The Second Oswald (1966). Recorded January 22, 2015.

Dr. Susan Popkin

Popkin is the daughter of the late academic philosopher Richard Popkin, an early assassination researcher who wrote The Second Oswald (1966). She recalls that her father’s obsessive interest in the Kennedy assassination deeply impacted their family. Recorded February 26, 2015.

Bob Porter

A theater critic and columnist for the Dallas Times Herald, Porter was acquainted with Jack Ruby. From 1992 to 2001, Porter supervised the Oral History Project and handled public relations for The Sixth Floor Museum. Recorded January 26, 1993.

Mr. Porter passed away on November 14, 2013.

Stephen R. Porter

Porter was the apartment maintenance man for George and Jeanne de Mohrenschildt in the mid-1970s. In 1977, while working on the Dallas production of the TV movie, The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald, Porter spent several weeks with Jeanne de Mohrenschildt, who was a consultant on the film. Recorded November 16, 2012.

Gerald Posner

An award-winning journalist and best-selling author, Posner wrote the critically-acclaimed Case Closed (1993). The book, which is considered one of the most significant works on the Kennedy assassination, was a finalist for the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for History. Posner is also the author of Killing the Dream: James Earl Ray and the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998). Recorded November 3, 2015.

Bill Poston

A member of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce in 1963, Poston loaned his Lincoln convertible to Secret Service agents for President Kennedy’s use during his brief visit to Fort Worth. The Kennedys rode in the car to and from Carswell Air Force Base on November 21 and 22, 1963. Recorded November 3, 2006.

Ilaya Potash

A Dallas native, Potash was an ardent support of President Kennedy. She was attending Hillcrest High School at the time of the assassination. Recorded January 13, 2015.

Dr. Ralph H. Poteet

Poteet served as superintendent of the Mesquite Independent School District in Dallas County from 1964 to 1986. During that time, he oversaw the desegregation of Mesquite schools. He was assistant superintendent at the time of the assassination. Recorded March 10, 2006.

Dr. Poteet passed away on September 23, 2012.

Charles W. Powers

A longtime Dallas insurance executive, Powers was attending Dr. Pepper’s first national sales conference and saw the Kennedy motorcade on Main Street. After retiring in the early 1990s, he became an active local historian and developed a Lee Harvey Oswald tour of Dallas and Oak Cliff in conjunction with the Dallas Historical Society. Recorded July 16, 2009.

James Pratt

A Dallas architect and urban planner, Pratt was a local Democratic Precinct Chair in the early 1960s and attended the Trade Mart luncheon on the day of the assassination. In the 1970s, he became the restoration architect for the Old Red Courthouse in Dealey Plaza. Recorded August 11, 2006.

Mr. Pratt passed away on November 6, 2018.

Jim Pratt

As production manager for WFAA-TV in 1963, Pratt was in charge of camera coverage at Dallas Love Field, Parkland Memorial Hospital, and Dallas police headquarters. Recorded May 31, 1994.

Mr. Pratt passed away in June 1995.

Elizabeth Price

An employee of Republic National Bank in downtown Dallas for more than four decades, Price saw the Kennedy motorcade on November 22, 1963. Recorded July 29, 2013.

John Wiley Price

An outspoken community leader and civil rights activist, Price was the first African American elected to the Dallas County Commissioners Court (1985-present). He was involved at the county level in the development of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and filmmaker Oliver Stone’s use of the Depository building during the production of JFK(1991). Recorded July 3, 2013.

The Rev. John Price

A student at Southern Methodist University in 1963, Price attended the October speech in Dallas by U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson and was at Love Field when the Kennedys arrived. Since childhood, he has actively collected presidential and campaign memorabilia. Recorded November 24, 2008.

Willie Price

A Dallas police motorcycle officer in 1963, Price escorted Vice President Johnson’s limousine to Parkland Memorial Hospital.  At the entrance to the Emergency Room, he helped remove President Kennedy’s body from the limousine. Recorded September 21, 1994.

Mr. Price passed away on October 7, 1999.

Jim Pritchett

A student at Cistercian Preparatory School in Dallas, Pritchett received parental permission to go with a group of classmates to see the Kennedy motorcade on Lemmon Avenue. Pritchett kept his original permission slip and donated it to The Sixth Floor Museum in 2010. Recorded July 13, 2010.

Stephen D. Pritchett

Standing with his father on Main Street, Pritchett observed the Kennedy motorcade approximately two minutes before the assassination. His late father was a longtime executive with Mrs. Baird’s Bakery in Dallas. Recorded July 13, 2010.

Dr. Grover Proctor, Jr.

An assassination researcher since the mid-1970s, Proctor has written and lectured for many years about his area of focus—“The Raleigh Call,” an alleged telephone call that Lee Harvey Oswald tried to make to Raleigh, North Carolina, on Saturday, November 23, 1963. Recorded November 23, 2015.

Patricia Puckett-Hall

Eleven years old in 1963, Puckett-Hall is the granddaughter of the late Gladys Johnson, owner of the rooming house at 1026 North Beckley in Oak Cliff where Lee Harvey Oswald resided at the time of the assassination. Puckett-Hall currently provides tours of the home and speaks about her childhood memories of Oswald. Recorded June 30, 2015.

John T. Puddington

A high school sophomore in Dallas in 1963, Puddington was at Dallas Love Field airport and then drove with a friend towards the Trade Mart, ending up near the Texas School Book Depository at the time of the shooting. He was interviewed with his friend, Terry Wood. Recorded November 19, 2003.

Anthony V. Pugliese III

A prominent developer and entrepreneur in Florida, Pugliese was an avid collector of pop culture memorabilia, covering movies, television, music and history. His John F. Kennedy collection included the gun used by Jack Ruby to murder Lee Harvey Oswald, as well as letters, photographs, clothing and other unique materials. Recorded March 5, 2007.

Glenna Kay Pulley

An eleven-year-old in Terrell, Texas, in 1963, Pulley recalls that her choir teacher responded to news of the assassination by having her students sing patriotic songs. Recorded July 19, 2019.

Mike Purdy

An author and historian, Purdy manages a news and education website that explores presidential history. His earliest and most inspiring presidential memory was the inauguration of John F. Kennedy on January 20, 1961. Recorded August 28, 2017.

Andy Purdy

As a law student at the University of Virginia, Purdy was part of a group that pushed Congress to investigate the Kennedy assassination in the 1970s. He later served as a senior staff counsel on the House Select Committee on Assassinations from 1976 to 1979, focusing on Jack Ruby and assassination medical evidence. Recorded August 28, 2017.

Jack Puterbaugh

An employee with the Department of Agriculture from 1962 to 1973, Puterbaugh was part of the advance team for President Kennedy’s visit to Dallas. He rode ahead of the motorcade and was at Parkland Memorial Hospital following the assassination. Recorded June 10, 2014.

Mr. Puterbaugh passed away on March 16, 2015.

Frances Putnam

A Richardson, Texas, housewife in 1963, Putnam recalled that of her two politically opposed neighbors had a physical altercation on their lawns on the day of the Kennedy assassination. Recorded July 1, 2010.