Over the past two weeks, I’ve been letting the audible version of Vincent Bugliosi’s Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy run all night as I drift in and out of sleep.
Here’s an excerpt that grabbed my attention overnight:
The large double classroom in the medical school, room 101–102, is jammed with noisy, excited reporters who have difficulty calming down when Malcolm Kilduff takes his place at the teacher’s lectern. He starts to speak, then stops. “Excuse me, let me catch my breath.” Kennedy has been dead for half an hour and everyone in the room knows it, but Kilduff still can’t think of what to say or how to say it. He wonders whether he will be able to control his quivering voice. Finally, he begins, “President John F. Kennedy…”
“Hold it,” someone calls, as cameras click. Kilduff starts over.
“President John F. Kennedy died at approximately one o’clock Central Standard Time today here in Dallas.”
“Oh God!” a reporter blurts out.
Kilduff welcomes a moment of respite as the wire reporters rush out to find a telephone.
“He died of a gunshot wound in the brain,” Kilduff continues. “I have no other details regarding the assassination of the president. Mrs. Kennedy was not hit. Governor Connally was not hit. The vice president was not hit.”
Reporters will discover Kilduff’s error about the governor soon enough.
Tom Wicker, the New York Times White House reporter, starts to ask whether Johnson has been sworn in as president, but breaks down. Kilduff’s voice also breaks as he tries to answer.
I can’t imagine this grief overpowering reporters today if something happened to Donald J. Trump.