Tag: Jackie Kennedy

‘What was going through my mind was that shot was coming right over the top of our heads’

Gayle Newman, left, and Bill Newman in Dealey Plaza on Nov. 21, 2013.

I was in Dealey Plaza yesterday and I saw Bill Newman talking to a TV correspondent. On November 22, 1963, Newman and his wife Gayle and their young two children were among the people closest to President Kennedy when the fatal shot rang out.

I recalled my own conversation with Newman seven years ago. We spoke in the lobby of the hotel where we were both attending a JFK research conference. A plumber by trade, he struck me as a down-to-earth man who accepted the accident that delivered him into one of the most decisive moments in American history, and he lived with it responsibly.

Here’s what Newman told me:

Ronnie Dugger’s message to Obama

In response to yesterday’s post, “Click here to let Obama know what you think about secret JFK files, former Texas Observer editor Ronnie Dugger writes:

“Mr. President, I was in one of the two press buses in the presidential cavalcade in Dallas then when Mr. Kennedy was murdered, covering for the Washington Post and my Texas newspaper, the Texas Observer. An hour or so before at Love Field I was a person or two behind the rope when he and Ms. Kennedy came down the ramp. They were beautiful in the midday sunlight. Beautiful.”

The escapist impulse behind ‘Letters to Jackie’

In the cinema of JFK’s assassination, the new TV documentary “Letters to Jackie” promises pure escapism.

Featuring Hollywood actors reading from the letters sent to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy after the death of her husband, the movie offers an escape from the interminable loop of an unsolved true crime story. As the trailer (produced by Steven Speilberg) indicates, “Letters to Jackie” frames November 22, 1963, as a family tragedy — a personal, not political, event.

Crowd-sourcing Jackie’s thoughts on JFK’s death

I want to tap reader knowledge to advance a story I have long thought significant: What did First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy think about the causes of her husband’s death?

My interest originated in the intriguing and under-covered story first revealed by historians Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali in their 1999 book on the Cuban missile crisis, One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964.

Jan. 15, 1963: Jackie Kennedy dazzles at State of the Union

The press coverage of President Kennedy’s State of the Union address, on the morning of Tuesday January 15, 1963, while generally positive could not match the adulation shown his wife and family.

Jackie at the State of the Union address January 1963
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy arrives at the Capitol to listen to her husband’s State of the Union address on January 14, accompanied the Architect of the Capitol, J. George Stewart. The man gesturing with his had in the background is Secret Service agent Clint Hill who would be at her side when JFK was killed eleven months later. (JFK Library and Museum)

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