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The Lost JFK Tapes: The Assassination


John Simkin
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The Lost JFK Tapes: The Assassination

National Geographic

Mon Nov 23

For over 45 years, news footage and radio reports of Kennedy's assassination and the days following have quietly languished in Dallas - first kept under wraps by the news stations who owned them, then in the vault of a museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the day Kennedy was cut down. Now, for the first time, this remarkable record will be assembled in an unprecedented two-hour documentary. The film will detail the events of those four days in a way not seen in more than four decades, letting the images unfold in real time. That's what sets this film apart - a "you are there" approach. The film features this footage in its original form - for the first time since it was broadcast in 1963.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/epis...n-4469/Overview

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Back in 1983, on the 20th anniversary of the assassination, one of the Dallas stations (WFAA Ch. 8 I think) ran real-time video of that station's coverage of the events. It was just called "The Kennedy Tapes". What made this unusual was that it ran for 3 days straight, from midnight to 6am. The first day, and most of the second day were real time with no breaks or edits of any kind. The remainder of the second day, and the third day, they "time shifted" a bit to fit everything in. It was awesome, but it was never repeated.

I've already heard that some of WFAA's footage will be in this new program.

Edited by J. William King
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The Lost JFK Tapes: The Assassination

National Geographic

Mon Nov 23

For over 45 years, news footage and radio reports of Kennedy's assassination and the days following have quietly languished in Dallas - first kept under wraps by the news stations who owned them, then in the vault of a museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the day Kennedy was cut down. Now, for the first time, this remarkable record will be assembled in an unprecedented two-hour documentary. The film will detail the events of those four days in a way not seen in more than four decades, letting the images unfold in real time. That's what sets this film apart - a "you are there" approach. The film features this footage in its original form - for the first time since it was broadcast in 1963.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/epis...n-4469/Overview

I am watching the program on Tivo, and have noticed a few mistakes. It has Oswald deny the charges against him (a comment he made on Saturday) before he was even charged with the murder of Kennedy. The scene is captioned "Friday Evening." OOOPS.

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The Lost JFK Tapes: The Assassination

National Geographic

Mon Nov 23

For over 45 years, news footage and radio reports of Kennedy's assassination and the days following have quietly languished in Dallas - first kept under wraps by the news stations who owned them, then in the vault of a museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the day Kennedy was cut down. Now, for the first time, this remarkable record will be assembled in an unprecedented two-hour documentary. The film will detail the events of those four days in a way not seen in more than four decades, letting the images unfold in real time. That's what sets this film apart - a "you are there" approach. The film features this footage in its original form - for the first time since it was broadcast in 1963.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/epis...n-4469/Overview

According to the link in John's post above, National Geographic has scheduled the show again for this coming Sunday. I plan to watch it then.

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The tape I would like to see more than any other from that day is the tape of the hearse sitting unattended in front of Bethesda for several minutes. I remember watching it live the whole time. Given all that we know now about the shell game that was going on with the body, and the reported argument that went on outside about even doing the autopsy at Bethesda, etc., I would like to see who is visible in that tape while the hearse sat there, who exactly it was who finally got in and drove the hearse away (my memory is of a military officer - Galloway? - but it may be a faulty memory), etc. Unfortunately, even though this tape must exist somewhere, it will probably never be shown, because it would be considered boring and pointless. In fact it would be a fascinating study.

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The tape I would like to see more than any other from that day is the tape of the hearse sitting unattended in front of Bethesda for several minutes. I remember watching it live the whole time.

Does anyone else here remember watching the arrival of the hearse at Bethesda on live TV?

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The tape I would like to see more than any other from that day is the tape of the hearse sitting unattended in front of Bethesda for several minutes. I remember watching it live the whole time.

Does anyone else here remember watching the arrival of the hearse at Bethesda on live TV?

Unattended? Proof of an empty casket? (Jackie K. Was already in the Bethesda main-building...)

Proof of an empty hearse? Where did they unload it? Did they reload the casket, or body into that black hearse which arrived at the back of the building, at the morgue, half an hour before?

Anybody know the reason of that delay? (Of the grey navy hearse, obviously shown on TV...)

Quite confusing...not the so called "pre-autopsy", there was one, for sure...but the remaining question is: where they switch the hearse, and the caskets...it is hard to believe for me, that they put it on a heli, at Andrews air-force base, while Jackie and RFK were driving in a decoy-hearse...

KK

Edited by Karl Kinaski
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I saw the "Lost Tapes" show and also a similar broadcast compilation show on History Channel, and have a question for students of TV broadcasts in the JFK years:

Does it seem to you that the Dallas-Ft. Worth trip was more heavily covered by network TV affiliates than other contemporaneous presidential trips (Miami-Tampa, the aborted Chicago trip)? Does it seem as if many trips on the assassination attempt agenda of 1963 were more heavily covered than previous domestic political jaunts?

I ask because there seems to be so much coverage of November 21-22. Some of it contains startling events and commentary: reporters' references to JFK's security being as ill-guarded as McKinley's; a boys' choir serenading JFK with the rather ominous lyrics of "The Eyes of Texas are Upon You" ("...You cannot get away!..."); a toastmaster's gift of a cowboy hat and boots to Kennedy, to protect him from both the rain and "the rattlesnakes on Vice-President Johnson's ranch."

The broadcasting community seemed to sense that something was up - was it just the dramatics of a trip into unfriendly political country?

If Miami and Tampa were covered at length, were there set-up references to high emotions among Cuban exiles"? Set-ups are usually followed by punchlines.

Something perhaps worthy of study and cross-reference. How much coverage did Kennedy's domestic trips get in non-trouble spots, and years that weren't pre-campaign?

Edited by David Andrews
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I saw the "Lost Tapes" show and also a similar broadcast compilation show on History Channel, and have a question for students of TV broadcasts in the JFK years:

Does it seem to you that the Dallas-Ft. Worth trip was more heavily covered by network TV affiliates than other contemporaneous presidential trips (Miami-Tampa, the aborted Chicago trip)? Does it seem as if many trips on the assassination attempt agenda of 1963 were more heavily covered than previous domestic political jaunts?

I ask because there seems to be so much coverage of November 21-22. Some of it contains startling events and commentary: reporters' references to JFK's security being as ill-guarded as McKinley's; a boys' choir serenading JFK with the rather ominous lyrics of "The Eyes of Texas are Upon You" ("...You cannot get away!..."); a toastmaster's gift of a cowboy hat and boots to Kennedy, to protect him from both the rain and "the rattlesnakes on Vice-President Johnson's ranch."

The broadcasting community seemed to sense that something was up - was it just the dramatics of a trip into unfriendly political country?

If Miami and Tampa were covered at length, were there set-up references to high emotions among Cuban exiles"? Set-ups are usually followed by punchlines.

Something perhaps worthy of study and cross-reference. How much coverage did Kennedy's domestic trips get in non-trouble spots, and years that weren't pre-campaign?

The Texas trip was unique because IT INCLUDED LYNDON JOHNSON. The power of LBJ in Texas

far exceeded the power of JFK. That should answer your question about increased coverage.

Major Phil Willis, who took the Willis photos, was prominent in Democrat political circles (his brother

Doyle Willis was a long-time legislator) said he TOOK HIS FAMILY TO THE PARADE SO HE COULD

TAKE PHOTOS OF LBJ. Lyndon in the parade assured big crowds. There was a big rift in the

Democrat party...LBJ vs Ralph Yarborough. The parade would have the two of them TOGETHER.

Any anticipated trouble focused on that, not on JFK.

Kennedy was largely unpopular in Texas. Lyndon was popular.

Jack

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SOME INFORMATION ON DALLAS AT THE TIME BY Warren Leslie: Dallas: 1964.FROM AN OLD POST I HAD MADE ..B

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Information from...HIS Book : “Dallas Public & Private”

It was an extraordinary thing when an American city did not trust itself to receive the President of the United States in dignity. Dallas did not so trust itself . It is a Texas story but also an American story .To have placed a local guilt and exonerate the rest of the country was as naïve as some of the people of Dallas had been during the years when the storm clouds were banking. The forces of violence existed and do everywhere. Unchallenged, unrepudiated, they grow and fester, gaining in confidence attracting new strength. The assassination focused the world’s attention on Dallas and its dreary history of political extremism and violence. The author wrote the book in the hope that the general implications of the particulars would be obvious and he wrote in a strange mixture of pain and love which many people in Dallas were feeling. For the city not near as black as the world press had painted it, was nevertheless not innocent in these matters.

It was not innocent.

The world had indeed treated Dallas and Texas harshly.”Do not bring your children to this city was the lead paragraph of a news story in Lord Beaver-brooks“London Evening Standard”, written by his Grand daughter . “Giants 27, Assassins 21”, somebody said, and it was a shock to understand that the “Assassins” were the “Cowboys”, Dallas professional football team. “Where are you living now?” a bartender asked at the St.Regis in New York of an old customer, a former New Yorker .” Still in Dallas”---“I'd have thought you'd be coming home by now.” The bartender said. “Or going somewhere”..

In Los Angeles, not too long after the assassination a fashion writer for the Dallas News commenting that it was impossible to get room service, “Seems to take a little longer for the people from Dallas”, a waiter explained.

In New York, a visitor on his return from Europe, spent less time than usual in Customs, “Dallas, hell don't stick around here. Just go on home,” stated the customer officer.

A visiting journalist commented “If I were a Liberal in Dallas, I might feel I had to shoot the President just to get attention.”

The familiar remark, among thousands that were made about the DPD “I don't think the Dallas police force is so bad, look how quick they caught Ruby.”

But the citizens of Dallas after the assassination also heard expressions of sympathy. In some ways the sympathy though was more humiliating than the scorn. Hard to deal with…So many words were written, so much sorrow and anger had risen up against Dallas that even the thoughtful people thought in Headlines.

Some of the cities leaders also fought back, the emotional, predictable reactions that resulted from the death of the young President, perhaps better loved that even he knew .They had difficulties facing up to questions such as,

“Why were there three murders in Dallas that week-end, instead of just the one?. Why was Ambassador Adlai Stevenson struck and spat upon in Dallas?. Why was LBJ nearly mobbed?. Why did General Walker choose Dallas in which to live?. Why did Dallas have to take such elaborate precautions to insure President Kennedy a welcome normal to any President of the United States?. Why did the “Dallas News” run a right wing extremist advertisement on the day Kennedy arrived?. Why did so many Dallas leaders keep saying, “It was not our fault. It could have happened anywhere .Dallas is a great city?. Is Dallas a part of the United States? Or is it some savage country of it’s own?.”

Dallas was indeed a part of the U.S. but there were many, including a good many Texans, who believe the city had become disturbed psychologically and confused morally, and while such was scarcely unique in Dallas alone, they did become upfront because of the local factors which were unique. Professor Reese McGee, head of the sociology department writing in the “Nation” shortly after said,” Barring Mississippi, in a doomed and fated way it had to be Texas and in Texas, Dallas”.

His reasons he stated were,” the absolutist nature of local thought. The institutionalization of personalized violence. The proliferation of firearms and the habit of carrying them. The political respectability of the radical right; and the nonexistence, publicly, of a radical left.”

But of the several thousand of people the writer knew, at the time none carried fire arms, but the Professor’s other points seemed to be sound to him.

After that terrible November, there were several meetings throughout Dallas to consider what action, if any, that the city should take. Some discussed what kind of memorial would be fitting to the President, but at others some tried hard to get at the roots of the cities problems.

One group even had Dr. Robert E.Stolz, the chairman of the department of psychology at Southern Methodist University; prepare a professional report for them on the aspects of Dallas.

It was confidential but eventually was leaked to the press, and many of the citizenry within Dallas, felt it gave validity to the uneasiness they felt about their city at the time…..shortened below.

That there were elements in the city that encouraged irresponsibility in the conduct of civic, political and personal affairs. The best organized and most vocal were the extreme right wing groups. Evidence suggested that they were the most numerous and best financed. This was by no means unique, as it could be found throughout the country, but that influence in Dallas was greater there than in most cities.

Violence was a means of settling disputes and was accepted and condoned in the community. This was a long standing problem in the area and particularly in the south. While some groups did not direct acts of violence or lead them, irresponsible words could lead to irresponsible actions. There was no organized or vocal opposition to these groups. Without restraints on what was required as logic and evidence there was a tendency to try to exceed the other member in attracting attention or controlling. In the absence of organized opposition, individuals, citizens with less education, less self control, or less stability, could get the impression that certain actions would be desired or supported by the general community, and was quite likely that the outcome would be violent. Witnessing such as had occurred in the Deep South, when public leaders had taken either no stand or supported a stand with regard to aggressive action. As a contrast consider the success of the Dallas effort to integrate peaceably.

Leadership within Dallas had given lip service to humane and moral values, but showed that it valued the physical and economic aspects of the community primarily. Obviously there were a few exceptions. A strong emphasis on materialism was evident in the community.

Dallas tended to define “goodness” to physical terms, such as the breadth and height of buildings, and expressways, the number of churches, and the low frequency of incidents of corruption and vice. But it ignored other statistics of “goodness” which were available but less flattering---homicide rates, vehicular deaths, poverty, medical care for some types of patients, quality of education, evidences of real culture etc.

The citizens of Dallas were beginning to associate any claim of doing something for the public good with latent and hidden economic gains for the sponsors of some mysterious group known as “they”. Therefore it was no surprise that many citizens developed a “what-is-in-it-for-me? Attitude…when they felt it was the philosophy of their leaders. Again, there were exceptions, but they were hard to find…

Many leaders in Dallas had taken the position suggesting that they viewed men as basically evil and controllable only by economic forces rather than appealing to their moral principles. Witnessed he felt by their recent pay raise for Police Officers in order to “keep them from becoming corrupt” .It was difficult to know what the moral effect would be of views such as this on the police department at large. Obviously, he felt it could not be positive.

The lines of communications in the city were inadequate they had developed a climate in which groups did not experience a mutual exchange of views and situations where rational and reasonable evaluation of facts and hypothesis was impossible. Many one sided debates were going on, with only their prior views being discussed with slight additions and no contradictions. The newspapers in the community had contributed heavily to this condition.

Dallas was frustrated and it would have liked to have escaped its responsibilities and all blame. But it was finding that difficult, it wanted to believe it could have happened anywhere, but was having trouble convincing even itself. As all recalled the string of incidences that proceeded this one and all their too obvious effort to control incidents on the day of the assassination. He agreed that Dallas was not the only place this could have happened, but that it was one of the places where it was liable to have occurred .

In such a situation the citizenship would attempt to do one of several things, to escape the feelings of frustration and guilt.

1; Deny any responsibility for the events of Nov, 22-24/63. Some would deny by emphasizing this could have happened anywhere and see no association with the events of preceding weeks.

2; Seek a scapegoat…which would have the following characteristics. Be easy to identify, have lower status and less power than the group seeking the scapegoats, likely to be political leaders, police officials, foreign elements, or minority groups.

3; Some would make an effort to atone for guilt in a physical way. Such as the naming of a street, giving money, erecting a memorial, in short, a way which will look like a costly change but which will avoid a real change within themselves.

Any group attempting to enter into a power vacuum and to enlist the support of the community would have to do the following.

Speak with authority; appear to have the support of some known power figures, the community and a following.

Its program would have the appearance of a moral and/or patriotic basis for its foundation.

It would have a way of continuing communication with the community, aided by mass media or its own publications and spokesman. It may have done both.

It would have a central theme that was simple in construction, in phraseology and conceptual level. Nothing complex at first.

It would promote a program of action, quite specific and simple.

To encourage support it would ask a public commitment of agreement of the beliefs and purposes of the organization, it may have been simply signing a membership, a card or as elaborate as an initiation.

It would develop a distinct symbol or label so that the member is immediately recognizable by members and public.

It would be quick to attach negative labels to those that were not members.

In its formative stages, it would not accept non activity, complex planning and sluggish activity would be avoided.

The groups that appeared to meet these criteria most closely were the right wing extremists groups. It was not unlikely that they would benefit most from the present situation. Competing groups are non existence at present or, judging from their past actions and leadership will wait for the norm to return. Religious leaders would fail because of lack of organization, limited total community involvement and or appeals that were too vague, and involved no specific direction or unable to coordinate their efforts.

The Dallas Citizen’s Council did not extend far into the community and it was likely to delay action, did not have the fundamental moral mental base and had little internal unity with regard to the tasks at hand.

Studies of previous similar situations indicated that unless some efforts toward change occurred, the problems they now had would continue to be with them and were very likely to increase. This was not over yet. It could get worse…

The act of assassination itself, was a demented act....the city was not the inevitable site for a Presidential murder, but which was a logical place for something unpleasant and embarrassing to happen.

So logical that a group of Dallas citizens nearly warned the President not to visit their own town. So logical that the shock and horror of the first hours were reactions to the enormity of the act, not because a violent act had taken place.

Information from pAGES: 8-20

Edited by Bernice Moore
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