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A nation grieves the loss of JFK

On Nov. 22, 1963, Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer were two reporters covering a presidential visit. MacNeil was a White House correspondent for NBC News. Lehrer was working the federal beat as a reporter for the Dallas Times-Herald. Both men were assigned to cover President John Kennedy’s visit to Dallas. They ended up reporting on his death.

People around the world openly grieved the loss of President John F. Kennedy in the days following the assassination. In Washington, hundreds of thousands of people waited in freezing cold temperatures to honor the president as he lay in state inside the U.S. Capitol rotunda.

While a nation mourned its leader, news reporters gathered any information that would help make sense of the tragedy. MacNeil and Lehrer discuss their personal reactions to Kennedy’s death and how the event shaped their careers. This video is an extended excerpt from MacNeil and Lehrer’s conversation with Judy Woodruff for our special report on the Kennedy assassination, 50 years later. Watch the special report on Thursday night’s broadcast of PBS NewsHour.

Watch more of MacNeil and Lehrer’s full interview with Judy Woodruff on the Kennedy assassination:

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