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.
As the doctors at Parkland Hospital scrambled to save the president’s life, Jim Lehrer was still at Love Field Airport in Dallas and unaware Kennedy had been shot. It was not until he went into a restaurant at the terminal that he discovered the news.
Lehrer describes the moment he heard what had happened, and how he made his way to Parkland Hospital and then Dallas police headquarters to find out any information the authorities might have on the shooter. 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 on the Kennedy assassination:
For more on Kennedy’s legacy, explore all of NewsHour’s coverage to mark the 50th anniversary of his assassination.
- Robert MacNeil hosts a radio documentary, “We Knew JFK”, built around the recorded recollections of people who knew Jack Kennedy personally.