Introduction to My Personal Account of the Kennedy Assassination

The letter you are about to read is my personal account of the assassination of President Kennedy and the wounding of Governor Connelly, in Dallas, Texas, on November 22nd 1963. My story is not “history,” but it is “about the history” of that tragic day. I wrote this letter to my family on Thanksgiving Day 1963. Like millions of others, I was only a “TV witness,” but living in Dallas and knowing the city made us feel like we were eyewitnesses.

My story begins with news over the radio—most news coverage still arrived by radio in 1963. However, this was forever changed after the impromptu TV coverage of this event. Going forward, television became the major source for news, as we know it today.

I resurrected this letter for the 40th anniversary of the assassination, November 2003. I thought I had my original copy safely stored away, but could not find it. My sister Barbara retrieved a copy from our “Family Writing Box” and mailed it to me. Although I wrote from the perspective of only five days, in re-reading my account forty years later, I find very little of substance that I would change. Indeed, the experience set my convictions in a number of ways.

  • I've lived to see our nation survive again and again, even when we were taken to our knees. These are events and dates I will never forget:

Pearl Harbor (12/7/1941), The Kennedy assassination (11/22/1963), The New York Trade Center Attack (9/11/2001)

  • I'm quietly and prayerfully confident that our people will survive our present difficulties, just as we have these other challenges to our way of lifeā€”if God continues to "shed his Grace on we," some of his most favored children.
  • I'm still turned off by aggressive and hateful political rhetoric, no matter who the candidate or party is.
  • Many still believe that President Kennedy was killed by members of a conspiracy (yet to be discovered). After 40 years of hearing or reading all of these, I still believe it was the lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • As for "conspiracy theories," Norman Mailer expressed my convictions about those that promote them:
  • "People who believe in large conspiracies have a desire for a perfect world. Even and evil world that's perfect is preferable to them than a chaotic world." (Norman Mailer, interview about his book on the Kennedy assassination -1995)

  • At the bottom are pictures of the assassination site that I took with my Leica camera about a week after the event.