When President John F. Kennedy was shot on November 22, 1963, Associated Press staffer James Altgens was photographing the motorcade, and became an eyewitness. His quick phone call to the AP's Dallas bureau became the first news bulletin about the shooting distributed across the AP's teletype setter circuit. Hours of frantic reporting followed, supplying newspapers and broadcasters with information as events unfolded. If news is the first draft of history, then these FIRST TEXTS OF EDITED raw wire copies of the rough ASSOCIATED PRESS first draft as voiced by a WPIX Channel 11 New York announcer (first two of three bulletins) remain more complete as content than announced by all other comparable television and radio bulletins.
The WPIX Channel 11 Newsroom bulletins archived in the collection Archival Television Audio, Inc. are different from every bulletin that is extant in museums or the scores of air checks playing on the internet, which are available to everyone who desires to download a personal copy. The following three KFJZ Channel 11 bulletins are unique in content, length and “drama,” adding completely new information (true and rumor) that no other bulletins or coverage offer.
The three original bulletins are a direct line recording, producing pristine sound. Total time for all three bulletins, 3 minutes 42 seconds.
Bulletin One - 1:52
“From the Channel 11 Newsroom. President Kennedy was shot today as his motorcade left downtown Dallas.
Latest report is that representative Albert Thomas of Texas says he has been informed at Parkland hospital
that both President Kennedy and Governor John Connally of Texas are still alive. Associated Press reporter Jack
Bell reports three shots were fired as the presidential motorcade entered a triple underpass in Dallas that leads to
the Stemmons Freeway. After the president was shot the secret service waved the motorcade on at top speed to
nearby Parkland hospital. The president was shot while moving along on the outskirts of Dallas. A presidential aide
Lawrence O’ Brien says he has no information on whether the president is alive. Texas governor John Connally was
also shot. It isn’t known if he is still alive. When the president was shot Mrs. Kennedy jumped up and grabbed him.
She cried “Oh No.” The secret service ordered the motorcade to speed on to nearby Parkland hospital. Associated Press
Reporter Jack Bell says the president and Connally were shot as the motorcade entered a triple underpass which leads to
the Stemmons Freeway. Bell said a man and woman were scrambling on the upper level of the walkway overlooking the
underpass. Mrs. Kennedy was weeping and trying to hold up her husband’s head. He fell face down in the back seat of the
car. The President was apparently shot in the head. He fell face down in the back seat of the car. Blood was on his head.
Governor Connally remained half seated slumped to the left. There was blood on his face and forehead. In Washington
the White House has said it has no information beyond the newsmen have at the scene. Both the President and Connally
were rushed to Parkland hospital. It’s located near the Dallas Trade Mart where the President was supposed to make a speech.
Even at high speed it took nearly five minutes to get the car to the ambulance entrance of the hospital.
Again, repeating the most recent information is that representative Albert Thomas of Texas says that he has been informed at
Parkland hospital that both President Kennedy and Governor Connally of Texas are still alive.
A bulletin from the channel 11 newsroom.”
Bulletin Two – :59
“Additional details from the Channel 11 Newsroom. A sniper shot President Kennedy and Governor John Connally of Texas in
U.S. representative Albert Thomas of Texas said that both were still alive in a hospital emergency room. Thomas standing outside
the corridor of the emergency room in which both Kennedy and Connally were under treatments said that he had been told that the
President was still alive but quote, “In very critical condition.” The secret service said that President Kennedy remained in the emergency
room and the Governor was moved to the general operating room of Parkland hospital. One secret service man was overheard telling
another that there was no need to move the President because emergency facilities were entirely adequate in the emergency room. Two Roman Catholic priests were summoned to the emergency room where the President lay. One was identified as a Father Huber.
Again, the President of the United States and the Governor of Texas shot by assassins in Dallas. Both conditions remain in critical condition.
Further details as they become available from the Channel 11 Newsroom.”
Bulletin Three - :51
“Bulletin from the Channel 11 Newsroom. An account carried on CBS Television is an unconfirmed report that the President is dead.
Repeating, this is an unconfirmed report as carried on CBS Television to the effect that the President is dead. No official confirmation of this report as yet. Earlier it was disclosed that a Negro boy in Dallas said he saw a man fire from the fourth floor of the schoolbook depository building at the corner of Elm and Houston Street in Dallas. Police went into that building and returned with one man. Police are reported to have gone back into the building for an additional search. The building is across from the Dallas County Court House at Elm and Houston Street.
Repeating the unconfirmed report. An account carried on CBS Television reports that the President is dead. Repeating that this is unconfirmed. Further details as they become available for the Channel 11 Newsroom.”
The uncertainty continues to be researched if these bulletins originated from WPIX Channel 11 (New York)...the announcer is not recognized, or quite possibly from station KFJZ Channel 11, now called KTVT Channel 11 (Fort Worth Texas and affiliated with the Dallas bureau for CBS NEWS).
KFJZ Channel 11 established a news department as an independent station in 1960. In 1963 news anchorman was Bill Camfield. Is it he who is heard announcing these bulletins?
Curiously, mentioned, during the third bulletin the announcer states that CBS NEWS has confirmed that President John F. Kennedy was dead. This author believes that the fact that KFJZ having had an affiliation with CBS all these years provides a clue as to possibly these bulletins emanated not from WPIX Channel 11 in New York, but from KFJZ TV Channel 11, broadcasting in Fort Worth Texas, near Dallas, where the assassination took place.