(Reuters) - The following are quotes on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Kennedy was shot dead on November 22, 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald as his motorcade passed through crowded Dallas streets.
(All quotes are from interviews by Reuters News except the excerpt from the 1963 CBS broadcast with Walter Cronkite)
BOB HUFFAKER, EYEWITNESS AND FORMER REPORTER AT KRLD RADIO IN DALLAS:
“It looked as though the entire city had turned up. It was really great. Dallas had shown that it really loved that president.”
TINA TOWNER PENDER, THEN-13-YEAR-OLD EYEWITNESS:
“As the first gunshot sounded, I looked up to the building, thinking somebody was throwing firecrackers out of the window but I only had a split second before some stranger, and I still don’t know who it was, pulled me to the ground.”
HUGH AYNESWORTH, EYEWITNESS AND FORMER DALLAS MORNING NEWS REPORTER:
“Then I heard what I thought was a motorcycle backfiring, only it wasn’t - it was the first shot and then in a few seconds, another shot and a third.”
DR. RONALD JONES, FORMER CHIEF RESIDENT AT PARKLAND HOSPITAL WHO OPERATED ON KENNEDY:
“The president was on a stretcher. His arms were out on arm boards like this and Dr. Carrico, who was a second-year resident was trying to put a tube into his windpipe and then the tracheal tube to get an airway established, but the president was motionless. I never saw any movement. His eyes were open in a fixed stare.”
WALTER CRONKITE, CBS NEWS ANCHOR (FROM HIS NOV. 22, 1963 BROADCAST):
“From Dallas, Texas, the flash apparently official, President Kennedy died at 1:00pm Central Standard Time; 2 o’clock Eastern Standard Time, some 38 minutes ago.”
“While the nation was grieving around its television sets, we were there on the scene reporting, unable to take out time to grieve or to even know what was being done in Washington D.C., the ceremony, the funeral and the sadness that the other people were living through their television sets. We who were broadcasting didn’t see it all.”
BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS BROADCASTER WHO COVERED THE ASSASSINATION FOR THE FORT WORTH STAR TELEGRAM:
“The Kennedy assassination became the template for coverage.”
“We were working in one of the worst moments of the nation’s life back then and we didn’t know what to make of it, much like what happened on 9/11.”
“This is when America became a TV nation.”
PIERCE ALLMAN, EYEWITNESS AND FORMER WFAA RADIO REPORTER, SAYING:
“It doesn’t seem like 50 years at all. When you come down here (to Dealey Plaza), it’s forever 1963.”
MICHAEL FONTAINE, A 57-YEAR-OLD VISITOR FROM HOUSTON WHO BELIEVES IN A CONSPIRACY:
“There were a lot of people who wanted Kennedy dead, a lot of powerful people. There are secrets still being held and I never bought for a minute that Oswald operated alone.”
“We can’t accept very comfortably that two nobodies, two nothings - Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby - were able to change the course of world history.”
TOM STONE, PROFESSOR AT SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY IN DALLAS WHO TEACHES UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ABOUT KENNEDY:
“They don’t know much about his presidency or why anyone would have wanted him dead.
“Most students, it’s fair to say, just know that JFK is the president who got shot. Beyond that, they’re pretty much blank slates.”
“It’s natural that an event like this would cause skepticism and suspicions, especially in light of what has come out about our government.”
BUELL FRAZIER, A CO-WORKER OF OSWALD WHO GAVE HIM A RIDE THE DAY OF THE ASSASSINATION.
“If I had to do it over again, I would have stayed 1,000 miles away from Dallas that day.”
GARY MACK, CURATOR OF THE SIXTH FLOOR MUSEUM ON JFK AND THE ASSASSINATION
“Most people are not satisfied with the officials story. But there is not enough evidence to support anything else.”
Reporting by Jon Herskovitz, Pavithra Sarah George, Lisa Maria Garza, Carey Gillam and Marice Richter; Editing by Bernadette Baum