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ASU to screen Walter Cronkite's coverage of Kennedy assassination

Walter Cronkite on television screen
November 21, 2013

To mark the 50th anniversary of Walter Cronkite’s historic four-day coverage of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Arizona State University is showing the CBS News broadcast in its entirety at the legendary journalist’s school.

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will screen’s live real-time streaming of the Kennedy assassination coverage over four days, starting at 11:40 a.m., Nov. 22, in the First Amendment Forum on ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus. The screening of the CBS News broadcast starts at the exact same time and date as it originally aired in 1963.

According to, the stream will begin with CBS News’ first bulletin alerting viewers three shots had been fired in Dallas. The live stream will continue through the weekend and include the somber moment when Cronkite removed his horn-rimmed glasses and announced Kennedy’s death. The stream will conclude on Monday with coverage of the president’s funeral.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for students and members of the public alike to watch one of the watershed moments in our nation's history unfold in real time," said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School. "It also is a powerful teaching moment for our students, who will be able to watch Walter's coverage, which helped create his reputation as America’s most influential and trusted journalist.” said Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer will introduce the live-stream video. Last month, Schieffer visited the Cronkite School and accepted the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, an annual honor that recognizes a distinguished journalist who embodies the values of the school’s namesake.

During Schieffer’s two-day visit, he recounted his experience as a young reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on the day of the assassination. Schieffer told more than 200 ASU students he drove Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother from Fort Worth to Dallas to see her son. He said police intervened before he could interview her son.

“That became the biggest interview I almost got and didn’t,” he said. “What an adventure in a time of tragedy like that. As tragic and traumatic as that time was, I think that’s just one example of why when people say, ‘Why do you want to be a reporter?’ How else could you have an experience like that?”

ASU named its journalism program after Cronkite in 1984. Over the next quarter of a century, he was closely involved with the school, advising leadership, guiding students and faculty, and traveling to Arizona each year to personally give the Cronkite Award. His last visit to ASU was in 2007 before health issues prevented him from traveling.

Prior to the start of Friday’s screening, the Cronkite School will show “JFK: One PM Central Standard Time,” a one-hour PBS documentary that recounts Cronkite’s coverage of the Kennedy assassination.