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Dateline Dallas: A Reporter Remembers
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Perhaps no day exemplified the critical value of White House reporters traveling with the president than November 22, 1963.
John Kennedy decided to visit Texas, ahead of his planned reelection campaign the following year, to demonstrate unity among himself and two feuding members of his Democratic Party in the state, Gov. John Connolly Jr. and Sen. Ralph Yarborough.
The Republican Party had been making inroads in the Lone Star State, and the 25 electoral votes of Texas would be critical to vanquishing Kennedy’s expected challenger, Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona.
On the morning of November 22, Kennedy, accompanied by the first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, took a 14-minute flight from Fort Worth to Dallas, a city considered ultraconservative and anti-Kennedy, the second-to-last stop scheduled on the trip to five Texas cities in two days.
Sid Davis was a pool reporter on Air Force One the evening prior on the flight from Houston to Fort Worth.
After the 59th anniversary of the assassination I decided to track down Sid, hearing that he was still living in Bethesda, Maryland. It took about eleven months from start to finish to produce this 24-minute VOA documentary about Sid and that fateful day in Dallas. Let me know what you think of this reflection from an eyewitness to one of the saddest days in American history.