UPI - 1963 and 1969 Copy
From a UPI Article, 1963Merriman Smith of UPI had been riding in the press pool car, four cars behind the Presidential limousine in the motorcade. Moments after the sound of the gunfire, at 1:30 p.m. Washington time--an hour earlier in Dallas--he dictated the first bulletin to his local bureau over the pool car's radiotelephone:
"Three shots were fired at President Kennedy's motorcade in downtown Dallas."
That went out on UPI printers at 1:34, two minutes before the Presidential car reached the hospital. At 1:36 Don Gardiner of the ABC radio network cut into local programs with it. At 1:40 CBS-TV interrupted As the World Turns, a soap opera, viewers beheld a distraught Walter Cronkite relaying Smith's report of the three shots and adding, "The first reports say that the President was 'seriously wounded.'" At 1:45 NBC-TV scuttled another soap opera, Bachelor Father, to switch to Chet Huntley.
That put the three networks on the air with the news. They would remain there, with no interruptions for commercials, for three days and three nights, until the President had been buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
A minority first heard about the shooting from those early broadcasts and telecasts. One watcher in Fort Worth was Marguerite Oswald, the assassin's mother; she was tuned to WFAA-TV. In Irving, a Dallas suburb, her daughter-in-law Marina was another viewer.
Elizabeth Pozen, the wife of a government official, was listening to WGMS over her car radio in Washington. One of her passengers was Caroline Kennedy, who was going to spend the night with a Pozen child, and when Mrs. Pozen heard the announcer say ". . .shot in the head and his wife Jackie. . ." she instantly switched it off.
But most people did not learn what had happened that directly. The news reached them third or fourth hand, from a passing stranger, or a telephone call, or a public address system, or a waiter in a restaurant--often from sources which were so unlikely that a common reaction was utter disbelief. To make sure that it was untrue, they gathered around transistor radios, car radios and television sets in bars--whatever was available--and there they learned that it was true after all.
[Some of the reports were inaccurate or misleading, however. At 2:18 Washington time the Associated Press circulated an unconfirmed report that Lyndon Johnson had been "wounded slightly," and at 3:14 Washington time AP teletypes chattered that "A Secret Service agent and a Dallas policeman were shot and killed today some distance from the area where President Kennedy was assassinated." This seemed to support theories of an elaborate plot. It wasn't corrected until 4:33 p.m.]
At 2 p.m. Washington time Kennedy was pronounced dead. The announcement was delayed until Lyndon Johnson could get away from the hospital; in that first hour it was widely assumed that the gunman had been part of a larger conspiracy. The new President left for the airport at 2:26 p.m.
Six minutes later UPI quoted Father Oscar Huber, the Dallas priest who had celebrated the last rites for Kennedy, as saying, "He's dead, all right."
Confirmation by the President's acting press secretary followed, and at 2:35 Washington time UPI bells chimed on teletype machines around the world.
FLASH PRESIDENT KENNEDY DEAD JT135PCS
Excerpt from The Day Kennedy Was Shot, by Jim BishopIn newspaper offices across the United States, a small bell began to tinkle. In the wire rooms, the UPI machine was chattering about a murder trial in Minneapolis, Minnesota:
DETECTIVES WERE THERE AND THEY "ASKED HIM TO LOOK IN THERE (THE BRIEFCASE) FOR SOMETHING." THE CASE WAS OPENED AND AN ENVELOPE WAS FOUND CONTAINING 44 $100 BILLS, THE WITNESS SAID. THE STATE HAD SAID IT WOULD PRODUCE THAT PIECE OF EVIDENCE BUT IT HAD NOT LISTED IT AS ONE "OF THE SEVEN LINKS. "THE DEFENSE HAS IMPLIED IT WILL TAKE THE LINE THAT CAROL'S DEATH AFTER A SAVAGE BLUDGEONING AND STABBING IN HER HOME WAS THE RESULT OF AN ATTEMPTED MOREDA 1234 PCS UPI A 7N DA PRECEDE KENNEDY DALLAS, NOV. 22(UPI)--THREE SHOTS WERE FIRED AT PRESIDENT KENNEDY'S MOTORCADE TODAY IN DOWNTOWN DALLAS JT1234PCS...The little bells in the wire rooms tinkled again. This time editors--not copy boys--came running. They had seen Merriman Smith's first flash, and it could be a mistake. Editors scanned the Associated Press machine, dreading to place credence in one wire service against the other, but while the AP was rippling through run-of-the-mill stories. . . .
UPI A8N DA URGENT 1ST ADD SHOTS, DALLAS (A7N) XXX DOWNTOWN DALLAS. NO CASUALTIES WERE REPORTED. THE INCIDENT OCCURRED NEAR THE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE ON MAIN STREET, JUST EAST OF AN UNDERPASS LEADING TOWARD THE TRADE MART WHERE THE PRESIDENT WAS TO MA FLASH FLASH KENNEDY SERIOUSLY WOUNDED PERHAPS SERIOUSLY PERHAPS FATALLY BY ASSASSINS BULLET JT 1239 PCS
...In the same minute, the Cabinet plane was fleeing the morning sun over the Pacific Ocean. [...] Pierre Salinger did not understand why anyone was summoned, but he bent over Secretary of State Dean Rusk's polished head to read a sheet of paper which appeared to be badly scrambled in transmission. It was a teletype bulletin but the operator who sent it must have been confused or upset:
UPI--207 HANOVER, GERMANY. NOV. WW (UPI)--THE STATE PROSECUTOR BUST BUST QMVVV UPI--207 BULLET NSSS PRECEDE KENNEDY X DALLAS. NTEXAS, NOV. 22(.708 LAS THREE SHOTS WERE FIRED AT PRESIXENT KENNEDY'S MOTORCADE TODAY IN DOWNTOWN DALLAS HSQETPEST VVU PLF208 HANOVER, GERMANY NOV WWKVUPI)--THE STATE PROSE- CUTOR TODAY DEMANDEJ AM QIAMONTH PRISON TERM FOR WEST GERMANYSJS ZSTZRILIZATION DOCTOR." X.X.X.X X,XNXLKDN, VOGEL TOLD THE THREEJU THAT HANDSOME DR. ALEL DOHRN. %% WAS N IDEALIST BUT BROKE THE LAW IN AT LEAST IP OF THE QNEPP STERILIZATION OPERATIONS HE HAS PERFORME ON LOCAL WOMEN MORE HS137PEST RV SSSSSSSS FLASH KENNEDY SERIOSTY WOUNDED PESTSSSSSSSSSS HS 138/ SSSSSSSSSSS MAKE THAT PERHAPS PERHAPS SERIOUSLY WOUNDED HSQEOPEST SSSSSSSSSSSSSS GJ OWHL W WOUNDED BY HQ139PESTXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX KENNEDY WOUNDED PERHAPS FATALLY BY VASSASSINS BULLET HS139PESTSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
Note: Jim Bishop’s explanation that the operator was “confused or upset” is incorrect. In 2008 Bob Cockrum wrote:
Jeff, I was reading the page on which you have UPI copy from the Kennedy assassination. You have -- It was a teletype bulletin but the operator who sent it must have been confused or upset: And then you have the garbled transmission of a story from Hanover, Germany, and Dallas.
UPI Broadcast Wire, 1969
CONTROL: "YOU'RE LOOKING GOOD AT EIGHT MINUTES." -0- SPEED 129 FEET PER SECOND. -0- P GROUND TELLS THEM: "EAGLE YOURE LOOKING GREAT." ALTITUDE RIVE-THOUSAND-200 FEET. -0- GROUND SAYS: "YOU'RE GO FOR LANDING." -0- EAGLE SAYS WE'RE GO.!! TWO-THOUSAND FEET!! -0- 14-HUNDRED!!... -0- --540..... 400--FEET.. 300-FEET.. 220--FEET.. COMING DOWN NICELY..... 120--... 100--... 75..-- 30 FEET PICKING UP SOME DUST.. ENGINE STOPPED... FLASH!!! THEY'VE LANDED!!! UPI SPACE FLIGHT RU317P 7/29CDT BULLETIN (SPACE CENTER)--THE APOLLO--11 IS ON THE MOON. ASTRONAUTS NEIL ARMSTRONG AND EDWIN ALDRIN HAVE SOFT-LANDED THE EAGLE ON THE LUNAR SURFACE. RU318P 7/29CDT GROUND SAYS: "YOU'RE LOOKING GOOD." -0- THE TOUCHDOWN WAS 4:18 P-M -0- EAGLE REPORTS WE ARE VENTING. -0- COMMUNICATIONS GOOD WITH SOME LIGHT STATIC. -0- GROUND ADVISES COLUMBIA: "HE HAS LANDED AT TRANQUILITY BAY." COLLINS SAID: "YEH. I HEARD THE WHOLE THING. FANTASTIC." -0- THERE SOON WILL BE A DECISION ON STAY-NO STAY. (SUB APOLLO) (SPACE CENTER)---THEY'VE LANDED ON THE MOON. TWO MEN OF PLANET EARTH...IN A GANGLY-LOOKING SPACECRAFT CALLED "EAGLE"...HAVE CONQUERED ONE OF THE TREASURES OF SPACE. APOLLO-11 ASTRONAUTS NEIL ARMSTRONG AND EDWIN ALDRIN IN THEIR 17-TON LUNAR LANDER SUCCESSFULLY SOFT-LANDED ON THE MOON'S SEA OF TRANQUILITY AT 4:18 P-M EDT. "THE EAGLE HAS LANDED," ARMSTRONG SAID. RU322P 7/20CDT..
(Note: any errors in the above, including the incorrect 7/29 date,
appeared as such on the wire.)
UPI Broadcast Wire, 1969
174UPR FIFTEENTH WORLD IN BRIEF -0- THE FIRST MEN ON THE MOON...THE CONTINUING SAGA OF MAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE FROM THE WIRES OF U-P-I... (INSERT HERE THE LATEST SUB APOLLO) -0- ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD...THESE OTHER ITEMS IN THE NEWS... (EDGARTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS)---WHILE SENATOR EDWARD KENNEDY RESTS UNDER A DOCTOR'S CARE, POLICE PREPARE TO FILE CHARGES OF LEAVING THE SCENE OF A FATAL ACCIDENT AGAINST HIM. AN ACCIDENT, IN WHICH KENNEDY'S CAR WENT INTO A POND NEAR EDGARTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS AND KILLED A WOMAN COMPANION, WAS NOT REPORTED BY KENNEDY UNTIL NINE HOURS AFTER IT HAPPENED. -0- IN THE MIDEAST, THESE DEVELOPMENTS... EGYPT CLAIMS TO HAVE SHOT DOWN 17 ISRAELI PLANES TODAY IN THE HEAVIEST FIGHTING SINCE THE SIX-DAY 1967 MIDEAST WAR. ISRAEL ADMITTED LOSING TWO PLANES AND SAID IT SHOT DOWN FIVE EGYPTIAN JETS IN CLASHES ALONG THE SUEZ CANAL FRONT. -0- (SAIGON)---GENERAL EARLE WHEELER RULES OUT A COMPLETE U-S WITHDRAWAL FROM VIETNAM BY THE END OF 1970. WHEELER, CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF HAS BEEN TOURING VIETNAM. HE ALSO DISCOUNTED THE MONTH-LONG LULL IN FIGHTING AS A COMMUNIST POLITICAL GESTURE. -0- (PARIS)---THE PARIS PEACE TALKS ARE STALEMATED AGAIN...A FREEZE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE UNTIL PRESIDENT NIXON RETURNS TO THE WHITE HOUSE FROM HIS ASIAN TOUR. -0- (HAVANA)---EIGHT SOVIET WARSHIPS ARRIVED IN HAVANA TODAY ON AN OFFICIAL VISIT TO CELEBRATE TWO NATIONAL HOLIDAYS...JULY 26, THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE CUBAN REVOLUTION, AND THE FOLLOWING DAY, RUSSIA'S NAVY DAY. -0- A CEASE-FIRE IS GENERALLY BEING OBSERVED IN CENTRAL AMERICA WITH TEAMS FROM THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES POLICING THE STOP IN THE SHOOTING BETWEEN EL SALVADOR AND HONDURAS. -0- (WASHINGTON)---FEDERAL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS ARE SIGNING AND STOCKPILING RESIGNATIONS BECAUSE THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION RECENTLY THREATENED TO DISCIPLINE THEM FOR A SICK-CALL BOYCOTT LAST MONTH. -0- (JODRELL BANK, ENGLAND)---RUSSIA'S LUNA-15 SATELLITE IS PASSING OVER THE APOLLO-11 LANDING SITE AT AN ALTITUDE OF A LITTLE LESS THAN 10 MILES...BUT THERE IS STILL NO CLUE AS TO ITS MISSION. -0- (FARRAGUT STATE PARK, IDAHO)---THOUSANDS OF SCOUTS ATTENDING THEIR NATIONAL JAMBOREE AT FARRAGUT STATE PARK IN IDAHO CHEERED LUSTILY WHEN THEY LEARNED FELLOW SCOUTS NEIL ARMSTRONG AND EDWIN ALDRIN HAD LANDED ON THE MOON. -0- (WASHINGT0N)---WATCHING TELEVISION DURING THE MOON LANDING PRESIDENT NIXON TERMED THE ACHIEVEMENT "THE GREATEST MOMENT OF OUR TIME." FK920P7/20CDT U R G E N T (SPACE CENTER)---THEY HAVE STARTED DE-PRESSURIZING THE EAGLE. -0- MORE DEPRESSURIZING URGENT X X X EAGLE. THEY NOW HAVE ON THEIR PORTABLE LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS. AS HE BEGAN DEPRESSURIZATION, ARMSTRONG SAID---"NOW COMES THE GYMNASTICS." FK931P7/20CDT ALDRIN SAID "IT TAKES A LONG WAY TO GET ALL THE WAY DOWN DOESN'T IT"---APPARENTLY REFERRING TO THE DE-PRESSURIZATION. -0- HATCH WILL BE OPENED WHEN PRESSURE GOES TO ZERO. -0- EAGLE REPORTS "NOW WE'LL SEE IF IT WILL OPEN UP." -0- ALDRIN REPORTED GETTING SOME STATIC. -0- ARMSTRONG SAID, "EVERYTHING IS GO WE'RE JUST WAITING FOR THE PRESSURE TO GO LOW ENOUGH TO OPEN THE HATCH." -0- GROUND CONTROL SAID THEY SHOWED A RATHER STATIC PRESSURE IN THE CABIN OF HATCH OPENING -0- B U L L E T I N (SPACE CENTER)---THE HATCH IS OPEN ON THE LUNAR LANDER AND NEIL ARMSTRONG IS READY TO CLIMB DOWN TO THE LUNAR SURFACE. FK941PCD GROUND CONTROL FED SOME DATA TO COLUMBIA. -0- THE ASTRONAUTS HAVE BEEN ON THEIR PORTABLE SUPPORT SYSTEMS NOW FOR 17 MINUTES. -0- THE PORTABLES ARE GOOD FOR FOUR HOURS. -0- THE ASTRONAUTS ALSO HAVE A 30 MINUTE EMERGENCY OXYGEN SUPPLY. -0- ALDRIN REPORTS "OKAY MY WINDOW IS CLEAR." -0- EAGLE REPORTS ALL WINDOWS CLEAR. -0- ARMSTRONG GIVING READINGS. -0- ARMSTRONG IS NOW HOOKING UP HIS LUNAR EQUIPMENT CONVEYOR WHICH WILL BE USED TO MOVE EQUIPMENT OFF THE LANDER. -0- ARMSTRONG IS NOW MOVING ONTO THE PLATFORM. -0- ALDRIN IS GIVING HIM DIRECTIONS TO CRAWL THROUGH THE NARROW HATCH IN THE BULKY SPACE SUIT. -0- ALDRIN SAYS "YOU'RE NOT QUITE CLEARED AWAY. MOVE TO THE RIGHT A LITTLE." ARMSTRONG SAYS "BELIEVE THAT'S OKAY" -0- ARMSTRONG "HOW'M I DOING." ALDRIN "YOU'RE DOING FINE." -0- ALDRIN SAID "OKAY YOU WANT THOSE BAGS?" ARMSTRONG SAID YES. -0- ARMSTRONG IS OUT -0- ARMSTRONG SAID "OKAY HOUSTON, I'M ON THE PORCH." -0- HE WILL NOW DESCEND THE LADDER SLOWLY AND START THE T-V CAMERA BY PULLING A RING. -0- 25 MINUTES OF LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS EXPENDED -0- ARMSTRONG SAYS "I'M GOING TO PULL THE RING." -0- THIS WILL OPEN STORAGE AREA WHERE CAMERA IS STORED. -0- RING IS TO BE PULLED ON SECOND RUNG OF THE LADDER. -0- THE T-V PICTURE IS ON. -0- VIEWERS COULD SEE WHAT APPEARED TO BE THE LUNAR LANDER LEG WHICH AT FIRST WAS SHOWN UPSIDE DOWN. PICTURE NOW REVERSED. -0- ARMSTRONG COULD BE SEEN COMING DOWN. -0- ARMSTRONG WENT BACK TO FIRST STEP JUST TO TEST HIS MOVEMENT. -0- ARMSTRONG SAID "I'M AT THE FOOT OF THE LADDER." -0- FLASH ARMSTRONG SETS FOOT ON MOON UPI/SPACE FLIGHT FK957P7/20CD.. ARMSTRONG SAID "HERE'S ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN." -0- "SURFACE IS FINE AND POWDERY" -0- " "IT SEEMS TO BE IN FINE LAYERS LIKE POWDERED CHARCOAL." -0- "I CAN CLEARLY SEE THE FOOTPRINT OF MY SHOES IN THE FINE SANDY PARTICLE." -0- ARMSTRONG HAS NOW LET LOOSE OF THE LADDER. "THERE SEEMS TO BE NO DIFFICULTY MOVING AROUND AS WE EXPECTED." -0- B U L L E T I N (SPACE CENTER)---AMERICAN ASTRONAUT NEIL ARMSTRONG HAS STEPPED ONTO THE MOON---THE FIRST MAN FROM EARTH TO SET HIS FEET ON ANOTHER HEAVENLY BODY. THE SCHEDULE CALLS FOR ASTRONAUT EDWIN ALDRIN TO FOLLOW HIM ONTO THE LUNAR SURFACE SHORTLY. FK959P7/20CDT HE SET FOOT ON THE MOON AT 10:56 :31 P-M EDT.