Inside Parkland Hospital & Aboard Air Force One the Day JFK Was Killed

By David Brown and Emily DonahueNovember 22, 2013 9:42 pm

Before that afternoon fifty years ago, neither Sid Davis nor Julian Read could have expected what they’d be called upon to do – much less that they’d both be eyewitnesses to history.

Davis was a young radio reporter based in Washington D.C.

Read was on the other side of the journalistic fence, serving as press aide for Texas Gov. John Connally.

But they were both on a press bus in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963 – the day President John F. Kennedy was shot.

After 50 years of virtual silence, Austinite Julian Read recently opened up to KUT about his experience that day.

After the chaos of the motorcade, where the press bus was just a few car lengths behind the president, Read rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital. He was in search of the governor’s wife, Nellie Connally. “I wanted to know what had happened, because I wanted to be able to talk to the press.”

Listen to an excerpt of his remarks:


Julian Read used a chalkboard to draw diagrams of the seating arrangements in the cars in the motorcade to brief reporters.
Credit Fort Worth Star-Telegram Collection, UT Arlington Library Special Collections

Sid Davis was the Westinghouse radio pool reporter in Dallas that day. He traveled from the motorcade onto Air Force One, where he witnessed Lyndon Johnson’s presidential swearing-in ceremony. He said the iconic photo of that moment proved “the Constitution still lives, the Constitution works, and it showed the world the United States was not imperiled here.”

These recollections appear in “One Day in Dallas,” a 30 minute special report from KUT based on extensive interviews with Davis and Read. Both men describe that day in 1963 in vivid detail.

“One Day in Dallas” airs on KUT News 90.5 FM at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. today, Nov. 22. You can also listen to and download the entire program below.