• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
  • default color
  • green color
  • red color
Member Area

The Millbrook Independent

Sep 23rd
Most have never forgotten where they heard of JFK’s murder PDF Print E-mail
Written by News Desk   
Thursday, 21 November 2013 19:31

bobmartinBy This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

It was 12:40 (CST) on November 22, 1963 when the bells on the Associated Press teletype machine at The Florence Times began their clanging noise. I rushed to the machine and watched as it spit out these words:



Just a few minutes earlier in the Dallas AP offices, the telephone rang and bureau chief Bob Johnson answered. On the phone was staff photographer James W. "Ike" Altgens, almost out of breath. He had recorded the Dealey Plaza chaos — including images of Kennedy grasping his throat and of a secret service agent reaching for the first lady across the limo's trunk.

Bob, the president's been shot," he shouted from a pay phone. "Ike, how do you know?" Johnson demanded. "I was shooting pictures then and I saw it," Altgens said. "Ike, you saw that?" "Yes, there was blood on his face." Johnson typed furiously, folding in Altgens' details.

Instantly, in newsrooms everywhere, bells clanged on wire teletype machines as they churned out the unimaginable, line by line. Newspapers and broadcasters quickly ripped off the copy from their wire machines and passed it on, mainly in the same brief form.

It has been said that "Fifty years on, that first bulletin — its type spilling down the page from being pulled by some forgotten editor as it printed out — is an artifact of the moment." It is preserved in the AP news service's corporate archives. I was just a young reporter and it is still a moment vivid in my memory.

The fiftieth anniversary will be this Friday.

During the half century since President Kennedy was assassinated, we have heard about many conspiracy theories. However decades of investigations, hearings, documents, records, books and interviews have failed to satisfy conspiracy theorists with a definitive answer to question as to whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he shot the President.

At one time or another, doubters of the lone gunman theory "have accused 42 groups, 82 assassins and 214 people of being involved in the assassination," according to author Vincent Bugliosi.

Kennedy visited Huntsville and Muscle Shoals in 1963.

11-21jfkramPhoto: Bob Martin (then a Florence Times reporter) with President Kennedy at Muscle Shoals on May 18, 1963)

On May 18, 1963, Kennedy visited Nashville, Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, and the Tennessee Valley Authority facilities at Muscle Shoals, where he spoke at the 30th anniversary of TVA. A total of four helicopters carried the president and his guests -- Alabama Gov. George Wallace, Alabama's two U.S. senators, John J. Sparkman and Lister Hill, Tennessee's two U.S. senators, Albert Gore and Estes Kefauver, along with other members of both states' congressional delegation.

I had the opportunity to cover that event and be among those greeting the group when the President's helicopter arrived at Muscle Shoals. I was able to interview him as we walked up the path from behind the TVA headquarters building and shocked when, about two months later a local photographer came by the office and presented me with a photo he had made of me walking up that path with the President.

The President's visit also helped me with one of my political science professors at Florence State College. I was able to get him press credentials and into the roped-off press area for the speech. After the President's address, I looked around and spotted a local radio reporter interviewing the professor. She thought he was big time CBS news personality Eric Sevareid. He never told her any different.

I couldn't vote in the 1960 Presidential Election. Back then you had to be 21 to vote. However, I did have my opinion and had I met the age requirement I would have cast a vote for Richard Nixon. Boy, what a mistake that would have been!

Bob Martin is editor and publisher of The Montgomery Independent. He is the publisher of the Millbrook Independent. E-mail him at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

  • Pause
  • Previous
  • Next
Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Please update your Flash Player to view content.

Top Stories

FOX News
FOXNews.com - Breaking news and video. Latest Current News: U.S., World, Entertainment, Health, Business, Technology, Politics, Sports.
FOX News


Latest news from ESPN.com
ESPN logo
  • Coach: Clemson C threatened after bad snap
    Clemson coach Dabo Swinney says center Ryan Norton received threatening messages on social media after his bad snap in a loss to No. 1 Florida State last weekend.
  • Rodgers to nervous Packers fans: Just relax
    Aaron Rodgers had a simple, yet direct message for Green Bay Packers fans who are panicking over the team's 1-2 record and the quarterback's own slow start.
  • Mayweather: Show's fights, pot use staged
    Pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. said Tuesday that Showtime's "All Access" reality series, which follows him and his opponent during the training camp and buildup to their fight, is staged as a way to sell more pay-per-views.
  • Dantonio: Only conference champs in Playoff
    Michigan State's path to a spot in the initial College Football Playoff will need to go through the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis, and that's the way coach Mark Dantonio thinks it should be.
  • Free boots for A&M cadet who shielded collie
    A Texas A&M cadet is being rewarded for throwing himself in front of an out-of-bounds football player who was hurtling toward the school's collie mascot during last weekend's game.

Millbrook Weather

The Weather Channel: Your Local Weather Outlook--Millbrook, AL
Local Weather Outlook for Millbrook, AL. Since 1982, The Weather Channel has brought timely weather information to the world. Now via our Local Weather Outlook RSS feed we can keep you up-to-date on the latest weather affecting the cities of your choice including: current local conditions, local Doppler radar, pollen trends, regional video forecasts with expert commentary, and extended forecast details delivered right to your desktop. The Weather Channel...Bringing Weather To Life
The Weather Channel: Local Weather Outlook