O'Reilly delivers with new book on Kennedy

Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 02:40 PM.

Personally "Kennedy" is my favorite because I lived it, at least vicariously through Walter Cronkite, newspapers and magazines. I was 22 years old when JFK was assassinated.

I was leaning back with my feet on a desk when the bulletin spilled out of the radio. "The President has been shot in Dallas." I immediately walked around the building to tell George Britt the news.

I wasn’t initially too terribly concerned because they’d just said he’d been "shot" and presidents have the very best medical resources at hand. Maybe he’d suffered a "flesh wound" like cowboy stars did.

Nope. A short while later Cronkite announced he was dead. Aunt Pat called Mom from Texas, shocked like the rest of us. She hoped a Texan wasn’t involved.

Time passed in skips from one news report to the next one. Officer J.D. Tippet had been murdered. His killer had been arrested in a movie theater. Then the dots connected.

I saw Oswald in cuffs. I saw Dallas’ sheriff holding Oswald’s rifle overhead. I watched Jack Ruby lunge at Oswald and shoot him in the gut. I watched Kennedy’s funeral. I saw John-John salute.

O’Reilly’s book has assembled the fragments of my disjointed memories into a picture of laser clarity. Timelines and characters intersect during three minutes that changed history.

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