CBS to Stream TV Coverage of JFK’s Assassination

CBS News has released details of its plans to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In addition to special coverage on its various news programs, like Face the Nation and The CBS Evening News, CBS will air a prime time special titled “As It Happened: John F. Kennedy 50 Years” on Saturday, November 16th. A complete press release can be found here.

I am particularly intrigued by the final paragraph in the press release:

Throughout the week, CBSNEWS.COM will stream the original CBS News broadcast coverage of Kennedy’s assassination in real-time as it evolved 50 years ago. The online stream will feature the breaking news coverage from the four-day period following the shooting. Viewers will relive the extraordinary 1963 CBS News reports from New York, Dallas, Washington and around the world as Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid, Harry Reasoner, Charles Kuralt, Roger Mudd and others reported the tragedy.

Does this mean all the CBS News coverage from that four-day period survives? Will all of it be streamed or just highlights?

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 Update: has announced it will be streaming all of the CBS News coverage from November 1963. Read more here.

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26 Replies to “CBS to Stream TV Coverage of JFK’s Assassination”

    1. To all,

      Thank you for your comments regarding my JFK audio/video collection. It’s nice to know some people are taking the time to peruse and (hopefully) enjoy the stuff I’ve put on my websites.

      I, too, am wondering if CBS is planning on streaming every bit of its 4 days of assassination coverage. That would be quite something indeed.

      I’m also hoping some radio stations around the country will choose to dig into their vaults and stream some of their yet-to-be-heard 11/22/63 coverage.

      I’m always eager to add material to my archive and websites, and if anyone here knows of any station that has material that can’t be found currently on my websites, please drop me a line. I’d like to know about such rare finds. Thanks.

      E-mail: [email protected]


  1. David’s collection is amazing – I had the opportunity to interview him about it a couple of years ago.

    That was my first thought as well – are they going to show everything, or just portions? As dramatic as the breaking news sections are, I find the clips from the “downtime” – a memorial concert on Saturday night, a roundtable discussion , Dan Rather’s description of having just seen the Zapruder film – to be just as powerful.

    1. A wonderful interview, Mitchell. David’s audiovisual collection is a bit overwhelming, truth be told. I’m not even sure where to start watching.

      I’ve long wondered if the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum or some other organization has conducted a survey to determine exactly what survives of the television coverage of the assassination and aftermath. I’d say David’s collection is a pretty great start.

      1. Thanks for the kind words, Robert. You’re right – there is so much there that it can be quite overwhelming. FWIW, I’ve found that it’s a good idea to watch a few programs on JFK that were produced during his lifetime to give one a sense of the man, before watching the assassination coverage. It makes the shock that much more powerful. And although I have a preference for the NBC coverage itself,having the CBS footage from the very beginning gives you an idea of just how disjointed everything was.

  2. Actually all the coverage for all the networks does survive. There was some 56 hours of CBS coverage and 42 of those hours are in collector trade circles (obtained from CBS News Archives).

    NBC coverage has been replayed at several intervals in the past. In 1983, they aired “The Funeral Of John Kennedy” which replayed close to three hours of coverage from 11/24 and 11/25. In 1988 there was the A+E special, “JFK Assassination: As It Happened” that replayed the first four and a half hours of coverage and 90 minute highlights of the remainder of 11/22/63.

    There are two versions of ABC’s coverage. The network feed from WABC-New York in which the recording begins with the second bulletin interrupting a rerun of “Father Knows Best” and how a studio set has to literally be constructed around anchor Ron Cochran as he’s reading the wire bulleting. There is also the local Dallas version from station WFAA in which they interrupt local programming and a local anchor Jay Watson delivers the reports and they don’t join ABC’s feed for another hour.

    Watching this coverage is also good in that it proves how absurd all conspiracy talk is. Of course the factual record also proves it and no citation of polls of people who rely on garbage like Oliver Stone’s film and other lame conspiracy books is ever going to change that. Oswald, a fanatical communist did it, case closed.

    1. Yes, that original coverage is a treasure trove not only for seeing the evolution of television and television news (I always admired the job Cochrane did with the chaos surrounding him), but as a primary document on the assassination itself. Although reading about the media coverage is always interesting, nothing beats watching the coverage itself. And anyone writing about the assassination who hasn’t seen it still has a lot of work to do.

    2. In November 1963, ABC didn’t schedule any daily network programming between 1:30 and 2:30pm(et). Local stations presented their own programming- whether it be station-produced, or syndicated repeats. In New York, WABC-TV was showing a repeat of “THE ANN SOTHERN SHOW” when the first network bulletins interrupted it. The NETWORK was presenting, via closed circuit, a repeat of “FATHER KNOWS BEST” for those stations who didn’t carry it at 12:30pm(et). Those affiliates had the option to air it at that hour, or tape it for delayed broadcast the next day. That’s the tape ABC preserved when coverage of the assassination began. At 2pm(et), the closed-circuit telecast of “QUEEN FOR A DAY”, for those stations who preferred not to carry the scheduled 3pm edition, was pre-empted so that the entire network could carry ABC News’ live coverage of the events in Dallas…..

      1. Little-known fact about WABC – their first local bulletin, which interrupted Ann Southern, was voiced by Milton Cross, better known as the famed radio voice of the Saturday Metropolitan Opera broadcasts.

    3. Hi epaddon:

      Do you know anyone who has the 42 hours of CBS News coverage, which is now in collector trade circles (obtained from CBS News Archives)?

  3. Despite the wall-to-wall nature of the coverage, CBS did take time out on the morning of 11/23 when following an early morning news report from Mike Wallace (who had become anchor of the CBS Morning News earlier that year) they then aired a repeat of the special patriotic program “Let Freedom Ring” that first aired the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 1961 and had Richard Boone, Dan O’Herlihy and Laraine Day doing patriotic readings while the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed.

  4. has posted a schedule/timeline of the 1963 CBS News footage it will be streaming in real-time.

    The live stream will be active during the following times:

    Fri., Nov. 22, 1:38 p.m. to 11 p.m.
    Sat., Nov. 23, 9 a.m. to 11:01 p.m.
    Sun., Nov. 24; 9 a.m. to 11:20 p.m.
    Mon., Nov. 25, 8 a.m. to 11:36 p.m.

  5. Will anyone be capturing and transferring this HISTORIC re-broadcast of American history??? If so please let me know!! Thanks!!

  6. NBC also did a live stream on Monday of its Nov.25, 1963 coverage.
    By sheer accident, I found out about this MCNBC live stream shortly before
    1 PM EST twoards the end of the rebroadcast of the St. Matthews low mass . The video feed broke up and went down at 1:32 ( during the scenes of the cortege after it had left the church) and resumed at 2:07 when the funeral procession had already passed by the Lincoln Memorial and was approaching the Memorial Bridge . This live stream NBC coverage ended at 2:58 during the ceremonies at the Arlington gravesite, but prior to the bugler playing “Taps”, the folding of the American flag and the lighting of the eternal flame.

    Did anyone aim a videophone on a tripod at the PC screen and “capture” this?

  7. To my profound regret, I now wish I had at least attempted to videophone it,
    for it was certainly worth a try. What a opportunity wasted ! Now I can only hope that somebody else did so. If anyone did so, please contact me at [email protected].

    I am especially interested in obtaining CBS footage from the Sunday funeral cortege, specifically the 30 minutes of footage starting at approx. 1:18 PM as the caisson turned left from 15th street near the Treasury building onto Pennsylvania Ave during Dave Dugan’s report. This half an hour is among the CBS coverage that is has not been available .

    Also, I am also very much interested in obtaining an upgrade of about 20 minutes starting at approx 2:12 PM of the NBC (or CBS) Monday coverage as seen from Arlington as the procession crosses the Memorial Bridge en route to the cemetery. As JFK collectors know, the version of the CBS Monday footage that’s been available for the past few years is quite grainy.

    Again, any help would be greatly appreciated.

  8. I’d like to make a correction to my Nov.27 comments.

    When I mentioned “videophone”, I meant did anybody use a still camera that could also record video? I don’t even know if the results would have satisfactory . Most of the the “home recordings” I’ve seen on the internet
    are far from impressive, they are always too far away from the PC screen
    ( you can see the desk area, keyboard, etc) and the audio is distant, too.

    I know when I aim a Nikon Coolpix L105 at the PC for a tight shot of the screen, I can clearly read 14 size type lettering in the tiny view finder . So the definition and picture quality would seem to be good enough, but I don’t know if that would still be the case once the video recording was “converted” to a DVD and seen on a TV screen. Perhaps the larger image would be flawed
    with lines and other glitches.

    For the record, when I found out that NBC was also streaming its 11/25/63 coverage, this Nikon camera was not here at this location, but 15 miles away
    (how’s that for “luck”?)

    If only the networks would (finally!) commercially release their original JFK asassination TV coverage, as a “50th anniversary” “limited edition” !

  9. David Von Pein is still holding on to the Warren Commission’s view that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone nut who took his primitive rifle to the sixth floor of the TSDB in Dallas, and was never on the payroll of the FBI and CIA. As the moonwatcher from the Netherlands, I have come to the conclusion that the foreign policy of the U.S. State Department during the administration of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in the battle with communism and land reform in Latin America was focused on various coup d’etats in Chili, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentine, Nicaragua, and Argetine, teaming up with professional hitmen, notorious Nazi fugitives, and ultra-right alliances like the Moon Cult, the John Birch Society, and the Solidarists. At home, we have witnessed the murders of JFK-RFK-and MLK, and a long list of dissidents, who were scheduled to give sworn testimonies about these assassinations to members of Congress and the Senate. In the conspiracy to murder JFK, it was Vice-President Lyndon Johnson who discussed the plan with his friends in the Oil Business, in New Orleans we had FBI-agent Guy Bannister to handle Oswald as a false flag operator and Castro supporter, Dr. Alton Ochsner and his cancer virus experiments, in Montreal, Canada, we noticed Louis Bloomfield and his Permindex Cabal, who had been involved in a plan to kill French President Charles de Gaulle in 1962, and in Miami, Florida we had the anti-Castro club Operation 40 with Frank Sturgis and Eduardo Hunt.
    The candicates for the hit in Dallas were supplied by Sam Giancana and Charles Marcello, and by the Secret Service through Allen Dulles, who was supposedly removed from office by the president. During the Vietnam War, the heroin trade in the region was booming, while the military-industrial complex made huge profits with the supply of helicopters, and all other war material. When Kennedy was planning to remove the troops and end the war in South East Asia, the World Anti-Communist League and their rich supporters in the U.S. decided the time had come to get Kennedy out of the way. Reverend Moon would later explain to his members why Kennedy and UN Secretary Hammarskjold had to die : they did not follow God’s Will to fight communism. Thanks to the internet, you can read about dirty politics, published by many investigators and ex-government agents like Marita Lorenz and Wesley Swearingen. To understand what mind control really is and how it is used by different religious cults, you need to read the books written by ex-cult members like Steve Hassan, Allen Tate-Wood, Chris Edwards, Steve Kemperman, and Barbara Underwood to name a few.

  10. C-SPAN had a replay of some additional NBC coverage of the funeral from 11/25 that had never been replayed before beginning with the tail-end of Hugh Downs and Martin Agronsky and the special edition of “Today” before turning it over to Huntley and Brinkley.

    1. Yes, that was fascinating to see the first multi-hour NBC replay of the JFK assassination coverage in 25 years since A&E’s 1988 11/22/63 NBC rebroadcast.

      It’s too bad that the NBC Saturday and Sunday coverage is to obtain.

      I couldn’t help notice that for several hours, from the Capitol rotunda to
      Arlington, Huntely and Brinkley were never seen on camera.
      They appeared as voice-overs only describing the on-going events.

  11. Correction !

    “It’s too bad that the NBC Saturday and Sunday coverage is so difficult to

    The NBC News/Universal website has some rare NBC and WBAP-TV footage that can be seen, but it’s otherwise unavailable.

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