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A Chicago-centric JFK Weekend Flashback

By Karl Klockars in Miscellaneous on Nov 24, 2008 8:20PM


If you were wondering exactly why AMC was running about 16 straight hours of Oliver Stone's "JFK" this weekend, in addition to all the History Channel documentaries on conspiracy theories* we were awash with over the course of the past few days, it was the 45th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. So we wondered: With all of the amazing things that the internet has to offer, was there any footage of Chicago area news breaking the story to the city that Kennedy had been shot? The short answer: No. But delving a little deeper into the times, we were reminded that Kennedy wouldn't have ever been in Dallas as President if Mayor Daley's Machine didn't turn out the vote in Cook County to put him over the top in Illinois.

Rich Samuels' always interesting site (which we've mined for Flashbacks before) brings us an hour long piece about the night that Daley bought a half-hour on NBC before a national Kennedy speech from the Chicago Stadium, to literally parade the Cook County slate in front of an audience in advance of the Democratic candidate. [RealPlayer required]

As for the Chicago angle on news broadcasts to the nation on that fateful day - in between breaking news from the networks, the tone and the mood of the country was met by the orchestra at NBC's Studio A at the Merchandise Mart:

Studio A's last moments of network glory came in November, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Joseph Gallichio and the 38 members of the NBC-Chicago orchestra happened to be in studio A rehearsing for an imminent taping the "Artists' Showcase" program when word reached Chicago that the President had been shot. The musicians remained in place. Thereafter, whenever Chet and David ran out of things to say in New York, the network switched to Chicago---where Gallichio and the orchestra played somber selections.

*This writer's opinion: Oswald acted alone. And don't get me started about the Truthers.

"jfk" from joshuamellin.