Reporter recounts Kennedy assassination drama

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by JASON WHEELER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwheelertv

WFAA

Posted on April 13, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 10 at 10:50 AM

DALLAS — It has been nearly 50 years since President Kennedy was killed in Dallas.

Throughout the year at News 8, we are looking back at that grim anniversary.

On Saturday, a reporter's account of the assassination offered a new understanding of history.

United Press International reporter Wilborn Hampton spoke at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza as part of their year-long Living History Series, which is marking the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.

Almost like it was yesterday, Hampton vividly recalled being among the very first people to get the official news that the president was dead.

"When I heard it, I just took off running to a pay phone we had tied up, and just repeated what [assistant White House press secretary] Malcolm Kilduff said — that the president died at approximately 1 p.m. CST. But on that run, I was just trying to take in this knowledge," Hampton said. "I was just in shock... it was like someone had punched me in the face."

Hampton's journalism career continued long after that day. He covered wars as a foreign correspondent (and other assassinations, too), but said no story ever compared to that one hour of work in Dallas after the president was shot.

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