Something Fishy

Something Fishy
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Like many others, I'll never forget the JFK assassination and how we stopped the presses

Like many other people, I remember JFK’s assassination like it was yesterday. 
I was a young reporter at the Terre Haute Tribune. The press room had just started the run for the final edition. The rest of the editorial staff left the office.
For some reason, (the kid - me) stuck around, and as I frequently did, I walked into the teletype room to check the wires. In those days all our national and international news came via teletype machines. When there was a bulletin, a bell sounded.
That’s just what happened. The United Press International wire had a one paragraph bulletin reporting the President had been shot.
I raced down the stairs and across the alley to the Bomber Bar and found Ned Bush, the wire editor, who was having a beer.
“Get back over there and tell the guys to stop the press,” he shouted.
The pressroom guys stopped the presses. Ned quickly assembled the early reportings from Helen Thomas in Dallas. (Helen grabbed the only mobile phone in the presidential media car and wouldn't share it with the other pool reporters. That's another story.)
        Hot type was set, a new front page plate with the bulletin of the assassination was made, and a few minutes later the presses were running again.
It’s an event, a day, I’ll never forget.

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