Originally Broadcast November 21, 1997

Live from The Sixth Floor Museum

Air time: Three Hours

Introduction by Nancy Wertz:

On one hand, this three hour talkfest about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is yet another excursion down memory lane. On the other hand, it didn't have to be. Given the locale and apparent access to some real participants in the media coverage of November 22nd, 1963, the use of Dallas talk show host Charley Jones, a real lightweight in even the most basic assassination facts, is a real travesty. Unable to ask important follow up questions to some key guests, such as retired Dallas Police Department Sgt. Gerald Hill and Sixth Floor Museum Archivist Gary Mack, Jones plays the part of awed straight man. Instead of hard-hitting queries to his guests, seasoned reporters on the scene in Dallas in 1963, we are left with Jones' responses of "no kidding" (six times), "incredible" (four times). "holy cow!" (once) and "unbelievable" (once). The only unbelievable part is when Jones describes Sgt. Hill as having been with Tippit when the officer was shot and jokes with Hill about possibly having taken a "few slugs" at LHO, and Hill does not make any correcting comment!

Even with these flaws, the tape transcript is worthy of review for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is to read Mary Moorman's description of stepping on and off the grass. In addition, the guests of the media reveal a general apprehension that something bad could happen in the current Dallas environment (flyers threatening "mourning" for the President), the tremendous police presence in downtown Dallas along the motorcade route and the abhorrent disbelief when "that something bad" happened after all.

It is also interesting to hear how the Sixth Floor Museum acquires some of the treasures on display. Listening to Gary Mack, Archivist, one would believe that the museum's treasure-trove of photographs, video and tape recordings, and artifacts are easily accessible by the public at large. But before you hop on a plane to head for Dallas and the TSBD to lock yourself in their Public Research Center, take a trip to their WEB site ( Once there, you will discover that research hours are a scant "Monday - 1:00 to 5:00 only", with other times "by appointment."

The tape has been transcribed "as aired." Therefore, it includes some grammatical errors, as spoken by the participants. Tapes aired of press reporting from 1963 are italicized.