As it happened: The JFK assassination as covered in the original wire bulletins

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These are the original UPI wire service teletype news bulletins of the Kennedy assassination.

They are in the collection of WPIX reporter Marvin Scott, who as a cub newsman for the wire service’s TV division had the forethought to save them.

These are fragile, priceless documents from one of America’s darkest days.

Stay off the wire! UPI tries to unclog the wire in the moments after the Kennedy assassination.

The famous Secret Service agent Clint Hill is mentioned in a bulletin minutes after the assassination, quoting him as saying the president was dead BEFORE the official confirmation. This sheet again shows wire editors imploring other UPI bureaus to “get off this wire.” Notice the depth of detail already available not long after the shooting.

Details on the UPI wire about the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald followed by a FLASH: Johnson President.


Above, the UPI wire service sent out this tribute portrait of Kennedy after his assassination, a clever and artful use of type to create an endearing and heartbreaking image of the president the nation was grieving.