JFK Assassination 50th Anniversary | WTIC Hartford, CT | Ray Dunaway, Dick Bertel, et al. | 2013

JFK Assassination 50th Anniversary | WTIC Hartford, CT | Ray Dunaway, Dick Bertel, et al. | 2013

On November 22, 2013, Ray Dunaway, the morning host on CBS Radio’s WTIC (AM) in Hartford, Connecticut, gathers perspectives on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on the event’s 50th anniversary. As Ray points out throughout this show, the September 11, 2013 edition of “The Atlantic” magazine (titled “JFK: In His Time and Ours”) reports that only a third of Americans alive today was born before that fateful day. Those who do recall the assassination, however, fit squarely within the station’s demographics.

To better understand Kennedy’s abbreviated presence in presidential history, at 16:21 Dunaway interviews Philip A. Goduti, Jr., an adjunct assistant professor of history at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. who has authored two books: “Kennedy’s Kitchen Cabinet and the Pursuit of Peace: The Shaping of American Foreign Policy, 1961-1963” (published in 2009) and “Robert F. Kennedy and the Shaping of Civil Rights, 1960-1964” (published in 2012). Prof. Goduti talks about how Kennedy approached the presidency differently than his predecessors.

At 31:41 Dunaway talks with Dick Bertel, an on-air personality on WTIC from 1956 to 1977, who shares what is was like for him, Bob Ellsworth, and Floyd Richards to suddenly find themselves managing the biggest breaking news story of the 20th century. (Although Ray teases Dick that he is around 90 years old, in fact he is 82 today.) They also make comparisons to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. in 2001. An excerpt from this discussion was used by WFSB Channel 3 where Bertel had been an anchor when it was WTIC-TV and can be viewed at https://youtu.be/O-Q0fca91v0. The hour-long audio recording of the news breaking on WTIC to which they refer that includes a video timeline of events that tracks the chaos that radiated from Dallas can be found at https://youtu.be/S1K5KqRW9qw.

Sharing his remembrance in a commentary at 42:35, WTIC sports anchor Scott Gray relates how gym teacher Jack Early broke the news to him and his classmates while they dressed in their Manchester (Conn.) High School locker room for an intramural basketball game. He recalls how sports helped pave his return to normalcy. (On WTIC since 1981, Gray will retire in 2014.)

Itself a relic of the assassination and a time capsule from 2013, this scoped aircheck includes newscasts anchored by Angela Dias and John Silva, weather updates from Joe Furey, traffic reports from Gerri Griswold, Mike Alan, and Mark Christopher, and stories filed by CBS Radio reporters Bill Whitney, Jim Chenevey, and Dan Raviv. The producer is Joey Bourgoin. The news director is Dana Whalen. The program director is Jenneen Lee.