On November 22, 1963 at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated by a sniper in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas while traveling with his wife Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally's wife Nellie, in a presidential motorcade.
According to Howard Rosenberg and Charles Feldman, No Time to Think. The Menace of Media Speed and the 24-Hour News Cycle, p. 18, the story was first reported by United Press International White House reporter Merriman Smith, who "outfought rival Associated Press reporter Jack Bell for a radiophone in their wire services limo so that he could be first to report that the president's motorcade had taken fire. In fact, 68 percent of Americans learned that Kennedy had been shot within 30 minutes of the attack." The story was arguably the biggest spot news, or breaking news story since Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
"No radio or television stations broadcast the assassination live because the area through which the motorcade was traveling was not considered important enough for a live broadcast. Most media crews were not even with the motorcade but were waiting instead at the Dallas Trade Mart in anticipation of President Kennedy's arrival. Those members of the media who were with the motorcade were riding at the rear of the procession.
"The Dallas police were recording their radio transmissions over two channels. A frequency designated as Channel One was used for routine police communications; Channel Two was an auxiliary channel dedicated to the President's motorcade. Up until the time of the assassination, most of the broadcasts on the second channel consisted of Police Chief Jesse Curry's announcements of the location of the motorcade as it wound through the city.
"President Kennedy's last seconds traveling through Dealey Plaza were recorded on silent 8 mm film for the 26.6 seconds before, during, and immediately following the assassination. This famous film footage was taken by garment manufacturer and amateur cameraman Abraham Zapruder, in what became known as the Zapruder film. Frame enlargements from the Zapruder film were published by Life magazine shortly after the assassination. The footage was first shown publicly as a film at the trial of Clay Shaw in 1969, and on television in 1975. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, an arbitration panel ordered the U.S. government to pay $615,384 per second of film to Zapruder's heirs for giving the film to the National Archives. The complete film, which lasts for 26 seconds, was valued at $16 million.
"Zapruder was not the only person who photographed at least part of the assassination; a total of 32 photographers were in Dealey Plaza. Amateur movies taken by Orville Nix, Marie Muchmore (shown on television in New York on November 26, 1963), and photographer Charles Bronson captured the fatal shot, although at a greater distance than Zapruder. Other motion picture films were taken in Dealey Plaza at or around the time of the shooting by Robert Hughes, F. Mark Bell, Elsie Dorman, John Martin Jr., Patsy Paschall, Tina Towner, James Underwood, Dave Wiegman, Mal Couch, Thomas Atkins, and an unknown woman in a blue dress on the south side of Elm Street.
"Still photos were taken by Phillip Willis, Mary Moorman, Hugh W. Betzner Jr., Wilma Bond, Robert Croft, and many others. The lone professional photographer in Dealey Plaza who was not in the press cars was Ike Altgens, photo editor for the Associated Press in Dallas.
"An unidentified woman, nicknamed the Babushka Lady by researchers, might have been filming the Presidential motorcade during the assassination. She was seen apparently doing so on film and in photographs taken by the others.
"Previously unknown color footage filmed on the assassination day by George Jefferies was released on February 19, 2007 by the Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas, Texas. The film does not include the shooting, having been taken roughly 90 seconds beforehand and a couple of blocks away. The only detail relevant to the investigation of the assassination is a clear view of President Kennedy's bunched suit jacket, just below the collar, which has led to different calculations about how low in the back President Kennedy was first shot. . . ." (Wikipedia article on Assassination of John F. Kenneday, accessed 10-18-2014.)