“And that’s the way it is.” by
(295 Stories)

Prompted By Broadcast News

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I’ve written about my family dinners as we listened to Lowell Thomas reading the day’s news on our Emerson radio,  and how to my childish sensibility it seemed he was speaking directly to us in the intimacy of our kitchen.   (See Kitchen Radio)

Years later on my parents’ black and white TV we watched the distinguished journalist Walter Cronkite,  called “the most trusted man in America”,  on the CBS Evening News.

And then that awful night in November 1963 we watched him wipe his eyes as he announced the death of President Kennedy,  and we felt he was trying to wipe our tears away too.

Retroflash 100 Words

Dana Susan Lehrman

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This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Walter Cronkite, John F Kennedy Assassination


  1. John Shutkin says:

    Great RetroFlash, Dana. And yet another homage — incuding title — to Uncle Walter this week. It just underscores how iconic he was to our generation of TV news watchers. (If he saw FOX today, he’d weep.)

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    As a long-time member of the JFK Library in Dorchester, I’ve seen that clip dozens of times; it is at the end of the exhibit on the president’s life and time in office. You turn a corner and there it is on a single screen on a blank wall. It is haunting. He removes his glasses, looks at the clock to note the exact moment, call the time and make the pronouncement, as he also clears his throat. It is clear he is in agony (as are we all), but he must maintain his professional demeanor. To this day, I stand there and weep.

  3. Marian says:

    Yes, that is my first (or if not, most vivid) memory of broadcast news as well. I can’t imagine the discipline it must have taken for Uncle Walter to go through with that broadcast.

  4. Laurie Levy says:

    Great minds think alike, Dana. I remember that broadcast as if it were yesterday.

  5. Suzy says:

    Great RetroFlash, Dana. I love that four of you writers picked the Cronkite signoff for your story titles. Very touching (and poetic) that you thought he was trying to wipe away your tears as he wiped away his own.

  6. I remember Cronkite making the announcement but I can’t remember where I was. I could have been on campus still. I don’t think I left for home until the following day. I can’t recall any of it past the news coming in. I know I went to the newsstand at the entrance to the Harvard MTA station. I suppose I was trying to find something to read. It was like a dream. Somebody took my picture and it showed up in the Harvard yearbook… or somewhere.

  7. I do remember where I was on that dreadful day Charles – on a college theatre rehearsal stage.


  8. Khati Hendry says:

    I never saw that scene with Walter Cronkite because I was living in Switzerland at the time. They gathered up all the American boarders–maybe a dozen or so–and told us Kennedy had been killed. My first thought was, “Oh no, that means Johnson will be president!” Which wasn’t ultimately as bad as it seemed, considering all the legislation he muscled through. Most of us remember where we were that day.

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