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Kennedy Alive Editions:
November 22, 1963

While walking through an antique swap meet I found a box of newspapers. Just glancing at them I noticed a few nice John F. Kennedy assassination papers and what I thought was a normal "Robert F. Kennedy Shot" paper. Being an avid Kennedy collector, I bought the box of papers.

When I got home I started to catalog the papers on my computer. Eventually, I got to the "KENNEDY SHOT; CONDITION CRITICAL" paper. I looked at the date, November 22, 1963, but I thought it should have been dated June 5, 1968 -- Robert Kennedy shot. At first I thought it was a typo but as I looked closer it wasn't Robert Kennedy shot; it was John kennedy shot.

I thought this can't be, when he was assassinated I was in the sixth grade. We went to lunch and played throughout recess. Something was up, because I noticed two girls in my class run from our classroom to the restroom crying. We continued to play until the bell rang and we had to go to class. Our teacher wasn't in the room and we waited a few minutes until the principal walked in very sober and told us the president had been shot and killed. He explained what had happened and that our teacher had gone home very upset. He then excused us from school and told us to go home. It seems to me that this happened around 1:00 pm, a very short time after he was shot.

The paper that I had was the 2:00 pm edition of the Los Angles Herald Examiner. I had never seen a "Kennedy Shot" paper. That is, I must have 30 papers dated November 22, 1963 and have seen dozens more advertised for sale, but never had I seen a "Kennedy Still Alive" paper -- much less one stating so in a headline.

What was even stranger was the the paper below this "Kennedy Shot" paper, in the box, was a "Kennedy Slain" paper of November 22, 1963. It was a Los Angeles Herald Examiner 2:00 pm edition. Yes, both were the 2:00 pm editions with different headlines. I couldn't believe it so I called the offices of the Herald Examiner to ask about the papers. In conversation with two different departments and the City Desk, no one works there now who worked there 26 years ago. The only information I could obtain was that if the important news was happening in the middle of the printing they would "stop the presses" and change the headline if necessary. They said this is probably what happened.

Now for a question: There must be other papers saying that Kennedy was shot but still alive in the headline. The Los Angles Herald Examiner can't be the only one. In conversations with three newspaper dealers, one said he heard of one several years ago, another said he hadn't heard of them, and the last said he runs across them once in a while. I would like to hear from others who might have a paper that states John F. Kennedy had been shot but was still alive. Write to "CN" and let's see what's out there.

In reference to the piece by B. Yaden on Kennedy newspapers (April issue), the Hamilton (Ohio) Journal-News had four editions on November 22, 1963. I was a staff writer there at the time and had these four editions of the 22nd with the following headlines:

  1. Kennedy Lashes at Opponents
  2. President is Wounded
  3. President Slain
  4. President Slain (black column borders)

This was the first time in the history of this newspaper that it had four editions in one day.

Enclosed is a list of newspapers I have of the earliest accounts of the Kennedy assassination saying that he had been shot but was still alive. Earliest newspapers I have on the JFK assassination saying he was still alive (All dated Nov. 22, 1963):

  1. Los Angeles Herald Examiner -- EXTRA, Headline: "Kennedy Shot -- Condition Very Critical," Night Final.
  2. Boston Traveler -- EXTRA, Headline: "Kennedy Shot -- Condition Critical"
  3. New York Post -- Headline: "JFK Shot," Latest Stock Prices
  4. Chicago American -- Headline: "JFK Shot, Near Death," Diamond edition
  5. Bakersfield Californian -- Headline: "President Shot Down by Gunman in Dallas; Wound in Head Feared Fatal"
  6. South Bend Tribune -- Headline: "John Kennedy Shot; President Gunned Down in Dallas Motorcade," Home Edition
  7. Chicago Daily News -- Headline: "Kennedy Shot Down by Dallas Sniper," Red Flash Edition

In addition to the papers already listed, I know of at least two editions of the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) on November 22, 1963:

  1. "Kennedy Wounded by Dallas Gunman"
  2. (2) "Kennedy Assassinated by Dallas Gunman"
Terry Thompson Perrysburg, OH