The Norman Transcript

Headlines

November 21, 2013

Former Speaker recalls witnessing JFK’s assassination

WEATHERFORD, Texas — Jim Wright remembers the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated like no other, riding only five car lengths behind Kennedy’s open convertible when a rifle shot struck down the nation’s 35th president.

The tragedy, said Wright, who turns 91 in a month, forever changed his political world that revolved around representing Texas’ 12th congressional district for 34 years, including two years as the Speaker of the House.

In a phone interview with the Weatherford, Texas, Democrat, Wright recalled that Nov. 22, 1963, started out as “a marvelous day” when he greeted the president that morning in Fort Worth.

“It was an emotional high seeing our president, hearing him and his speech at the [Fort Worth] Chamber of Commerce breakfast,” said Wright. “There was optimism and upbeat hope.”

Afterward, Wright, Texas Gov. John Connally and his wife and others joined Kennedy and the first lady aboard Air Force One for the 13-minute flight from Carswell Air Force Base to Love Field in Dallas.

“While on board, the president asked Gov. Connally and myself to come and sit with him in his private quarters,” Wright recalled. “He asked us to explain the pushes that led to the development of Fort Worth and Dallas, and why the two towns were as different as they were.

“We were doing our best to tell him what we knew and what we could put together on that subject. When the plane landed, the president looked at us and said, ‘We must continue this conversation this afternoon on the way to Austin.’”

It would be Wright’s last conversation with the president.

“That day was an emotional roller coaster,” Wright recalled. “Before it was over, it had us all down in the lowest level of despondency.”

Traveling in the sixth car in the presidential motorcade headed for the Trade Mart, where Kennedy was to speak at a luncheon, Wright recalled the crowd along the 10-mile route from Love Field.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Coaches Luncheon Mixon question off-limits at coaches luncheon

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived Wednesday at Journey Church....

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mixon will not participate in practice

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today. Freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there. The school announced the decision Wednesday night....

    July 31, 2014

  • Nova Pettigrew Music community bands together to raise money for 2-year-old’s battle with rare form of cancer

    Two-year old Nova Pettigrew was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer six weeks ago. Her father, former Deli sound technician and musician James Pettigrew, noticed something was wrong when running turned to walking, then limping, then ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deputies cleared, return to work

    Two deputies involved in a deadly shooting earlier this month are expected to return to work today after being cleared by the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. “They (the Sheriff’s Office) gave me their investigation, I ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Sales tax-free weekend set to begin this weekend

    When stores open Friday morning, shoppers may be waiting. Oklahoma’s annual sales tax holiday is slated to run this weekend with the special exemption beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ending at midnight on Sunday....

    July 31, 2014

  • India landslide kills 21

    NEW DELHI — Rescuers worked in rain today to dig through a remote village in western India where at least 21 people died as a landslide swept away scores of houses, possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said....

    July 31, 2014

  • Israeli strike hits UN school

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli artillery shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with sleeping war refugees and back-to-back explosions rocked a market filled with shoppers Wednesday as Israel’s stepped up campaign against ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Busted water main dumps 20 million gallons of water into UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and adjacent garage

    LOS ANGELES — The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles into a mucky mess points to the risks and expense many cities ...

    July 31, 2014

  • GOP-led House gives go-ahead for suit

    WASHINGTON — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Just a day before ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Randall Lee Sherrill, 34, possession of juvenile pornography · Dewey Leon Kinsey, 37, possession of controlled dangerous ...

    July 31, 2014