By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In the wake of the JFK assassination 50 years ago today, Philadelphia TV and radio stations provided massive coverage.
The assassination occurred two years before KYW Newsradio went on the air, but CBS-owned WCAU radio did its Evening Edition news.
“I regarded him as so many other people did as the world’s leading spokesman of goodwill and tolerance and it looked like he paid the penalty, just like Lincoln did,” said Mayor Tate.
Reporter Mike Stanley described the scene at the Academy of Music when word arrived: “Eugene Ormandy, conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, suddenly walked of the podium during a Friday afternoon concert. The maestro was informed of the President’s death by signals flashed from offstage.”
The program contacted in Albert M. Greenfield the businessman and philanthropist who had escorted President Kennedy to the Bellevue only two weeks before. “How can anyone speak? This is as much a catastrophe for the free world as nuclear war.”
And the reaction of Gettysburg’s most famous resident, former President Eisenhower: “I share the sense of shock and dismay that the entire nation must feel.”
“It’s sickening,” said one woman at 59th and Belmont. “It’s the worst thing that has ever happened.”
And so it went for days — years before anyone did ‘all news, all the time.’