An Eye-Witness To History

By: Pachatta Pope Email
By: Pachatta Pope Email

When Robert Huffaker was a reporter for KBTX, covering the news allowed him to report stories that affected his community. Little did he know that less than a year after he left the Brazos Valley, he would cover a story that greatly affected the nation.

"I was waiting by our CBS camera," Huffaker recalled. "We were live and we were in the Dallas police basement."

He was present when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot.

The members of the Woman's Club had the opportunity to hear about the events leading up to the death of President Kennedy and the death of his believed assassin, all of which are now included in a new book entitled, "When The News Went Live: Dallas 1963".

On November 24 of that year, Huffaker was only a few feet away from Oswald as he was being transferred to the county jail. He looked away only for a moment, then heard gun fire.

"I turned quickly, just in time to see Oswald grimace, crumple, and fall onto the concrete in front of me," Huffaker said.

Immediately after the shooting, Huffaker confirmed to viewers what they just witnessed.

"I said, 'Oswald has been shot, Oswald has been shot,'" he recalled.

Jack Ruby had made it past Dallas police officers and shot Oswald, who would later die from his injuries at the same hospital where President Kennedy had died two days earlier.

Huffaker co-authored the book with colleagues who also had a first hand account of the those historic days in Dallas. And those events changed lives at large.

"It sent me off to be an English teacher ultimately," Huffaker said.

He now loosely calls himself a writer, and he said sharing his story in print and through lectures helps to ease his minds and preserve history.

"It makes me feel as though I finally gotten of my chest," Huffaker said. "It makes me feel as though I have told the story as best I can with as many facts as I could put in it."

And generations to come have another record of what happened in November of 1963.


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