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[VIDEO] Nov. 27, 1963 | Gov. John Connally Interview, Parkland Hospital

Nov. 27, 1963 - From his hospital bed in Dallas, over television, Governor John B. Connally Jr. tonight gave the first public account by a member of President Kennedy’s immediate party of the tragic events last Friday. He told of the tremendously positive crowds. “Dallas was real warm, real understanding, and real appreciative,” Mr. Connally said. “The ovation for Kennedy was tremendous. The President and his wife both remarked about how warm it was. Not 30 seconds before the President was shot, Nellie [Mrs. Connally] had said to the President that no one could say that Dallas did not love and appreciate him. Kennedy answered her, ‘You sure can’t.’” Then Mr. Connally described the actual shooting. “We heard a shot. I turned to my left, and the President had slumped. He said nothing. As I turned, I was hit, and I knew I was hit badly. I knew the President had been hit, and I said: ‘My God, they’re going to kill us all.’ Then there was a third shot, and the President was hit again.” Then, Mr. Connally said, Mrs. Kennedy had cried out: “Oh, my God! They’ve killed my husband! Jack! Jack!” The Governor said he was not told the President was dead until the following day. “But it was not news,” Connally said. “I was almost sure he would be after those two shots.” Connally denied that the political climate in Dallas contributed to the assassination. “It could have happened anywhere,” he said. “It was a manifestation of extremism on both sides. The genesis of our self-destruction — if we are going to be destroyed — comes from this extremism.” Connally, a close political ally of President Johnson, was asked to size up the new Chief Executive. He said: “No man ever assumed office better equipped to carry out the duties of the office of President. In some ways, he is unlettered. But in some ways, he is as literate a person as you will ever know, wise in the ways of human understanding. He understands the heartbeat of this nation as no other man in his position has.”


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