Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Kennedy Assassinated! The World Mourns – A Reporter’s Story

Kennedy Assassinated! The World Mourns – A Reporter’s Story

Wilborn Hampton
For ages 12 and up
Candlewick Press, 1997   ISBN: 978-1564028112

On November 22, 1963, Wilborn Hampton had only been working for United Press International for two months. Being so new to the news agency world Wilborn was still learning the ropes and he was certainly was not very sure about his abilities as yet. On that momentous day Wilborn was in the U.P.I. office when one of his colleagues called in to say that someone had shot President Kennedy while the president was been driven in an open limousine through the city of Dallas.

Suddenly Wilborn found himself in the middle of one the biggest stories of all time. Being a local he was able to find out that the president was being taken to a hospital and he was told to go to the hospital to continue coverage from there.

At the hospital Wilborn managed to tie up a phone line so that he would have access to the U.P.I office as needed and then he and his colleague fed the story to the office in relays. They were the first press people to get the official announcement out that the president was dead.

It is quite remarkable to read about Kennedy's assassination as seen through the eyes of this cub reporter, through the eyes of this young man who was so young and so new to this field of work. Wilborn is enormously honest about how green he was, and how much of an impact this event had on his life. He tells us about the grief that he felt but he also admits to feeling excited too. After all, this was an incredible opportunity for a reporter, and his work covering this event did indeed give him a great start in his career.

Written with great candor and openness, this account will give young readers a fascinating picture of what it would have been like to be in Dallas on the day of President Kennedy’s assassination. The author also tells us about the capture of Lee Harvey Oswald and his subsequent assassination by Jack Ruby