Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hard to Believe Pete and Gladys Show CBS Special Bulletin Television Coincidence when President Kennedy was Assassinated November 22, 1963

On November 22, 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated a unique impossible to plan coincidence occurred on television when the TV show "Pete and Gladys" had a "Special Bulletin" announcement happened just as the real one was broadcast on CBS Television.

I was home sick from 4th grade class watching the show on which two couples had gone together to a Lake Arrowhead cabin for the night.  They were not getting along, and wanted to go home.  The camera turned to a radio on the show and from the radio came, "We interrupt this program for a special bulletin."  Just then the entire screen went to a pattern in words stating "Special Bulletin".  

Shortly afterwards, Walter Cronkite came on and said "President Kennedy has been shot", and some details were given about the grassy knoll, etc.  I remember thinking to myself "What if he dies?"  

I am not sure and think the show returned to the scene after the bulletin, and it might have been on for a while, but I do not remember much after that.

It was not until a few years later that I finally saw the show without interruption.  The episode was entitled Peaceful in the Country.  The news bulletin from the radio was that there was a blizzard and no one could travel and hence, the couples would have to stay together and work things out.  Being 10 at the time the social implications of that predicament did not stay with me.

Walter Cronkite Announcing President Kennedy Has Died
But I always remembered what happened and wondered if anyone else saw it, i.e. the timing was the same.  A while later I learned my mother's sister Aunt Louise (Sally Lou) was watching the same show saying to me a while later, "Only you and I know what happened!"

It is interesting but being so young while the political and global ramifications were way over my head, and what I remember most about that day was that amazing coincidence and wondering who else might have seen that.

As an epilogue of sorts, on June 6, 1984 I met Walter Cronkite at Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France.   He was there for President Ronald Reagan's "Boys of Pointe du Hoc" Speech during the 40th Anniversary of D-Day events and celebrations.  I was there doing paintings.  I asked him to sign my trip book; he was very pleasant and said of course.  He did and I still have that book.