Fifty years ago this afternoon, The Midland Reporter-Telegram published a 22-page “extra” edition with the chilling headline: GUNMAN SLAYS JFK. An Associated Press story reports President Kennedy has died and Texas Gov. John Connally has been shot but his condition is unknown. A second AP story runs below the lead story, detailing earlier events and eyewitness accounts from AP staffers.
In the center of the page, a story about efforts to reunite the Democratic Party carries an unintentional headline that declares: “Kennedy Appears Well On Way to Enforcing Democratic Unity.” Instead, his death would briefly unite a nation standing on the edge of a precipice in history.