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NBC Photojournalist Remembers JFK Assassination

"White House Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff has just announced that President Kennedy died at approximately 1 p.m. central standard time about 35 minutes ago," from the NBC News Broadcast on November 22, 1963.

OLNEY, Md. - For anyone who was alive in 1963, they remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news that President John F. Kennedy was shot. For one Maryland resident, it was his first day of work.

WHAG's Kirstin Garriss talked with him about that day, and how his first day on the job, was one to remember.

"White House Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff has just announced that President Kennedy died at approximately 1 p.m. central standard time about 35 minutes ago," from the NBC News Broadcast on November 22, 1963. 

"Well, November 22, it was a Friday. It was my first day at NBC," said Shelly Fielman, NBC News Photojournalist.

Shelly Fielman started as an audio man for NBC News and he was sent to the airport after news spread about President Kennedy's assassination.

"A courier showed up and handed me a tape machine called the Nagra-Kudelski, it's a rather large tape machine and it's used for syncing up film to sound, picture to sound," said Fielman.

Fielman spent the next day with a photographer filming and talking to people around Dallas.

And then came Sunday, November 24. 

"We were sort of back in the corner. Just making some side shots of what was going on," said Fielman. "NBC had the big studio cameras with the correspondent, Tom Petite, and the press core was a small group really maybe 20 people, 20 reporters."

And then it happened.

"Before this incident in the garage, I don't think I ever saw anyone get shot and when Jack Ruby moved in it was - bang bang - or should say pop pop , and it was it was over. And it just hit me hey this man just shot him. In front of the sheriff and all these press core members and in front of all these cameras for the whole world to see," said Fielman.

From there, Fielman progressed from audio to photojournalist where he covered more events in history including the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

"This is sort of a crazy business, then I started thinking here, I am covering an assassination, whats next, what next was a lot more. And I kept saying well maybe its over and what's next. And that was my word, what is next. And next was always something that kept me going," said Fielman.

And Fieldman kept going from assignment to assignment for the next 50 years.

Fielman is still a photojournalist with NBC News Washington and celebrates 50 years working for the network this week.  

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