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Alumni remember JFK assassination

Mike HowardOn Nov. 22, 1963, gunshots rang out on Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Secret Service Agent Mike Howard, who graduated from UNT in 1960, was checking the Fort Worth hotel room where President John F. Kennedy had stayed when he heard the news of the president’s shooting on TV. He rushed to Dallas.

Howard interrogated suspects and interviewed the family of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. He had to break the news to Oswald’s wife, Marina, that her husband had been shot.

“When you’re in the Secret Service, you go through all this training,” said Howard, who got the job on the recommendation of his North Texas government professor Sam B. McAlister. “We didn’t think about anything else. We were there to do a job.”

Howard and other alumni remember the events of that weekend in the Fall 2013 issue of The North Texan, the university’s 180,000-circulation quarterly alumni publication.

The story also features:

  • Jim Carrico, a chemistry major, who was a second-year surgery resident at Parkland Hospital in Dallas and the first surgeon to attend to Kennedy. He is a major character in the upcoming movie Parkland and was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1991 for his professional achievements.
  • Journalists Mike Cochran, Keith Shelton and Peggy Simpson, who reported the news for the press. Cochran even ended up as a pallbearer at Oswald’s funeral. They later had long careers in media and were all inducted into the C.E. “Pop” Shuford Hall of Honor  for outstanding journalism alumni. 
  • Other alumni who are helping to preserve the legacy of that day, working as archivists at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza  in Dallas and operating the Texas Theatre, where Oswald was captured by Dallas police.

The fall edition of The North Texan  also includes articles, photos and links to videos on other topics:

  • Learn how graduates from the digital retailing program, the first of its kind, are using their degrees to make innovations in online shopping.
  • Meet alumna Mary Suhm, former Dallas city manager, who transformed the city into one of the nation’s most vibrant.
  • Learn more about the UNT Alumni Association and how to join.

(Above, Mike Howard at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Photo by Gary Payne.)

 

 

Posted on: Sun 29 September 2013

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