Reporting JFK's assassination: A BBC correspondent's notes
- 18 November 2013
- From the section Magazine
The BBC's Peter Watson was reporting from the UN in New York when the news broke of President John F Kennedy's assassination. Within hours he was broadcasting from Dallas. His reports capture the atmosphere of a city in shock, and Texas's shame - and the gloom that descended on the country. He typed this summary a few days later, on 29 November 1963. Peter Watson died last week.
Peter Watson's despatch: 'Dallas the day after' (23 November 1963)
Peter Watson was born in Essex in 1925. He joined the BBC in 1950 or 1951, after serving in India during WWII and studying PPE at Oxford. He worked as a newsroom sub-editor before assignments in Algeria, Paris, Cyprus, Beirut and the US. Later he presented From Our Own Correspondent and edited Yesterday in Parliament. When he left the BBC in 1975, his reports from Dallas, and on the civil rights Freedom March, were described as "outstanding". David Witherow, then Editor of External Services News, wrote: "We shall miss his knowledge and professional ability, and also his pleasant companionship."