[AP Log]: Bob Ford held an open line to the office. Then Val Imm, society editor of the Times-Herald, came bursting through a mob of newsmen, grabbed an adjoining phone, shouted into it. Ford relayed her words
Smith: Telephones were at a premium in the hospital and I clung to mine for dear life. I was afraid to stray from the wicket lest I lose contact with the outside world. My decision was made for me, however, when Kilduff and Wayne Hawks ran by me, shouting that Kilduff would make a statement shortly in the so-called nurses room a floor above and at the far end of the hospital. I threw down the phone and sped after them. We reached the door of the conference room and there were loud cries of “Quiet!”
Kilduff: I got up there and I thought, “Well, this is really the first press conference on a road trip I have ever had to hold.” I started to say it, and all I could say was “Excuse me, let me catch my breath,” and I thought in my mind, “All right, what am I going to say, and how am I going to say it?” I remember opening my mouth one time and I couldn’t say it, and I think it must have been two or three minutes.
Dugger: Kilduff came into the classroom and stood on the dais before the bright green blackboard his voice, too, vibrating from his feelings. “President John F. Kennedy—” he began. “Hold it,” called out a cameraman. “President John F. Kennedy died at approximately one o’clock Central Standard Time today here in Dallas. He died of a gunshot wound in the brain. I have no other details regarding the assassination of the President. Mrs. Kennedy was not hit. Governor Connally was hit. The Vice President was not hit.” Had President Johnson taken the oath of office? “No. He has left.” On that, Kilduff would say no more. As Kilduff lit a cigarette, the flame of his lighter quivered violently.
Donovan: there was a brief flurry of questioning among the reporters themselves in the press room as to whether Johnson would take the oath there or take it in Washington, and the consensus immediately prevailed, of course, he would take it in Dallas, because in the kind of world we are living in, you can’t have the United States without a President, even in the time it takes to get from Dallas to Washington.
Smith: I raced into a nearby office. The telephone switchboard at the hospital was hopelessly jammed. I spotted Virginia Payette, wife of UPI’s Southwestern division manager and a veteran reporter in her own right. I told her to try getting through on pay telephones on the floor above. Frustrated by the inability to get through the hospital switchboard, I appealed to a nurse. She led me through a maze of corridors and back stairways to another floor and a lone pay booth. I got the Dallas office. Virginia had gotten through before me.