How do you spell ‘assassinated’?
On Nov. 22, 1963, at lunchtime, I was the sole occupant of the Monitor newsroom at the old North State Street location. I was assistant city editor and education reporter and, being the junior staffer, I remained on duty in the newsroom while everyone else went to lunch.
The paper had been put to bed. It was the day the actual lottery device for the New Hampshire
Sweepstakes was unveiled, and we had played that big on Page One, along with a photo of the Kennedys arriving in Dallas-Fort Worth. Al Priaulx, the United Press International New Hampshire bureau chief, whose office was down the corridor from the newsroom, came rushing in and yelled, “Come see this.” I ran to his teletype to see the bulletins from Dallas clack out over the wire. But the Monitor was an Associated Press member, so I ran down the hall to where Gordon Glover and Gene Hebert of the AP were monitoring the wire but had nothing but radio copy – every word spelled out – since UPI was way ahead on the story.
I called over to the luncheonette on the south side of Pleasant Street between State and Main and had the head counter gal there, Chris Philibrick, scramble the troops and get them back into the newsroom soonest. In the meantime we stopped the presses and, in the interim, the president had died. We decided the headline would include the word “assassinated,” but I couldn’t remember how to spell it. I ran upstairs to the newsroom from the ground-floor press room, looked up “assassinated” in the dictionary, searched for a photograph of President Kennedy; all I could find was a one-column cut, and ran back downstairs. We set the headline in big type, 72-point, 90? Can’t recall, but so big we used wooden type. We ran with the small one-column photo, and we set the radio copy into type because that was all we had at that moment. So, if you look back to the Monitor for Nov. 22, 1963, that’s what you’ll see; a huge headline, a small JFK photo and all the words spelled out in broadcast style. But we got the paper upcountry.
ARTHUR W. BRODEUR