tv NBC Nightly News NBC November 22, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
have the latest on the san jose hate crime. >> have a good night, folks. from dallas, texas, remembering 50 years ago today one of the darkest days in american history. >> from nbc news, president kennedy and governor john connally of texas have been cut down by assassin's bullets in downtown dallas. we'll repeat that. president kennedy and governor john connally of texas have been cut down by assassin's bullets in downtown dallas. >> the assassination of john f. kennedy 50 years later. brian williams reporting tonight from dallas. and good evening from dallas, texas. we're in dealey plaza just across from the sixth floor window in the texas schoolbook depository building where three shots were fired 50 years ago
today that changed the course of american history. and here in the shadow of that very building it was a perfectly awful day. 35 degrees, rain and wind, perfectly matching how dark it felt to be here today. and going back 50 years ago tonight, by this time of night, right now, air force one had just landed back in washington, d.c. carrying the president's casket, his widow jacqueline kennedy and the new president, lyndon johnson. most americans were home for the day. schools and offices let out early, and millions by this time were huddled around their television sets where they would remain transfixed, watching the coverage on and off for the next four days. here now is how david brinkley started off this broadcast on this very night 50 years ago. >> good evening. the essential facts are these. president kennedy was murdered in dallas, texas.
he was shot by a sniper hiding in a building near his parade route. he was dead within an hour. lyndon johnson is president of the united states. >> nbc news from november 22nd, 1963. just over six hours after the shots were fired from the building here behind us, meaning this place and this city and our country would never be the same. the cold and wind and rain here in dallas today was a sharp contrast to the bright sunshine of 50 years ago, weather beautiful enough to ride in an open car. today, one half century later, thousands turned out to remember john f. kennedy. >> the people of this city have been felled with a sense of industry born of tragedy. >> the place is little changed since that day 50 years ago. thousands were here then, too. people lined the motorcade route, the final critical
moments captured by the film camera of abraham zapruder. >> hi, sir. how are you? >> across the street that day was pierce almon, then 29 years old, a local broadcaster. he heard the shots, heard mrs. kennedy cry out, in fact. he ran into the book depository building. in the doorway he passed and spoke to oswald not knowing he was the assassin. inside he used the only available phone line to report live details on the air. >> this was the door you entered. >> this was the door. it's changed, and when you go inside, the lobby is totally different, but when i ran out from here and ran up the steps, i saw him standing in the doorway. and i said, where's the phone? and he said, in there. i made eye contact briefly and went inside and got on the only phone in the lobby. >> this is pierce allman from the texas schoolbook depository building.
hosting the president, texas governor john connally sitting in front of president kennedy. >> i knew the president had been hit and i said, my god, they're going to kill us all. >> the motorcade sped quickly to parkland hospital where the president was pronounced dead. >> president kennedy died at approximately 1:00 central standard time which is about 35 minutes ago. >> for all anyone knew the u.s. was under attack. there was more coming. the new president, lyndon johnson, feared a wider plot. >> what raced through my mind was that if they had shot our president driving down there, who would they shoot next? and what would they -- what was going on in washington? and when would the missiles be coming? >> on board air force one that day westinghouse reporter sid davis was there when johnson was sworn in. >> he was as calm and deliberate.
he thought of just about everything. >> i ask for your help and god's. >> today here in dallas they sang the navy hymn for navy veteran john f. kennedy. in this city where there are still so many reminders of that day half a century ago, not just dealey plaza itself and the schoolbook depository building, but also, the texas theater where lee harvey oswald was arrested that afternoon and the municipal building, dallas police headquarters, where oswald was shot on live television two days later. people gathered today in dearborn, michigan, to see the jfk presidential limousine. they gathered in boston at the jfk library to see the flag that covered the casket and to hear james taylor. ♪ never give up never slow down ♪ ♪ never grow old never ever die young ♪ >> astronaut and navy commander chris cassidy read kennedy's words.
>> i am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations. >> to grow and to hope and build a better life for their children. >> today the historian david mccullough reminded this crowd what was important about john f. kennedy. >> he knew words mattered. his words changed lives. his words changed history. >> and about that last man we just heard from, the organizers of this event today were wise enough to invite one of the wisest men in our nation to speak here today, the great historian and author david mccullough. after the public ceremony, we met inside the book depository building to talk about dallas, about john f. kennedy and the course of history. >> i think the three things that
i would value most, not just from my point of view but from the point of view of the country and the history of the country, are his use of language, his use of words to move us, to lift us like lincoln did and franklin roosevelt could, his breaking the barrier of religious rules of who gets in and who doesn't, and the way he did it. no self-pity, no it's time for us, no. and his going to the moon. going to the moon -- we take it now for granted. yeah, of course, we went to the moon, ya, mm-hmm. >> it gave us a national effort. >> it was emblematic. it was symbolism. we can do what we determine if we work together, and we've got to remember that. we have got to work together.
it's a joint effort. and, yes, you can have political differences, but we're all in this together. and if we don't stop playing these childish games in national politics and get back to the job at hand, we're going to be in the soup. >> it occurs to me that the majesty is in the presidency, how we elect them, how we inaugurate them, the trappings of office. but thinking that we've had a president assassinated at an exposition. we've had a president assassinated in a theater. and in this perfectly ordinary setting. >> yes, yes. i think that's what strikes me about it here. it's anywhere, usa. it's not a great ceremonial something would have to happen here. you go to little big horn, for example. you know something had to have happened here. it was like a greek setting. here, no, main street. anywhere, usa.
>> historian and author david mccullough on the kennedy legacy and on this very place. on november 22nd in 1963, tom brokaw was a young reporter in omaha. he read the news of the assassination on the air, in fact. he's with us from back home in new york tonight. and, tom, it was frank mcgee who said on nbc that day that for years to come, generations, people will ask where were you when you heard kennedy was assassinated which, of course, is both the title and theme of the two-hour documentary you are hosting for us tonight. >> thank you, brian. and if i could just ride on the words of the great david mccullough, i think there was another element in all of this that helped us 50 years later remind each other about why we remember. he was the first generational president who came along when television was pervasive in america, so he was a familiar figure to everyone, wherever they lived, in the big cities, small towns and remote areas.
and so, when he was taken away at that young age, this dynamic man, it was a shock to the system because they felt that they knew him, not just as president, but as a friend. and we thought that that jfk style would be around for a long time. but it also died on the day that he was murdered because he was replaced by london johnson who was a more traditional pall so the fickle finger of history moved on that day, and it took us in an entirely different direction that we had anticipated when he began his motorcade in dallas. it was a day that changed how we thought about life. brian. >> tom, it felt very fresh here today 50 years later. tom, thanks. this airs tonight, by the way. tom brokaw hosting "where were you the day jfk died" that's tonight at 9:00/8:00 central here on this nbc station. for us here in dallas, we'll take a break for now. there's much more news to get to tonight, including a big storm moving across a huge part of this country. dramatic rescues already in the
back now from dallas where as we've noted it's been a dreary, windy, cold and rainy day. it's all part of a huge weather system that has slammed much of the west with rain and snow and powerful winds. well, tonight the storm is generally moving east. that means potentially big trouble for millions of americans traveling next week for thanksgiving. we get our report to start things off tonight from nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: a winter wallop slamming the west. this storm not just destructive but deadly. in northern california, three killed from high winds. toppled trees smashed into cars. 60,000 people lost power.
>> this is a closed low or a storm that does a direct hit in southern california. we don't see it that often and with a direct hit we get more of everything. rain, snow, thunderstorms, the whole works. >> reporter: outside los angeles a helicopter rescue. five plucked to safety during flash flooding. for commuters in southwest cities, the roads, a nightmare. in los angeles, two killed in collisions. in san diego, six rescued from sinking cars. slick roads in las vegas accounted for 141 crashes in 24 hours, 5 times more than normal. a flood watch is in place for the arizona desert. the forecast calls for 18 hours of rain. from the sierras to the rocky mountains, steady snow. today, 100-mile-per-hour winds forced heavenly mountain ski resort to shut down on its opening day. with the storm moving east,
there's already a crunch at the airport. here at l.a.x., 2 million passengers will travel over the holiday, the most in the nation. but with more winter weather ahead delays and cancellations are inevitable. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. at the other end of the country, as we mentioned, forecasters are already looking, already worried about what may be a bad weather setup for thanksgiving week. meteorologist chris warren is at weather channel headquarters for us tonight. chris, how do you guys know already that this could be a bad setup this far out? >> well, brian, the forecast models are indicating that there will be a storm system. the one that you're looking at in the west getting all the way to the northeast. however, it is still some days away so the details can change, but make sure you do stay really focused on what the weather is doing in the forecast because it could be nasty. it really could be nasty beginning of next week. starting off with that severe weather threat in the south, this is monday night through
wednesday morning and then there's going to be a wintry element to it. now looking at tuesday, a little bit of a wintry mix in the appalachians. we're going to watch that now on wednesday. keep in mind, aaa saying more than 40 million people will be traveling during this holiday period. most of them on the road. the green is showing us the rain. this is tuesday night now going into wednesday. you see the purple and the blue. that shows us where there's either going to be a wintry mix or all-out snow and that line can change. this does clear out by thanksgiving. however, it will remain breezy in the northeast. and, brian, we know what that means possibly for the balloons and the macy's thanksgiving day parade. >> chris warren, we'll indeed keep an eye on it with you at the weather channel. thanks very much for being with us from headquarters tonight. we're back in a moment from here with some of the other news of the day, including a flurry of activity late today regarding iran.
just before the break we mentioned a flurry of activity on iran. there is late word secretary of state john kerry is flying to geneva tonight and that could mean a deal is close on iran. our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell has more from our washington bureau. andrea? >> reporter: good evening, brian. the secretary of state is flying to geneva tonight because negotiators there are very close to a deal to temporarily freeze iran's nuclear program, an agreement they may be ready to announce within the next 24 hours. after stopping to pay his respects at john f. kennedy's burial site, kerry is flying overnight to join the other foreign ministers assembling in geneva. diplomatic sources there tell me that the u.s. and the other countries have agreed to give iran as much as $7 billion in sanctions relief. in exchange, iran would lower the level of its uranium enrichment to well below bomb grade and stop production on a separate plutonium plant, but it would not destroy its nuclear equipment. and israel and many leading
senators in both parties oppose this deal arguing against any reduction in sanctions until iran not only freezes but dismantles its nuclear program. but the white house believes this is a critical window to test whether iran's new president rouhani is really serious about giving up any ambitions for nuclear weapons. brian? >> andrea, thanks. andrea mitchell in our d.c. newsroom on this friday night. for a second day in a row a record on wall street. not only were the dow and nasdaq up on the day's trading, but news was s&p closed above 1800 for its first time ever. when we come back after another break, just some of president kennedy's words that still inspire americans and the world a half century later. >> ask not what your country can do for you.
we will play the funeral march from beethoven's 3rd symphony. >> and that is exactly what the boston symphony orchestra went on to do 50 years ago tonight in boston. one of the countless chilling moments from that day. remember, the nation before cell phones and internet and portable devices in shock as word of mouth spread across the country, and we're going to end tonight with the words of jfk. we'll listen to what made him different, why he mattered so much in life as he did and why so much was lost right here 50 years ago. >> we stand today on the edge of a new frontier, a frontier of the 1960s. i'm asking each of you to be pioneers for that new frontier. the energy, the faith, the
devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it, and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. and so, my fellow americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard because that challenge is one that we're willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win. our goal is not the victory of might but the vindication of right, not peace at the expense of freedom but both peace and freedom. the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living and
the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and build a better life for their children. not merely peace for americans but peace for all men and women. all free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of berlin. and, therefore, as a free man i take pride in the words ich bin ein berliner. 100 years of delay have passed since president lincoln freed the slaves. yet their heirs, their grandsons are not fully free, and this nation, for all its hope and all its boasts will not be bully-free until all its citizens are free. i look forward to a great future for america, a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral
restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose. i look forward to an america which will not be afraid of grace and beauty. for in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. we all breathe the same air. we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal. >> president john f. kennedy, his life came to an end no more than 300 yards behind us here in dallas 50 years ago today. that is our broadcast for this friday night and for this week. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams reporting tonight from dallas. we'll look for you back home in new york on monday night. in the meantime, have a good weekend. in the meantime, have a good weekend. good night.
-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com nbc bay area news starts now. >> good evening. on this friday night. i'm jessica aguirre. >> i'm raj mathai. >> san jose state is in damage control locally and nationally. the university is in an unwanted spotlight. there are new developments tonight involving the hate crime investigation on campus. a fourth student has been suspended. he joins three other white students who are accused of harassing and attacking their black roommate. also, within the hour, the president of the university released a statement. reads in part -- we are offering a comprehensive review of sjsu's student code of conduct.
our goal is including race-based misconduct in existing zero tolerance student conduct policies. the president also met with the president of the local chapter of the naacp. they will hold a joint news conference on monday to discuss pending criminal charges. as for the reaction from campus, we bring in nbc bay area's marianne favreau who joins us from the campus. >> reporter: raj, i can tell you the students i talked to this afternoon are most upsbet how the university handled this situation. they say even after university housing found out about the alleged hate crimes, they simply transferred two of the suspects to other dorms. four students are now accused of hate crimes after allegedly bullying their black roommate on the seventh floor of this dorm at san jose state university. this police report outlines months of alleged harassment and assault, including reports that the white suspects clamped a bike lock on their black roommate's neck,