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WBAP Donating Its Tapes of Kennedy Assassination Coverage

21 original recordings will be given to The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

The Texas School Book Depository is shown in an image from the website of The Sixth Floor Museum, which is located within the building.

Cumulus Media’s WBAP(AM), serving the Dallas/Fort Worth, market, will donate 21 original “day-of” recordings of its broadcasts reporting on President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination. The tapes will go to The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, which is dedicated to informing the public about the event and memorializing the 35th president.

The tapes include what may have been the first words of any media coverage about the assassination.

“The preservation of these original recordings has long been a goal of ours at WBAP,” said Operations Manager Tyler Cox in a press release. “The Sixth Floor Museum is the logical place for this audio glimpse of life in Dallas/Fort Worth on this fateful day to be preserved, and we’re pleased to make this donation to the museum.”

The recordings start with reporting from the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth and a full broadcast of the president’s remarks from the hotel’s parking lot. They move on to following Kennedy’s morning of events in Fort Worth until the assassination.

WBAP reporter Bob Welch reported from behind the presidential caravan on route to Parkland Memorial Hospital. “It’s not known for sure, but it’s believed that President Kennedy has been shot,” Welch reported, the most immediate piece of media coverage following the shooting that is known to exist.

For information about the clips, visit The Sixth Floor Museum’s website.

WBAP has a long history; read about the roots of the station.