Cronkite had become partially jovial when describing a “quip” about Jacqueline Kennedy taking longer to dress for an appearance than he did. But that was short-lived. After going into a segue about United Nation’s ambassador Adelai Stevenson being assaulted a month before, Cronkite looked down at his desk at a note apparently passed to him off-camera. He put his glasses back on to be sure he was reading it correctly, and uttered the words that still remain in breaking news infamy (at 5:48): “From Dallas, Texas, the flash apparently official, President Kennedy died at 1 p.m., Central Standard Time (2 o’clock Eastern Standard Time) some 38 minutes ago…“
Pausing to keep his composure, Cronkite updated viewers on the status of Vice President Lyndon Johnson, then paused again while sharing his shock with the rest of the country. He then launched into an ad-lib about Kennedy’s day leading up to the shooting, understanding he had just confirmed what everyone already knew in their hearts.