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November 22, 2018

Listen to this audio history of JFK’s last day from a South Jersey history buff

Michael Maggio wanted to put together a definite history of an historic day

History Audio Production
11232015_nix_JFK_film_YT Orville Nix/via YouTube

Orville Nix's JFK film.

This year, Nov. 22 means Thanksgiving, but to an entire generation, Nov. 22 conjures an entirely different set of memories.

On Nov. 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. The way we consume the memories of that day is often through newsprint and radio recordings, and one South Jersey man decided he wanted to distill all of those fuzzy radio clips into one definitive entity.

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Michael Maggio, a Patterson native who now lives in Galloway Township outside Atlantic City, has created an 80-minute audio history of that day's news, featuring Texas radio stations, some of the more memorable news broadcasts and briefs, and encompasses the entire event. It’s an impressive piece of work.

You can listen to it here:

Maggio shared it on Soundcloud last Friday, just in time for Thanksgiving, which is the 55th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination.

WHYY talked to Maggio about his project, which he said is a culmination of something that “dominated the early part” of his life.

“I was fascinated with the audio side of all of the news that was happening that day, because it was the last time radio was the lead player in the information dispersion,” he told WHYY.

Maggio said his personal memory of the moment it happened is indelible:

“Suddenly that special bulletin came on, that black screen with just the white words special bulletin and that familiar voice of Walter Cronkite. At that point I heard my mother gasp and my grandmother yell from downstairs.”

When the pie is all but finished off and the football is waning, this is more than worth a Thanksgiving evening listen.

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