1963: JFK is murdered, and Darwin Payne was report



Central Standard Time



Allen Public Library
300 N. Allen Dr. Allen Tx
Allen, TX, Texas 75013

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On November 22, 1963, Darwin Payne was working at his desk at the downtown Dallas Times Herald when the city editor declared, “Code 3, Dealey Plaza!” This led to the then twenty-six year old Darwin reporting on the most significant event of his career.  

At 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 2, Darwin Payne, author of Behind the Scenes: Covering the JFK Assassination, will share this story at the Allen Public Library.

Interviewing a group of young women who worked for Abraham Zapruder, they shared that their boss had been filming the presidential motorcade. Darwin was led to the offices of Jennifer Juniors, Inc., a clothing manufacturer co-founded by Zapruder, in the Dal-Tex Building at 501 Elm St. On an office filing cabinet there was the famed Bell & Howell Zoomatic 8-mm camera that recorded what is arguably the most famous footage in American history. 

Darwin interviewed detectives outside the School Book Depository as they transported evidence from the shooter’s location, including the rifle. He was also among a small number of journalists who were permitted to inspect the assassin’s sixth-floor window from where the fatal shots were thought to have been fired.

Darwin later earned a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin, taught journalism at SMU for thirty years, and is the author of numerous books, including Indomitable Sarah: The Life of Judge Sarah T. Hughes. 

Can’t be there in person? The program will also be streamed live on ACTV. Find viewing options at Watch ACTV or view online at or

The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.