ARCHIVE: Atlanta reflects on assassination of JFK

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ATLANTA —

Fifty years ago, Atlanta residents were stunned to learn about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The news in 1963 came through television, radio and newspapers quickly printed and sold on the streets.

WSB-TV dug deep into the archives to find a variety of interviews and scenes filmed in the aftermath of the president's murder. Do you recognize any of these people?

State leaders and newsmakers weighed in on the death and the changes in Washington. We found interviews with Atlanta Constitution publisher Ralph McGill and interviews with Senator Herman Talmadge and Rep. Charles Weltner. We also discovered several interviews with the general public, literally pulled toward the camera to give their reaction to the assassination.

Click through the videos at the top and on the right to watch what Atlantans saw on Channel 2 in November 1963.

Americans will mark the historical moment Friday at the exact time the fateful shots rang out in Dallas.

About 5,000 tickets were issued for the free ceremony in Dealey Plaza, which is flanked by the Texas School Book Depository building where sniper Lee Harvey Oswald perched on the sixth floor in 1963.

Friday's event will include readings from the president's speeches by author David McCullough. In a nod to Kennedy's military service, the U.S. Naval Academy Men's Glee Club will sing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and there will be an Air Force flyover. A moment of silence will be held at 12:30 p.m., when the president was shot.

Other events being held Friday in Dallas include a ceremony at Parkland Memorial Hospital, where Kennedy was declared dead, to lower the U.S. flag to half-staff. In Fort Worth, the city's Chamber of Commerce will host a breakfast at the hotel where Kennedy gave his last speech and spent the last night of his life.

In Boston, the private musical tribute will feature Paul Winter, who performed at the White House with his jazz sextet during Kennedy's presidency, along with a U.S. Navy choir and James Taylor. Other notable guests at the event, which will be streamed on the library's website, include Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who is scheduled to read quotes from Kennedy's speeches.