- August 15, 2017
The Kennedy assassination at first hand
In 1963, Julian Read was the media representative for Governor John B. Connally, host of President Kennedy’s November visit to Texas. On the day Kennedy was killed, Read was aboard the chartered White House Press bus, just a few vehicles behind the presidential limousine in the motorcade through downtown Dallas. After hearing the assassination shots and watching the limousine lurch forward amid panicking onlookers, Read raced to nearby Parkland Hospital, where the president and Connally had been rushed to emergency rooms. There, immediately after White House Deputy Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff announced that the president was dead, Read briefed journalists based on what Nellie Connally, wife of the governor, had hurriedly reported to him.
Beyond capturing the drama of the immediate hours following the assassination, Read illuminates the previously overlooked consequences of the aborted portion of the trip. The author also traces the long aftermath of the assassination, including the intensity of the bitterness against Dallas and Texas. And in what he calls “the long journey from anguish to reconciliation,” Read follows the decades-long struggle to create the Sixth Floor Museum in downtown Dallas, located in the space where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the fatal shots.
Read’s very personal account of his experiences surrounding that historic event and previously obscured details of the president’s Texas trip constitute a worthy addition to the record of a turbulent time.
Join us and Mr. Read at the Neill-Cochran House Museum at 2:00 pm on November 19, 2017. Complimentary refreshments provided. Presentation begins at 2:30 pm.
Admission is $10 to the general public, $5 to students with valid ID, and free to members of the Friends of the Neill-Cochran House Museum. Space is limited; while tickets are available at the door, we encourage patrons to register online.
Copies of Mr. Read’s book, JFK’s Final Hours in Texas, will be available for sale and signing during the event. Current members of the Friends receive a 10% discount on the book and other museum shop items.
Parking is available free to patrons in the museum lot located off of 23rd street between San Gabriel and Leon.
About the Speaker
Julian Read is a nationally prominent Texan corporate communications and public affairs counselor who has been part of the state’s business and political scene for more than half a century.
He founded and operated his own firm, Read-Poland Associates, for five decades before partnering with New York public relations executive Jeff Hunt to merge it with a global industry leader.
Read was a cub reporter for the Scripps-Howard Fort Worth Press at the age of eighteen. Six years later, he founded his own fledgling advertising and publicity shop. He soon scored two political campaign upsets that led to a lifetime of broad experience in the public sector. He became intimately involved in John B. Connally’s successful campaign for governor of Texas in 1962, and remained his counselor and confidant for more than thirty years until Connally’s death in 1993. He served as Connally’s representative to the national media for Kennedy’s visit to Texas in November 1963.
Read’s background and deep involvement in Texas communications and politics for more than six decades give him a unique perspective to bring fresh context and insight to the record surrounding the Kennedy assassination and its fifty-year aftermath.
Based in Austin, Read continues to provide senior counsel for Cohn & Wolfe, a worldwide unit of London-based WPP. He also devotes much of his time in support of historic preservation.