Fort Smith Local At Oswald’s Funeral Remembers JFK Assassination

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Friday marked the 50-year anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas. Fort Smith resident and reporter Jack Moseley remembers the November day well, especially since he helped carry Lee Harvey Oswald's body to his grave.

Although now living locally, Moseley at the time covered Oswald's funeral for the Fort Worth newspaper. Moseley later served as editor of the Fort Smith Times Record.

Fifty years later, Moseley shares his experience along with a local woman who watched the entire event unfold on KFSM-TV.

The news shocked the world in 1963. Moseley was assigned to cover Oswald’s funeral as a young reporter. He even carried the man widely-believed to have killed JFK.

"I grabbed the casket and I took several steps, and I said I don't want to do this,” said Moseley. “I don't want to carry the casket of a man that's accused of killing the president of the United States."

Moseley said few attended the funeral except journalists and Oswald’s family. Moseley said he remembered Oswald’s little daughter.

"The little girl turned and said, 'Goodbye, Papa,” he said.

Fort Smith local Carole Beatie was watching Channel 5 that day, and she said it’s something she will never forget.

"We were expecting our first child,” said Beatie. “I was at the kitchen sink and I remember that very well and I had the TV on Channel 5. All of a sudden, they broke in and said the president had been shot. I couldn't believe it."

Many argue the around-the-clock television coverage of the assassination gained TV its credibility that year.

As the country mourns the loss of JFK, many say 50 years from today, they will still never forget November 22, 1963.