Americans will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John Kennedy tomorrow. An Iowa reporter who became know for his coverage of the presidency was in Dallas, Texas on that fateful day.

Hugh Sidey was Time Magazine’s White House correspondent for nearly 50 years and was on the press bus when the fatal shots were fired. “I remember lounging in the bus, watching Kennedy’s car go around the curb up ahead, ”Sidey said.

Reporter Lee Kline interviewed Sidey at the family’s newspaper office in Greenfield shortly after the assassination. He talked about his feelings. “Actually there’s almost a physical reaction, your stomach or something tightens up,” Sidey said. He described the area where the shooting took place as a “strange tableau.” “Women were lying down on the ground and men had their arm around their families. I remember one man sitting on the curb pounding the ground just out of frustration. Obviously something was wrong and we immediately then began to sense that perhaps he’d been shot,” according to Sidey.

Hugh Sidey later become personal friends with Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He died on this date (November 21) eight years ago, one day before the anniversary of his biggest story.