kunc-header-1440x90.png
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

Witnessing History In A Dallas Emergency Room

Glenda Rike's husband was in the room when President Kennedy received his last rites. She recounted his experience to her son, Larry, on a visit to StoryCorps.
Glenda Rike's husband was in the room when President Kennedy received his last rites. She recounted his experience to her son, Larry, on a visit to StoryCorps.

On Nov. 22, 1963, ambulance driver Aubrey Rike and his assistant, Dennis "Peanuts" McGuire, just happened to be on a call at Parkland Memorial Hospital when President John F. Kennedy was brought in.

"They brought in a priest to do last rites, and there wasn't anybody in there but your dad, Peanuts, Mrs. Kennedy and the priest," recounts Aubrey's widow, Glenda, in a visit to StoryCorps with her son, Larry.

"Mrs. Kennedy took off her wedding ring and tried to put it on President Kennedy's finger, but it wouldn't go," Glenda continues. "So when [Aubrey] saw what she was trying to do, he helped her and she thanked him."

After the president was pronounced dead, Aubrey and McGuire were asked to get his body ready to leave the hospital. "They had brought in a casket and a hearse. Your daddy took Mrs. Kennedy's arm to help her get in the hearse, and the Secret Service knocked his arm down," Glenda says. "She told the agent, 'Leave the young man alone.' "

Aubrey was sad for Mrs. Kennedy, knowing "she was going to be alone, other than her two small children," Glenda says. "Sometimes he could talk about it day and night. And then other times, he couldn't. It was unbelievable that something like that happened, and he was part of it."

Audio produced forMorning Edition by Jasmyn Belcher.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Related Content
  • The orchestra was mid-performance when news of the president's assassination reached the symphony hall in 1963. The musicians had to decide: suspend the concert or continue? Their decision transformed a moment of shock into a moment of shared consolation.
  • Laura Lane was heading to work when her train got stuck. Conductor Paquita Williams was soon walking through the cars, putting passengers at ease in the darkness. Laura was so impressed with how Paquita handled the two-hour ordeal, she wanted to learn more about her.
  • Anthony Villarreal and his wife, Jessica, had to rebuild their lives after an explosion almost killed Anthony in Afghanistan. "I didn't even recognize myself," Anthony says, though his new wife was determined to be there for him throughout the painful process.