March 24, 2014
President Shot at Dealey Plaza - Developing Story

Shots were fired as President Kennedy fell over in his convertible while visiting and driving through the city of Dallas. The first lady reacted by moving to the back of the car from possible shock from the shooting. There is no update on his condition. The shooting took place on Elm Street. 

-Brenda Lau

March 24, 2014
President John F. Kennedy shot at 12:30pm in Dallas.

DALLAS - President Kennedy was shot at 12:30 pm, after the presidential convertible turned left on Elm Street after entering The Dealey Plaza. Three gunshots were heard. It has been unconfirmed but it is said Governor Connolly was also hit by one of the gunshots. The first lady was not injured. The president’s condition is yet to be confirmed. 

-Thalia Juarez

March 24, 2014
JFK Shot in Dealey Plaza


President John F. Kennedy was shot today at around 12:30 p.m. at Dealey Plaza on Elm Street in Dallas. Spectators heard gunshots and began tweeting about the incident almost immediately, but reporters withheld comment until a video surfaced confirming the tragic incident. Secret Service and the Dallas Police were in full force today, expecting an excited crowd. The president’s motorcade sped off following the shot, and his condition remains unknown. A suspect has not yet been named.

Megan Mikaelian 

March 24, 2014
Condition of President Kennedy Unknown

Today’s presidential motorcade visit into Dallas, Texas, was interrupted by shots fired at Dealey Plaza. Following the shots fired, the president, the first lady, Governor John Connally and his wife sped off from the sight of the incident. The condition of all in the presidential motorcade is currently unknown. We are awaiting reports from the White House press. - Dylan Samuel

March 24, 2014
President Kennedy Shot

The president has been shot in downtown Dallas near Dealy Plaza. An onlooker’s video confirms a shot hit the president near the head, and Mrs. Kennedy exited the back of the car. No reports confirm the state of the president or any others involved. The motorcade sped away after the shots were fired. - Nate Jackson

March 24, 2014
President arrives in Dallas

President John F. Kennedy and first lady arrived in the Air Force One in Dallas late this morning at Love Field. The President brought a double-glassed convertible to ride through the city in. Police are controlling the crowd as the President walks through and shakes hands with the Dallas people. The ride through the city will begin on Lemmon Street. 

-Brenda Lau

March 24, 2014
JFK lands in Dallas

President John F. Kennedy, Jr. landed at Love Field in Dallas with his wife earlier today, amidst crowds of cheering people - the Dallas Police are present to handle the crowds. The motorcade began on Lemmon Ave., and the top is down on the car JFK is in with Mrs. Kennedy and TX Governor John Connally. - Amanda Voeller

March 24, 2014
President Kennedy arrives at Lovefield


The president and Mrs. Kennedy were greeted at Lovefield International Airport moments ago by a large group of supporters. After shaking hands with the onlookers, President Kennedy entered his top-down convertible, along with Texas Governor John Connally and began the route along Lemon Street. 

Nate Jackson

October 28, 2013
Day in the Life: Volunteers at the Texas Book Festival

By fulfilling numerous duties, around 1,000 volunteers ensured the 2013 Texas Book Festival ran as planned.

Volunteers managed crowds, addressed scheduling problems, worked with a new fast pass program and accommodated authors.

According to its official website, the Texas Book Festival anticipated over 225 authors, 80 vendors, 10 live-music performers and 1,000 volunteers to be in attendance. Officials also estimated an attendance of 40,000 patrons.

To ensure patron safety, volunteers asked attendees to form lines outside the presentation venues before the proceeded in to take their seats. Volunteers then allowed patrons to enter the venues one at a time. This procedure ensured that patrons entered the venues in an orderly fashion, instead of running to the best seat.

Volunteer’s strict protocol was far from unwarranted. The Texas Senate chamber endured disorderly patron behavior during 2012’s book fest. Eager to claim a good seat for a presentation, patrons chaotically rushed into the chamber. During the stampede, an antique desk was knocked over and damaged. As a result, the festival could not utilize the Senate chamber as a venue for this year’s activities. By enforcing patron coherence and implementing new regulatory procedures, volunteers hoped to avoid another destructive catastrophe and win back trust of the Senate so that the chamber may be used by the festival in the future.

In addition to directing with an average patron, volunteers dealt with the implementation of Fast Passes. According to the festival’s website, patrons who donate $100 receive a Fast Pass that “granted priority access to the headliner events” for them and one guest. Volunteers sometimes struggled in regulating the standard flow of entry into the venues as Fast Pass patrons could move directly to the front of the line. Some patrons who had patiently been waiting in line for an indefinite amount of time then got upset and caused a scene that had to be defused by volunteers.

The festival required a volunteer to work at least one three hour shift during the two-day festival, but were encouraged to linger around and help out after their shift was over. Volunteer chairs resorted to imploring many volunteers to stay longer as other volunteers did not show up for their allotted shift. Volunteers’ absence affected team moral and resulted in additional duties for volunteers in attendance.

At each event, there would typically be about a dozen volunteers working at each booth, directing people where to go, and keeping each venue orderly. Volunteers could also be found driving around in golf carts and helping festival patrons with questions and directions.

Volunteers at the children’s book signing tent dealt with mass confusion after festival officials changed  children’s author and festival headliner Lemony Snicket’s session venue and time at the last minute without written notice. While the festival website updated Snicket’s new whereabouts, many patrons were still confused on where to go, and found themselves at Sherman Alexie’s talk rather than Snicket’s.

Overall, the festival ran smoothly. Patrons left happily, desks remained intact and officials hope to resume utilizing the Senate chambers next year.


October 28, 2013
Page Turners: Demographics at the Festival

11:57 P.M. (crunch time)

Sparkly red swirls wind into the pattern of her wings. She struts in her red and black-striped tights and polka-dotted boots while her tutu ruffles. Two antennas jet from her head, bouncing mindlessly as she inserts two fingers in her mouth to suck on down the runway. 

Emily, 6, dressed as the main character Lulu from the children’s series “Ladybug Girl,” for the Storybook Character Fashion Show. She would eventually win the competition, but lacked comment on her victory during a post-contest interview. However, her wide grin and strut in her intricate outfit was self-explanatory.

Author and illustrator Adam Rex acted as a compère for the event with jokes and positive commentary for each model. Although the turnout was not as big as he hoped, he still says it was fun.

"This is my favorite book festival in the country," Rex said. "There’s always a great atmosphere, great location, great weather, and great organization. You guys know how to throw a book festival."

According to, “The signature event has evolved into one of the premier literary events in the country…more than 40,000 book lovers of all ages attend the Festival annually.” Annual festival goers have noticed that the fair has significantly grown upon its ability to attract crowds of all generations.

Drenda Haddock, who preferred not to mention her age but appeared to be in her mid-sixties, witnessed what she called a “parade of life” as she sat on a bench for an hour. “I saw old, young, costumed kids, authors with their guides… people just walking and laughing, kids rolling in the grass.”

Haddock said that she has come to about three-fourths of the Texas Book Festivals. “It has changed a lot with more food, easier access, and less congestion. There are many more families and younger children now as well.”

Scott Montgomery, 43, moderated a panel for two different crime fiction authors on Saturday and enjoyed the festival as an attendee on Sunday. According to Montgomery, the age demographic is “so wide” and mostly includes people in their 30s to 40s along with quite a few people in their late 20s. He also sees a lot of new parents, getting their kids involved with reading. “It’s a smart family event to do,” Montgomery said.

An influx of a younger generation encouraged sponsors to introduce newer technologies in the tents, according to Mandy Gay, a first-time volunteer and co-chair for the Children’s Activity Tent. In the tent, iPads entertained children from the ages of about 4 to 12 alongside tables with paper tablecloths littered with crayons and colored pencils.

In Gay’s opinion the iPads are more popular with the older kids, though she cannot tell how engaged they actually are. “I think it’s also interesting to see that the kids still like to sit and color…especially the younger [kids],” Gay said.

Michael Bae, a father with a love for books, hovers over his son while he explores an iPad game. “I encourage him to read books but technology seems to entertain him more,” Bae said.

There are many potential factors contributing to the festival’s mass appeal, such as the increase of children’s tents over the years or a changing demographic in Austin. However, attendees of all ages agree that the festival has become a time for readers of all kinds, whether wearing a ladybug costume for a storybook competition, or strolling along festival grounds in a walker, to appreciate and display their passion for literature.

-The Page Turners: Jillian Mitchell, Corey Schneider, Claire Bontempo, Chrissy Dickerson


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