Secret Service Agent and North Dakota Native Clint finally opens up about the day of the JFK assassinationFargo, ND (WADY TV) - One of the more indelible pieces of film from the Kennedy Assassination is Secret Service Agent and North Dakota Native Clint Hill, climbing on the back of the convertible carrying the president.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WADY TV) - One of the more indelible pieces of film from the Kennedy Assassination is Secret Service Agent and North Dakota Native Clint Hill, climbing on the back of the convertible carrying the president.
After keeping a low profile and refusing interviews for decades, Hill has been on every national news and talk show the past few days, sharing the story of that fateful day.
From Kennedy's visit to North Dakota just weeks before the assassination, to the "made for tv" life of North Dakota's Secret Service Agent Clint Hill, the 50th Anniversary of Kennedy's death is impacting the valley.
Clint Hill/North Dakota Secret Service Agent: “I saw the President grab his throat. So I jumped and ran trying to get myself up on the president's car.”
North Dakota's Clint Hill, Secret Service Agent Number 9, has this week, been re-telling the horrible details of that day in Dallas.
Hill: “But I still feel a sense of responsibility because I was the only agent who was in position who could have done anything at the time.”
The Concordia College graduate and longtime secret service agent is "that man" we all grew up seeing, running up on to the back of Kennedy's limo, as the first shots rang out.
Hill: “Hit the President in the head, upper right ear, above the rear, so violent and massive that it spewed blood, brains and material all over including myself. Mrs. Kennedy came out of her seat was trying to grab material that was coming off the president's head; she did not know I was there.”
Days later, Mrs. Kennedy would personally thank Clint Hill for his efforts to try and save Kennedy. But at the time, the words rang hollow; Hill would begin a downward spiral of guilt, and drinking.
Hill: “I didn't fulfill that responsibility to protect the president and I had that feeling of guilt I still have that image of him in the back seat of the care lying in Mrs. Kennedy's lap with a hole in the back of his head.”
For years, agent Clint Hill refused interviews, after years of battles with the bottle, he eventually stopped drinking, went to Dallas to see for himself, how a return visit could help in the healing. Today, these headlines still haunt him.
The day that changed our country.
The late Bill and Jean Guy welcomed Kennedy to North Dakota during a visit just two months before he died. Guy was governor at the time.
Jean Guy/Wife of Gov. Bill Guy: “There was something about his personality that connected with people.”
Guy: “He had a charm that is hard to describe.”
While attending a Governor's Conference meeting out of state, they saw the news on a grainy black and white TV.
Gov. Guy: “I just about fainted.”
Jean Guy: “We could not believe what happened.”
Hill recently wrote two books about his role as an agent, protecting Mrs. Kennedy, and how his life changed after those split seconds in Dallas, when a jump on to a presidential limousine, would change him and the country he served forever.
Earlier this week, Hill, now 81, stood on a Dearborn, Michigan stage, standing next to the four-door Lincoln Continental, he climbed on to, 50 years ago.