6/10th of a Second
At the time, the basement area was filled with journalists - photographers, radio and TV reporters, reporters. It was caught on live television, such as it was, and you can view it on YouTube today, if you're so inclined. Watch closely, it happens quickly.
The photograph here was taken by Robert Jackson, a photographer with the Dallas Times Herald. For this photograph, he won the Pulitzer Prize.
Another similar photograph, shot 6/10ths of a second later by Jack Bears, a photographer with the Dallas Morning News, did not win the Pulitzer.
Here is the footnote on this from Vincent Bugliosi's book, "Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy":
"Beers's daughter said that this six-tenths of a second bothered her late father to the day he died, her father feeling he had been cheated by fate. He had a 'depression that went untreated' and it was 'all due to that picture.' Bitter and despondent, Beers died of a heart attack in 1975 at the age of fifty-one."
I think this is a rather brutal illustration of the role luck plays in life. There are hard-working, successful people who totally discount luck. I don't like to give luck much credit. But the fact is, being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing ... sometimes it's just luck.
You work hard, you develop your skills, you do all the things. Chances are, you'll be some kind of successful. But that lightning bolt? The one that catapults you to ... wherever? Might just be the difference between 6/10s of a second.