Saturday, July 18, 2009 | By: Tonya Keitt Kalule

Walter Cronkite "Uncle Walt"

Walter Cronkite was the voice that is etched in my head from the time that I was a little girl. The news was something that my family and many African Americans families tuned into about twice a day. This was our way of being aware of what was going on in our country. It was also the time of the civil rights movement with two of the most prominent and well loved figures of our history, Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John F. Kennedy. It was normal for African American families to gather in front of the television after dinner as a family to watch Walter Cronkite. He was trusted by our community to report fairly and truthfully what was happening during this time; the 60's. A time when African Americans were fighting so hard for racial equality in a country that brought us here, but wanted to keep up 2nd class citizens and less than human, segregated from those that thought of themselves as more human. Even at two years old I watched the news, and was told by my family that I was watching the day that President Kennedy was assassinated and called to them in the kitchen telling them that "President Kennedy was shot" and they came running. My mother says that I was talking before I was walking, and I have yet to slow down.

This was a time when families were still families, and they had dinner together and watched the news together, we all watched " Uncle Walt" because our parents and grandparents watched and trusted his reporting.

In 1940 Cronkite married Mary Maxwell, who was his wife for 65 years until her passing in 2005.

Walter Cronkite defined what it meant to be an anchorman.
The first radio news broadcast was in 1938 and the first television news broadcast was in 1948, but it was not until 1963 when the three largest networks, NBC, CBS and ABC extended their news coverage from 15 minutes to 30 minutes.

On March 6th, 1981 Walter Cronkite delivered his last news broadcast for CBS, and was replaced by Dan Rather.

Walter Cronkite will always be remember and we greatly appreciated his work.
photos taken from LA Times


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