State Department Press Briefings

On the morning of November 19, 1978, following the assassination of Congressman Leo Ryan at the Port Kaituma airstrip – and as the rumors of mass deaths began to trickle out of Jonestown – the State Department held the first of two press briefings that day. There were 11 altogether, most of them in the first ten days. The last was held December 5, the days after the agency issued its final Situation Report.

The transcripts of the press briefings appear below.

The managers of this website are indebted to independent researcher Brian Csuk for creating the organization for this page, as well as providing several of the documents on it.