1963: U.S President John F. Kennedy assassinated on this day in history

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, is assassinated while traveling through Dallas, Texas, in an open-top convertible.

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On this 22nd day of November in 1963, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, is assassinated while traveling through Dallas, Texas, in an open-top convertible.

First lady Jacqueline Kennedy rarely accompanied her husband on political outings, but she was beside him, along with Texas Governor John Connally and his wife, for a 10-mile motorcade through the streets of downtown Dallas on November 22.

Sitting in a Lincoln convertible, the Kennedys and Connallys waved at the large and enthusiastic crowds gathered along the parade route.

As their vehicle passed the Texas School Book Depository Building at 12:30 p.m., Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired three shots from the sixth floor, fatally wounding President Kennedy and seriously injuring Governor Connally. Kennedy was pronounced dead 30 minutes later at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital. He was 46.

Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who was three cars behind President Kennedy in the motorcade, was sworn in as the 36th president of the United States at 2:39 p.m. He took the presidential oath of office aboard Air Force One as it sat on the runway at Dallas Love Field airport. The swearing in was witnessed by some 30 people, including Jacqueline Kennedy, who was still wearing clothes stained with her husband’s blood. Seven minutes later, the presidential jet took off for Washington.

The next day, November 23, President Johnson issued his first proclamation, declaring November 25 to be a day of national mourning for the slain president. On that Monday, hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of Washington to watch a horse-drawn caisson bear Kennedy’s body from the Capitol Rotunda to St. Matthew’s Catholic Cathedral for a requiem Mass.

The solemn procession then continued on to Arlington National Cemetery, where leaders of 99 nations gathered for the state funeral. Kennedy was buried with full military honors on a slope below Arlington House, where an eternal flame was lit by his widow to forever mark the grave.

Lee Harvey Oswald, born in New Orleans in 1939, joined the U.S. Marines in 1956. He was discharged in 1959 and nine days later left for the Soviet Union, where he tried unsuccessfully to become a citizen. He worked in Minsk and married a Soviet woman and in 1962 was allowed to return to the United States with his wife and infant daughter. In early 1963, he bought a .38 revolver and rifle with a telescopic sight by mail order, and on April 10 in Dallas he allegedly shot at and missed former U.S. Army general Edwin Walker, a figure known for his extreme right-wing views.

Later that month, Oswald went to New Orleans and founded a branch of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a pro-Castro organization. In September 1963, he went to Mexico City, where investigators allege that he attempted to secure a visa to travel to Cuba or return to the USSR. In October, he returned to Dallas and took a job at the Texas School Book Depository Building.

Less than an hour after Kennedy was shot, Oswald killed a policeman who questioned him on the street near his rooming house in Dallas. Thirty minutes later, Oswald was arrested in a movie theater by police responding to reports of a suspect. He was formally arraigned on November 23 for the murders of President Kennedy and Officer J.D. Tippit.

On November 24, Oswald was brought to the basement of the Dallas police headquarters on his way to a more secure county jail. A crowd of police and press with live television cameras rolling gathered to witness his departure.

As Oswald came into the room, Jack Ruby emerged from the crowd and fatally wounded him with a single shot from a concealed .38 revolver. Ruby, who was immediately detained, claimed that rage at Kennedy’s murder was the motive for his action. Some called him a hero, but he was nonetheless charged with first-degree murder.

Jack Ruby, originally known as Jacob Rubenstein, operated strip joints and dance halls in Dallas and had minor connections to organized crime. He features prominently in Kennedy-assassination theories, and many believe he killed Oswald to keep him from revealing a larger conspiracy.

In his trial, Ruby denied the allegation and pleaded innocent on the grounds that his great grief over Kennedy’s murder had caused him to suffer “psychomotor epilepsy” and shoot Oswald unconsciously. The jury found Ruby guilty of “murder with malice” and sentenced him to die.

In October 1966, the Texas Court of Appeals reversed the decision on the grounds of improper admission of testimony and the fact that Ruby could not have received a fair trial in Dallas at the time. In January 1967, while awaiting a new trial, to be held in Wichita Falls, Ruby died of lung cancer in a Dallas hospital.

The official Warren Commission report of 1964 concluded that neither Oswald nor Ruby were part of a larger conspiracy, either domestic or international, to assassinate President Kennedy.

Buy on Amazon.com – Pointing the finger at Lyndon Johnson, the CIA, and the Mafia, John joins Jackie and Bobby Kennedy in their conclusion that the assassination of JFK was far more complex than a deranged attack by Lee Harvey Oswald, the 24-year-old ex-Marine.

Despite its seemingly firm conclusions, the report failed to silence conspiracy theories surrounding the event, and in 1978 the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in a preliminary report that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy” that may have involved multiple shooters and organized crime. The committee’s findings, as with those of the Warren Commission, continue to be widely disputed.


Other Notable Events on this day in history

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Jack Ruby was the Jew, Jacob Rubinstein. He killed Oswald, who denied involvement, because he did not want him to go to trial as it might have exposed the Kosher Nostra.

  2. I had the wonderful experience, as well as others, (of working a blog for Col. L. Fletcher Prouty who wrote the book “The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy” also that can be bought at Amazon.com). The reason I worked the blog for him was because he had been the mystery person called “X” in the movie, “JFK” by Oliver Stone. And because the movie displayed some aspects leading up to JFK’s assassination, I knew the government story was for the birds to read and not sane Americans. It was this reason I decided to do my own research and among other very lengthy materials and books discovered Col. Prouty’s book that made very logical sense. His book, along with others, like the book that LBJ’s girlfriend wrote entitled “Texas in the Morning”, began to fill in the gaps of the government’s story. It made the connection between Ruby, Oswald, Nixon, LBJ, the mayor of Dallas, the mayor’s brother (who hated JFK) and the eventual “murder” of Ruby in the hospital. Who happened to predict his demise when speaking to Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court when begging Justice Warren to help him when he was in jail.

    In addition, I discovered I was in the right ballpark because not only was Colonel Prouty the author of his book on the subject but was used by Stone as the adviser in the JFK movie. He, also, had been a top-level military CIA operative whose job it had been to manage the procession route of the President and make sure militarily along with the coordination of local police that the route was covered. However, he was removed by his boss and sent to Australia to sit that fateful day out.

    Prouty in his book talks about the power elite. He talks about Vice President Johnson being in the car directly behind JFK’s. He talked about how the second car had all the secret service presence because of LBJ’s presence, and the protocol that stated at that time that you do not have the President and Vice President together in one event. He talked about the lack of military presence in the buildings along the route on all floors and in all buildings which would have prevented any so-called shooting from the twelfth-story school book depository building or any other building along that route. Additionally, with a military presence there would not have been any shooters on the grassy knoll and the overpass would have had stationed military presence. But that did not happen.

    Col. Prouty also told us back in 1992 when his book was published that one of the main reasons for this sad scenario occurring here in the United States was and still is because men in great positions of power where their aspirations and responsibilities have exceeded their own experience, knowledge, and capabilities and because this creates an overpowering necessity that they must “do something” this “doing something” creates a fear in them of the people; not from the standpoint of individuals, but from standpoint of the smoldering threat of vast populations and the potential uprising of the masses. Prouty tells us that these individuals have become so powerful because of their invisibility, that their victories are always in the name of some powerful sovereign-ruled country, when the really powerful invisible ones sit behind the visible sovereign powers.

    Prouty was a true historian who did not paint the picture so that it was acceptable to all who needed the rose-colored glasses of the media or a cover story made up by the government. He told it just like it happened and then placed it into historical context in the hopes that one day we would all understand.

    Since Prouty retired to Canada, I think that his revelations regarding the events of the assassination were something he felt needed to be brought forward in a book. Usually, it takes a shower to wash the dirt off. And Prouty had seen plenty of “dirt” in his lifetime.

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