Page semi-protected

Assassination of John F. Kennedy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Assassination of John F. Kennedy
JFK limousine.png
President Kennedy with his wife, Jacqueline, and Texas governor John Connally with his wife, Nellie, in the presidential limousine, minutes before the assassination. Secret Service agents William Greer (driving) and Roy Kellerman are in the front seats.
LocationDealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas U.S.
Coordinates32°46′45″N 96°48′31″W / 32.77903°N 96.80867°W / 32.77903; -96.80867Coordinates: 32°46′45″N 96°48′31″W / 32.77903°N 96.80867°W / 32.77903; -96.80867
DateNovember 22, 1963; 59 years ago (1963-11-22)
12:30 p.m. (CST)
TargetJohn F. Kennedy
Attack type
Sniper assassination
DeathsJohn F. Kennedy
J. D. Tippit[a]
InjuredJohn Connally
James Tague[b]
PerpetratorLee Harvey Oswald
ChargesMurder with malice (2 counts, murdered before trial)

John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m. CST in Dallas, Texas, while riding in a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza.[1] Kennedy was in the vehicle with his wife, Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally's wife, Nellie, when he was fatally shot from the nearby Texas School Book Depository by Lee Harvey Oswald, a former US Marine. Governor Connally was seriously wounded in the attack. The motorcade rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where Kennedy was pronounced dead about 30 minutes after the shooting; Connally recovered.

About 70 minutes after Kennedy and Connally were shot, Oswald was arrested by the Dallas Police Department and charged under Texas state law with the murders of Kennedy and of J. D. Tippit, a Dallas police officer. At 11:21 a.m. on November 24, 1963, as live television cameras covered Oswald being moved through the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters, he was fatally shot by Dallas nightclub operator Jack Ruby. Like Kennedy, Oswald was also taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he soon died. Ruby was convicted of Oswald's murder, though it was later overturned on appeal, and Ruby died in prison in 1967 while awaiting a new trial.

After a 10-month investigation, the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald assassinated Kennedy, that Oswald had acted entirely alone, and that Ruby had acted alone in killing Oswald.[2] Kennedy was the eighth and most recent US president to die in office, and the fourth (following Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) to be assassinated. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson automatically became president upon Kennedy's death.[3]

In its 1979 report, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) agreed with the Warren Commission that Oswald's three rifle shots caused the injuries that Kennedy and Connally sustained. After analysis of a dictabelt audio recording the HSCA concluded that Kennedy was likely "assassinated as a result of a conspiracy".[4] The committee could not identify a second gunman or group involved in the possible conspiracy, although the HSCA concluded that analysis pointed to the existence of an additional gunshot and "a high probability that two gunmen fired at [the] President".[5][6]

The U.S. Justice Department concluded active investigations and stated "that no persuasive evidence can be identified to support the theory of a conspiracy" in the assassination.[5] However, Kennedy's assassination is still the subject of widespread debate and has spawned numerous conspiracy theories and alternative scenarios. Polls conducted from 1966 to 2004 found that up to 80 percent of Americans suspected that there was a plot or cover-up.[7][4] The assassination was the first of four major assassinations of the 1960s in the United States, coming two years before the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, and five years before the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.[8]



Kennedy traveled to Texas to smooth over frictions in the Democratic Party between liberals Ralph Yarborough, Don Yarborough, and conservative Texas governor John Connally.[6] The visit was first agreed upon by Kennedy, Texas native Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Connally during a meeting in El Paso in June.[9] Kennedy had three basic goals in mind:

  1. To help raise more Democratic Party presidential campaign fund contributions;[9]
  2. To begin his quest for reelection in November 1964;[10] and
  3. To help make political amends among several leading Texas Democratic party members who appeared to be fighting amongst themselves[11]

The trip was announced in September 1963. The motorcade route was finalized on November 18 and announced soon after.[12]

Route to Dealey Plaza

Dealey Plaza showing the route of Kennedy's motorcade. In the overhead view north is at left.

Kennedy's itinerary called for him to arrive at Dallas Love Field via a short flight from Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth.[13][14] The motorcade route through Dallas – with Kennedy, Connally, and their wives together in a single limousine, and Johnson and his wife two cars behind – was intended to give Kennedy maximum exposure to local crowds before his arrival for a luncheon at Dallas Market Center, where he would meet with civic and business leaders.[13] Kenneth O'Donnell, Kennedy's friend and appointments secretary, had selected the Trade Mart (one of the buildings of Dallas Market Center) as the destination for the motorcade and location of the luncheon.[13][14]

Leaving from Dallas Love Field, the motorcade had been allotted 45 minutes to reach the Trade Mart at a planned arrival time of 12:15 p.m. The itinerary was designed to serve as a meandering 10-mile (16-km) route between the two places, and the motorcade vehicles could be driven slowly within the allotted time.

Special Agent Winston G. Lawson, a member of the White House detail who acted as the advance Secret Service Agent, and Secret Service Agent Forrest V. Sorrels, special agent in charge of the Dallas office, were the most active in planning the actual motorcade route. On November 14, both men attended a meeting at Love Field and drove over the route that Sorrels believed was best suited for the motorcade. From Love Field, the route passed through a suburban section of Dallas, through Downtown along Main Street, a right turn on N. Houston Street for one block, a left turn on Elm Street passing through Dealey Plaza, and down a short segment of the Stemmons Freeway to the Trade Mart.[15]

Kennedy had planned to return to Love Field to leave for a fundraising dinner in Austin later that day. For the return trip, the agents selected a more direct route that was about 4 mi (6.4 km); some of this route would be used after the assassination. The planned route to the Trade Mart was widely reported in Dallas newspapers several days before the event, for the benefit of people who wished to view the motorcade.[15]

President Kennedy's motorcade on Main Street, approaching Dealey Plaza

To pass through Downtown Dallas, a route west along Main Street, rather than Elm Street (one block to the north) was chosen, since this was the traditional parade route and provided the maximal building and crowd views. The Main Street section of the route prevented a direct turn onto the Fort Worth Turnpike exit (which served also as the Stemmons Freeway exit), which was the route to the Trade Mart, as this exit was only accessible from Elm Street. Therefore, the planned motorcade route included a short one-block turn at the end of the downtown segment of Main Street, onto Houston Street for one block northward, before turning again west onto Elm, that way they could proceed through Dealey Plaza before exiting Elm onto the Stemmons Freeway. The Texas School Book Depository was (and still is) situated at the northwest corner of the Houston and Elm Street intersection.[16]

The Dallas motorcade used three vehicles for Secret Service and police protection:

  • The first car, an unmarked white Ford (hardtop), carried Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry, Secret Service Agent Win Lawson, Sheriff Bill Decker and Dallas Field Agent Forrest Sorrels.
  • The second car, a 1961 Lincoln Continental convertible, was occupied by driver Agent Bill Greer, SAIC Roy Kellerman, Governor John Connally, Nellie Connally, President Kennedy, and Jackie Kennedy.[17]
  • The third car, a 1955 Cadillac convertible code-named "Halfback," contained driver Agent Sam Kinney, ATSAIC Emory Roberts, presidential aides Ken O'Donnell and Dave Powers, driver Agent George Hickey and PRS agent Glen Bennett. Secret Service agents Clint Hill, Jack Ready, Tim McIntyre and Paul Landis rode on the running boards.

On November 22—after a breakfast speech in Fort Worth, where Kennedy had stayed overnight after arriving from San Antonio, Houston, and Washington, D.C., the previous day—Kennedy boarded Air Force One, which departed at 11:10 and arrived at Love Field 15 minutes later. At about 11:40, Kennedy's motorcade left Love Field for the trip through Dallas, running on a schedule about 10 minutes longer than the planned 45, due to enthusiastic crowds estimated at 150,000 to 200,000 people, and two unplanned stops directed by Kennedy.[18][19][20]


Shooting in Dealey Plaza

Dealey Plaza, with Elm Street on the right and the Triple Underpass in the middle. The white concrete pergola, from which Zapruder was filming, is at the right, and the Grassy Knoll is in front of it (slightly left of it in the picture). The red brick building partially visible at the upper right is the Texas School Book Depository. Kennedy was struck by the final bullet when he was just left of the lamp-post in front of the pergola.
Ike Altgens's photo of Kennedy's limousine, taken between the first and second shots that struck Kennedy. Kennedy's left hand is in front of his throat and Mrs. Kennedy's left hand is holding his arm.
Polaroid photo by Mary Moorman taken a fraction of a second after the fatal shot (detail).
Secret Service Special Agent Clint Hill shields the occupants of the presidential limousine moments after the fatal shots. (Background blurred because the camera was panning in to follow the limousine).
Other view of the moment when Hill shields the occupants
Witness Howard Brennan sitting in the identical spot across from the Texas School Book Depository four months after the assassination. Circle "A" indicates where he saw Oswald firing a rifle.
In this 2008 photo, arrows indicate the sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository and the spot on Elm Street at which Kennedy was struck in the head. Right of the depository is the Dal-Tex Building.

Kennedy's open-top 1961 Lincoln Continental four-door convertible limousine entered Dealey Plaza at 12:30 p.m. CST. Nellie Connally, the First Lady of Texas, turned to Kennedy, who was sitting behind her, and commented, "Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you". Kennedy's reply – "No, you certainly can't" – were his last words.[21][22][23]

From Houston Street, the limousine made the planned left turn onto Elm en route to the Stemmons Freeway. As it turned, it passed by the Texas School Book Depository, and as it continued down Elm Street, shots were fired. About 80% of the witnesses recalled hearing three shots.[24] A Mannlicher-Carcano rifle and three shell casings were also found near an open window on the book depository's sixth floor.[25][26][27][28][29]

Shortly after Kennedy began waving, a few witnesses recognized the first gunshot for what it was, but there was little reaction from most in the crowd or those riding in the motorcade. Many later said they imagined what they heard to be a firecracker, or a vehicle backfiring.[30] The Warren Commission—based on the Zapruder film—found that the limousine had traveled an average speed of 11.2 miles per hour (18.0 km/h) over the 186 ft (57 m) of Elm Street immediately preceding the fatal head shot.[31] Texas School Book Depository employee Bonnie Ray Williams testified that he recognized Oswald as someone whom he saw on the sixth floor twice before the assassination took place.[32][33]

Within one second of each other, Governor Connally and Mrs. Kennedy turn abruptly from looking to their left to looking to their right, beginning at Zapruder film frame 162.[34] Connally, like Kennedy, was a World War II military veteran, and was a longtime hunter; he testified that he immediately recognized the sound as that of a high-powered rifle, and turned his head and torso rightward to see Kennedy behind him. He testified he could not see Kennedy, so he then started to turn forward again (turning from his right to his left), and that when his head was facing about 20 degrees left of center,[22] he was hit in his upper right back by a bullet that he did not hear fired. The doctor who operated on Connally estimated that his head at the time he was hit had been 27 degrees left of center.[22] After Connally was hit, he shouted, "Oh, no, no, no. My God. They're going to kill us all!"[35]

Mrs. Connally testified that just after hearing a loud, frightening noise that came from somewhere behind her and to her right, she turned toward Kennedy and saw him raise up his arms and elbows, with his hands in front of his face and throat. She then heard another shot and then Governor Connally yelling. Mrs. Connally then turned away from Kennedy toward her husband, at which point another gunshot sounded, and both she and the limousine's rear interior were covered with fragments of skull, blood, and brain.

According to the Warren Commission[36] and the House Select Committee on Assassinations,[37] Kennedy was waving to the crowds on his right with his right arm upraised on the side of the limo when a shot entered his upper back, penetrated his neck and slightly damaged a spinal vertebra and the top of his right lung. The bullet exited his throat nearly centerline just beneath his larynx and nicked the left side of his suit tie knot. He raised his elbows and clenched his fists in front of his face and neck, then leaned forward and left. Mrs. Kennedy, facing him, then put her arms around him in concern.[22][38]

According to the Warren Commission's single bullet theory, Governor Connally also reacted after the same bullet penetrated his back just below his right armpit. The bullet created an oval-shaped entry wound, impacted and destroyed four inches (10 cm) of his right fifth rib, and exited his chest just below his right nipple. This created a two-point-five-inch (6.5 cm) oval-shaped air-sucking chest wound. That same bullet then entered his arm just above his right wrist and cleanly shattered his right radius bone into eight pieces. The bullet exited just below the wrist at the inner side of his right palm and finally lodged in his left inner thigh.[22][38] The Warren Commission theorized that the "single bullet" struck sometime between Zapruder frames 210 and 225, while the House Select Committee theorized that it struck at approximately Zapruder frame 190.[39]

According to the Warren Commission, a second shot that struck Kennedy was recorded at Zapruder film frame 313. The commission made no conclusion as to whether this was the second or third bullet fired. The limousine then passed in front of the John Neely Bryan north pergola concrete structure. The two investigative committees concluded that the second shot to hit Kennedy entered the rear of his head (the House Select Committee placed the entry wound four inches higher than the Warren Commission placed it) and passed in fragments through his skull; this created a large, "roughly ovular" [sic] hole on the rear, right side of the head. Kennedy's blood and fragments of his scalp, brain, and skull landed on the interior of the car, the inner and outer surfaces of the front glass windshield, the raised sun visors, the front engine hood, and the rear trunk lid. His blood and fragments also landed on the Secret Service follow-up car and its driver's left arm, as well on the motorcycle officers who were riding on both sides of Kennedy just behind his vehicle.[40][41]

Secret Service Special Agent Clint Hill was riding on the left front running board of the follow-up car, which was immediately behind Kennedy's limousine. Hill testified that he heard one shot, then, as documented in other films and concurrent with Zapruder frame 308, he jumped off into Elm Street and ran forward to board the trunk of the limousine and protect Kennedy; Hill testified to the Warren Commission that he heard the fatal headshot as he was reaching the limousine, "approximately five seconds" after the first shot that he heard.[42]

After Kennedy was shot in the head, Mrs. Kennedy began climbing out onto the back of the limousine, though she later had no recollection of doing so.[35][43] Hill believed she was reaching for something, perhaps a piece of Kennedy's skull.[42] He jumped onto the back of the limousine while at the same time Mrs. Kennedy returned to her seat, and he clung to the car as it exited Dealey Plaza and accelerated, speeding to Parkland Memorial Hospital.

After Mrs. Kennedy crawled back into her limousine seat, both Governor and Mrs. Connally heard her repeatedly say, "They have killed my husband. I have his brains in my hand."[21][22] Mrs. Kennedy recalled, "All the ride to the hospital I kept bending over him saying, 'Jack, Jack, can you hear me? I love you, Jack.' I kept holding the top of his head down trying to keep the brains in."[44]

Governor Connally and a spectator wounded

Governor Connally was seated directly in front of Kennedy and three inches more to the left than Kennedy; he was also seriously injured, but survived. Doctors later stated that after the Governor was shot, his wife pulled him onto her lap, and the resulting posture helped close his front chest wound, which was causing air to be sucked directly into his chest around his collapsed right lung.

Bystander James Tague received a minor wound to the right cheek while standing 531 feet (162 m) away from the depository's sixth floor easternmost window, 270 feet (82 m) in front of and slightly to the right of Kennedy's head facing direction and more than 16 feet (4.9 m) below the top of Kennedy's head. Tague's injury occurred when a bullet or bullet fragment with no copper casing struck the nearby Main Street south curb. A deputy sheriff noticed some blood on Tague's cheek, and Tague realized that something had stung his face during the shooting. When Tague pointed to where he had been standing, the police officer noticed a bullet smear on a nearby curb. Nine months later the FBI removed the curb, and a spectrographic analysis revealed metallic residue consistent with that of the lead core in Oswald's ammunition.[45] Tague testified before the Warren Commission and initially stated that he was wounded on his cheek by either the second or third shot of the three shots that he remembered hearing. When the commission counsel pressed him to be more specific, Tague testified that he was wounded by the second shot.[46]

Aftermath in Dealey Plaza

Bill and Gayle Newman dropped to the grass and shielded their children.

The limousine was passing the grassy knoll to the north of Elm Street at the time of the fatal head shot. As the motorcade left Dealey Plaza, police officers and spectators ran up the grassy hill and from the triple underpass, to the area behind a five-foot (1.5 m) high stockade fence atop the knoll, separating it from a parking lot. No sniper was found there.[47]

Lee Bowers was in a two-story railroad switch tower[48] which gave him an unobstructed view of the rear of the stockade fence atop the grassy knoll.[49] He saw four men in the area between his tower and Elm Street: two men who seemed not to know each other near the triple underpass, some 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 m) apart, and one or two uniformed parking lot attendants. At the time of the shooting, he saw "something out of the ordinary, a sort of milling around", which he could not identify. Bowers testified that one or both of the men were still there when motorcycle officer Clyde Haygood ran up the grassy knoll to the back of the fence.[50] In a 1966 interview, Bowers clarified that the two men he saw were standing in the opening between the pergola and the fence, and that "no one" was behind the fence at the time the shots were fired.[51][52]

Meanwhile, Howard Brennan, a steamfitter who had been sitting across the street from the Texas School Book Depository, approached police to say that as the motorcade passed he heard a shot come from above, then looked up to see a man with a rifle take another shot from a sixth-floor corner window. He said he had seen the same man looking out the window minutes earlier.[53] Police broadcast Brennan's description of this man at 12:45, 12:48, and 12:55 p.m.[54][55] After the second shot, Brennan recalled,[when?] "This man ... was aiming for his last shot ... and maybe paused for another second as though to assure himself that he had hit his mark."[56]

As Brennan spoke to the police in front of the building, they were joined by two Book Depository employees who had been watching the motorcade from windows at the southeast corner of the building's fifth floor.[57] One reported hearing three gunshots come from directly over their heads[58] and sounds of a bolt-action rifle and cartridges dropping on the floor above.[59]

Dallas police sealed off the exits from the depository approximately between 12:33 and 12:50 p.m.[60][61]

There were at least 104 earwitnesses in Dealey Plaza who were on record with an opinion as to the direction from which the shots came. Fifty-four (51.9%) thought that all shots came from the depository building. Thirty-three (31.7%) thought that they came from either the grassy knoll or the triple underpass. Nine (8.7%) thought that each shot came from a location entirely distinct from the knoll or the depository. Five (4.8%) believed that they heard shots from two locations, and 3 (2.9%) thought that the shots originated from a direction consistent with both the knoll and the depository.[24][62]

The Warren Commission additionally concluded that three shots were fired and said that "a substantial majority of the witnesses stated that the shots were not evenly spaced. Most witnesses recalled that the second and third shots were bunched together".[63]

Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby

Jack Ruby shooting Oswald, who was being escorted by police detective Jim Leavelle (tan suit) for the transfer from the city jail to the county jail.

Depository employee Buell Wesley Frazier, who drove Oswald to work, testified that he saw Oswald take a long brown paper bag into the building which Oswald told him contained "curtain rods."[64][65][66] After Oswald's supervisor at the depository reported him missing,[67] police broadcast his description as a suspect in the shooting at Dealey Plaza.[citation needed] Police officer J. D. Tippit subsequently spotted Oswald walking along a sidewalk in the residential neighborhood of Oak Cliff (three miles from Dealey Plaza) and called him over to the patrol car. After an exchange of words, Tippit got out of his car; Oswald shot Tippit four times, emptied the bullet casings from his gun, and fled.[68] The long brown bag which Frazier described was also found by six Dallas police officers near the sixth floor window where Oswald was determined to have fired gunshots at President Kennedy and was revealed to be 38 inches long with marks on the inside consistent with those of a rifle.[66]

Oswald was subsequently seen "ducking into" the entrance alcove of a store by the store's manager, who then watched Oswald continue up the street and slip into the Texas Theatre without paying.[69] The store manager alerted the theater's ticket clerk, who telephoned police[70] at about 1:40 p.m. Officers arrived and arrested Oswald inside the theater. According to one of the officers, Oswald resisted and was attempting to draw his pistol when he was struck and restrained.[71]

External video
video icon Oswald professing innocence on YouTube
video icon Oswald's press conference

Oswald was charged with the murders of Kennedy and Tippit later that night.[72] He denied shooting anyone and claimed he was being made a "patsy" because he had lived in the Soviet Union.[73]

On Sunday, November 24 at 11:21 a.m. CST, as Oswald was being escorted to a car in the basement of Dallas Police headquarters for the transfer from the city jail to the county jail, he was fatally shot by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby. The shooting was broadcast live on American television. Unconscious, Oswald was taken by ambulance to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where Kennedy had died two days earlier; he died at 1:07 p.m.[74] Oswald's death was announced on a TV news broadcast by Dallas police chief Jesse Curry. An autopsy later that day, by Dallas County Medical Examiner Earl Rose, found that Oswald had been killed by a gunshot wound to the chest.[75] Arrested immediately after the shooting, Ruby said that he had been distraught by Kennedy's death and that killing Oswald would spare "Mrs. Kennedy the discomfiture of coming back to trial".[76]

Carcano rifle

An Italian Carcano M91/38 bolt-action rifle (see 6.5×52mm Mannlicher–Carcano cartridge) was found on the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository by Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman and Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone soon after the assassination.[77] The recovery was filmed by Tom Alyea of WFAA-TV.[78]

This footage shows the rifle to be a Carcano, and photographic analysis commissioned by the HSCA verified that the rifle filmed was the one later identified as the assassination weapon.[79] Compared to photographs taken of Oswald holding the rifle in his backyard, "one notch in the stock at [a] point that appears very faintly in the photograph" matched,[80] as well as the rifle's dimensions.[81]

The rifle had been purchased, secondhand, by Oswald the previous March under the alias "A. Hidell" and delivered to a post-office box he had rented in Dallas.[82] According to the Warren Report, a partial palm print belonging to Oswald was also found on the barrel,[83][84] and fibers found in a crevice of the rifle were consistent with the fibers from the shirt Oswald was wearing when he was arrested.[85][86]

A bullet found on Governor Connally's hospital gurney and two bullet fragments found in the limousine were ballistically matched to this rifle.[87]

Kennedy declared dead in the emergency room

Cecil Stoughton's iconic photograph of Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in as President as Air Force One prepares to depart Love Field in Dallas. Jacqueline Kennedy (right), still in her blood-spattered clothes (not visible here), looks on.

In a death certificate executed the following day, Kennedy's personal physician, George Burkley, recited that he arrived at the hospital some five minutes after Kennedy and – though Secret Service personnel reported that Kennedy had been breathing – immediately saw that survival was impossible. The certificate listed "gunshot wound, skull" as the cause of death.[88][89]

Kennedy was pronounced dead at 1:00 p.m., CST (19:00 UTC) after heart activity ceased. Father Oscar Huber administered the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church.[90] Huber told The New York Times that by the time he arrived at the hospital Kennedy had died, so that he had to draw back a sheet covering Kennedy's face to administer the sacrament of Extreme Unction.[90] Kennedy's death was announced by White House Acting Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff at 1:33 p.m.[91][92] (Press Secretary Pierre Salinger was traveling to Japan that day, along with much of the Cabinet.)[93][94][95] Governor Connally, meanwhile, underwent surgery.

Members of Kennedy's security detail were attempting to remove Kennedy's body from the hospital when they briefly scuffled with Dallas officials, including Dallas County Coroner Earl Rose, who believed that he was legally obligated to perform an autopsy before Kennedy's body was removed.[96] The Secret Service pushed through and Rose eventually stepped aside.[97] The forensic panel of the HSCA, of which Rose was a member, later said that Texas law made it the responsibility of the justice of the peace to determine cause of death and to determine whether an autopsy was needed.[98] A Dallas County justice of the peace signed the official record of inquest[when?][98] as well as a second certificate of death.[when?][99]

A few minutes after 2:00 p.m,[further explanation needed] Kennedy's body was taken from Parkland Hospital to Love Field. His casket was loaded into the rear of the passenger compartment of Air Force One in place of a removed row of seats.

Vice President Lyndon Johnson had accompanied Kennedy to Dallas and been riding two cars behind Kennedy's limousine in the motorcade. He became President as soon as Kennedy died and, at 2:38 p.m., with Jacqueline Kennedy at his side, he was administered the oath of office by federal judge Sarah Tilghman Hughes aboard Air Force One shortly before departing for Washington.[100]


Kennedy's body was flown back to Washington, D.C.[101] His autopsy was performed at the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, between about 8 p.m. and midnight EST, Saturday, November 23. It was performed at a naval hospital at the request of Jacqueline Kennedy, on the basis that President Kennedy had been a naval officer during World War II.[102]


U.S. armed forces honor guard places the casket bearing the body of slain President John F. Kennedy on the Lincoln Catafalque in the East Room of the White House at about 4:40 A.M. on November 23, 1963.

Kennedy's body was brought back to Washington after his assassination. Early on November 23, six military pallbearers carried the flag-draped coffin into the East Room of the White House, where he lay in repose for 24 hours.[103][104] Then, the coffin was carried on a horse-drawn caisson to the Capitol to lie in state. Throughout the day and night, hundreds of thousands lined up to view the guarded casket,[105][106] with a quarter million passing through the rotunda during the 18 hours of lying in state.[105]

Kennedy's funeral service was held on November 25, at St. Matthew's Cathedral.[107] The Requiem Mass was led by Cardinal Richard Cushing.[107] About 1,200 guests, including representatives from over 90 countries, attended.[108][109] After the service, Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.[110]

Film and audio captures of assassination events

The Bell & Howell Zoomatic movie camera used by Abraham Zapruder to shoot footage of the motorcade, which later came to be known as the Zapruder film. The camera is preserved within the collection of the U.S. National Archives.

No radio or television stations broadcast the assassination live. Most media crews did not ride with the motorcade, but were instead waiting at the Dallas Trade Mart in anticipation of Kennedy's arrival there. Members of the media who were with the motorcade were riding at the rear of the procession.

The Dallas police were recording their radio transmissions over two different channels. Channel One was used for routine police communications, while Channel Two was dedicated to the motorcade; until shots were fired, most traffic on the second channel was Police Chief Jesse Curry's updates on the motorcade's location.

Kennedy's last seconds of traveling through Dealey Plaza were recorded on silent 8 mm film for the 26.6 seconds before, during, and immediately following the assassination. This famous film footage was taken by garment manufacturer and amateur cameraman Abraham Zapruder, and became known as the Zapruder film. Frame enlargements from the Zapruder film were published by Life magazine shortly after the assassination. The footage was first shown publicly as a film at the trial of Clay Shaw in 1969, and on television in 1975.[111] According to the Guinness Book of World Records, in 1999 an arbitration panel ordered the United States government to pay $615,384 per second of film to Zapruder's heirs for giving the film to the National Archives. The complete film, which lasts for roughly over 26 seconds, was valued at $16 million.[112][113]

Including Zapruder, 32 photographers are known to have been in Dealey Plaza that day. Amateur movies taken by Orville Nix, Marie Muchmore (shown on television in New York on November 26, 1963),[114][115][116] and photographer Charles Bronson captured the fatal shot, although at a greater distance than Zapruder did. Other motion picture films were taken in Dealey Plaza at or around the time of the shooting by Robert Hughes, F. Mark Bell, Elsie Dorman, John Martin Jr., Patsy Paschall, Tina Towner, James Underwood, Dave Wiegman, Mal Couch, Thomas Atkins, and an unknown woman in a blue dress on the south side of Elm Street.[117]

Still photos were taken by Phillip Willis, Mary Moorman, Hugh W. Betzner Jr., Wilma Bond, Robert Croft, and many others. Ike Altgens, a photo editor for the Associated Press in Dallas, was the only professional photographer in Dealey Plaza who was not in the press cars.

Motion pictures and photographs taken by some of these people show an unidentified woman, nicknamed by researchers Babushka Lady, apparently filming the motorcade around the time of the assassination.

Previously unknown color footage filmed on the assassination day by George Jefferies was released in February 2007.[118][119] The film was shot over 90 seconds before the assassination, several blocks away. However, it gives a clear view of Kennedy's bunched suit jacket, just below the collar, which has led to varying calculations of how low in the back Kennedy was first shot (see discussion above).

Official investigations

Dallas Police

After the Dallas Police arrested Oswald and collected physical evidence at the crime scenes, they held Oswald at their headquarters, questioning him all afternoon about the shootings of Kennedy and Tippit. They intermittently questioned him for approximately 12 hours between 2:30 p.m., on November 22, and 11 a.m., on November 24.[120] Throughout, Oswald denied any involvement with either shooting.[120] Captain J. W. Fritz of the homicide and robbery bureau did most of the questioning; he kept only rudimentary notes.[121][122] Days later, he wrote a report of the interrogation from notes he made afterwards.[121] There were no stenographic or tape recordings. Representatives of other law enforcement agencies were also present, including the FBI and the Secret Service, and occasionally participated in the questioning.[123] Several of the FBI agents who were present wrote contemporaneous reports of the interrogation.[124]

On the evening of the assassination, Dallas Police performed paraffin tests on Oswald's hands and right cheek in an effort to establish whether or not he had recently fired a weapon.[123] The results were positive for the hands and negative for the right cheek.[123] Such tests were unreliable, and the Warren Commission did not rely on these results.[123]

Oswald provided little information during his questioning. When confronted with evidence that he could not explain, he resorted to statements that were found to be false.[123][125]

FBI investigation

On December 9, 1963, the Warren Commission received the FBI's report of its investigation which concluded that three bullets had been fired‍—‌the first hitting Kennedy, the second hitting Connally, and the third hitting Kennedy in the head, killing him.[126] The Warren Commission concluded that one of the three shots missed, one passed through Kennedy and then also struck Connally, and a third struck Kennedy in the head.

Warren Commission

The Warren Commission presents its report to President Johnson. From left to right: John McCloy, J. Lee Rankin (General Counsel), Senator Richard Russell, Congressman Gerald Ford, Chief Justice Earl Warren, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Allen Dulles, Senator John Sherman Cooper, and Congressman Hale Boggs.

The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established on November 29, 1963, by President Johnson to investigate the assassination.[127] Its 888-page final report was presented to Johnson on September 24, 1964, and made public three days later.[128] It concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in killing Kennedy and wounding Connally, and that Jack Ruby acted alone in killing Oswald.[129][130] The commission's findings have proven controversial and been variously criticized and supported by later studies.[131]

The commission was chaired by Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren. According to published transcripts of Johnson's presidential phone conversations, some major officials were opposed to forming such a commission, and several commission members took part only with extreme reluctance.[132] One of their chief reservations was that a commission would ultimately create more controversy than consensus, and those fears ultimately proved valid.[132]

All of the Warren Commission's records were submitted to the National Archives in 1964. The unpublished portion of those records was initially sealed for 75 years (to 2039) under a general National Archives policy that applied to all federal investigations by the executive branch of government, a period "intended to serve as protection for innocent persons who could otherwise be damaged because of their relationship with participants in the case".[133][134] The 75-year rule no longer exists, supplanted by the Freedom of Information Act of 1966 and the JFK Records Act of 1992.

Ramsey Clark Panel

In 1968, a panel of four medical experts appointed by Attorney General Ramsey Clark met to examine photographs, X-rays, documents, and other evidence. The panel concluded that Kennedy was struck by two bullets fired from above and behind, one traversing the base of the neck on the right without striking bone, and the other entering the skull from behind and destroying its upper right side. They also concluded that the skull shot entered well above the external occipital protuberance, which was at odds with the Warren Commission's findings.[135]

Rockefeller Commission

The United States President's Commission on CIA Activities within the United States was set up under President Gerald Ford in 1975 to investigate the activities of the CIA within the United States. The commission was led by Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, and is sometimes referred to as the Rockefeller Commission.

Part of the commission's work dealt with the Kennedy assassination, specifically, the head snap as seen in the Zapruder film (first shown to the general public in 1975), and the possible presence of E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis in Dallas.[136] The commission concluded that neither Hunt nor Sturgis was in Dallas at the time of the assassination.[137]

Church Committee

The Church Committee is the common term referring to the 1975 United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, a U.S. Senate committee chaired by Senator Frank Church, to investigate the illegal intelligence gathering by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after the Watergate incident. It also investigated the CIA and FBI conduct relating to the JFK assassination.

Their report concluded that the investigation into the assassination by FBI and CIA was fundamentally deficient and that facts that may have greatly affected the investigation had not been forwarded to the Warren Commission by the agencies. The report hinted that there was a possibility that senior officials in both agencies made conscious decisions not to disclose potentially important information.[138]

United States House Select Committee on Assassinations

As a result of increasing public and congressional skepticism regarding the Warren Commission's findings and the transparency of government agencies, House Resolution 1540 was passed in September 1976, creating the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) to investigate the assassinations of Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.[139]

The committee investigated until 1978, and in March 1979 issued its final report, concluding that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.[140] The chief reason for this conclusion was, according to the report's dissent, the subsequently discredited[141][5] acoustic analysis of a police channel dictabelt recording. The committee concluded that previous investigations into Oswald's responsibility were "thorough and reliable" but they did not adequately investigate the possibility of a conspiracy, and that Federal agencies performed with "varying degrees of competency".[142] Specifically, the FBI and CIA were found to be deficient in sharing information with other agencies and the Warren Commission. Instead of furnishing all information relevant to the investigation, the FBI and CIA only responded to specific requests and were still occasionally inadequate.[143] Furthermore, the Secret Service did not properly analyze information it possessed prior to the assassination and was inadequately prepared to protect Kennedy.[140]

Concerning the conclusions of "probable conspiracy", four of the twelve committee members wrote dissenting opinions.[144] In accordance with the recommendations of the HSCA, the Dictabelt recording and acoustic evidence of a second assassin was subsequently reexamined. In light of investigative reports from the FBI's Technical Services Division and a specially appointed National Academy of Sciences Committee determining that "reliable acoustic data do not support a conclusion that there was a second gunman",[145] the Justice Department concluded "that no persuasive evidence can be identified to support the theory of a conspiracy" in the Kennedy assassination.[5]

Although the final report and supporting volumes of the HSCA was publicly released, the working papers and primary documents were sealed until 2029 under Congressional rules and only partially released as part of the 1992 JFK Act.[146]

JFK Act and Assassination Records Review Board

In 1992, the popular but controversial movie JFK renewed public interest in the assassination and particularly in the still-classified documents referenced in the film's postscript. Largely in response to the film, Congress passed the JFK Act, or "President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992". The goal of the legislation was to collect at the National Archives and make publicly available all of the assassination-related records held by federal and state government agencies, private citizens and various other organizations.

The JFK Act also mandated the creation of an independent office, the Assassination Records Review Board, to review the submitted records for completeness and continued secrecy. The Review Board was not commissioned to make any findings or conclusions regarding the assassination, just to collect and release all related documents. From 1994 until 1998, the Assassination Records Review Board gathered and unsealed about 60,000 documents, consisting of over 4 million pages.[147][148] Government agencies requested that some records remain classified and these were reviewed under section 6 criteria of the JFK Act. There were 29,420 such records and all of them were fully or partially released, with stringent requirements for redaction.

A staff report for the Assassinations Records Review Board contended that brain photographs in the Kennedy records are not of Kennedy's brain and show much less damage than Kennedy sustained. Boswell refuted these allegations.[149] The board also found that, conflicting with the photographic images showing no such defect, a number of witnesses (at both the hospital and the autopsy) saw a large wound in the back of Kennedy's head.[150] The board and board member, Jeremy Gunn, have also stressed the problems with witness testimony, asking people to weigh all of the evidence, with due concern for human error, rather than take single statements as "proof" for one theory or another.[151][152]

All remaining assassination-related records (approximately 5,000 pages) were scheduled to be released by October 26, 2017, with the exception of documents certified for continued postponement by succeeding presidents under the following conditions: (1) "continued postponement is made necessary by an identifiable harm to the military, defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or conduct of foreign relations" and (2) "the identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure." There was some concern among researchers that significant records, particularly those of the CIA, might still remain classified after 2017.[153][154] Although these documents may include interesting historical information, all of the records were examined by the Review Board and were not determined to impact the facts of the Kennedy assassination.[155] President Donald Trump said in October 2017 that he would not block the release of documents.[154] On 26 April 2018, the deadline set by President Trump to release all JFK records, he blocked the release of some records until October 26, 2021.[156][157]

Conspiracy theories

The wooden fence on the grassy knoll, where many conspiracy theorists believe another gunman stood

Many conspiracy theories posit that the assassination involved people or organizations in addition to Lee Harvey Oswald. Most current theories put forth a criminal conspiracy involving parties as varied as the FBI, the CIA, the U.S. military,[158] the Mafia,[159] Vice President Johnson, Cuban President Fidel Castro, the KGB, or some combination of those entities.[160]

Public opinion polls have consistently shown that a majority of Americans believe there was a conspiracy to kill Kennedy. Gallup polls have also found that only 20–30% of the population believe that Oswald had acted alone. These polls also show that there is no agreement on who else may have been involved.[161][162] Former Los Angeles District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi estimated that a total of 42 groups, 82 assassins, and 214 people had been accused in various Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories.[163]

Reactions to the assassination

The assassination evoked stunned reactions worldwide. The first hour after the shooting was a time of great confusion before the President's death was announced. The incident took place during the Cold War, and it was at first unclear whether the shooting might be part of a larger attack upon the United States. There was also concern whether Vice President Johnson, who had been riding two cars behind in the motorcade, was safe.

The news shocked the nation. People wept openly and gathered in department stores to watch the television coverage, while others prayed. Traffic in some areas came to a halt as the news spread from car to car.[126] Schools across the United States dismissed their students early.[164] Anger against Texas and Texans was reported from some individuals. Various Cleveland Browns fans, for example, carried signs at the next Sunday's home game against the Dallas Cowboys decrying the city of Dallas as having "killed the President".[165][166]

However, there were also instances of Kennedy's opponents cheering the assassination. A journalist reported rejoicing in the streets of Amarillo, with a woman crying out, "Hey, great, JFK's croaked!"[167]

The event left a lasting impression on many worldwide. As with the preceding attack on Pearl Harbor of December 7, 1941, and, much later, the September 11 attacks, asking "Where were you when you heard about President Kennedy's assassination?" would become a common topic of discussion.[168][169][170][171]

Artifacts, museums and locations today

The VC-137C SAM 26000 that served as Air Force One at the time of the assassination is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. The 1961 Lincoln Continental limousine is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.[172]

Jacqueline Kennedy's pink suit, the autopsy report, the X-rays, and President Kennedy's blood-stained clothing are in the National Archives, with access controlled by the Kennedy family. Other items in the Archives include equipment from Parkland Hospital trauma room; Oswald's rifle, diary, and revolver; bullet fragments; and the windshield of Kennedy's limousine.[172] The Lincoln Catafalque, on which Kennedy's coffin rested in the Capitol, is on display at the United States Capitol Visitor Center.[173]

In 1993 the three-acre park within Dealey Plaza, the buildings facing it, the overpass, and a portion of the adjacent railyard – including the railroad switching tower – were incorporated into the Dealey Plaza Historic District by the National Park Service. Much of the area is accessible by visitors, including the park and grassy knoll. Elm Street is still an active thoroughfare; an X painted in the road marks the approximate spot at which the shots struck Kennedy and Connally.[174] The Texas School Book Depository and its Sixth Floor Museum draw over 325,000 visitors annually, and contains a re-creation of the area from which Oswald fired.[175] The Sixth Floor Museum also manages the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial located one block east of Dealey Plaza.[176]

At the direction of the deceased president's brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, some items were destroyed by the United States government. The casket in which Kennedy's body was transported from Dallas to Washington was dropped into the sea by the Air Force, because "its public display would be extremely offensive and contrary to public policy".[177] The Texas State Archives has the clothes Connally was wearing when he was shot. The gun Ruby used to kill Oswald later came into the possession of Ruby's brother Earl, and was sold in 1991 for $220,000.[178]

See also


  1. ^ Dallas police officer who was shot and killed by Oswald 45 minutes after the assassination attack.
  2. ^ Oswald's missed shot hit a curb, dispersing curbstone fragments, at least one of which struck Tague's cheek causing minor bleeding.


  1. ^ Stokes 1979, p. 21.
  2. ^ "Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, Chapter 1: Summary and Conclusions". August 15, 2016.
  3. ^ "Article II". LII / Legal Information Institute.
  4. ^ a b Jarrett Murphy, "40 Years Later: Who Killed JFK?" Archived November 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, CBS News, November 21, 2003.
  5. ^ a b c d "Letter from Assistant Attorney General William F. Weld to Peter W. Rodino Jr., undated" (PDF). Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Russ. "26, 2009#P12844 Life in Legacy". Archived from the original on May 12, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2010.
  7. ^ Gary Langer (November 16, 2003). "John F. Kennedy's Assassination Leaves a Legacy of Suspicion" (PDF). ABC News. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 26, 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  8. ^ Shahid M. Shahidullah, Crime Policy in America: Laws, Institutions, and Programs (2015), p. 94.
  9. ^ a b Warren 1964, p. 28
  10. ^ White 1965, p. 3
  11. ^ United Press International & American Heritage 1964, p. 7
  12. ^ Warren 1964, p. 40
  13. ^ a b c Testimony of Kenneth P. O'Donnell. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. VII. pp. 440–457. Retrieved November 26, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  14. ^ a b Warren 1964, chpt. 2, p. 31.
  15. ^ a b Warren 1964, chpt. 2, p. 40.
  16. ^ McAdams, John (2012). "Changed Motorcade Route in Dallas?". The Kennedy Assassination. Marquette University. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  17. ^ Blaine, G. (2003). The Kennedy Detail. New York: Gallery Books. p. 196.
  18. ^ "November 22, 1963: Death of Kennedy". John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  19. ^ Carr, Heather. "What time was President Kennedy shot? When was Lee Harvey Oswald arrested?". Dallas. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  20. ^ John F. Kennedy by Tanya Savory chapter 12, second page. Retrieved January 14, 2016
  21. ^ a b Testimony of Mrs. John Bowden Connally, Jr. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. IV. pp. 146–149. Retrieved November 26, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  22. ^ a b c d e f Testimony of Gov. John Bowden Connally, Jr. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. IV. pp. 129–146. Retrieved November 26, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  23. ^ "Testimony of Mrs. John F. Kennedy". Warren Commission. p. 179. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  24. ^ a b McAdams, John (2012). "Dealey Plaza Earwitnesses". The Kennedy Assassination. Marquette University. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  25. ^ "Chapter 4". National Archives. August 15, 2016.
  26. ^ "Warren Commission Report Chapter 3". National Archives. August 15, 2016.
  27. ^ "Texas School Book Depository: Oswald's Sniper's Nest".
  28. ^ "History of The Texas School Book Depository Building | The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza".
  29. ^ "John F. Kennedy and the Memory of a Nation | The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza".
  30. ^ Warren 1964, chpt. 2, p. 49
  31. ^ "Chapter 2". National Archives. August 15, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  32. ^ "Testimony Of Bonnie Ray Williams".
  33. ^ "An Overview · The Employees of the TSBD · JFK Witnesses".
  34. ^ HSCA Appendix to Hearings (Report). Vol. VI. p. 29 – via History Matters Archive.
  35. ^ a b Testimony of Mrs. John F. Kennedy. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. V. June 5, 1964. pp. 178–181. Retrieved November 26, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  36. ^ Warren 1964, chpt. 1, pp. 18–19.
  37. ^ Stokes 1979, pp. 41–46.
  38. ^ a b Testimony of Dr. Robert Roeder Shaw. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. IV. April 21, 1964. pp. 101–117. Retrieved November 26, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  39. ^ Monroe, Monte L. (January–February 2012). "Waggoner Carr investigates the JFK assassination". Texas Techsan. Lubbock: Texas Tech Alumni Association: 23–31. Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr attempted a state-level investigation but received no cooperation from the Warren Commission. In the end, Carr generally endorsed the Warren Commission's findings.
  40. ^ Testimony of Bobby W. Hargis. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. VI. April 8, 1964. pp. 293–296. Retrieved November 26, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  41. ^ Zapruder Film on YouTube
  42. ^ a b Testimony of Clinton J. Hill, Special Agent, Secret Service. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. II. pp. 132–144. Retrieved November 26, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  43. ^ Zapruder film: frames 370, 375, 380, 390.
  44. ^ Leaming, Barbara (2014). Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story. St. Martin's Press. p. 141. ISBN 978-1-250-01764-2.
  45. ^ The Truth Behind JFK's Assassination, by Max Holland, Newsweek, November 20, 2014.
  46. ^ Testimony of James Thomas Tague. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. VII. July 23, 1964. pp. 552–558. Retrieved November 26, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  47. ^ Testimony of Clyde A. Haygood. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. VI. April 9, 1964. pp. 296–302. Retrieved November 26, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  48. ^ Rahn, Kenneth A. Sr. (November 2001). "Up by the Triple Underpass 1". Ken and Greg's Excellent Adventure: Dallas. Retrieved November 27, 2012. See photos 1, 4, 7, and 8.
  49. ^ Commission Exhibit 2118: View From North Tower of Union Terminal Company, Dallas, Texas. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. XXIV. p. 548. Retrieved November 25, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  50. ^ Warren Commission Hearings, Testimony of Lee E. Bowers, Jr.
  51. ^ Myers, Dale K. (2008). "The Testimony of Lee Bowers, Jr". Secrets of a Homicide: Badge Man. Oak Cliff Press. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  52. ^ Myers, Dale K. (September 14, 2007). "Lee Bowers: The Man Behind the Grassy Knoll". Secrets of a Homicide: JFK Assassination. Oak Cliff Press. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  53. ^ Testimony of Howard Brennan. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. III. p. 143 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  54. ^ Testimony of Howard Brennan. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. III. p. 145 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  55. ^ McAdams, John (November 22, 1963). "The JFK Assassination Dallas Police Tapes: History in Real Time". The Kennedy Assassination. Marquette University. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  56. ^ Summers 2013, p. 62.
  57. ^ Photograph of Harold Norman, Bonnie Ray Williams, and James Jarman, Jr. showing their positions on the fifth floor of the Texas School Book Depository as the motorcade passed. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. XVII. p. 202, CE 485 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  58. ^ "Testimony Of Bonnie Ray Williams".
  59. ^ "Testimony of Harold Norman". Warren Commission Hearings.
  60. ^ Warren Commission Hearings, Testimony of Welcome Eugene Barnett. Via History Matters Archive
  61. ^ Warren Commission Hearings, Testimony of Forrest V. Sorrels. Via History Matters Archive
  62. ^ Not included in the 51.9% are two earwitnesses who though the shots came from the TSBD, but from a lower floor or at street level, and who are thus included in the 8.7%. Included in the 31.7% is a witness who thought the shots came from "the alcove near the benches".
  63. ^ Warren 1964, chpt. 3, p. 110.
  64. ^ Warren Commission Hearings, vol. I, pp. 72–73, Testimony of Marina Oswald.
  65. ^ Testimony of Wesley Frazier, Warren Commission Hearings, vol. 2, pp. 226–227.
  66. ^ a b Magen Knuth, The Long Brown Bag.
  67. ^ Testimony of Roy Truly, Warren Commission Hearings and Exhibits, vol. 3, p. 230.
  68. ^ Testimony of Helen Markham. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. III. p. 307 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  69. ^ Testimony of Johnny Calvin Brewer. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. III. pp. 3–5 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  70. ^ Testimony of Julia Postal. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). p. 11 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  71. ^ Testimony of M.N. McDonald. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. III. p. 300 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  72. ^ Tippit murder affidavit: text, cover. Kennedy murder affidavit: text, cover. Via History Matters Archive
  73. ^ Kantor Exhibit No. 3 — Handwritten notes made by Seth Kantor concerning events surrounding the assassination. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. XX. p. 366 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  74. ^ Bagdikian, Ben H. (December 14, 1963). Blair, Clay Jr. (ed.). "The Assassin". The Saturday Evening Post. Philadelphia, PA: The Curtis Publishing Company (44): 26.
  75. ^ "Official Autopsy Report of Lee Harvey Oswald". The Nook: An Investigation of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. November 24, 1963. Archived from the original on February 26, 2019. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  76. ^ Testimony of Jack Ruby. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. V. pp. 198–200 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  77. ^ "John F. Kennedy Assassination Homepage :: Warren Commission :: Report :: Page 645". December 5, 2004. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  78. ^ "Tom Alyea, "Facts and Photos"". December 19, 1963. Archived from the original on July 25, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  79. ^ Addendum: Report on an Examination of Photographs of the Rifle Associated with the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. HSCA Appendix to Hearings (Report). Vol. VI. pp. 66–107. Retrieved November 26, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  80. ^ Warren 1964, chpt. 4, pp. 125–126.
  81. ^ Warren 1964, chpt. 4, p. 129.
  82. ^ Warren 1964, chpt. 4, p. 118.
  83. ^ Warren 1964, chpt. 4, p. 122.
  84. ^ Testimony of Lt. J. C. Day. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. IV. p. 260. Retrieved November 25, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  85. ^ Warren 1964, chpt. 4, p. 124.
  86. ^ Shaneyfelt Exhibit No. 24. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). Vol. XXI. p. 467. Retrieved November 25, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  87. ^ Warren 1964, chpt. 3, p. 79.
  88. ^ "Biographical sketch of Dr. George Gregory Burkley, Arlington National Cemetery". Arlington National Cemetery. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
  89. ^ "MD 6 – White House Death Certificate (Burkley – 11/23/63), pg". Archived from the original on July 29, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2010 – via History Matters Archive.
  90. ^ a b Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 110, Number 3, January 2007, pp. 380–393. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
  91. ^ Associated Press 1963, p. 15
  92. ^ "Biographical sketch of Malcolm MacGregor Kilduff, Jr". Arlington National Cemetery. Archived from the original on March 29, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
  93. ^ Associated Press 1963, p. 19
  94. ^ Rusk, Dean (1990). Rusk, Richard; Papp, Daniel S. (eds.). As I Saw It. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. p. 296. ISBN 0-393-02650-7.
  95. ^ "Johnson Feared a Plot in Dallas". The New York Times. Associated Press. December 24, 1963. p. 6. Mr. Kilduff was the White House press man in charge at Dallas because Pierre Salinger, the chief press secretary, was traveling to Japan with members of the Cabinet.
  96. ^ Bugliosi 2007, pp. 92f–93f.
  97. ^ Bugliosi 2007, pp. 110–111.
  98. ^ a b "Specific considerations pertaining to the John F. Kennedy autopsy". Appendix to Hearings before the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives. Vol. VII. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. March 1979. pp. 188–190.
  99. ^ "[Death Certificate of John F. Kennedy]". The Portal to Texas History. November 22, 1963.
  100. ^ "President Lyndon B. Johnson takes Oath of Office, 22 November 1963" John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  101. ^ Associated Press 1963, pp. 36–37, 56–57, 68
  102. ^ Associated Press 1963, pp. 29–31
  103. ^ Associated Press 1963, pp. 36–37, 56–57, 68
  104. ^ The New York Times 2003, pp. 197–201
  105. ^ a b White 1965, p. 16
  106. ^ NBC News 1966, pp. 106–107, 110, 114–115, 119–123, 133–134
  107. ^ a b White 1965, p. 17
  108. ^ Associated Press 1963, p. 93
  109. ^ NBC News 1966, p. 126
  110. ^ White 1965, p. 18
  111. ^ Zaid, Mark; James Lesar; Charles Sanders (November 23, 1998). "Zapruder Film Civil Suit Filed". Assassination Research. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  112. ^ Inverne, James (June 11, 2004). "Think you know your film facts?". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  113. ^ Pasternack, Alex (November 23, 2012). "The Other Shooter: The Saddest and Most Expensive 26 Seconds of Amateur Film Ever Made". Motherboard. Archived from the original on November 30, 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2016. Finally, in 1999, an arbitration panel ordered the government to pay the Zapruders $16 million to keep the original film. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, that works out to a record-breaking $615,384 per second.
  114. ^ Friedman, Rick (November 30, 1963). "Pictures of the Assassination Fall to Amateurs on Street". Editor & Publisher: 17.
  115. ^ "A World Listened and Watched" (PDF). Broadcasting. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications: 36–40, 46. December 2, 1963. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  116. ^ Schonfeld, Maurice W. (July–August 1975). "The shadow of a gunman". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  117. ^ A different person than the so-called "Babushka Lady".
  118. ^ "George Jefferies Film". George Jefferies Collection. Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  119. ^ "Newly released film of JFK before assassination". MSNBC. NBC News. Associated Press. February 19, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  120. ^ a b Warren 1964, chpt. 4, p. 180.
  121. ^ a b Report of Capt. J. W. Fritz, Dallas Police Department. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). pp. 599–611. Retrieved November 25, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  122. ^ "Captain Will Fritz's notes of LHO interrogation". JFK Lancer Productions & Publications. Archived from the original on November 30, 2012. Retrieved November 25, 2012. Captain Fritz told the Warren Commission that "I kept no notes at the time" of his several interrogations of Oswald (4 H 209). However, many years later, someone discovered some two and a half pages of Fritz's contemporaneous handwritten notes at the National Archives. Fritz also said that "several days later" he wrote more extensive notes of the interrogations (4 H 209).
  123. ^ a b c d e Warren 1964, chpt. 4, pp. 180–195.
  124. ^ Reports of Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Warren Commission Hearings (Report). pp. 612–625. Retrieved November 25, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  125. ^ For testimony relating to the interrogation sessions, see 4 H 152–153, 157 (Curry); 4 H 207–211, 217, 221–231, 239–240 (Fritz); 4 H 355–357 (Winston Lawson); 4 H 466–470 (James Hosty, Jr.); 7 H 123–127 (Elmer Boyd); 7 H 164–182 (Sims); 7 H 309–318 (James Bookhout); 7 H 320–321 (Manning Clements); 13 H 58–62 (Sorrels); 7 H 590 (Kelley); 7 H 296–306 (Holmes); CE 1982.
  126. ^ a b Associated Press 1963, p. 16
  127. ^ Baluch, Jerry T. (November 30, 1963). "Warren Heads Probe into Assassination". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press.
  128. ^ Roberts, Chalmers M. (September 28, 1964). "Warren Report Says Oswald Acted Alone; Raps FBI, Secret Service". The Washington Post. p. A1.
  129. ^ Lewis, Anthony (September 27, 1964). "Warren Commission Finds Oswald Guilty and Says Assassin and Ruby Acted Alone". The New York Times. p. 1.
  130. ^ Pomfret, John D. (September 28, 1964). "Commission Says Ruby Acted Alone in Slaying". The New York Times. p. 17.
  131. ^ "Findings". National Archives. August 15, 2016.
  132. ^ a b Beschloss, Michael R. (1997). "Taking Charge: The Johnson White House Tapes, 1963–1964". New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-80407-7.
  133. ^ National Archives Deputy Archivist, Dr. Robert H. Bahmer, interview in New York Herald Tribune, December 18, 1964, p. 24
  134. ^ Bugliosi 2007, pp. 136–137.
  135. ^ 1968 Panel Review of Photographs, X-Ray Films, Documents and Other Evidence Pertaining to the Fatal Wounding of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. It was also the first report to note a round fragment, measuring 6.5 mm in diameter, visible in the X-rays."McAdams's Kennedy Assassination Home Page Index". Archived from the original on July 7, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2006.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  136. ^ Table of Contents. Rockefeller Commission Report (Report). Retrieved November 26, 2012 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  137. ^ McAdams, John. "E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis: Were Watergate Conspirators Also JFK Assassins?". The Kennedy Assassination. Marquette University. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  138. ^ Book V: The Investigation of the Assassination of President J.F.K.: Performance of the Intelligence Agencies. Church Committee Reports (Report). p. 7. Retrieved February 6, 2011 – via Assassination Archives and Research Center.
  139. ^ Stokes 1979, pp. 9–16.
  140. ^ a b Stokes 1979, p. 2.
  141. ^ Report of the Committee on Ballistic Acoustics. National Research Council. 1982. doi:10.17226/10264. ISBN 978-0-309-25372-7. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  142. ^ Stokes 1979, pp. 2–3.
  143. ^ Stokes 1979, pp. 239–261.
  144. ^ Stokes 1979, pp. 483–511.
  145. ^ Council, National Research (1982). Report of the Committee on Ballistic Acoustics. doi:10.17226/10264. ISBN 978-0-309-25372-7.
  146. ^ "1. The Problem of Secrecy and the Solution of the JFK Act". Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board. September 1998.
  147. ^ "Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board, Chapter 4". May 30, 2008. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  148. ^ "Assassination Records Review Board: Unlocking the Government's Secret Files on the Murder of a President". Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  149. ^ " JFK Assassination Report".
  150. ^ "Oliver Stone: JFK conspiracy deniers are in denial". USA Today.
  151. ^ "JFK Assassination: Kennedy's Head Wound".
  152. ^ "Clarifying the Federal Record on the Zapruder Film and the Medical and Ballistics Evidence". Federation of American Scientists.
  153. ^ Bender, Bryan (November 25, 2013). "Troves of files on JFK assassination remain secret". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  154. ^ a b "Trump has no plan to block scheduled release of JFK records". Winston-Salem Journal. Associated Press. October 21, 2017. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  155. ^ Bugliosi 2007, End Notes, p. 147.
  156. ^ Pruitt, Sarah. "Trump Holds Some JFK Assassination Files Back, Sets New 3-Year Deadline". HISTORY.
  157. ^ "National Archives Releases JFK Assassination Records". October 26, 2017.
  158. ^ Assassination Records Review Board (September 30, 1998). "Chapter 1: The Problem of Secrecy and the JFK Act" (PDF). Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. p. 6. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  159. ^ Nicholson Baker, 'How JFK got shot,' The Baffler July 2014.
  160. ^ Summers, Anthony (2013a). "Six Options for History". Not in Your Lifetime. New York: Open Road. p. 238. ISBN 978-1-4804-3548-3. Archived from the original on November 1, 2013.
  161. ^ "Majority in U.S. Still Believe JFK Killed in a Conspiracy: Mafia, federal government top list of potential conspirators". Gallup, Inc. November 15, 2013. Archived from the original on August 1, 2016.
  162. ^ Lydia Saad (November 21, 2003). "Americans: Kennedy Assassination a Conspiracy". Gallup, Inc.
  163. ^ Patterson, Thom (November 18, 2013). "One JFK conspiracy theory that could be true". CNN.
  164. ^ Associated Press 1963, p. 29
  165. ^ "Browns Set Back Cowboys, 27 to 17". The New York Times. Associated Press. November 25, 1963. p. 35.(subscription required)
  166. ^ Loftus, Joseph A. (November 25, 1963). "Ruby is Regarded as 'Small-Timer'". The New York Times. p. 12.(subscription required)
  167. ^ Moser, Bob (August 4, 2010). "Welcome to Texas, Mr. Obama". The Texas Observer. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  168. ^ Brinkley, David (2003). Brinkley's Beat: People, Places, and Events That Shaped My Time. New York: Knopf. ISBN 978-0-375-40644-7.
  169. ^ White 1965, p. 6.
  170. ^ Dinneen, Joseph F. (November 24, 1963). "A Shock Like Pearl Harbor". The Boston Globe. p. 10.[permanent dead link] – via Boston Globe Archive (subscription required)
  171. ^ "United in Remembrance, Divided over Policies". September 1, 2011.
  172. ^ a b Keen, Judy (November 20, 2009). "JFK 'relics' stir strong emotions". USA Today. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
  173. ^ "The Catafalque". History of Capitol Hill. Architect of the Capitol. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  174. ^ "Dealey Plaza Historic District". National Historic Landmarks Program. National Park Service. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  175. ^ "Q: Why is it called The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza?". Frequently Asked Questions. Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Archived from the original on November 17, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  176. ^ "John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza Historical Marker".
  177. ^ "Documents State JFK's Dallas Coffin Disposed At Sea". JFK Lancer Independent News Exchange. Archived from the original on September 22, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  178. ^ Goldberg, Barbara (December 26, 1991). "Jack Ruby's Gun Sold For $220,000". Associated Press. Retrieved February 15, 2013.

Further reading

External links