JFK Slain

Today, in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas.

I have only the vaguest of memories of this event, but I do remember it. I remember being sent home from school, and I remember anguish and uncertainty, and I remember hearing the report of Kennedy’s assasin, Lee Harvey Oswald, being gunned down while in police custody.

Here is the BBC report from that time, to give you a sense of the event:

The President of the United States has been assassinated by a gunman in Dallas, Texas.

John F Kennedy was hit in the head and throat when three shots were fired at his open-topped car.

The presidential motorcade was travelling through the main business area of the city.

Texas Governor John Connally was also seriously injured when one of the unknown sniper’s bullets hit him in the back.

The men were accompanied by their wives, who were both uninjured.

Vice-president Lyndon Johnson – who was following in a different car – has been sworn in as the new US leader.

The presidential party was driving from Dallas airport to the city centre when witnesses said shots were fired from the window of a building overlooking the road.

The president collapsed into Jackie Kennedy’s arms, who was heard to cry “Oh no”. Seconds later Governor Connally was also hit.

Dallas Times Herald photographer Bob Jackson was in the motorcade close behind the Democrat leader’s car and heard the shots as it entered Dealey Plaza.

“As I looked up I saw a rifle being pulled back from a window – it might have been resting on the windowsill – I didn’t see a man,” he said.

Mr Kennedy’s limousine was driven at speed to Parklands Hospital immediately after the shooting.

The president was alive when he was admitted, but died at 1400 local time (1900 GMT) – 35 minutes after being shot.

Police and Secret Service agents stormed the School Book Depository building moments after the shots were fired and recovered a rifle with a telescopic sight, said to be the assassination weapon.

The mood of shock in the US was echoed by Senator Mike Mansfield in an emergency forum of the senate.

“This is terrible – I cannot find words,” he said.

bbc

And here is a film of the event:

Comments

  1. #1 Tony P
    November 22, 2008

    And yet today we really don’t know who was behind the killing of President Kennedy.

    I wasn’t even born yet but I suspect the people who killed Kennedy were bankers. One of the things Kennedy wanted to do was abolish the Federal Reserve.

  2. #2 dean
    November 22, 2008

    “And yet today we really don’t know who was behind the killing of President Kennedy.”

    Yes, we do, we’ve known for a long time. The only thing the conspiracy theorists contribute to history is their group stupidity, and that applies to those who have conspiracy theories about JFK’s assassination to those who think the destruction of the towers on September 11, 2001, was an inside job.

    It may be human nature to want to think that a sad little individual couldn’t, by himself, kill a president, or that a group of brainwashed cretins couldn’t do something as heinous as fly airliners into buildings, but get over it: that’s what the facts say.

    (Cue the loonies in 3,2,1…)

  3. #3 Jim Thomerson
    November 22, 2008

    I saw Kennedy in a motorcade down St. Charles Ave. in New Orleans. I was impressed with how old and tired he looked. I was looking out an unscreened second story window, with no one else around, in a bulding which had not been cleared. I hope that wouldn’t happen today.

  4. #4 Anne Gilbert
    November 22, 2008

    I have extremely vivid memories of that day; I was plenty old enough to remember it. My first intimation that “something” was going on, was that I was sitting in this “informal study hall” at the college I then attended, and heard the lady who oversaw it, whisper that “the president was shot”. She wasn’t whispering this at me, exactly, but I couldn’t get this out of my head. I just couldn’t believe it. But something compelled me to go downstairs to the lounge where there was a TV(still black and white at the time), where I saw the exact same footage as the BBC showed. Cries of despair went up when the footage that showed JFK collapsing came on. And after that, everyine, and I mean everyone, knew it was true. It was an awful weekend.
    Anne G