When John F Kennedy turned the fourth sitting US president to be assassinated, by the hands of a gunman, in Texas 60 years in the past, the nation was left surprised and heartbroken.
The good-looking and charismatic New Englander was shot useless in Dallas, Texas, on 22 November 1963, becoming a member of an notorious listing that features Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield and William McKinley.
Lincoln was shot in April 1865 by actor John Wilkes Sales space at Ford’s Theater in Washington DC, 5 days after the give up of Accomplice Basic Robert E Lee, in an try and disrupt the Union and save the Confederacy. Garfield was shot in July 1881 by Charles Guiteau at a Washington DC prepare station, after the president refused to nominate him to a diplomatic put up. Garfield died from his accidents a number of months later in September 1881.
McKinley was shot twice within the chest by anarchist Leon Czolgosz in Buffalo in 1901 along with his attacker claiming the president was the pinnacle of a corrupt authorities. He died of a gangrene an infection weeks later.
However the motivation for the killing of JFK, which the FBI and the Warren Fee concluded was carried out by lone murderer Lee Harvey Oswald, has all the time remained unclear sparking a debate that has raged for many years.
Right here is what we know in regards to the slaying of President John F Kennedy.
Why was JFK in Texas?
President Kennedy and first girl Jacqueline Kennedy had travelled to Texas as a part of a marketing campaign to unify the Democratic Occasion and kick off his 1964 re-election bid.
The couple spent 21 November in San Antonio, Houston and Fort Price, flying to Dallas Love Subject on Air Power One the subsequent day.
The president and first girl had been collected by a convertible Lincoln Continental that may take them, together with Texas Governor John Connally, via the streets of downtown Dallas on his method to give a speech on the Commerce Mart at 12.30pm.
Gunshots ring out
Because the limousine pulled into Dealey Plaza, Texas’s first girl Nellie Connally turned to Kennedy and remarked on the dimensions of the crowds, saying “Mr President, you possibly can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you.”
In what had been to be amongst his ultimate phrases, the president replied, “No, you definitely can’t.”
Because the automotive handed the Texas E book Depository three pictures rang out.
“It seems as if one thing has occurred on the motorcade route, I repeat, one thing has occurred on the motorcade route,” the radio broadcast said.
The official model of what occurred is that Kennedy was hit by two bullets from above and behind, one behind the neck, exiting via his throat earlier than hitting Gov Connally, who was significantly wounded however survived the assault. The opposite bullet struck the president within the head.
Secret Service agent Clint Hill jumped on prime of the limo and lined the primary girl and the president. The motorcade then rushed to Parkland Hospital. Thirty minutes later the president was useless.
“President Kennedy died at 1pm central normal time,” TV information anchor Walter Cronkite stated on air.
Following the killing, Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn in because the thirty sixth President of the US of America on board Air Power One, with Jackie Kennedy standing subsequent to him.
The arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald
Former Marine Lee Harvey Oswald, who had frolicked within the Soviet Union, was arrested for the homicide in a film theatre lower than an hour after the capturing after additionally killing Dallas police officer JD Tippit.
Two days later, as Oswald was moved via the basement of the Dallas Police Division headquarters reside on tv, he was shot and killed by native nightclub proprietor Jack Ruby.
Ruby was convicted of killing Oswald and sentenced to dying however he appealed and died of most cancers in 1967, earlier than the retrial might happen.
FBI and Warren Fee
Following the Kennedy assassination the FBI carried out some 25,000 interviews and chased down 1000’s of leads, earlier than concluding that Oswald acted alone.
The Warren Fee, arrange by President Johnson to research the killing, spent a 12 months probing the assassination and in its 889-page ultimate report additionally concluded that Oswald had acted alone.
The report confirmed that there was “no proof” that Oswald or Ruby had been a part of a home conspiracy to kill Kennedy, or that a international authorities had deliberate and carried out the assault.
It did observe that Oswald had travelled to the Soviet Union in 1959, unsuccessfully utilized for Soviet citizenship, and lived there till 1962. The report additionally said that Oswald, a Marxist, had visited the Russian and Cuban embassies in Mexico Metropolis in September 1963, months earlier than the capturing.
Conspiracy theorists have questioned the rationale for Oswald’s go to to the embassies and whether or not or not he had contact with intelligence officers there.
Nevertheless, the report in the end didn’t give a conclusive motive for why Oswald had shot and killed Kennedy.
“The reason of Oswald’s motive for killing President Kennedy was buried with him,” TIME wrote in 1964.
Conspiracies and Zapruder movie
Debate and conspiracy theories have raged in regards to the assassination during the last six many years, with 1000’s of books, motion pictures, TV reveals and podcasts devoted to what occurred and the mysteries that will stay.
In keeping with a Gallup ballot earlier this month a majority of Individuals imagine that Oswald didn’t act alone on 22 November 2023 and that others had been concerned in a plot to kill Kennedy.
The ballot discovered that 65 per cent of US adults suppose Oswald labored with others to eradicate Kennedy, whereas 29 per cent imagine he was solely accountable.
Gallup first requested Individuals the identical query instantly after the killing and discovered that 52 per cent of individuals believed there was “some group or component” aside from Oswald concerned. It discovered that 29 per cent believed he acted alone, whereas 19 per cent had been not sure.
One purpose why conspiracy theories within the case have remained constant might be that the federal government has by no means launched all its information. It was alleged to have been accomplished by 2017 however that date has been pushed again throughout each the Trump and Biden administrations.
The Warren Fee didn’t rely on X-rays of Kennedy or images of the post-mortem, saying that publication of that materials could be an invasion of the Kennedy household’s privateness.
The National Archives report on the assassination states that “the secrecy that surrounded the post-mortem proceedings, due to this fact, has led to appreciable skepticism in the direction of the Fee’s findings.”
Including to that sense of doubt is a movie of the assassination taken by beginner photographer Abraham Zapruder. In his video, Kennedy’s head seems to be thrown backwards, suggesting that a bullet hit the entrance of his head. Conspiracy theorists have claimed that the bullet might have been fired by a second gunman positioned on a grassy knoll close by.
Two different authorities panels, a group of forensic pathologists in 1968 and the Fee on CIA Actions Inside the US in 1975, each agreed that Kennedy was struck by two bullets from behind.
In the meantime, 2024 presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy Jr – a nephew of JFK and son of Robert F Kennedy, who was himself assassinated in Los Angeles in 1968 whereas operating for president – backs a conspiracy principle that the CIA was chargeable for the killing of his uncle, calling the proof “overwhelming.”
“There’s overwhelming proof that the CIA was concerned in his homicide,” Mr Kennedy stated in a Could interview with John Catsimatidis on New York Metropolis radio station WABC 770. “I believe it’s past a cheap doubt at this level.”
Mr Kennedy went on to recommend that the killing was carried out as a result of the president had refused to commit US troops to Vietnam.
“When my uncle was president, he was surrounded by a military-industrial complicated and intelligence equipment that was always making an attempt to get him to go to battle in Laos, Vietnam, and many others,” Mr Kennedy stated. “He refused. He stated that the job of the American presidency is to maintain the nation out of battle.”
The House Select Committee on Assassinations stated in a 1979 report that it was possible that two gunmen fired at Kennedy and that he was doubtless assassinated due to a conspiracy. Nevertheless, it couldn’t establish the second gunman or give any actual particulars on what the conspiracy was.
John McCone, who was CIA director when Kennedy was assassinated, testified to the committee that regardless of conspiracy theories Oswald was not a CIA agent and that the company had by no means communicated with him.
However in fact, with Oswald’s assassination by Ruby, he might by no means be put on trial or inform a jury precisely why he had carried out the killing.
Secret Service agent reveals new element in ebook
On 22 November 1963, Paul Landis was a 28-year-old Secret Service agent driving within the automotive immediately behind the president’s limousine. He was assigned to guard the primary girl.
In a new ebook Mr Landis, now 88, says that he discovered an intact bullet subsequent to the primary girl, which he collected and left on the president’s stretcher however by no means advised the Warren Fee about due to the trauma he suffered. He doesn’t imagine there was a second shooter.
“I reached over and took her by the shoulders and tried to assist her up, however she was leaning over the president’s head, masking his head,” he advised Pittsburgh’s Action News in an interview to mark the sixtieth anniversary.
He accompanied Kennedy to the hospital, the place he remembered “everyone was pushing and shoving and screaming.”
And he recalled: “I received wedged up in opposition to the examination desk the place that they had eliminated the president’s physique.”
Whereas the brand new description of the bullet is a small element, Mr Landis’s account differs from the official account of the capturing, which says that the bullet was discovered on Gov Connally’s stretcher. The brand new declare challenges the thought of a “magic bullet” hitting Kennedy, then hitting Connally and including one other layer of thriller to the occasions.
Mr Landis thinks that the bullet could have been undercharged and hit Kennedy within the again earlier than coming out and coming to relaxation within the limousine, the place he discovered it.
His new ebook, The Last Witness, was revealed by Chicago Evaluate Press final month.
“There’s no aim at this level,” he stated in an interview earlier than its publication. “I simply suppose it had been lengthy sufficient that I wanted to inform my story.”
Mr Landis’s new account has drawn scepticism from others who had been there that day, together with his colleague Clint Hill.
“If he checked all of the proof, statements, issues that occurred, they don’t line up,” Mr Hill advised NBC Information. “It doesn’t make any sense to me that he’s making an attempt to place it on the president’s gurney.”