JFK Assasination. Part I
Problems Facing the New President
As Kennedy took office, cold-war tensions between Communist and Western nations
increased. Communist forces pushed into Laos and threatened South Vietnam. The new
president pledged strong efforts to halt the spread of Communism. Toward this end, he
created a Peace Corps of young Americans to work in underdeveloped countries.
After the Soviets successfully launched the first man into outer space in April 1961,
Kennedy asked for a greatly increased budget for space research. This new phase of the
cold war was called the "space race." The first United States manned space flight was in
In the spring of 1961 the Bay of Pigs near Havana, Cuba, was invaded by opponents of
Cuba's Communist premier, Fidel Castro. The rebels were defeated quickly. The invasion
had been aided by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Kennedy was
criticized by some for having approved the CIA's support of the invasion. Others blamed
him for the operation's failure. Kennedy met with Premier Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet
Union in Vienna in June to discuss the German question. The conference did not alter
Communist goals. The Berlin Wall was built in August (see Berlin).
Domestic and Latin American Affairs
At home Kennedy won Congressional approval of a number of his proposals, including
greater social security benefits, a higher minimum wage, and aid to economically depressed
areas in the country. The 23rd Amendment to the Constitution was ratified early in
Kennedy's administration. It gave the residents of Washington, D.C., the right to vote in
presidential elections. (See also United States Constitution.)
In March 1961 Kennedy proposed an international economic development program for
the Americas. The charter for the program, called the Alliance for Progress, was ratified in
August by the Organization of American States (OAS).
Events of 1962
In March 1962 Kennedy used his influence to get a steel-industry wage settlement
generally regarded as noninflationary. Early in April, however, several companies
announced increases in their steel prices. Kennedy reacted strongly. He exerted unusual
pressure by shifting government orders to rival steel manufacturers and by threatening
lawsuits against the companies that were attempting to raise their prices. Within four days
the price increases were canceled.
Kennedy's most important legislative success of 1962 was the passage of the Trade
Expansion Act. It gave the president broad powers, including authority to cut or eliminate
tariffs. The act was designed to help the United States compete or trade with the European
Economic Community (EEC) on equal terms. Kennedy's medical care project was defeated
in Congress. Under this plan certain hospital expenses for most elderly persons would have
been paid through the social security system.
In October 1962 Kennedy faced the most serious international crisis of his
administration. Aerial photographs proved that Soviet missile bases were being built in
Cuba. Declaring this buildup a threat to the nations of the Western Hemisphere, Kennedy
warned that any attack by Cuba would be regarded as an attack by the Soviets and the
United States would retaliate against the Soviet Union. He also imposed a quarantine on
ships bringing offensive weapons to Cuba. Negotiations were carried on between the
president and Khrushchev. By the end of November the missiles had been shipped back to
the Soviet Union, the United States had lifted the quarantine, and the month-long crisis had
abated. (See also Cuba.)
The Civil Rights Crisis of 1963
In 1963, clashes between the police and demonstrating blacks in Birmingham, Ala., and
elsewhere, especially in the South, induced the president to stress civil rights legislation.
Kennedy's new civil rights message included bills to ban discrimination in places of
business; to speed up desegregation of public schools; and to end discrimination in the
hiring of workers on federal construction projects.
An agreement to set up a Teletype link between Kennedy and Khrushchev was signed in
June 1963. This limited, but promising, achievement was intended as a precaution against
war by accident or miscalculation.
The president also paid increasing attention to strengthening the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO). Visiting Europe early in the summer of 1963, he conferred with
government leaders in West Germany, Italy, and Great Britain. In West Germany, the
president pledged that United States military forces would remain on the European
continent. Kennedy also visited Ireland, from which his great-grandparents had emigrated
to the United States.
A limited nuclear test ban treaty was signed by representatives of the United States, the
Soviet Union, and Britain in the summer of 1963. The agreement permitted underground
nuclear tests, and signatory nations could withdraw after 90 days' notice. Kennedy called
the treaty a "victory for mankind."
Mrs. Kennedy gave birth to her second son, Patrick Bouvier, on Aug. 7, 1963. Born
prematurely, the infant died after only 39 hours of life.
In November, looking forward to the 1964 presidential election, Kennedy made a
political visit to Florida and Texas, the two most populous Southern states. His wife, Vice-
President Johnson, and Mrs. Johnson accompanied him on the Texas trip.
He had been warned that Texas might be hostile. In Dallas, only a month earlier, Adlai
Stevenson, United States ambassador to the United Nations, had been spat upon and struck
with a picket's placard. In San Antonio, Houston, and Fort Worth, however, the crowds
were friendly, and obviously delighted with the charming young Jacqueline Kennedy.
Kennedy Is Assassinated
A large and enthusiastic crowd greeted the presidential party when it arrived at the Dallas
airport on the morning of November 22. Along the route of the motorcade into downtown
Dallas the people stood 10 to 12 deep, applauding warmly. Next to the president in the big
open limousine sat his wife. In front of them, on jump seats, were John B. Connally, the
governor of Texas, and his wife, Nellie. The third car in the procession carried Vice-
President and Mrs. Johnson. As the cars approached a triple underpass, Mrs. Connally
turned around and said, "You can't say Dallas doesn't love you, Mr. President."
At that moment three shots rang out. The president, shot through the head and throat,
slumped over into his wife's lap. The second bullet hit Governor Connally, piercing his
back, chest, wrist, and thigh. A reporter, glancing up, saw a rifle slowly disappear into a
sixth-floor corner window of the Texas School Book Depository, a textbook warehouse
overlooking the highway. It was 12:30 PM in Dallas.
President Kennedy died in Parkland Memorial Hospital without regaining consciousness.
The time of death was set at 1:00 PM.Governor Connally recovered from his multiple
Six minutes after the shooting, a description of a man seen leaving the textbook
warehouse went out over the police radio. At 1:18 PM patrolman J.D. Tippit stopped and
questioned a man who answered the description. The man shot him dead. At 1:35 PM
Dallas police captured Lee Harvey Oswald in a motion-picture theater, where he had
hidden after allegedly killing patrolman Tippit.
Although a mass of circumstantial evidence, including ballistics tests, pointed to Oswald
as the slayer of President Kennedy, the 24-year-old professed Marxist and Castro
sympathizer never came to trial. On Sunday, November 24, as he was being led across the
basement of the City Hall for transfer to another prison, Jack Ruby (born Rubenstein), a
Dallas nightclub owner, broke through a cordon of police and shot Oswald. The murder
was committed in full view of television cameras as millions watched.
Press here to continue
Chronology of the events
* 12.55 - Air Force One lands at Love Field, Dallas, Texas. Aboard are J.F. Kennedy
and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy
* 12.56 - Motorcade leaves Love Field. Limousine carries president and First Lady,
along with the Governor of Texas, John B. Connally and his wife. Vice president Lyndon
B. Johnson and " Lady Bird " Johnson rides in car behind.
* 1.29 - Motorcade passes Texas School Book Depository Building leading into the
Dealey Plaza en route to lunch and a pollitical rally.
* 1.30 - JFK shot Governor Connally seriously wounded. Panic breaks out in Dealey
Plaza. 1.33 - Lee Harvey Oswald leaves Texas School Book Depository Building.
* 1.38 - J.F. Kennedy and Govenor Connally admitted to Parkland Hospital.
* 2.00 - J.F. Kennedy pronounced dead
* 2.00 - 2.15 - Officer Tippet of the Dallas Police Force murdered by a lone gunman,
later said to have been Oswald.
* 2.15 - Oswald seized after a scuffle in a Texas Theatre cinema.
By 1963, Dallas was the most influential city in the Lone Star State next to oil-rich
Houston, however, Dallas also had a reputation for being the stronghold of arch
conservatives. In early June plans for a trip to Texas were finalized during a meeting
between Kennedy, Johnson and Governor Connally in El Paso. In October, a motorcade
was added to the plans. On November 22, the apprehension of the Kennedy
entourage about the trip was evident, especially in light of a full-page newspaper ad which
ran that morning in the "Dallas Morning News" suggesting the President was soft on
Communism and guilty of traitorous activities. A leaflet handed out to some of the people
lining the motorcade route was not as subtle as the newspaper ad. It pictured Kennedy
under a headline reading "Wanted For Treason".
Lee Harvey Oswald was a bright young man whose father and brother had
both served honorably in the U.S. military. At age 15, Oswald joined the New Orleans
Civil Air Patrol and expressed a deep desire to be a Marine, evidence of a patriotic streak.
He was in contact with David Ferrie, a strange man with documented connections to both
the CIA and organized crime, who may have groomed young Oswald for future
intelligence work during this time. While in the Marines, he was stationed at Atsugi base in
Japan where some of Oswald's fellow Marines, such as Gerry Hemming, were recruited
into the CIA. It was during his stay in Japan that Private Oswald was seen frequenting the
Queen Bee, an expensive night spot normally serving only ranking officers and pilots. It
was also in Japan that Oswald was treated for gonorrhea "In line of duty, not due to own
misconduct." And it was here that Oswald later told George DeMohrenschildt he was in
contact with "Japanese communists." Since a Marine officer was told by higher authority
not to be concerned about Marine Oswald receiving communist publications and spouting
Marxist theory in the Marine barracks, it is obvious that Oswald had become involved in
intelligence work by the end of his Marine career. Although disbelieved by the House
Select Committee on Assassinations, it should be noted that former CIA Finance Officer
James Wilcott testified that he learned that Oswald was paid by the CIA while still stationed
Other evidence of Oswald's connection with intelligence includes the ease with
which he obtained passports both in 1959 and particularly in 1963, after he had returned
from attempting to defect to Russia; his lengthy "reports" on his activities in Russia and his
Fair Play for Cuba Committee work in New Orleans which he gave to FBI Agent John
Quigley; the spy term "micro dots" found in Oswald's address book; expensive miniature
optical equipment found among Oswald's belongings including a small Minox camera
which carried a serial number not available to the general public and the fact that in 1977,
it was discovered that the CIA had a personnel, or "201", file on Oswald.
Some researchers, notably British author Michael Eddowes, claim that Oswald
either became a Soviet agent while in Russia or that a Soviet agent returned to the United
States impersonating Oswald. While this is possible - and there is much information to
support this thesis, especially J. Edgar Hoover's 1960 memo to the State Department
warning that someone may have been using Oswald's birth certificate - it is apparent that
whoever was claiming to be Oswald in the summer and fall of 1963 was in contact with
U.S. intelligence rather than Soviet or Cuban.
Considering discrepancies in his Marine records and his reported intelligence
connections, other researchers believe that an impostor Oswald was created and sent to
Russia. This impostor - using Oswald's identity - then returned to the United States where
he was selected as the fall guy in the assassination.
Even if Oswald - real or impersonator - was recruited as a Soviet agent, he was
playing double - acting under orders from persons he believed to be in U.S. intelligence.
Considering his contacts with American intelligence - through Guy Banister and
David Ferrie in New Orleans and George DeMohrenschildt in Dallas - it is apparent that in
the months just prior to the assassination, Oswald was in contact with people connected to
U.S. intelligence. Once it is understood that Oswald was - or believed he was - working as
an intelligence operative, the entire spectrum of assassination evidence takes on a new light.
It is apparent to many researchers that while Oswald most probably did order a
rifle and a pistol through the mail and may have made some sort of trip to Mexico, he
likely was following orders from persons he considered to be his superiors in intelligence.
Thus, many of Oswald's activities in the weeks prior to the assassination were carefully
calculated to both incriminate him and to link him with foreign governments.
While it is probable that Oswald was in some way connected with persons involved
in a against Kennedy, he may have felt secure in the belief that he was reporting on the plot
to the U.S. Government - most likely through the FBI. The Hosty note, destroyed after the
assassination, may have been just such a warning. If it had been a threat against the FBI, as
claimed by Bureau officials, why destroy it? Why not exhibit it to the world as evidence of
Oswald's violent tendencies? There is also the question of the reported FBI telex warning
of an assassination attempt in Dallas.
While it cannot be stated with absolute assurance that Oswald never fired a
weapon on November 22, 1963, there is an abundance of evidence to support this idea.
The Dallas Police paraffin test showed no nitrates on Oswald's cheek, court-admissible
evidence that he had not fired a rifle, particularly the loose-bolted Italian Mannlicher-
Carcano. Nitrate traces on both his hands is not conclusive evidence that he fired a pistol,
since printer's ink and other material found at his workplace could account for nitrates on
his hands. The intimidated Howard Brennan notwithstanding, no one who claimed to have
seen the assassin on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository could positively
identify Oswald as the gunman.
Oswald maintained he was in the Depository lunchroom at the time of the shooting
and correctly named two co-workers who indeed ate in the lunchroom. Testimony of
fellow employees indicates that Oswald was seen on a lower floor shortly before the
All this - coupled with the fact that less than 90 seconds after the shots were fired
Depository Superintendent Roy Truly and Dallas Policeman Marion Baker encountered a
calm and collected Oswald standing in the lunchroom with a soft drink in his hand - tends
to support Oswald's alibi.
Then there is Oswald's documented mediocre marksmanship added to the
extremely poor quality Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, which Army test personnel had to equip
with metal shims after the assassination to make it accurate enough for testing. Also there is
the consideration that due to an evergreen tree in front of the Depository building, there
was no line of sight from the sixth floor window to the point where films established that
the first shots struck. The impossibility of Oswald shooting as described by the federal
government is supported by the fact that not one single person ever has been able to
duplicate the feat.
Additionally, there has always been an abundance of evidence indicating that more
than one gunman fired on President Kennedy's limousine.
This evidence was supported in 1979 by the House Select Committee on
Assassinations' scientific study of acoustical material showing that at least one shot came
from the Grassy Knoll. These acoustical studies are now corroborated by the photographic
enlargement of the Moorman snapshot depicting the "Badgeman" figure.
These objective pieces of evidence are fully supported by the witnesses in Dealey
Plaza, the majority of which said shots also came from the Grassy Knoll.
Today it is obvious that multiple gunmen were shooting at Kennedy and that the
three shots fired in Dealey Plaza were actually three volleys fired simultaneously - probably
coordinated by radio. Evidence of the radio coordination can be found in photographs of a
man with what appears to be a hand-held radio and the Garrison testimony of Jim Hicks,
who also is pictured in Dealey Plaza with a radio-like object in his rear pocket.
The presence of Secret Service agents in Dealey Plaza at a time that all official
agents were accounted for elsewhere is a particularly pertinent piece of evidence. Either
these men were bogus agents carrying identification good enough to fool Dallas policemen
or they were real agents carrying out some activity as yet unexplained. Recall that witness
Jean Hill was taken immediately after the shooting to the Dallas County Sheriff's Office
where men identifying themselves as Secret Service asked her questions indicating that they
were observing her throughout the assassination.
The medical and ballistic evidence, much of which bears the earmarks of
tampering and is thus still controversial, nevertheless shows that Kennedy was struck by at
least three shots - one in the middle of the back which did not penetrate his body, one in
the throat and one in the head (although there is some evidence that two shots may have
struck his head almost simultaneously).
Most probably at least two shots struck Governor Connally - one penetrating his
chest and lung while a separate bullet shattered his right wrist.
At least one shot definitely missed the limousine altogether, striking the curb near
the Triple Underpass, slighting wounding bystander James Tague - although there is
evidence that another bullet struck the grass on the south side of Elm Street and yet another
hit in the street near the Presidential limousine.
This count means at least six shots were fired in Dealey Plaza - perhaps as many as
nine -which demolishes the idea of a lone gunman. (It is significant to note that acoustical
experts testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations that they had
discovered as many as 9 sound signals which they could not rule out as gunshots - but only
four were confirmed since only two sites for comparison tests were used.)
It is apparent to most researchers that the assassination was the result of a well-
executed military-style ambush utilizing multiple gunmen firing from hidden positions -
perhaps using fragmenting or "sabot" bullets and even silencers.
To attempt to pinpoint each gunman's location and calculate the number and effect
of each shot is an exercise in futility since actions were taken immediately to eliminate
evidence and confuse investigators. A spent slug found on the south side of Elm Street was
apparently taken by a man identified later as an FBI agent. A highway sign, thought to have
been struck by a bullet, later disappeared. Films and photographs which might have
pictured the assassins were confiscated by federal authorities and much of this material was
never returned to the rightful owners. The presidential limousine - a vital piece of evidence
- was taken from Dallas and destroyed as evidence on orders from President Johnson
before investigators could inspect the car's interior and windshield.
On the other hand, it is astounding how fast a wealth of evidence incriminating Lee
Harvey Oswald became public. Most researchers now consider much of this evidence
highly questionable. The Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found on the sixth floor of the Texas
School Book Depository could only be linked to Oswald by a poor-quality palm print
which lacked a court-admissible chain of evidence and was most probably obtained while
Oswald's body was being prepared for burial. Authorities claimed to have found three
spent rifle cartridges on the Depository's sixth floor, although a copy of the original Dallas
Police evidence sheet states only two were found.
A Dallas Police captain later claimed he kept one of the cartridges for a time.
While this explains only two cartridges listed on the evidence sheet, it also indicates a break
in the chain of evidence meaning the third cartridge would not have been admissible in a
trial. The fact that Oswald's palm prints were found on boxes on the Depository's sixth
floor is meaningless since he had worked there earlier that day. In fact, much of the
material evidence becomes meaningless once the idea that it could have been planted to
incriminate Oswald is considered.
The idea that Oswald was framed for the crime - recall his cry "I'm just a patsy!" to
newsmen in the Dallas Police station - is supported by several things. Recall that the CIA
was reporting internally that Oswald entered the Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico
City in early October, but photographs of the man proved it was an impostor. This means
someone was posing as Oswald to link him to the communists two months prior to the
assassination -and the CIA was aware of it. Also recall the instances of Oswald being seen
in two places at once, target practicing in South Dallas and test driving a car at high speed
on a Dallas freeway at a time Oswald was still trying to learn to drive. In light of these
incidents, it is obvious that someone was laying a trail of incriminating evidence right to
The famous backyard photographs of Oswald with his weapons has been labeled a
clever forgery by virtually everyone who has studied them, except those connected with the
federal government. With the discovery of a surpressed third backyard photo in the mid-
1970s, the idea of
Lee Harvey Oswald - Did he or didn't he ?
Did Lee Harvey Oswald, assassinatePresident Kennedy, conspiracy buffs argue that
it was a conspiracy however most agree that Oswald played some part in the assassinatuion
of President Kennedy, and below I have outlined the reasons why it is believed that Oswald
Purchase of a rifle
In the Summer of 1963, Oswald purchases a 6.5 Mannlicher - Carcano rifle and an
expensive Japanese telescopic sight. This wasn't uncommon for an American to own a rifle
as most Americans do. But the purchase of a telescopic is unusual as Oswald didn't shoot
and for protection, a telescopic sight wouldn't be needed.
'Fair Play for Cuba Committe'
Oswald became involved with the committee when he returned from Russia. During the
summer of 1963, Oswald was seen by CIA agents distributing leaflets supporting 'Fair play
in Cuba'. The organisation was supported by the left wing leader and allay of the Soviet
Union, Fidel Castro. This obviously caused a stir as it proved that a fully trained marine
was against the President's beliefs and had Soviet Union connections.
How Oswald smuggled the Mannlicher 6.5 Carcano rifle into Texas School Book
Depository building is yet to be discovered. There is however the tale of Oswald leaving
home on the fateful day of the assassination without any money or his wedding ring,
carrying with him only a small package wrapped in brown paper. The Warren Commission
claim that the package couldn't have been the rifle as even when fully dismantled the rifle
would have been too big to carry underneath your arm. When questioned about the
package Oswald claimed that it was curtain rods which he was planning to put up in his
office. This had been mentioned before hand to his work - mates and so little suspicion was
raised at the time. At 1.30pm three shots were fired in Dealey Plaza, coming apparently
from the Texas School Boook Depository building, although questions have been asked
about the possibility of a second gunman. Police swarmed the Texas School Book
Depository Building believeing them to have came from the third floor. On their way they
found Oswald sitting in the Lunch Room composed and quietly eating his lunch.
Throughout the assassination Oswald was said to have been in the lunch room, however
no- one could provide prove that they had seen him in the room when the shots were fired.
A point to raise if you believe it was Oswald, is that the parade was running six minutes late
when it passed the building, this would mean that Oswald wouldn't of known, and he
would of had to been waiting for for six minutes at the window for at least six minutes,
however he wasn't which causes doubts over his arrest. Officer Baker was the police
officer who entered the building after the shots had been fired, whenhe did so he found
Oswald in the lunch rrom. This created a timing problem if Oswald was to have
assassinated Kennedy then he would have needed to run four floors to the window were
the shots were fired from than run back in ninety seconds to the lunch room. Oswald's
arrest seems suspicious at this point, had he fired shots and ran four floors as well as hiding
a rifle then he must have at least broke a sweat, yet he appeared calm and answered
officer's questions without hesitation or pauses. Soon after the shooting Oswald left the
building were he worked (Texas School Book Depository Building ), a description was
then fitted matching Oswald's. Workers at the Texas School Book Depository Building
have testified that they distinctly heard the shots and the pulling back of the bolt of the rifle.
The rifle was later found hidden behind some boxes as well as three empty cartridge cases.
The police were later accussed of planting the rifle and cartridge cases. Oswald then
returned home after leaving the Texas School Book Depository Building, this return to his
family home was out of character and deemed unusual. It is believed that he returned home
for a change of clothes and to collect either a hand - gun or rifle. Walking down the street
Oswald was confronted by a police officer stopping all people who matched a description
similar to Oswald's. Oswald paniced and shot the officer at point blank range in front of
several witnesses, the officer later died from his injuries was acclaimed a national hero.
Oswald claimed that it wasn't him, but witnesses have testified saying that they saw a man
running from the scene matching Oswald's description. Puzziling descrepancies occured
later when the witnesses were questioned at the trail, several different clothing descriptions
were given as well as several different methods of escape. Two witnesses were asked to
pick out Oswald at an identity parade, both of the witnesses picked out Oswald. The
bulletes fired at point blank range into the police officer were later extracted, however they
couldn't be matched to Oswald's revolver which he was carrying. Witnesses believed that
the weapon used to kill the Dallas police officer was an automatic rifle, however after
examination the revolver turned out to be only a six shot revolver, not an automatic.
Oswald was eventually arrested, after he entered a cinema, without paying. The kiosk
operator at the time says that Oswald entered the cinema at around 2.00pm, however
police records show that he entered at a different time. The police records show Oswald
shooting Officer Tibbett at 2.00pm. Oswald was arrested in the cinema and taken to Dallas
Police headquaters, he was given the option to go in quietly and avoid any contact with the
media. Oswald decided to choose the option of going through the media making no attempt
to avoid any reporters and by the next morning his picture was all over the newspapers and
on the news. Oswald was later shot by Jack Ruby in police custody, whom was regarded
amongst locals to have mafia connections. Jack Ruby was sentenced to death, but later died
of cancer in 1966. Dallas police were blamed for Oswald's death and the lack of evidence
brought against Oswald.