Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Death of a President- JFK Assassinated

Today in 1963, President John F. Kennedy traveled to Dallas to campaign for re-election. He was riding through the streets of Dallas in an open car with his wife Jacqueline, Governor Connelly of Texas and the governor’s wife. While approaching the Texas Book Depository building and the waving crowds, the governor’s wife Nellie turned to President Kennedy and said, “Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you.” As the president acknowledged Mrs. Connelly, the limousine pulled past the Book Depository and shots were fired.

Witnesses claimed they heard three shots, but when pressed later to say where the shots were fired from; there were many different accounts. With this discrepancy among witnesses, a thousand conspiracy theories were born. The Warren Commission, which was formed to determine the person/persons responsible for the assassination, stated that President Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald. The commission also believed that Oswald acted alone. One of the major pieces of evidence used by the Warren Commission to examine the assassination was an amateur home movie taken by Abraham Zapruder. Here is a clip of the movie, but please note that it shows the assassination and is extremely graphic.

Some of the records from the Warren Commission were sealed after the investigation, leading many conspiracy theorists to believe that there was a cover-up at work. Due to public pressure, Congress passed the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which stated that all assassination related records should be housed at the National Archives. Feel free to search the online collection at the National Archive site.

When many people talk about the Kennedy assassination, they often talk about where they were when they heard the news and their own horror at seeing images of a president being gunned down. Others remember the seemingly impossible site of Mrs. Kennedy standing next to Lyndon Johnson as he took his oath of office while still wearing the pink suit covered in her husband’s blood. In addition to sensory reactions to that day in our history, many grieve for what might have been. Namely, many question whether Kennedy would have led the country as swiftly into the Vietnam War as the Johnson administration did. Whether or not there is any merit to these claims, November 22nd will continue to be a sad day in our nation’s history.

On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was scheduled to deliver what is now known as his Trade Mart speech. Here is a quotation from his speech that went undelivered:

The United States is a peaceful nation. And where our strength and determination are clear, our words need merely to convey conviction, not belligerence. If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help.

[Images via Cache and upi]

No comments:

Post a Comment