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Kennedy Assassination

November 22, 1963

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Kennedy Assassination

November 22, 1963
November 23, 1963
November 24, 1963
November 25, 1963
Lee Harvey Oswald

Kennedy Family Tree

Single Bullet Theory

Kennedy Gravesite

Personal Accounts

John F. Kennedy's
Inaugural Address

Kennedy, Lincoln similarities

Inaugural Address (13 MB )
"Ask not..." excerpt
Official death announcement
Cronkite - Kennedy shot
Cronkite - Kennedy dead
Oswald shot NBC TV
Oswald shot CBS TV

Friday, November 22, 1963

November 22, 1963 was a warm sunny day in Dallas. Forecasters had predicted cooler weather and so Jackie Kennedy ended up in a Chanel wool suit. She would wear that suit until the wee hours of the morning of the 23rd.

jackie Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
and Jacqueline Kennedy
President John F. Kennedy had come to Texas to do a bit of pre-election fence mending. Conservative Governor John Connally and the more liberal Senator Ralph Yarborough were at odds. Surely Kennedy charm could smooth this over.

The reception in Texas seemed promising as did the future.

Jacqueline Kennedy

After a stop in Fort Worth, they took a short plane ride to Love Field in Dallas.

The motorcade was to follow a winding 11 mile route through downtown Dallas where President Kennedy was to speak at a luncheon with civic and business leaders at the Trade Mart. At 11:50 a.m.. the motorcade left the airport on its rendevous with fate.

Kennedy killing
Click for larger view
John and Jackie Kennedy
John Connolly
The big presidential limousine, a midnight blue 1961 Lincoln, had been flown in from Washington D.C. The plastic bubble top was removed and the bullet-proof side windows were rolled down because the weather was so favorable and this is how President Kennedy preferred to ride. Click for info on what happened to the limousine after November 22.

The Secret Service's 1955 Cadillac convertible followed closely behind the president's limousine. It carried eight agents, with four posted on the running boards to quickly dismount the car to protect the president from the enthusiastic crowds.

President and Mrs. Kennedy were in the back seat while Texas Governor and Mrs. John Connolly were in the jumpseats up front.

John And Nellie Connolly
John and Jackie Kennedy

The motorcade arrived in Dealey Plaza and then turned right from Main to Houston Street and just seconds later it took the 120 degree turn into Elm Street passing the School Book Depository Building.

The crowds were larger than expected and very enthusiastic about the young President and his pretty wife.

A shot rang out at 12:30 p.m. CST. Kennedy's hands begin to rise and he starts a turn toward his wife. His expression has changed from a smile to astonishment.

Connally recognized the sound as a gunshot and begins turning to the right. Riding in the front of the car, Secret Service agent Roy Kellerman said to the driver, Agent William Greer, "let's get out of here." But the reaction was slow. Too slow for a bullet that can travel at 1300 miles an hour. The limo was moving at about eleven miles an hour, leaving the President in the sniper's sights.

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About the Law
In 1963 it was not a federal law to kill a U.S. president. Thus jurisdiction rested with local and State authorities.

The horror story of Dallas convinced Congress that a remedy was required.

Public Law 89-141, signed on August 28, 1965, enacted 18 U.S.C. 1751, prohibiting the killing, kidnapping, conspiracy, assault or attempt to kill or kidnap the President or Vice President. Jurisdiction was now federal.

Similarly, when Senator Robert F. Kennedy was killed in June 1968, there was no general Federal statute that prohibited the assassination of Members of Congress. Public Law 91-644, signed on January 2, 1971, enacted 18 U.S.C. 351, which extended the protection of the Federal criminal law to Members of Congress, paralleling that extended to the President and the Vice President.

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