John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was assassinated while traveling through Dallas, Texas, in an open-top convertible on this day is 1963 (Good Lord, was the really 50 years ago?).
The First lady Jacqueline Kennedy rarely accompanied her husband on political outings, but she was beside him, along with Texas Governor John Connally and his wife, for a motorcade through the streets of downtown Dallas. Sitting in a Lincoln convertible, the Kennedys and Connallys waved at the large and enthusiastic crowds gathered along the parade route. As their vehicle passed the Texas School Book Depository Building at 12:30 p.m., Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired three shots from the sixth floor, fatally wounding President Kennedy and seriously injuring Governor Connally. Kennedy was pronounced dead 30 minutes later at Dallas' Parkland Hospital. He was 46.
In 1981 I took a job in Dallas as Director of Operations for a firm headquartered there. In 1983, on the 20th anniversary of the assassination, I decided to visit Dealey Plaza (the site of the events). I was able to visit the Book Depository Building (the 6th floor had been made into a sort of museum and there was a $2.00 admission fee). I also walked the grassy knoll and the entire area. I had heard several conspiracy theories (there are dozens more now) and I wanted to judge for myself how believable the official accounts were about what happened. I came to only two conclusions:
1) Oswald supposedly fired 3 shots at Kennedy in 5.6 seconds using a 6.5 x 52 mm bolt action World War II surplus Italian Army rifle and hit a target a hundred yards away as it moved away, downhill, at 20 miles an hour. I find that too improbable to be credible.
2) According to the single-bullet theory, a three-centimeter (1.2")-long copper-jacketed lead-core 6.5-millimeter rifle bullet fired from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository passed through President Kennedy’s neck and Governor Connally’s chest and wrist and embedded itself in the Governor’s thigh. If
So, do I think Oswald shot Kennedy? Yes, I think he probably fired as many as two of the shots. But the third shot, the one which hit the President in the back of the head and shattered (they have never been able to identify the type or caliber), was likely fired by another shooter. That means there had to be a conspiracy of some sort. What that conspiracy was and who was involved is a question for which we may never have a good answer. I certainly have no idea –and I have never heard one which makes enough sense for me to accept.
For now, we’ll all just have to make up our own minds about it.
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