John F. Kennedy assassination

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This article is about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. For Robert F. Kennedy, see Robert F. Kennedy assassination.

Image:JFKmotorcade.jpg The assassination of John F. Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, took place on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, USA at 12:30 PM Central Standard Time (18:30 UTC). Kennedy was fatally wounded by gunshots while riding in a presidential motorcade within Dealey Plaza. He was the fourth U.S. President to be assassinated, and the eighth to die while in office.

An official investigation by the Warren Commission was conducted over a 10-month period, and its report was published in September 1964, concluding that the assassin was Lee Harvey Oswald, an employee of the Texas School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza. A later official investigation by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was conducted from 1976 to 1979. It concluded that Oswald assassinated Kennedy "probably... as a result of a conspiracy". The assassination is still the subject of widespread speculation, and has spawned a number of Kennedy assassination theories.


Background to the Texas trip

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Kennedy had chosen to visit Dallas on November 20 for three main reasons: to help raise more Democratic Party presidential campaign fund contributions in advance of the November 1964 presidential election; to begin his quest for re-election; and, as the Kennedy-Johnson ticket had barely won Texas (and had lost Dallas) in 1960, to mend political fences among several leading Texas Democratic Party members who appeared to be fighting politically amongst themselves.

There were concerns about security because as recently as October 24, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson had been jeered, jostled, struck by a protest sign, and spat upon during a visit to Dallas. The danger from a concealed sniper on the Dallas trip was also of concern. President Kennedy himself had mentioned it the morning he was assassinated, as had the Secret Service agents when they were fixing the motorcade route.

Dallas police Sgt. Davis had prepared the most stringent security precautions in the city's history, so that the demonstrations like those marking the Stevenson visit would not happen again. But, then, Winston Lawson of the Secret Service who was in charge of the planning told the Dallas Police Department not to assign its usual squad of experienced homicide detectives to follow immediately behind the President's car. This police protection was routine for both visiting presidents and for motorcades of other visiting dignitaries. Police Chief Jesse Curry later testified that had his men been in place, the murder might have been prevented, because they carried submachine guns and rifles to take out any attackers, or at least they might have been able to stop Oswald before he left the Texas Schoolbook Depositary. [1]

It was planned that Kennedy would travel from Love Field airport in a motorcade through downtown Dallas (including Dealey Plaza) to give a speech at the Dallas Trade Mart. The car in which he was traveling was a 1961 Lincoln Continental, open-top, modified limousine. No presidential car with a bulletproof top was yet in service in 1963, though plans for such a top were presented in October 1963.

In a November 22 Dallas newspaper there appeared a black-bordered, full-page advertisement paid for by Kennedy critics who were associated with the ultraconservative John Birch Society. Throughout Dallas, and especially along the motorcade route, several groups critical of Kennedy expressed their views and handed out flyers. A smattering of handmade protest signs were held aloft by motorcade viewers, but there were no major disturbances. The presidential motorcade traveled nearly its entire route without incident, stopping twice so Kennedy could shake hands with some Catholic nuns, then some school children. Shortly before the limousine turned onto Main Street, a man ran towards the limousine but was thrust to the ground by a Secret Service agent and hustled away.

Just before 12:30 PM CST, Kennedy slowly approached the Texas School Book Depository head-on, then the limousine slowly turned the 120-degrees directly in front of the depository, now only 65 feet (20 m) away.

The assassination



When the limousine had passed the depository, shots were fired at Pres. Kennedy for an estimated timespan of 6 to 24 seconds. During the shooting, the limousine is calculated to have slowed from over 13 mph (20 km/h) to only 9 mph (15 km/h).

The shooting took place in front of Abraham Zapruder who was filming the President as he passed below his position, and the transcript from his secret testimony has now been released and can be read in full. [2] At one point he testifies to the shock, disbelief and, then, horror of seeing the President murdered right in front of where he was standing. Governor Connally was also seriously wounded by a bullet.[3]

Clint Hill was riding in the car that was immediately behind the Presidential limousine. As soon as the shooting began, Hill jumped out and began running to overtake the moving car in front of him with the plan to climb on from the rear bumper and crawl over the trunk to the back seat where the stricken President and terrified First Lady were located.

Just as Hill grabbed hold of the small handrail by the trunk that was used by the bodyguards to climb onto a small back platform, he heard another gunshot and saw a bullet strike the president's head. The driver then sped up causing the car to slip away from Hill, who was in the midst of trying to leap upon the trunk-lid. He somehow succeeded in regaining his footing and jumped on to the back of the quickly accelerating car.

As he climbed aboard, he saw Mrs. Kennedy, apparently in shock, crawl onto the flat trunk of the moving limousine and retrieve a piece of the president's skull. Agent Hill crawled to her and guided the frantic Mrs. Kennedy back into her seat and placed his body above the President and Mrs. Kennedy. [4]

As the car moved at high speed to the hospital, Hill maintained his position shielding the couple with his body.[5]

The limousine exited Dealey Plaza and sped to Parkland Memorial Hospital. There was hardly any reaction in the crowd to the first shot, many later saying they thought they had heard a firecracker or a car's exhaust backfire.

Others wounded

Texas Governor John Connally, riding in the same limousine in a seat in front of the President, was also critically injured but survived. Doctors later stated that after the Governor was shot, Mrs. Connally pulled the Governor onto her lap, and the resulting posture helped close his front chest wound (which was causing air to be sucked directly into his collapsed right lung). The action helped save his life. [6]

James Tague, a spectator and witness to the assassination, also received a minor wound to his right cheek while standing 270 feet (82 meters) in front of where Kennedy was hit, presumably from debris that shot up when a bullet had hit the curb.

Kennedy declared dead in the emergency room


Staff at Parkland Hospital's Trauma Room 1 who treated Kennedy observed that his condition was "moribund", meaning that he had no chance of survival upon arrival at the hospital.

At 1:00 p.m., CST (19:00 UTC), after all heart activity had ceased and after a priest administered the last rites, the president was pronounced dead. "We never had any hope of saving his life", one doctor said.[7]

The priest who administered the last rites to Kennedy told The New York Times that the President was already dead by the time the priest arrived at the hospital, and he had to draw back a sheet covering the President's face to administer the sacrament of Extreme Unction. Kennedy's death was officially announced some time later, at 1:38 PM CST (19:38 UTC). Governor Connally, meanwhile, was soon taken to emergency surgery where he underwent two operations that day.

A few minutes after 2:00 PM CST (20:00 UTC), and after a confrontation Secret Service agents, Kennedy's body was taken from Parkland Hospital and driven to Air Force One. The body was removed before undergoing a forensic examination by the Dallas coroner, which was against Texas state law (the murder was a state crime, and occurred under Texas legal jurisdiction.) At that time, it was not legally a federal offense to kill the President.

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Lyndon B. Johnson (who had been riding two cars behind Kennedy in the motorcade through Dallas and was not injured) was first in line of succession to become President of the United States upon Kennedy's death. Johnson took the oath of office on board Air Force One just before it departed Love Field. Because the oath took place before leaving the ground, the airplane's call sign was "Air Force One" throughout flight.

The autopsy

After Air Force One landed at Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington DC, Kennedy's body was taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital for an autopsy.

The autopsy of President Kennedy performed on the night of November 22 at the Bethesda Naval Hospital led the three examining pathologists to conclude that a small hole was found in the rear of the President's skull and was the point of entry and that a large opening on the right side of his head was point of exit. [8][9]

Dr. Robert Nelson McClelland, was one of the doctors that treated President Kennedy in the emergency room in Dallas. Dr. McClelland testified before both the Warren Commission, and then many years later, to the ARRB. He approved of a sketch of the head wound, cited here; [10]. This drawing portrays a large exit wound, at the back of Kennedy's head [11] Dr. Charles J. Carrico was also present. His description of the fatal head wound is similar to Dr. McClelland's.[12]

This testimony by the two physicians contradicts the results of the autopsy that would take place later that night by military doctors.

Reaction to the assassination

Template:Main The first hour after the shooting, before Kennedy's death was announced, was a time of great confusion. As it took place during the Cold War, some people at first wondered if the shooting were not part of a larger attack upon the USA, and there was concern about Vice-President Johnson's safety. People began to huddle around radios and TVs for the latest bulletins.

The news of Kennedy's death by assassination shocked the world In cities around the world, people wept openly. People clustered in department stores to catch TV coverage, and others prayed. Motor traffic in some areas came to a halt as the news of Kennedy's death spread literally from car to car. Most schools across the USA and Canada dismissed students early, but not all did. A misguided fury against Texas and Texans was reported from some individuals. All three TV networks cancelled regular programs scheduled for the next three days in order to provide non-stop news coverage of the assassination. The television coverage of the assassination was the longest uninterrupted news coverage of one event until the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Radio stations also cancelled its regular programming; a few of which provided non-stop coverage of the assassination for days; others either went off the air or aired funeral music. Not all recreational and sporting events were cancelled that day, as well as the weekend after. NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle explained his decision to play NFL games that weekend by saying "It has been perform in times of great personal tragedy...He (Kennedy) thrived on competition." [13]

Memorial services for Kennedy were held worldwide. The US Government declared a day of national mourning and sorrow for the day of state funeral, Monday, November 25. Many other countries did the same.


Image:JFKFuneralSt.Matthew'sCathedral.jpg Template:Main After the autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Kennedy's body was prepared for burial and then brought back to the White House and placed in the East Room for 24 hours. The Sunday following the assassination, his flag-draped coffin was moved to the Capitol for public viewing. Throughout the day and night, hundreds of thousands lined up to view the guarded casket.

Representatives from over 90 countries, including the Soviet Union, attended the funeral on November 25 (which was his son's third birthday). After the service, the casket was taken by caisson to Arlington National Cemetery for burial.

Lee Harvey Oswald

Image:LHO14.jpg Template:Main Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested eighty minutes after the assassination for killing Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit. He was charged with murders of Tippit and Kennedy later that evening. Oswald denied shooting the president and claimed he was a "patsy." Oswald's case never came to trial because two days later, while in police custody, he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby.

The Carcano rifle

Template:Main A rifle was found on the 6th Floor of the Texas Book Depository by Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman and Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone soon after the assassination of President Kennedy.[14]. The recovery was filmed by Tom Alyea of WFAA-TV. This footage shows the rifle to be a Mannlicher-Carcano.[15] There was some initial confusion regarding if the rifle was a Mauser or a Mannlicher. Weitzman glimpsed the rifle underneath a stack of boxes; he described it as the more common 'Mauser', a German make nearly identical to the Italian Mannlicher-Carcano.[16] The following photo shows a Mauser, a Mannlicher-Carcano, and Oswald's purported rifle.[17] Weitzman testified to the Warren Commission that he never handled the rifle or got a close look at it. [18] The rifle was later identified, by police authorities, as a 6.5 x 52 mm Italian Mannlicher-Carcano M91/38 bolt-action rifle with a six-round magazine serial number C2766.

A bullet was found on Connally's stretcher and was a 6.5mm copper-jacketed Mannlicher-Carcano round. It was ballistically matched to the rifle found in the book depository building. Some months prior, the rifle was sold by mail-order to an "A. J. Hidell". Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested with a forged identity card for "Alek J. Hidell." A partial palm print of Oswald was also found on the barrel of the gun.[19]

Recordings of the assassination

No radio or television stations broadcast the assassination live, because the area through which the motorcade was traveling was not considered important enough for a live broadcast. Most media crews were not even with the motorcade but instead were waiting, at the Trade Mart, in anticipation for Kennedy's arrival. Those members of the media that were with the motorcade were riding at the rear of the procession.

However, Kennedy's last seconds traveling through Dealey Plaza were recorded on silent 8 mm film for the 26.6 seconds before, during, and immediately following the assassination. This famous film footage was taken by garment manufacturer and amateur cameraman Abraham Zapruder, in what became known as the Zapruder film. The 486 frames of this film have been used in many studies, but the film has not been able to settle disputes concerning whether or not Oswald was the sole assassin.

Zapruder was not the only one that either took photographs of or filmed at least part of the assassination. Those bystanders that recorded, at least part of the assassination include Robert Hughes, Orville Nix, Charles Bronson, Elsie Dorman, Tina and Jim Towner, Philip Willis and Mary Moorman.

An unknown woman, nicknamed by researchers as the Babushka Lady might have been filming the presidential motorcade during the assassination because she was seen apparently doing so on film and photographs taken by the others. Her identity is still unknown.

For several minutes around the time of the assassination, a Dallas police motorcycle man's radio microphone was stuck in the 'transmit' position and was recorded back at the police radio dispatcher's room on a dictabelt. The Dictabelt evidence has been studied, with various results produced and hotly disputed.

A Dallas radio station KBOX-AM did recreate the sounds of the shooting on a Long playing record and it released the record album with excerpts of news coverage of that day, but it was not an original recording of the shooting.

Sealing of assassination records

Just before the 1964 presidential election, President Johnson ordered the Warren Commission documentations to be sealed against public availability for 75 years (until 2039). However, in 1992 Congress enacted the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. Congress questioned the legitimate need for continued protection of such records, after three decades of secrecy. The purpose of the Act was to gather and accelerate the public release of assassination related documents.

The Act requires all documents related to the assassination that have not been destroyed to be released to the public by no later than 2017.

Since 1992, many documents have been gathered and unsealed. However, tens of thousands of pages of other documents will remain classified and sealed, away from the public until 2017, including:

Additionally, several key pieces of evidence and documentation are described to have been lost or cleaned, or missing from the original chain of evidence (e.g., limousine cleaned out at hospital, Connally's suit dry-cleaned, Oswald's Marine Corps service record file lost, President Kennedy's brain missing, Connally's Stetson hat and shirt sleeve gold cufflink missing, forensic autopsy photos missing, etc.)

On May 19, 2044, the 50th anniversary of the death of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, if her last child has died, the Kennedy library will release to the public a 500-page transcript of an oral history about John F. Kennedy given by Mrs. Kennedy before her death in 1994.

Official investigations

Dallas Police

After arresting Oswald and collecting physical evidence at the crime scenes, the Dallas Police held Oswald at the police headquarters for interrogation. Then, at 10:30 PM, that evening, Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry was ordered by, in his words, "people in Washington" to send all of the physical evidence that had been collected, but not Oswald, to FBI headquarters in Washington.

Before Oswald himself was murdered at the police headquarters, he was interrogated, but the interrogation of him, according to Chief Curry, "was just against all principles of good interrogation practice." Chief Curry said: "Ordinarily an interrogator in interrogating a suspect will have him in a quiet room alone or perhaps with one person there," In contrast, the interrogation room of Oswald was filled with FBI agents, Secret Service Agents, agents from other federal agencies and the homicide detectives. The authorities announced that Oswald simply denied everything. [20]

The Captain of the Dallas homicide detectives, J.W. Fritz, was in charge of interrogating Oswald, and he also testified to the Warren Commission that no record was kept of the interrogation sessions, but instead he prepared notes several days later. Captain Fritz’s sworn testimony was contradicted by his actual handwritten notes by him of the interrogation sessions that were turned over to the Assassination Records Review Board in 1997. [21]

FBI investigation

The FBI was the first authority to complete an official investigation. On December 9, 1963, only 17 days after the assassination, the FBI report was issued and given to the Warren Commission while the FBI was still the primary investigating authority for the commission. The FBI stated that only three bullets were fired during the assassination; that the first shot hit President Kennedy, the second shot hit Governor Connally, and the third shot hit Kennedy in the head, killing him. The FBI stated that Lee Harvey Oswald fired all three shots.

The FBI report was issued and given to the Warren Commission while the FBI remained the primary investigating authority for the commission. The FBI stated that only three bullets were fired during the assassination. This contrasts with the conclusion of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), which concluded that four shots had been fired during the assassination of the president.

The Warren Commission agreed with the FBI investigation that only three shots were fired, but disagreed with the FBI report on which shots hit Kennedy and which hit Governor Connally. The FBI report claimed that the first shot hit President Kennedy, the second shot hit Governor Connally, and the third shot hit Kennedy in the head, killing him. The Warren Commission concluded that one of the three shots missed, one of the shots hit Kennedy and then struck Connally, and a third shot struck Kennedy in the head, killing him. The FBI report was consistent with the later Warren Commission Report stating that Lee Harvey Oswald fired all three shots.

The destruction of evidence

The FBI's role in the murder investigation has come under criticism for destroying evidence. The name and phone number of an FBI agent, James Hosty, appeared in Oswald's address book. The FBI provided a typewritten transcription of the document in which Hosty's name and phone number were deleted. When he testified, Hosty failed to mention his contacts with Oswald to the Warren Commission, and this information only became public much later. [22]

The Warren Commission

Template:Main The first official investigation of the assassination was established by President Lyndon B. Johnson on November 29 1963, a week after the assassination. The commission was headed by Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States and became universally (but unofficially) known as the Warren Commission.

In late September 1964, after a 10 month investigation, the Warren Commission Report was published. The Commission reported that it could not find any persuasive evidence of a domestic or foreign conspiracy involving any other person(s), group(s), or country(ies), and that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. The theory that Oswald acted alone is also informally called the Lone Gunman Theory.

The commission also concluded that only three bullets were fired during the assassination, and that Lee Harvey Oswald fired all three bullets from the Texas School Book Depository behind the motorcade. The commission's determination was that:

  • one shot likely missed the motorcade (it could not determine which of the three),
  • the first shot to hit anyone struck Kennedy in the upper back, exited near the front of his neck and likely continued on to cause all of Governor Connally's injuries, and
  • the last shot to hit anyone struck Kennedy in the head, fatally wounding him.

It noted that three empty shells were found in the sixth floor in the book depository, and a rifle identified as the one used in the shooting - Oswald's Italian military surplus 6.5x52 mm Model 91/38 Carcano - was found hidden nearby. The Commission offered as a likely explanation that the same bullet that wounded Kennedy also caused all of Governor Connally's wounds. This single bullet then backed out of Connally's left thigh and was found on a stretcher in the hospital. This theory has become known as the "Single Bullet Theory" or, the "Magic" Bullet Theory (as it is commonly referred to by its critics and detractors). Some ballistic evidence has suggested that such a bullet trajectory was possible, but this point is a source of much debate.

Photo enhancements made long ago show that Kennedy and Connally were positioned in such a way that one bullet could have inflicted the injuries to Kennedy and Connally.

The Commission also criticized weaknesses in security, which has resulted in greatly increased security whenever the President travels. The supporting documents for the Warren Commission Report are not all due to be released until 2017.

Public response to the Warren Report

After the Warren Report was issued, skeptics began questioning its conclusions. A multitude of books and articles criticizing the Warren Commission's findings have been published in the four decades since the Commission's report was issued.

The Commission's Report that Oswald was the lone gunman has not gained widespread acceptance from the American public. Most polls show that most people do not agree with the Warren Commission's finding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, but no single alternative suspect or theory is accepted either.

The Commission also looked into other matters beside who killed the president, and criticized weaknesses in security, which has resulted in greatly increased security whenever the President travels. The supporting documents for the Warren Commission Report are not all due to be released until 2017.

The Ramsey Clark Panel

In 1968 The Ramsey Clark Panel met in Washington, DC to examine various photographs, X-ray films documents and other evidence pertaining to the death of President Kennedy. The chain of custody of this evidence has been called into question since the panel reached its conclusions.Template:Citation needed

It determined that President Kennedy was struck by two bullets fired from above and behind him, one of which traversed the base of the neck on the right side without striking bone and the other of which entered the skull from behind and destroyed its right side [23][24][25].

The House Select Committee on Assassinations


Fifteen years after the Warren Commission issued its report, a congressional committee, named the House Select Committee on Assassinations reviewed the Warren Commission report and the underlying FBI report on which the Commission heavily relied.

The Committee criticized the performance of both the Warren Commission and the FBI for failing to investigate whether other people conspired with Oswald to murder President Kennedy. [26] The committee concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots at President John F. Kennedy. The second and third shots he fired struck the President. The third shot he fired killed the President. The HSCA agreed with the single bullet theory, but concluded that it occurred at a time point during the assassination that differed from what the Warren Commission had theorized. Their theory, based primarily on dictabelt evidence, was that President Kennedy was assassinated probably as a result of a conspiracy. They proposed that four shots had been fired during the assassination; Oswald fired the first, second, and fourth bullets, and that (based on the acoustic evidence) there was a high probability that an unnamed second assassin fired the third bullet, but missed, from President Kennedy's right front, from a location concealed behind the Grassy Knoll picket fence.

Response to the Dictabelt Evidence

The sole acoustic evidence relied on by the committee to support its theory of a fourth gunshot (and a gunman on the grassy knoll) in the JFK assassination, was a Dictabelt recording alleged to be from a stuck transmitter on a police motorcycle in Dealey Plaza during the assassination.[27] After the committee finished its work, however, an amateur researcher listened to the recording and discovered faint crosstalk of transmissions from another police radio channel known to have been made a minute after the assassination. [28]Further, the Dallas motorcycle policeman thought to be the source of the sounds followed the motorcade to the hospital at high speed, his siren blaring, immediately after the shots were fired. Yet the recording is of a mostly idling motorcycle, eventually determined to have been at JFK's destination, the Trade Mart, miles from Dealey Plaza.

Several years later, in 1981, a special panel of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) disputed the evidence of a fourth shot, contained on the police dictabelt [29]. The panel concluded it was simply random noise, perhaps static, recorded about a minute after the shooting while Kennedy's motorcade was en route to Parkland Hospital.

The NAS experts, headed by physicist Norman F. Ramsey of Harvard, reached that conclusion after studying the sounds on the two radio channels Dallas police were using that day. Routine transmissions were made on Channel One and recorded on a dictabelt at police headquarters. An auxiliary frequency, Channel Two, was dedicated to the president's motorcade and used primarily by Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry; its transmissions were recorded on a separate Gray Audograph disc machine.

The conclusion by the NAS, was then rebutted in 2001, in a Science and Justice article, by D.B. Thomas, a government scientist and JFK assassination researcher. Mr. Thomas concluded the HSCA finding of a second shooter was correct and that the NAS panel's study was flawed. Thomas surmises that the Dictaphone needle jumped and created an overdub on Channel One.[30]

In reponse to Thomas's findings Michael O'Dell concluded, in his report[31], that the prior reports relied on incorrect timelines, and made unfounded assumptions that when corrected do not support the identification of gunshots on the recording. In addition, a 2003 ABCNEWS investigation into the assassination, using computer diagrams based on footage from the available video recordings of the assassination, concluded that the sound recordings could not have come from Dealy Plaza.

The Assassination Records Review Board

The Assassination Records Review Board was created under federal law to gather and preserve the documents relating to the assassination. [32] The autopsy photographs of the President’s brain are apparently missing; in 1998, the ARRB concluded that it was very likely that another person's brain was substituted and examined by doctors at Bethesda Naval Hospital after the assassination. The Board's chief analyst for military records, Douglas Horne, believed that there was probably a coverup to make it seem as if President Kennedy had not been the victim of a conspiracy. However, the full board did not take a position on Mr. Horne's theory.[33] The Assassination Records Review Board looked over the autopsy records and took testimony of the participants and determined that the autopsy of the murdered president was handled in such an unprofessional manner that it termed it a "tragedy." [34]

Assassination theories

Template:Main An official investigation by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), conducted from 1976 to 1979, concluded that President Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. This conclusion of a conspiracy contrasts with the earlier conclusion by the Warren Commission that the President was assassinated by a lone gunman.

Many not only dispute the conclusion that Oswald was the lone assassin (claiming that there was a conspiracy), but also claim that Oswald was not involved at all. Shortly after his arrest, Oswald insisted he was a "patsy." Oswald never admitted any participation in the assassination, and was murdered two days after being taken into police custody. Some polls indicate a large number of Americans are suspicious of official government conclusions regarding the assassination. A 2003 ABC News poll found that 70% of respondents suspected there was an assassination plot. [35] These same polls also show that there is no agreement on who else may have been involved.

Similarities to other Presidential deaths in office

Every United States president elected or reelected in 20-year intervals beginning with 1840 (beginning with William Henry Harrison) had died in office (Harrison 1840, Lincoln 1860, Garfield 1880, McKinley 1900, Harding 1920, Roosevelt 1940). John F. Kennedy's assassination continued this pattern. It ultimately broke with Ronald Reagan who, elected in 1980, survived being shot in a March 1981 assassination attempt. This pattern of Presidential deaths has been referred to as Tecumseh's curse, the 20-year curse or the "zero factor".

After JFK's assassination, numerous similarities between Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln were noted. Template:See

Film portrayals

Kennedy's life and the subsequent conspiracy theories surrounding his death have been the topic for many films, including Mark Lane's 1966 Rush to Judgment, Executive Action (movie) in 1973, ABC TV's 1983 mini series Kennedy, Nigel Turner's 1988, 1991, 1995, and 2003's continuing documentary The Men Who Killed Kennedy, Oliver Stone's 1991 JFK, and the 1993 JFK: Reckless Youth (which looked at Kennedy's early years).

See also

External links

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