Kennedy assassination a vivid memory
Current and former residents recall thoughts, feelings on that fateful November day
Published: Thursday, November 21st, 2013
On Nov, 22, 1963, on a picturesque morning in Dallas, Texas, President John F. Kennedy, along with wife, Jacqueline, joined then-governor of Texas John Connally and his wife, Nellie, in a convertible waiting for them at Love Field.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum states the presidential party had just arrived from San Antonio, as part of Kennedy’s planned visit to Texas to smooth frictions within the Democratic Party. Kennedy was planning to run for reelection and knew friction within the party could hurt his chances of carrying the state in the upcoming election.
The procession left the airport and traveled along a 10-mile route that wound through downtown Dallas on the way to the Trade Mart where the President was scheduled to speak at a luncheon.
Crowds of excited people lined the streets and waved to the Kennedys. The car turned off Main Street at Dealey Plaza around 12:30 p.m. As it was passing the Texas School Book Depository, gunfire suddenly reverberated in the plaza.
The now famous “Zapruder Film,” shot by Abraham Zapruder, a citizen who was watching the motorcade, shows Kennedy clutch his neck, having been shot. Moments later, Kennedy was struck in the head by another bullet, causing fatal damage. As Kennedy slumped over in his seat, his frantic wife scrambled to leave the convertible from the rear, while a Secret Service agent climbed onto the car.
The car sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital just a few minutes away, but little could be done for Kennedy. A Catholic priest was summoned to administer the last rites and at 1 p.m. local time, John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was pronounced dead.
Shortly thereafter, Lee Harvey Oswald, an employee of the Texas School Book Depository, from where the shots were suspected to have been fired, was charged with the assassination of the President. Before he could be indicted or tried, however, Oswald was shot and killed on live TV by nightclub owner Jack Ruby, who was arrested and convicted for Oswald’s murder.
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