The Killing Of JFK


John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) was born on May 29, 1917. He was the 35th president of the United States of America. He was sworn in as president on January 20, 1961, and remained until November 22, 1963 when bullet wounds from an Italian Carcano bolt-action rifle, fired by Lee Harvey Oswald from the sixth floor of Texas School Book Depository in Dallas, led to his sudden death.

Events preceding the killing of JFK

President Kennedy was billed to attend a luncheon with Dallas business and civic leaders at the city Trade Mart on November 22, 1963. JFK went in company of his wife, Jacqueline; Vice President, Lyndon Johnson; and the Governor of Texas, John Connally and his wife, Nellie. The dignitaries had arrived Love Field Airport aboard the Airforce One which was some 15 minutes after it took-off from Washington DC at exactly 11:10am. In an attempt to give JFK a feel of his popularity among the people of Dallas, his motorcade was routed to pass through Elm and link Dealey Plaza before connecting the Stemmons Freeway. This route was planned to reduce the 10-mile journey from Love Field to Trade Mart by 4 miles. Three of the vehicles used for the motorcade were a plain white Ford for the police, a 1961 model Lincoln Continental convertible limousine that conveyed the president, and a 1955 model Cadillac convertible.

Events during and after the killing of JFK

The motorcade took off about 10 minutes behind the scheduled time. The convoy had negotiated the turn at Elm linking Dealey Plaza, about 5 minutes away from the Dallas Trade Mart, when three successive gun shots were fired at JFK who at this time was standing and waving at an estimated 200,000 cheering Texans. The gun shots came from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository. One of the shots pieced JFK’s throat and another shattered his skull, spilling his brain all over the limousine. JFK was rushed to the Parkland Hospital, Dallas, but died shortly after. The Texas Governor, Connally, sustained bullet wounds on his ribs and arm, while Vice President Johnson who had been riding two cars behind the president was not wounded in the shooting. About 99 minutes later, Vice President Johnson, flanked by Mrs. Jacqueline JF Kennedy was sworn in as president aboard the Air Force One at about 2:30pm CST.

Following an eye witness account by Howard Brenan, a Steamfitter, the Texas Police were able to identify the shooter, Oswald. The shooter also killed a police officer who attempted an arrest on him. However, Oswald, who was the Texas School Depository’s order filler was arrested following a tip off given to the police by his supervisor. Unfortunately, before Oswald could face trial he was killed by a club owner, Jack Ruby, on November 24 of the same year. JFK’s killing went down history as the fourth and the last successfully executed killing of a president of the United States. The first three presidents of the U.S., who were assassinated while in office were Abraham Lincoln (1865), President James A. Garfield (1881), and President William McKinley (1901).

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