The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, our thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated on November 22, 1963. President Kennedy was rushed to the hospital as quickly and safely possible. Unfortunately, Kennedy was pronounced dead at the hospital, although after examination, doctors said he was dead before arriving at the hospital. President Kennedy had suffered ballistic trauma causing massive amounts of blood and tissue to be lost (“Pro-Communist charged” 1). After thorough investigation, police believed Lee Harvey Oswald to be responsible for the President’s murder. Before Oswald was incarcerated, he was murdered by Jack Ruby on November 24 days after being arrested. Both events were caught on camera and covered by many broadcasters who publicly made the tragic footage known to the world. This devastating happening caused the entire country, who was all still in a slight state of hysteria, to ponder on just what happened to John F. Kennedy?
Newspapers from all around the world were trying to get their hands on the story of President Kennedy’s assassination. Dallas Morning News wrote a newspaper covering every event of that disastrous morning from the parade to the last time President John F. Kennedy would visit the White House (“Pro- Communists charged” 1). According to the article, “Pro- Communists Charged with Act”, John Kennedy was enjoying the friendly, kind-hearted environment during his motorcade for campaigning. While taking a glance at the audience to smile and wave, a gunshot was heard across the motorcade. Not even seconds later, another shot was fired, and a bullet entered the back of Kennedy’s head. The Secret Service men immediately acted rushing the President at seventy miles an hour to Parkland Hospital. The President was dead before arrival, but it did not stop doctors and nurses from doing everything in their power before calling his death. After hours of trying to resuscitate the President, doctors officially called it. The President had been killed. A bullet that had hit Kennedy also punctured Gov. Connally just below his shoulder blade. Doctors verified that Connally would heal within fourteen days as his injuries were not as serious as Kennedys’ (“Pro- Communists Charged” 1).
In “Pro- Communist Charged with Act,” they also discuss who assassinated our 35th President. After the announcement of Kennedy’s death, Secret Service Men and FBI Agents began an investigation of approximately two days. Agents searched and investigated every inch of the Schoolbook Depository finding the three spent cartridges used to kill Kennedy. Police had an encounter with Lee Harvey Oswald during their investigation, but had no evidence to arrest him because he had reason to be in the building, Oswald was an employee at the Schoolbook Depository. However, police soon realized Oswald was in the building at the time President Kennedy was assassinated. Later civilian, Helen Markham, witnessed officer J.D. Tippit murdered while trying to arrest Oswald. She rushed over to help the officer, but unfortunately the officer has passed, and Oswald fled the scene of the crime. Police arrested Oswald at a showing of “War is Hell” and later found out he was a Communist from the Soviet Union, or Russia. Lyndon B. Johnson was soon sworn in and became the new President and proceeded to support Mrs. Kennedy as they said their final goodbyes as President Kennedy was loaded into the back of his travel jet (“Pro- Communists Charged” 1).
This article is historically valuable two big reasons. Almost fifty-six years have passed since President Kennedy’s assassination and it is still taught in every history class. Without information like what given in this article, we would never know what truly happened November 22, 1963. These reporters, or newspaper writers, got their information directly from sources at the scenes of each event. The reporters do not seem to dramatize any details throughout the article; they keep it simple only providing you with the most accurate information. The article is also historically valuable for reasons concerning the assassination. There have only been four President assassinations, including President Kennedy, throughout history over time. Although this was four times too many, this is a rare occurrence. Presidents are typically one of the most protected people, but on that November afternoon Kennedy was assassinated. The article tells us the President’s usual “protective bubble” was removed because Kennedy believed Dallas to be the friendliest environment he had been to. The Secret Service Men were removed the one-day Kennedy was shot, causing controversy on what happened what that day.
This article is not considered biased because the newspaper reporters got information from people on the scene of the events. As stated before, the newspaper never dramatized any details to benefit them. Dallas Morning News simply gave a story to the world begging to know what happened to the President. The reporters include names for certain information to show it was directly from a source. This informative article did help us in understanding the past. The article gives us inside details of the assassination, such as where the gunshots were fired, who was accused of the assassination, and general information about the gunshot patterns through Kennedy and Connally. When given these details, someone studying the event can agree with investigators in Oswald being guilty. Without this evidence or the small details, one can never truly understand the history of President Kennedy’s assassination.
An eyewitness speaks on the traumatic events that took place November 22. The eyewitness claimed to have gone and seen the motorcade on her lunch break with three of her friends. The four girls sat on the grassy slope near the triple underpass (Woodward 3). They waited patiently and soon they noticed motorcycles going by signaling the motorcade had begun. They desperately tried getting President Kennedy’s attention by cheering and clapping and according to the eyewitness it worked. She claimed Kennedy looked directly at the group smiling and waving before looking ahead and hearing gunfire.
She states the first shot did not hit Kennedy and that he in fact turned around to see where the sound came before getting shot in the head. She claims Mrs. Kennedy threw herself over her husband after he slumped over from being shot. The eyewitness then speaks on various people’s reactions such as a man and women throwing their kids to the ground to protect them after bullets grazed over their heads and two women falling into each other’s arms after realizing the President was dead (Woodward 3).
This article compared to others is not as historically valuable. Many people wrote about John F. Kennedy’s death, but told the story to suit them. Mary E. Woodward wrote in Witness from the News Describes Assassination, “We had been waiting about half an hour when the first motorcycle escorts came by, followed shortly by the President’s car. The President was looking straight ahead, and we were afraid we would not get to see his face. But we started clapping and cheering and both he and Mrs. Kennedy turned, and smiled and waved directly at us, it seemed Jackie was wearing a beautiful pink suit with beret to match. Two of us, who had seen the President last during the final weeks of the 1960 campaign, remarked almost simultaneously how relaxed and robust he looked. As it turns out, we were almost most certainly the last faces he noticed in the crowd (Woodward 3).” The eyewitness made details in the article overly dramatic. President Kennedy’s assassination was a huge ordeal, but did the woman see a bullet travel over the people standing ten feet away from her and her friends? She also included the line; she was almost certain she was the last face he seen before dying (Woodward 3). The article seems poorly written on the behalf that the newspaper did not fact check any statements she made.
This article did not help me in understanding history, because it seemed very opinion based. The small details the eyewitness did mention are ones that are displayed in hundreds of other articles. When reporting a story, especially for historical reasons when crisis has taken over, a witness must remove themselves from the story and tell the audience the details that are needed such as, did anyone look suspicious or did anyone notice where the shots were being fired from? If the witness traded the opinionated details for these bigger ones, this article would have been more historical valuable.
On November 21, writer James Ewell wrote an article over security detail for the motorcade. The Dallas Police reported that there would be over four hundred policemen scouting the scene and keeping the President safe. A third of the Dallas Police Department was on duty to spectate during the motorcade and an estimated one hundred detectives were on security detail (Ewell 1). They urged any political agitators that police would take immediate action if required after the incident with Ambassador Adlai Stevenson (Ewell 1). Dallas Police reported there would be a lot of car-to-car communication if case they ran into any issues that might be considered threatening to the President.
Although this article is small, this could possibly be the most historically valuable. One day before President Kennedy’s assassination, a reporter wrote on the high level of overall security that would be flooding the motorcade inch-to-inch. The day after this article was published, the President of the United States was assassinated by a sniper in a nearby building. Lee Harvey Oswald was able to shoot President Kennedy from the Schoolbook Depository building without getting caught in action. One of the heaviest guarded events in history was where our President was assassinated. This article was supported with evidence from the Dallas Police Department days before the assassination took place taking the possibility of unbiases off the table.
This simple article gives the audience a better understanding historically by showing you the precautions taken to protect Kennedy. The city of Dallas tried to prevent another political agitation scheme, but never believed someone was out to kill the President. Although the precautions failed the police department and detectives on the scene had no way of knowing which floor and building Oswald would have been waiting on that November day. Nevertheless, Oswald was captured two days after Kennedy’s death.
In President’s Murder Charged to Oswald by James Ewell, Hugh Aynesworth, and John Rutledge speaks on behalf of Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Lee Harvey Oswald was captured and charged with the murder of President Kennedy and officer J.D. Tippit. Oswald never confessed to killing either of the men, but after the investigation took place there was not a single person who could have been guilty other than Oswald (Ewell, Aynesworth, and Rutledge 1).
Oswald was captured in a movie theater after an anonymous phone call was made about a suspicious man who fit the description the police were looking for (Ewell, Aynesworth, Rutledge 1). Eyewitnesses had seen Lee Oswald kill officer J.D. Tippit increasing the odds that he was Kennedy’s murder as well. Oswald’s wife was brought in for questioning, but only spoke Russian making communication very hard; the police did not feel she was in any way involved and allowed her to leave (Woodward 1).
Eyewitness reports make the article increasingly more historically valuable because this is information that people rely on when researching what happened to Kennedy. The writer of this article never gave an opinionated statement, leaving the audience to make their own decision of whether Oswald was guilty. The writers had a direct inside source to give them information and they took the little background that they had Oswald and made it as unbiased as possible to let Dallas know Kennedy’s assassin may have been charged.
This article gives a better understanding of history in a political sense. They mention Oswald was born Russian and was denied with he tried to get his citizenship back. Lee Oswald was born and grew up communist therefore President Kennedy in Oswald’s eyes did not have good intentions. Several articles blamed the reason for Kennedy’s assassination on Oswald practicing communism. This article did not give the same impression as others, but it did lead the audience to believe his practice of communism had a little to do with the hatred towards Kennedy.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was our 35th President of the United States of America. President Kennedy was enjoying his motorcade in honor of his campaign on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. His pleasant joy ride was short lived when shots rang through the streets of Dallas, causing massive head and neck injuries. One of the bullets hit Gov. Connally when it passed through Kennedy. Both men were rushed to the hospital with their wives clung to them. When arriving at the hospital, Connally was told his injuries were nothing serious and he would heal in a time span of about two weeks. Unfortunately, just like doctors were concerned about when they first saw Kennedy as he was being wheeled into the surgery room; the President passed away after doctors and nurses fought to bring him back. Lee Harvey Oswald was captured two days after the assassination and charged with two murders. Although Lee Oswald never admitted to killing Kennedy, evidence pointed back to Oswald every time. Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby on November 24, 1963. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of reporters covered this story and each from a different angle. Hundreds of reporters did stories from a personal perspective while the others wrote articles that are more factually reliable than personal stories and therefore provide us with a greater understanding of history.