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Assassination of JFK (1963)

President Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November 1963 – shot in the head as he was driven through Dallas, Texas, in an open car on his way to a political festival.

A number of shots were fired as crowds cheered him on a golden, sunny day.

The 46-year-old President slumped in the car as his wife turned to help him. She cradled him in her arms, his blood staining her suit, as the car sped to nearby Parkland Hospital. Police motorcyclists, sirens blaring, cleared a path through the crowds.

At the hospital, he was given a blood transfusion as surgeons worked on his dreadful head wound. But it was to no avail.

jfk_headline001A Roman Catholic priest was called to administer the last rites and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 34th President of the United States, died 25 minutes after being shot.

Police later arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, chairman of a pro-Castro “Fair Play for Cuba” committee, who was seized in a cinema after a policeman had been killed nearby.

Oswald, a former US Marine, defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 but returned to America with his Russian wife in 1962. Police said he was the prime suspect in the assassination, but had denied the crime.

In November 1966 Texas Governor John Connally, wounded in JFK’s assassination, reiterated his Warren Commission testimony for Life magazine, swearing that he was hit by a second bullet and not the same one that had killed President Kennedy.

Connally had been hit roughly 1.3 seconds after JFK –  and as Oswald’s rifle could not be fired faster than once every 2.3 seconds, Connally’s bullet would have come from the gun of a second assassin. Life called for the case to be re-opened.

FBI chief J Edgar Hoover argued that all evidence suggested Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy.