Jfk Assasination Essay, Research Paper
The JFK Assassination
President John Fitzgerald Kennedy is known for many things throughout his life. From becoming the youngest president at the age of 43 to the Bay of Pigs Invasion. However, the biggest thing that sticks out during his short life is that he was assassinated. What makes his assassination so interesting to people is the fact that there are so many unanswered questions. Nobody knows exactly what happened in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. There are many ideas of what took place that day as told by the government, and possible theories and cover up, but the effect of Kennedy?s death and his legacy will live on in the minds of the people.
On November 22, 1963 Air Force One landed at Love Field in Dallas Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy and the Connallys met the people when they arrived and shook their hands. Then it became time to begin the motorcade. It would be lead by four motorcycle policemen, then a car with Dallas police force, next the lead car with the chief of police, sheriff, and a Secret Service agent. After that would come the president?s convertible with John and Jackie sitting on the back seat, Governor Connally and his wife in front of them, and two Secret Service agents in the driver and passenger seats. Then came four more motorcycle policemen, a follow-up car with more Secret Service agents, the vice presidents convertible, and the rest of the 24-motorcade included more Secret Service agents. (Netzley, 26-7)
The motorcade was then off on its route to the Trade Mart where the president would make his speech. A few seconds after Governor Connally said to Kennedy ?You sure can?t say Dallas doesn?t love you, Mr. President?(Netzley, 29). Shoots rang out and Kennedy was shot along with Governor Connally. Secret Service agents ran to the president?s car but they were to late the president had already been shot in the head, throat and upper back. Then at one P.M. Central Standard Time the president was pronounced dead.
In no time the local and federal officials had the name of Lee Harvey Oswald. He was arrested and quested for the murder of the president and an officer. Oswald was identified in a lineup by an eyewitness as the murder and by a man who had seen him in the Depository window. However, he denied killing president Kennedy or Officer Tippit. Oswald also denied that the rifle was his but it was shipped to a Dallas post office box in his name. Then on November 22 at 7:00 P.M. Oswald was officially charged with the murder of Officer Tippit and the assassination of President Kennedy. (Netzley, 44-52)
On November 24 at 11:00 A.M. Oswald was being transferred to the county jail. There were many reports there to record this event and some how Jack Ruby got into the crowd. He then took a gun and shot Oswald in the stomach. Oswald would later die at 1:07 P.M.
The Warren Commission was named as the group of people who would investigate the assassination of the president. They spent ten months investigating and presented almost a nine hundred page report called the Warren Report. The Warren report stated ?Only three shots had been fired at President Kennedy and Governor Connally, all of them from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository; Oswald killed both the president and Officer Tippit; Jack Ruby had never known either Tippit or Oswald; and no one in the Dallas Police Department had helped Ruby kill Oswald?(Netzley, 71-2). The findings by the Warren Commission were then put into a vault at the National Archives and ordered to be sealed for 75 years by President Johnson.
The Commission also ignored testimony that did not go along with what they believed. Many people were not even interviewed because they said that they had seen another gunman or heard gun shots come from a grassy knoll. The Warren Commission also went with the Bethesda Naval Hospital autopsy, which many believed contained errors, but said that the president was shot from the back. Instead of the Parkland Hospital report, which stated that, the president had been shot from the front. Another thing was the single-bullet theory, that stated ?the first bullet hit the president in his upper back and came out through his throat It then went into the governor?s back, came out his chest, passed through his wrist, and ended up in his thigh?(Netzley, 75). This might have happened, but the likely hood due to all the different places one bullet would have to go, and position that both men would have to be in is questionable.
Many people also believe that there was another person involved in the assassination of JFK. This is because of video of the shooting that was released to the public later and shows that the president?s head moves back when he was hit with the fatal shot to the head. For his head to move in this motion the only possible conclusion is that he was also shot from the front. This would mean that most likely there was a conspiracy to kill the president, because Oswald was in a building behind Kennedy and his shots hit him in the rear of his body.
Further reasons to believe that the Warren Commission was wrong in their findings is because of the House Select Committee on Assassinations. They investigated the Warren findings, interviewed witnesses, and reviewed many documents. They found that based on testimony and tape recordings of the shots fired that one of the shot had come from the grassy knoll. They decided that there had to have been a second gunman and that there was a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy. The Committee also felt that the Warren Commission should have looked more closely at Jack Ruby before he died of cancer. However the House Select Committee never found out who was behind the conspiracy, though they did think that it could have been members of an anti-Castro Cuban group. (Netzley, 80-2)
The death of President John F. Kennedy had a great impact on the American people. Thousands of people watched quietly as the president?s casket processed down the streets of Washington D.C. to Arlington National Cemetery in northern Virginia. Those that could not be there watched the event on television. As the coffin left to go to the cemetery the band played ?Hail to the Chief? and John F. Kennedy, Jr., only three at the time, saluted his dead father. At Arlington National Cemetery, ?Prayers were said, and a 21-gun salute was fired followed by three rifle shots A bugler player taps, and the flag was removed from the coffin and given to Mrs. Kennedy, who then lit the eternal flame?(Netzley, 65).
President Kennedy will live on in the memory of Americans for years and years to come. He was the American dream. He had a beautiful wife, a great job, the perfect family; a son and a daughter, political connections, and he was a very handsome man. He came from a big family that had lots of money and power. He seemed to have it all, and it is no wonder that this Irish Catholic, Harvard graduate became the youngest president of the United States. Besides his youth made him even more attractive to the public.
There are other things too that make Kennedy memorable to people. Forinstance the fact that Marilyn Monroe came to the White House and sang the president happy birthday is very interesting. Especially since it was rumored that he was having an affair with her. In addition many people believed that he was a womanizer and had many secret affairs going on with other women. Also he was a war hero and had been a commander in the navy.
Along with all of these things John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961. This is a group of volunteers that go to poor countries and try to improve the way of living in the towns and villages of the people. Kennedy knew that people needed help and he founded many service organizations and encouraged public service. He also worked hard for Civil Rights. He worked together with many organizations to get equal rights everywhere for African Americans and often worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. Later after his death a Civil Rights Act that he proposed would pass.
The death of such a great, powerful, successful, handsome young man in such a was as to be assassinated is most likely what people think of when they hear the name JFK. He had so much going for him and was just really starting his family life and his short-lived presidency.
The real story of what went on in the JFK assassination may never be known, the government has their story, and there are many other theories and ideas of cover ups. However the president?s death and his legacy will be remembered in the minds of everyone. There are many things that are questionable as to how the Warren Commission went on with their investigation, and what the House Select Committee on Assassinations later found after looking further. Moreover it is very suspicious as to why President Johnson would order that the vault with all of the records of the Warrens findings be sealed for 75 years. Since then though, some file were opened in 1993, and attempts are being made to have to rest opened before 2039. John Fitzgerald Kennedy died November 22, 1963 at 1:00P.M. Central Standard Time will always be remembered in the hearts of his people and his eternal flame will burn forever in Arlington National Cemetery.