WARNING: The following contains disturbing images. Viewer discretion is advised.
President John F. Kennedy traveled across the country preparing for the next Presidential collection in 1964. His last stop would be in Texas in November 1963.
JFK spoke at a hotel in Fort Worth before departing to Dallas on Air Force One.
The president and the First Lady left Fort Worth via Air Force One and arrived as Dallas’ Love Field. The Camelot couple greeted the eager and excited crowd after they disembarked and proceeded to the motorcade which had its bubble top removed. (It was noted that the President opt to not have it put back on since the weather was nice.) They were accompanied by the Texas governor John Connally and his wife Nellie. The vice-president and his wife were in another car in the motorcade route. The destination was the Trade Mart for another speech.
Crowds of people greeted the President and Mrs. Kennedy along the parade route which took them right into Elm Street and into Dealey Plaza. Along the route is the Texas school book depository and the grassy knoll near an overpass (Stemmons Freeway).
At 12:30 PM CST, shots rang out. President Kennedy was struck in the neck and was killed due to a massive wound to the head. He flops into the seat while Ms. Kennedy, in horror, climbed to the back of the limousine reportedly to retrieve a piece of the president’s head.
Governor Connally was also shot. He suffered several critical wounds, but managed to survive.
Secret Service agent Clint Hill, before the fatal shot, attempted to climb to the back of the limousine. After the head shot, the limousine sped up. Agent Hill managed to climb on board.
Kennedy and Connally were rushed to Parkland Hospital, four miles from Dealey Plaza.
News reports flashed on all major networks of the chaos in Dallas. Though reports have varied, they all have reported that an assassination attempt was made at President Kennedy. Soon, reports emerged that the president was indeed shot. Although they also varied as to the extent of the trauma.
At the hospital, Catholic Priests Oscar Huber and and James Thompson administered the last rites to the president.
At 1:00 PM CST, President John F. Kennedy is declared officially dead. He was the 4th and last President to be killed in office so far. The entire country virtually pauses, including the New York Stock Exchange.
Almost 45 minutes later, Dallas Police Officer James Tippit was shot. The suspect was a man named Lee Harvey Oswald.
Mrs. Kennedy and the Johnsons along with the president’s body boarded Air Force One to travel to Bethesda Navel Hospital in Maryland for the autopsy. At around 2:40 PM Lyndon Johnson took the Oath of Office and was sworn in as the next President of the United States.
At 2:15 PM CST, Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested at a movie theater in Dallas. Later that evening, he was arraigned for the murder of Officer Tippit. At 1:30 AM CST, he was booked for murdering the president.
On November 24, 1963, two days after the assassination, Oswald is escorted from the city jail to the county jail. A nightclub owner named Jack Ruby appears and shoots Oswald, killing him. He is immediately arrested. The shooting was broadcast live on television. Ruby is indicted for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald two days later. He died of cancer awaiting a new trial.
One day later, President Kennedy is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
President Johnson appoints Chief Justice Earl Warren to conduct a commission on the assassination of President Kennedy. Almost a year later, the Warren Commission releases its report which concluded that both President Kennedy and Governor Connally were shot by Lee Harvey Oswald from the sixth floor of the southeast corner of the Texas School Book Depository.
Despite the findings of the Warren Commission, many investigators, conspiracy theorists, and ordinary people suspected that were was more to the story than was told. People theorized that there was more than one gunman involved at different locations, including the infamous grassy knoll. Some say that the U.S. government, including President Johnson, were accomplices after the fact. And more theories as to who was involved and what happened during the assassination continue to spring up to this day 50 years later.