American Tragedy: The Kennedy Assassination

This essay has a total of 1632 words and 7 pages.

"American Tragedy: The Kennedy Assassination"


Where were you November 22, 1963? Any and every American old enough to mourn, to feel
sorrow remember where they were and what they were doing when they received the news that
President John F. Kennedy had been murdered. My mother was only three and she remembers
the day. She was in the living room of her childhood home when a weeping neighbor called
my Grandmother and broke the news. The telephone call was the beginning of a chain
reaction that sent the entire house into uncontrollable sobbing. The event had that effect
on the entire nation. Men and women, Democrats and Republicans, adults and children
mourned the loss of their fallen leader.


President Johnson, the Warren Commission, and every fascinated watcher-on in the world
would closely scrutinize that day and the following events. The facts of the day are still
hotly contested even now. Politicians have made their careers on the case. Conspiracy
theorists have had a field day writing books, accusing anyone and everyone of planing the
assassination. This paperís purpose is to inform you on the known facts of the event,
including the reason for President Kennedyís visit, the parade through down-town Dallas,
and the emergency trip to the hospital. The Warren Commissionís report to the President
will be summarized and many conspiracy theories will be established.


President and Mrs. Kennedy arrived in Dallas at 11:40AM CST on Friday, November 22, 1963.
The couple had been in San Antonio, the first leg of a two day trip through the state,
where they met with Vice-president Johnson and Texas Governor Connally. The Texas trip was
planned in hopes of reviving the Presidentís popularity in Texas after it was hurt during
the election of 1960. Until midmorning, cloudy skies had threatened to cancel the
motorcade-style parade that was planned for the day. The motorcade would travel from Love
Field, where the Presidentís plane had landed, through Dallas on a previously publicized
route to the Trade Mart where a luncheon in honor of the President had been planned, (The
Warren Commission, pg. 2). The motorcade consisted of the presidentís car, followed by a
car designate the ďPresidential follow-upĒ which carried secret service members. Behind
that was another open roofed car carrying Vice-president Lyndon Johnson and Texas Governor
Connally and their wives. Following the vice-presidentís car was another follow-up car and
several cars and buses with dignitaries and press representatives.


The motorcade followed its designated route, first passing through a residential area of
Dallas, and then making its way through the middle of the downtown area. The parade
traveled west on Main Street and then made a right on Houston. The motorcade went one
block and then made a left-turn on Elm. On the corner of Elm and Houston was the large,
ominous Texas School Book Depository, where the fatal shots were later accused of being
fired from. When the Presidentís car turned west on Elm and crossed the Depository, three
shots were fired at the motorcade. The President was struck by a bullet that entered at
the base of his neck, just right of his spine and exited under the lower left portion of
the knot in the Presidentís tie. A second bullet struck Kennedy in the rear base of his
head, causing the fatal wound. Texas Governor Connally, riding two cars behind the
President, was also hit. The bullet hit the Governor on the extreme right side of his
back, just below the armpit. The bullet exited below his left nipple and hit him again on
the left wrist. Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman saw that the President had been hit and
instructed the driver to get the President to a hospital immediately. Parlkand Memorial
Hospital was the closest hospital, just 4 miles away.


Awaiting Doctors met the presidential car and immediately began an attempt to resuscitate
the dying President. At 1:00PM, just 30 minutes after the President had been shot,
Kennedyís heart had stopped and was pronounced dead. Vice-president Johnson left Parkland
Hospital after being notified of the Presidentís death and traveled back to the
Presidential Plane at Love Field under close guard. Mrs. Kennedy and the Presidentís body
followed and boarded the plane shortly after Johnson. At 2:38PM, with the plane on itís
way back to Washington, DC, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the
United States.


On November 29, 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson created an investigation commission to
ďevaluate all the facts and circumstances surrounding the assassination and the subsequent
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