November 22, 1963: Presidential Death
By autumn 1963, President John F. Kennedy and his aides had started planning the next presidential campaign. Although he had not publicly declared his campaign, it was evident that President Kennedy was going to run, and he appeared optimistic about his prospects for re-election.
The president visited nine western states in September. The tour was aimed at shining a spotlight on natural resources and conservation activities. JFK utilised it to test 1964 campaign topics including education, national security, and international peace.
A month later, the president addressed Democratic meetings in Boston and Philadelphia. On November 12, he conducted the first crucial election-year political preparation session. At the discussion, JFK underlined the necessity of winning Florida and Texas and spoke about his intentions to visit both states in the following two weeks.
Mrs. Kennedy would join him on the Texas trip, her first lengthy public appearance since Patrick’s death in August. On November 21, the president and first lady embarked on Air Force One for the two-day, five-city tour of Texas.
President Kennedy wanted to unite Texas Democrats to improve his chances of winning in 1964.
He also knew that a relatively small but vocal group of extremists was contributing to the political tensions in Texas and would likely make its presence felt. However, JFK appeared to enjoy leaving Washington and entering politics.
The first stop was San Antonio. Governor John B. Connally, Senator Ralph W. Yarborough, and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson led the greeting party. They joined the president at Brooks Air Force Base to dedicate the Aerospace Medical Health Center.
In Houston, he addressed the League of United Latin American Citizens and spoke at a tribute luncheon for Congressman Albert Thomas before completing the day in Fort Worth.
Fort Worth morning
On Friday morning, November 22, a throng of several thousand assembled in the parking lot outside the Texas Hotel, where the Kennedys had stayed.
The president spoke on a platform without shelter from the elements. “Fort Worth has no feeble hearts, and I appreciate your coming here this morning,” he said.
organising Mrs. Kennedy “It takes longer, but she looks better.” He went on to speak about the nation’s need to be “second to none” in defence and in space, for continuous development in the economy, and “the readiness of the people of the United States to shoulder the duties of leadership.”
The warmth of the crowd’s reaction was obvious as the president stretched out to shake hands among a sea of beaming faces.
At a Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce breakfast, the president discussed military readiness. He stated, “We are still the keystone in the arch of freedom.” “We’ll do our job, and Texas will lead.”
After leaving the hotel, the presidential party motorcaded to Carswell Air Force Base for the thirteen-minute flight to Dallas. President and Mrs. Kennedy landed at Love Field and immediately moved toward a fence where well-wishers had gathered, shaking hands for many minutes.
The first lady took a bunch of red roses to the limousine. The Kennedys sat behind Governor John Connally and Nellie in the open convertible. Since it was no longer pouring, the plastic bubble top had been left off. The Vice President and Mrs. Johnson occupied another vehicle in the procession.
The President was scheduled to appear at a luncheon at the Trade Mart, so the procession departed the airport and went through downtown Dallas for 10 miles.
The Kennedys were greeted by delighted crowds. The automobile left Main Street at Dealey Plaza at 12:30 p.m. Shooting rang out in the plaza as it passed the Texas School Book Depository.
After being shot in the neck and head, the president collapsed toward Mrs. Kennedy. Governor received a backshot.
Parkland Memorial Hospital was reached in minutes by automobile. However, little could be done for the president. At 1:00 p.m., a Catholic priest gave John F. Kennedy his final rites. Governor Connally recovered from his injuries.
The president’s body was flown to Love Field aboard Air Force One. Before the jet took off, a grim-faced Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office from US District Court Judge Sarah Hughes. 2:38 p.m. was the end of the short ceremony.
The Texas School Book Depository’s new hire, Lee Harvey Oswald, was detained less than an hour earlier. He was imprisoned for the killing of President Kennedy and the Dallas street shooting of Patrolman J. D. Tippit.
On Sunday morning, November 24, Oswald was set to be taken from police headquarters to the county prison. Americans watching the live footage watched a guy aim a weapon and shoot at point-blank range. The assailant was local nightclub owner Jack Ruby. At Parkland Hospital, Oswald died two hours later.
Funeral of President
President Kennedy’s flag-draped coffin was transported from the White House to the Capitol on a caisson hauled by six grey horses and one riderless black horse the same day. The cortege and other ceremonial aspects were based on Abraham Lincoln’s funeral at Mrs. Kennedy’s request.
As the caisson passed, crowds on Pennsylvania Avenue sobbed. 250,000 people visited the Capitol Rotunda for the president’s 21-hour state funeral.
President Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on November 25, 1963. More than 100 heads of state and delegates attended the burial, with millions more watching on television. At the gravesite, Mrs. Kennedy and her husband’s brothers, Robert and Edward, kindled an everlasting light.
Little John F. Kennedy Jr.’s salute to his father on his third birthday, Caroline kneeling next to her mother at the president’s table, and Jacqueline Kennedy’s grace and dignity were among the day’s most memorable pictures.
Many remembered President Kennedy’s inauguration address: “All this will not be done in the first hundred days, nor in the first thousand days, nor in the life of this government.” Maybe not even in our lifetime.
National Cemetery, Arlington
Arlington National Cemetery’s webpage details President Kennedy’s funeral and gravesite.
The Warren Commission
The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy was established on November 29, 1963, by Lyndon B. Johnson. The Warren Commission was named for its head, Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States.
President Johnson asked the panel to look into the alleged assassin’s death and the assassination and report back.
House Select Committee on Assassinations
In 1976, the House Select Committee on Assassinations was formed to restart the assassination inquiry after reports that government agencies had not cooperated.
Point 1B of the 1979 House Select Committee on Assassinations report asserts that “there is a strong chance that two shooters shot” at the president.
The last-minute “discovery” of a Dallas police radio transmission recording apparently showing four or more Dealey Plaza bullets led to this conclusion. After the report was published, acoustic specialists evaluated the recording and found it useless, disproving Point 1B.
The committee’s report on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death was released on March 29, 1979.
Records of Assassinations
The 1992 President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act required the National Archives and Records Administration to store all assassination-related documents.