Last Updated 16 Apr 2020

John F. Kennedy’s Assassination: the History and Reflection

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John F. Kennedy’s assassination was, and still is, a difficult one to understand. On November 22, 1963 President Kennedy was shot twice: once in the back and out the throat, and another in the brain, with a third bullet missing Kennedy. He arrived in Dallas, Texas and started his route in an open limo. When the limo glided down Elm Street, Kennedy was shot. Three shots were heard among the crowd and the President had been fatally wounded. The Zapruder Film captured the assassination. It showed Kennedy being shot as well as the Governor, Connally.

Kennedy was shot through the throat and the Governor was hit in the back. Not long after that, Kennedy was shot a second time, this time in the head/brain. Police searched the sixth floor of the Book Depository and not only found the spot where the shooter had been, but also three bullet shells and the rifle used to do the job. Lee Harvey Oswald was the murder suspect and when Oswald, when pulled over, shot a Police officer four times there was little doubt that he had committed the crime. Oswald was eventually found and arrested him in a movie theatre.

He was then taken to the Police Headquarters where he was questioned, and when he was to be transferred to another jail (two days after the assassination) he was shot by a man, Jack Ruby. Vice President Johnson was then sworn into the Presidency and spoke briefly to the public. Many conspiracies rose from the assassination of whether Oswald worked alone, for someone, or with someone. John F. Kennedy’s assassination was a surprising one for me. The irony in this assassination seemed to be part of a story. I couldn’t believe that they actually had footage of the shooting.

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The reality of the case was a lot to take in, especially since that was only around 48 years ago. It is hard to imagine the pain he must’ve been feeling and the pain his wife was going through to see her husband struggling to breathe and then see his head shot in front of her eyes. My question is how was she able to handle that? To see her husband die right in front of her eyes and not being able to help him. It made me think about how fragile life is, how one second you’re happy and content with your life and the next you don’t even have one.

Did Mrs. Kennedy have help coping with the traumatic loss? Did she take precautions more seriously? Did she ever enter into a stage of depression? Mrs. Kennedy was a very strong woman to have lived through her husband’s murder in front of her eyes. Robert Oswald was Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother and according to him and research Lee had a tough life. Lee didn’t grow up with a father and had no friends in his teen years. He took an interest in communism and would eventually consider himself a Marxist.

Lee Harvey Oswald joined the Marine Corps and was superb at his ability in the shooting range. Lee was able to shoot 200 yards away from a target at 49 out of a possible 50 times at an impressing time. Later on he moved to the Soviet Union where he wanted to join in the Soviet Union agency, but was rejected. Oswald eventually got a job and found a wife, Marina. Oswald was ambitious to make something of himself and to make himself known, so much so that when he returned to the United States he was expecting reporters to be there to cover his return.

To his disappointment no one was there. Oswald was an abusive husband, and he also planned on being a political assassin. Wanting to make a mark on history, Lee bought a hand gun as well as a rifle under the name of A. Hiddle. Afterwards he plotted on killing an ex-general, Walker, but didn’t succeed when the bullet bounced away from the intended target off the glass of a window. Marina too Oswald to New Orleans hoping to calm him down and get his mind off of whatever he was thinking of. To her disappointment, he started handing out leaflets stating, “HANDS OFF CUBA! and getting into fights with Anti-Castro Cubans and got himself arrested. After that he wanted Marina to help him hi-jack a plane to Cuba, and later Marina left him to go back to Dallas. Lee got a job back in Texas at the Book Depository when the route for the President came out in the papers. Convenient for Lee, the route went passed right where he worked. Lee’s chance for a place in the history books was there and he took it. The day before he killed Kennedy he left a note to his wife with some money saying to make sure his son gets some shoes.

November 22, 1963 Lee arrived with the rifle wrapped up in a 38-inch long paper bag. Saying that it was curtain rods, Oswald walked in and awaited the President to pass by. When Oswald shot the three shots he fled, killing an officer in the process, and hid in a movie theatre. When he was arrested he was questioned and taken to transfer jails when another man by the name of Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. One of my main questions is why Lee Harvey Oswald would leave the rifle, the three shellings, and the paper bag used to cover the rifle, behind.

Also, I wonder why he didn’t fully think the whole thing through. He should’ve had an escape plan in the ready after the job was done. Many criminals don’t miss this step in the planning and it seems like Lee didn’t even think about it. It seemed that Lee did this in the spur of the moment, which is a good thing for the officers to find all the evidence left behind, and he didn’t full think. Jack Ruby was another man whose life story was a sad one. As one historian said, he was a “wannabe never-was”. Ruby was known for his bad temper and his need for importance.

Ruby hung around the police and became well known among them. He got close to them to the point where he could come and go in the headquarters as he pleased. When he heard about Lee and how he had been suspected of killing the president he drove over to the headquarters with his dog in the car and parked a block from the police HQ. Ruby actually caught Lee by luck, Lee was supposed to be transferred before the time Ruby showed up but wasn’t because Lee wanted to change his clothes. As Lee was being walked out Ruby stood out and shot Lee in the gut.

Ruby was arrested on the spot. He believed he was an American Hero and that he did the right thing. Because of the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald conspiracies flourished throughout the American nation. I wonder whether or not Ruby premeditated the killing of Lee. Since it said that Ruby was lucky to see Lee there, it got me thinking. If Ruby was heading over there with the intent on killing Lee I thought that he would’ve arrived on time or by the time that Lee was scheduled to be there, not the time that he was already supposed to be gone.

If I wanted to kill someone I would make sure that I would show up at the right time where my intended target was going to be, not just show up and catch him by luck. To me I think that it is weird to think that Ruby was planning on killing Lee when he drove up to the headquarters with his dog in the car and showed up at the supposedly wrong time. The Warren Commission was the investigation of the assassination. There were two goals of the Warren Commission: to settle the mood in the U. S. A, and to dispel any rumors of foreign intrigue.

Johnson wanted the Warren Commission to finish before the next election in 1964. The longer the investigation went on, the more conspiracies would thrive. The Warren Commission explored the evidence found at the crime scene. Using the spot where Kennedy and Connally were shot and the trajectory of the bullet, they were able to pin-point the location of the rifleman to the sixth story window of the Book Depository. Fingerprints were found on the paper bag, the boxes, and the place where the rifle was fired that all matched Lee Harvey Oswald’s.

The bullets that were found in Governor Connally’s thigh, Kennedy, and also the miss-fired one, could all be traced back to Oswald’s gun, this would prove that only Oswald was involved in the murder. When the Warren Commission came out to the public, many American’s didn’t believe it. The fact that the twenty-six volumes some had mistakes, only fueled the conspiracy theories. The public, and the people who worked on the Warren Commission, didn’t find out until later that the Kennedy administration was trying to figure out a way to kill Castro.

Johnson couldn’t help but believe that Castro had something to do with the assassination, and as a result he believed that: “Kennedy wanted to get Castro, but Castro got him first. ” The Warren Commission was a smart move I think on Johnson’s part, but I think it was kind of hypocritical. Johnson wanted the Warren Commission to settle mood in the U. SA, but at the same time Johnson was worried. Also the goal of the Warren Commission was to somewhat stop the conspiracies, but yet Johnson had his thoughts of Cuba’s intervening. I find that somewhat hypocritical. I wanted to know how long it actually took to finish the Warren Report.

If it didn’t take a lot of time to write or investigate than that should account for the mistakes that were found with the report, but those mistakes cannot have a reason unless I was to be there and look at the report for myself. The House Select Committee on the Assassination was appointed by the House to deal with the many different conspiracies. The Chief Council was G. Robert Blakey. This Committee re-examined the Warren Commission, the evidence and more of the Assassination. When the re-examination was done the Committee only confirmed that Lee Harvey Oswald really was the only killer.

They asked Castro if he had anything to do with it and Castro responded that it would have been insanity to kill the President. Although both investigations came up with the same result, many Americans still refused to accept it. Theories about a second shooter in the grassy knoll became popular, especially with a cop’s microphone recording of what seems to be a fourth shot, not fired by Oswald. This conspiracy was denounced though because the cop‘s position at the time of the shootings was too far from the locations of the firings to be recorded.

G. Robert Blakey believed that that the killing of Lee was a mob hit. That someone had to take out Lee to make sure he wouldn’t say anything, but if that were true than another person would have to take out Ruby to make sure he wouldn’t talk and so on, and that becomes a never-ending cycle. These acoustic findings were soon rejected. It baffles my mind to learn about the many different conspiracies that were and are still around. I cannot fully understand the reasoning behind the many beliefs about the assassination of JFK.

It seems that for every conspiracy that was proved faulty there were at least two more that took it’s place. And even those that were denounced people still believe them. I don’t know why it is so hard to believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the only assassin. Perhaps it was a way to cope with the pain back then, but even now many people I know don’t know much about the Kennedy Assassination or even care, but when asked about the conspiracies they take a side. Why? Oliver Stone was a very famous movie director who directed a film about the assassination of JFK and the Conspiracy theory of Jim Garrison.

This movie fueled conspiracy. Garrison (in history, not the movie) was obsessed with proving a conspiracy. He promoted himself as the only one brave enough to uncover the truth. Jim only put one man on trial, and that was Clay Shaw. He never gave an explanation as to why he thought Shaw would conspire to kill Kennedy. When Perry Raymond Russo, Jim Garrison's key witness against Clay Shaw, was faced with a polygraph test, he freaked out, and recanted his testimony; saying that he actually didn’t see Shaw conspire against Kennedy.

When Garrison heard of this he went crazy, but still put Clay Shaw on the stand. The jury found Garrison’s claim without a base and threw it out. Unlike the “truth”, Oliver Stone’s movie JFK made Garrison look like an American hero. What was Oliver Stone’s reason to make this film how he made it? In some ways it makes Garrison look like the American hero, but I wonder if that theme was constant throughout the movie as I watched the trailers. In the movie it seems like Garrison is fighting for the truth and fighting for the American people.

But is that the real message? Another scene I saw was a complete laugh. There was a scene where Garrison (in the movie; the actor) was explaining how the bullet that shot Kennedy shot down Kennedy’s back then shot up through his throat then the bullet curved left then right then into the back of Connally. That whole scene was a questionable moment because common sense says that a bullet will not go down, up, left, right, left, and then down again.

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John F. Kennedy’s Assassination: the History and Reflection. (2017, Apr 24). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/john-f-kennedys-assassination-history-reflection/

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