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JFK Assassination 50 Years Ago Today [VIDEO]

JFK Dallas Motorcade
Keystone, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

It was a moment frozen in time, 50 years ago today, when President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated. As a baby boomer, I recall exactly where I was when I heard the new.

I was just a kid in 1963 and remember being in school hearing one of the girls in the class saying that she heard that the President had been shot. I didn’t believe it. As I walked home from school that Friday afternoon (yes, it took place on a Friday) I went by an appliance store. Every TV in the store window was on, broadcasting the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated.

For those of you not familiar with the details, here’s how it happened, according to jfklibrary.org:

“Shortly after noon on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated as he rode in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas, Texas.

The first lady received a bouquet of red roses, which she brought with her to the waiting limousine. Governor John Connally and his wife, Nellie, were already seated in the open convertible as the Kennedys entered and sat behind them. Since it was no longer raining, the plastic bubble top had been left off.

The procession left the airport and traveled along a ten-mile route that wound through downtown Dallas on the way to the Trade Mart where the President was scheduled to speak at a luncheon.

As it was passing the Texas School Book Depository, gunfire suddenly reverberated in the plaza. Bullets struck the president’s neck and head and he slumped over toward Mrs. Kennedy. The governor was also hit in the chest.

The car sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital just a few minutes away.  A Catholic priest was summoned to administer the last rites, and at 1:00 p.m. John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead. Though seriously wounded, Governor Connally would recover.

The president’s body was brought to Love Field and placed on Air Force One. Before the plane took off, a grim-faced Lyndon B. Johnson stood in the tight, crowded compartment and took the oath of office, administered by U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Hughes.

Less than an hour earlier, police had arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, a recently hired employee at the Texas School Book Depository. He was being held for the assassination of President Kennedy and the fatal shooting, shortly afterward, of Patrolman J. D. Tippit on a Dallas street.”

Kennedy Assassination Newspaper
Three Lions, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
LBJ sworn in On Air Force One
Keystone, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Here is an emotional Walter Kronkite, reporting the death of JFK on CBS News 50 years ago today:

What really happened? Fifty years later there are still a number of conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of JFK. But one fact remains – the day President Kennedy was killed, the nation was changed forever.

Read: JFK's Undelivered Speech On November 22, 1963

 

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