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John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was shot and killed on Friday November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. He was shot in the neck and then, fatally, in the head while riding in an open limousine through the streets of Dallas with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and the Governor of Texas John Connally and his wife. Connally was seriously injured in the assassination. There is much controversy surrounding the death of JFK, but the official verdict was that he was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald.Kennedy, who was 46 years old at the time of his death, was shot at 12:30pm when his motorcade was passing the Texas School Book Depository. Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired three shots from the sixth floor of that building. Kennedy died instantly from the second shot, but was pronounced dead half an hour later at the hospital.Vice President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President a few hours after Kennedy’s death, on board the Air Force One plane. Jacqueline Kennedy was present beside Johnson, still wearing her bloody clothes, stating that she wished everyone to see what they had done to her husband. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered to watch Kennedy’s body being taken from the Capitol to St. Matthew’s Cathedral for the requiem Mass and funeral. Kennedy was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery. He was buried with full military honors and a candle is always lit by his grave.Lee Harvey Oswald was a Soviet and Fidel Castro supporter. He was arrested in the Texas Theater a less than two hours after Kennedy was shot. He was accused of the murder of the President, as well as that of a police officer who tried to question him. However, on November 24, as he was being moved, Jack Ruby, a strip club operator, shot and killed him. Ruby claimed to have done so out of rage at the assassination of the president.Controversy still surrounds the death of the President, with many suspecting conspiracies, whether by the FBI or CIA or by the Soviet or Cuban governments. It has been suggested that Ruby killed Oswald to prevent him from revealing the bigger plot. The Warren Commission set up to investigate the assassination concluded in 18964 that both Oswald and Ruby had acted alone. Then, in 1978, a Committee in the House concluded that there was probably a conspiracy. Both of these findings continue to be heavily disputed.After Kennedy’s death, people wept in the streets and the nation stopped to mourn and to discuss the event. Along with the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the Twin Towers, people even today remember and discuss where they were when they heard about the killing of JFK.See photos starting on the next page.
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