History Today in Military History

Today in military history: JFK assassination

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On Nov. 22, 1963, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated.

The president, his wife Jacqueline Kennedy, and Texas Governor John Connally were traveling in a motorcade through Dallas, Texas, amidst crowds of enthusiastic supporters when former Marine, Lee Harvey Oswald — who had briefly defected to the Soviet Union — allegedly fired three shots at the 35th president using a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle that had been purchased from a mail-order catalog.

Governor Connally was injured in the shooting and President Kennedy was fatally wounded and pronounced dead 30 minutes later. 

Within an hour of JFK’s assassination, Oswald shot and killed police officer J.D. Tippit, who questioned him on the street in Dallas. Oswald was arrested but before he could be moved to a county jail and properly questioned, he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby, a man who claimed to seek revenge for the president. 

Inconclusive reports since the president’s death have led to widespread conspiracy theories surrounding the events. Even with the release of tens of thousands of previously classified documents relating to the president’s assassination, conspiracy theorists remain unconvinced about the incident.

Nonetheless, John F. Kennedy is remembered as a war hero, a champion for civil rights and economic expansion, and a president who demonstrated the power of peace in the face of nuclear crisis.