Wednesday 13 December 2017

Briefing: What Happened in Dallas?

Ciaran Byrne

President Kennedy had travelled from Fort Worth to Dallas on Air Force One for a two-day tour of Texas. After arriving at Love Field airport on November 22, the motorcade set off at 11.40am for the Dallas Trade Mart.

The president travelled with Texas governor John Connally, his wife Nellie Connally and Jackie Kennedy. At 12:29pm, as the car entered Dealey Plaza, the first shots rang out.

The official story is that Lee Harvey Oswald, a former US marine who had lived in Russia for three years, acted alone.

From his vantage point in the nearby Texas School Book Depository, Oswald fired four shots. One missed, one struck the president in the back, one hit Mr Connally and a fourth struck the president in the head. JFK was rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he was declared dead.

The shooting was filmed by spectator Abraham Zapruder on a home movie camera.

Oswald fled the scene and later shot and killed Dallas police officer JD Tippit.

Shortly afterwards, he was arrested after sneaking into a cinema without paying. He was charged with Officer Tippit's murder and a few hours after that he was charged with killing the president.

Incredibly, on November 24, as Oswald was being transferred to jail, he was shot in the chest by nightclub boss Jack Ruby.

One of the most infamous assassins in history would die of his injuries two hours later, sparking 50 years of mystery about his true motives.

Ciaran Byrne

Irish Independent

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