An American Tragedy

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An American Tragedy – Jfk Essay, Research Paper JFK: An American Tragedy On November 22nd, 1963, while being driven through the streets of Dallas, Texas, in his open car, President John F. Kennedy was shot dead, allegedly by the lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States, the youngest person ever to be elected President, the first Roman Catholic, and the first to be born in the 20th century. Kennedy s achievements were limited because he was assassinated before he completed his third year as President. Nevertheless, his influence was worldwide, and his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis may have prevented the United States from entering into another world war. The world had not only lost a common man, but a great

leader of men. The debate of conspiracy to assassinate the President has led to many questions about that day in Dealey Plaza: Didn t everyone hear the shots from the Grassy Knoll? What about the Tague wounding? Who was the Umbrella Man ? Was the rifle recovered really a Mauser? Does acoustic evidence show a shot from the Grassy Knoll? And of course, how could Kennedy s head go back and to the left back and to the left back and to the left ? President and Mrs. Kennedy arrived in Dallas at 11:40 am on Friday, November 22. The couple had been in San Antonio, the first leg of a two-day trip through the state, where they met with Vice-president Johnson and Texas Governor Connally. The Texas trip was planned in hopes of reviving the President s popularity in Texas after it was hurt

during the election of 1960. Until midmorning, cloudy skies had threatened to cancel the motorcade-style parade that was planned for the day. The motorcade would travel from Love Field, where the President s plane had landed, through Dallas on a previously publicized route to the Trade Mart where a luncheon in honor of the President had been planned (The Warren Commission, 2). The motorcade consisted of the president s car, followed by a car designated the Presidential follow-up which carried secret service members. The vice president s car was behind that. Following the vice president s car was another follow-up car and several cars and buses with dignitaries and press representatives. The motorcade followed its designated route, first passing through a residential area of

Dallas, and then making its way through the middle of the downtown area. The parade traveled west on Main Street and then made a right on Houston. The motorcade went one block and then made a left-turn on Elm. On the corner of Elm and Houston was the large, ominous Texas School Book Depository, where the fatal shots were later accused of being fired. When the President s car turned west on Elm and crossed the Depository, three shots were fired at the motorcade. The President was struck by a bullet that entered at the base of his neck, just right of his spine and exited under the lower left portion of the knot in the President s tie. A second bullet struck Kennedy in the rear base of his head, causing the fatal wound. Texas Governor Connally, who was sitting directly in front of

Kennedy, was also hit, supposedly with the same bullet that hit Kennedy the first shot. The bullet hit the Governor on the extreme right side of his back, just below the armpit. The bullet exited below his left nipple and hit him again on the left wrist. Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman, who was driving, saw that the President had been hit and was directed to get the President to a hospital immediately. Parkland Memorial Hospital was the closest hospital, just four miles away. Awaiting doctors met the presidential car and immediately began an attempt to resuscitate the dying President. At 1:00 P.M., just thirty minutes after the President had been shot, Kennedy s heart had stopped and was pronounced dead. Vice president Johnson left Parkland Hospital after being notified of the