Remembering JFK – 50th Anniversary of the Assassination

JFK moments before he was shot

JFK moments before he was shot

By Linh Le, Staff Writer

“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

These are the unforgettable words said by John Fitzgerald Kennedy, America’s youngest man to ever be elected president. And the youngest to die in office.

In 1963, Kennedy was trying to mend together the Texas Democratic Party before the 1964 presidential election in which he was hoping to run for a second term. Vice President Lyndon Johnson and his wife had accompanied Kennedy as well.

Fifty years ago on this day, JFK was riding in a car with his wife Jackie beside him and Texas’ governor John B. Connally seated in the front of the car. As they rode past a friendly crowd through the streets in Dallas, three gunshots suddenly rang out. Kennedy immediately slumped down, two hits in the neck and head. Connally had been hit by a bullet in the back. Jackie Kennedy held her husband’s head in her lap as the car raced to the nearest hospital.

Doctors tried to desperately save the president’s life but it was too late. Kennedy had no chance of survival. He died at Parkland Hospital at 1:00p.m. on Nov. 22, 1963. However, Governor Connally who was seriously injured soon recovered. Vice President Johnson took the Presidential oath soon after Kennedy’s death, making him the 36th President of the United States.

Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and charged with the murders of President Kennedy. He was also charged with the murder of J. D. Tippit, a Dallas policeman, while trying to resist arrest. Two days later after the assassination, Oswald was scheduled to be taken from the Dallas city jail to the county jail. A large crowd watched him as he was being taken to a car when suddenly a man named Jack Ruby “Rubinstein” stepped out of the crowd and shot Oswald dead. The assassination of Oswald was televised nationwide having all of America witness.

There are many controversies and conspiracies to JFK’s assassination such as who was the killer and where the gunshots came from. Some say that the gunshots were heard on the sixth floor of a Texas School Book Depository, a building along the route of the President’s car ride, yet others say the shots were fired from two different locations. Another conspiracy was that Oswald had not acted alone and that there was more than one gunman. Because of how quickly Kennedy’s assassin was and the unexpected death of Oswald, some suspected that the government and the Soviets were somehow involved.

To this day, America still mourns the death of a beloved father, son, war hero, and president. President Barack Obama noted, “Today and in the decades to come, let us carry his legacy forward.” America will always remember John F. Kennedy.