The Kennedy Assassination
At half past noon on November 22, 1963, president John F. Kennedy was shot and killed while he was riding down Dallas's Dealy Plaza in a presidential motorcade with his wife, Jaqueline, and Texas Governor John Connally and Connally's wife, Nellie. In 1964, the Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine who had defected to the Soviet Union, had committed the assasination alone. But before Oswald could be tried, he was shot by night club owner Jack Ruby, who took aim while Oswald was being transferred to a county jail.
The assasination of our 35th president was a seminal event in Texas. The tragedy seemed to seal the perception of our state as being populated by a bunch of trigger-happy yeehaws who were beyond forgiveness. Some of our early stories explore that theme: Alexander Cockburn’s profile of Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother, Marguerite; Gary Cartwright’s "Who was Jack Ruby?"; and William Broyles's profile of Hugh Aynesworth, who as of 1976, could not let go of the assassination conspiracy theories that plagued him since that terrible day in Dallas. Lawrence Wright recounted his struggles as a young man, growing up under the assassination’s shadow in 1983, in an essay entitled "Why do they hate us so much?": “It was a shock how much the world hated us—and why? Oswald was only dimly a Dallasite. He was a Marxist and an atheist; you could scarcely call him a product of the city. He was, if anything, the Anti-Dallas, the summation of everything we hated and feared. How could we be held responsible for him? The world decided that Kennedy had died in enemy territory, that no matter who had killed him, we had willed him dead.”
Over time, however, it surprised many of us Texans that hatreds softened and memories faded. The conspiracy theories that looked like sure things upon closer inspection seemed to come to little, according to then editor, Greg Curtis in 1989. Then Oliver Stone stirred everybody up again with JFK, the movie; Mark Seal’s story describes the reenactment of the assassination in tragicomic detail. With a profile of the late Nellie Connally and an account of Dallas’s attempt to quietly celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's death, Mimi Swartz considers the tragedy anew, as it finally transitions from memory to history.
In one year the eyes of the world will turn to Dallas's Dealey Plaza for the fiftieth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Is the city ready?
What the late LBJ confidant Jack Valenti remembered about the longest day of his life.
For forty years Nellie Connally has been talking about that day, when she was in that car and saw that tragedy unfold. She's still talking—and now she's writing too.
On November 22, 1963, I was working as a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram when I answered the phone—and got a close encounter with history.
This month my second novel about JFK's murder will be published. Why do I keep returning to Dealey Plaza and the events of that fateful day? Because I can't help myself.
A new book about Lee Harvey Oswald reveals that conspiracy theorists are still straining to repackage old news into something new.
Rachel Oswald did not kill John F. Kennedy, but for more than three decades she has struggled to make peace with the darkest day in Texas history.
In a chilling excerpt from his autobiography, the late John Connally offers his close-up account of the Kennedy assassination.
Director Oliver Stone may not be sure who did it or how, but he is sure he knows why.
The ambulance that carried JFK's body from Parkland Memorial Hospital to Love Field is going up on the auction block next month in Scottsdale.
Clues left behind by a former Dallas cop convinced his son that he killed President Kennedy—but that’s just the beginning of the mystery.
Assassination buffs come in all shapes and convictions—archivists, technologists, mob-hit theorists, and more—but they are all obsessed with Lee Harvey Oswald, and his crime is the focus of their lives.
A great man was dead and an outraged world desperately wanted someplace to lay blame. It chose Dallas and changed the city forever.
This week, Irving and Dallas took different approaches to residences formerly occupied by JFK's assassin.
Twenty years ago he thrust himself into our lives; he is there yet.
Lee Harvey Oswald's mother wants to tell the world how she got out from under Jackie's shadow.
A handsome young president, a convertible limousine, a sniper, three shots (we think), and our lives were changed forever. A special report on what is, for many, the defining event of the past fifty years.