Friday, November 22, 2013

Where Were You November 22, 1963?

On this date in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.  He was shot twice from behind - one bullet passing through his back and out his throat and the other taking out most of the right side of his head. The enhanced footage and autopsy photos are gruesome.

Lee Harvey Oswald was named as the lone gunman who killed Kennedy from the 6th floor of the book depository building there on Commerce Street.  Oswald was killed several days later by Jack Ruby, a nightclub owner with suspected ties to the mafia.  Ruby was tried and convicted for killing Oswald and received a death sentence.  He appealed and was granted a new trial but died of a pulmonary embolism before the trial date could be set.

There are many conspiracy theories surrounding the killing of John Kennedy. Some people believe there was a second shooter who fired from the infamous "grassy knoll" to the right and in front of Kennedy's motorcade.  There has never been any evidence or witness that said the second shooter was there.  I've been to the sight of the Kennedy assassination and on the grassy knoll.  If someone had been there and fired a gun people would have seen and heard it.  So I don't believe it.

There is another theory that puts a second gunman on the roof of another building directly behind where the motorcade was travelling.  This theory says the bullet that hit Kennedy's head came from that location. Again, there is no evidence to support this theory.  It's simple speculation.

The first bullet that hit President Kennedy passed through him and hit Governor John Connally in the back, passing through his chest, through his right wrist and into his thigh.  Some people believe this to be impossible however, I watched a documentary several years ago in which a marksman was placed on a scaffold at the same height and distance from the target(s).

Two ballistic mannequins, complete with skeletons, were placed in a convertible vehicle in the exact positions as were Kennedy and Connally at that precise moment (according to the Zapruder film.) The precise location of the first shot was marked on the mannequin representing Kennedy and the shooter, using a scope, hit it almost perfectly.  That bullet passed through the first mannequin and out the throat, then hit the Connelly mannequin in the back, passed through the chest and into the leg.  The only difference was that it missed the wrist, which could be explained by the fact that the bullet hit a bone and deflected at just enough angle to miss the wrist of the Connally mannequin.  That would only be an inch or two.

So that "miracle bullet" theory was proved to be totally feasible.  Of course, there are other things that are questionable about the entire thing such as - where did the third bullet go?  Where did the pristine bullet come from that was found on the gurney?  And why were the records sealed for so long?  Mystery still surrounds the murder of the President even if Oswald was the lone shooter.

I don't remember where I was that day.  I was six years old and would have been in school but honestly, I can't recall it.  What I do remember is watching the funeral on TV.  The two most specific things I remember are the boots backward in the stirrups of the horse and JFK Junior saluting the procession.  It was a somber day, even for a six year old.

John Kennedy wasn't a really great guy.  He was a politician and a philanderer, kind of like Bill Clinton.  But he was a decent President in the time he had.  He stood strong against the Soviet Union in the Cuban missile crisis - letting the communists know we were not going to allow them to arm Cuba against us.  We came close to a nuclear war that day but Kennedy's backbone forced Khrushchev to back down.

Kennedy was loved by people throughout the world.  It would have been interesting to see what would have happened in this country had he lived to serve another term.  Supposedly, the Kennedy Assassination Files are to be opened and made public in 2017.  We shall see.  It will be interesting to finally discover what secrets lie within.

In an interesting side note - the weather in Dallas today calls for a high temperature of 38 degrees and rain. If those weather conditions had been present 50 years ago John Kennedy would most likely never have been shot because he wouldn't have been riding in an open convertible.  

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