Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans. Kennedys inaugeral speech, 22 January 1961. Concerns at Home Camelot – the charm offensive Black Civil Rights Kennedy brothers war on organised crime Kennedys domestic programmes did not advance very far due to increasing problems abroad.
Foreign Policy Problems Facing Kennedy: The Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev The Space Race East Germany The Berlin Wall 1961 Cuba Fidel Castro Bay of Pigs Fiasco 1961 US assisted invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles fails disastrously Cuban Missile Crisis 1962 Vietnam? Cold War Rivalries with Russia
Kennedy saw Texas as the key to his success in the South and he decided to visit the state in November. This was partly to be a charm crusade but Kennedy was also hoping to heal a damaging split which had occurred within the Texan Democratic Party, between the left-wing led by Senator Ralph Yarborough and the right, led by the State Governor, John Connally. By the middle of 1963 Kennedy was considering his chances of winning a second term as President. He began preparing for the 1964 presidential election campaign. Kennedy faced a difficult task. Many felt that his foreign policy had been less than successful. The South was vital to Kennedys chances of electoral success. But Kennedy was distrusted by many southern whites, partly because of his sympathy towards the black civil rights movement and also because of his failure to eliminate the communist Fidel Castro in Cuba. Also, Kennedy was a northern catholic. Texas
Dallas Fort Worth Kennedys Texas visit started first at Fort Worth. Then, on the morning of the 22 November, Kennedy took the short flight from Fort Worth to Love Airfield, Dallas. President Kennedy speaking to a crowd at Fort Worth in the early morning of 22 November. Behind him [L – R] are Senator Ralph Yarborough, Governor John Connally and Vice-President Lyndon Johnson.
12.00 am Arrival at Love Field airport. President Kennedy and the First Lady are in the rear seat. Governor Connally and his wife are in the jump seat.
The Presidential limousine travelling through the streets of Dallas on the way to a gathering at the Wallmart Center.
12.30 – The limousine enters Elm Street and shots are heard. President Kennedy is struck in the throat and, then, the head.
1.00 pm – The stricken Kennedy is taken to the nearby Parklands Hospital where at 1.00 pm the President is declared dead.
2.00 pm – One hour later Lyndon Johnson, on board Airforce One, is sworn in as the 36 th president of America.
Afternoon – That afternoon police arrest Lee Harvey Oswald for murdering police officer Tippets. Later, he is declared a suspect in the murder of the president.
Saturday, 23 November, 1963 – The next morning the Dallas Police announced that the case had been solved: Oswald acting alone, had shot President Kennedy from a sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository Building, where a rifle and three cartidges were found.
Oswald, however, maintained he was innocent. Im just a patsy, he said. The assassination of President Kennedy provoked speculation: Was Oswald indeed a lone assassin? Was he involved in a conspiracy to kill the president? Was he a hired killer acting for someone else? Was he innocent?
Sunday, 24 November, 1963 – On Sunday morning, while millions watched on TV, Oswald was murdered in the basement of a Dallas jail by Jack Ruby, the owner of a Dallas strip-tease joint called the Carousel. Rumours spread rapidly, and a shocked nation demanded answers.
Friday, 29November, 1963 - Lyndon Johnson calls into being the Warren Commission charged with investigating the assassination of John Kennedy. Its findings are published on 24 September, 1964.
24 September, 1964 – After ten months of secret hearings, Chief Justice Earl Warren presented the Commissions report to President Johnson. The Commission found that Oswald, acting alone, had assassinated President Kennedy. Mainstream media hailed it as the most massive, detailed and convincing piece of detective work ever undertaken, unmatched in the annals of fact finding.
24 November, 1964 The US government releases 26 volumes of testimony and exhibits which contained the evidence on which the Warren Report was purportedly based. The New York Times reported that the 26 volumes overwhelmingly supported the conclusions [of the Warren Commissions Report] that the assassination was no conspiracy but the work of one unhappy man, Lee Harvey Oswald.
1. There were three shots fired and which struck Kennedy. 2. The shots came from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book depository building. 3. One shot fired passed through Kennedy and struck Governor Connally. 4. The shots were fired by a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald. 5. The killing of Kennedy was due purely to a lone-nut assassin.
1. How many shots were fired ? - A review of the medical evidence. 2.A Lone Gunman ? - A study of the Zapruder film, and other evidence. 3. The Patsy ? - Was Lee Harvey Oswald framed ? 4. The Patriot ? - The role of Jack Ruby. 5. Who else might want Kennedy killed ? - Conspiracy Theories. You will be divided into small groups to assess evidence which either supports or questions the findings of the Warren Commission. You will make presentations putting forward your conclusions.