by AMBER KELLY Photographer
The politically elite Kennedy family has been plagued by tragedy throughout the decades, with John F. Kennedy being no exception. The well-loved 35th president of the United States remains to be the most popular modern day president, with his assassination adding a major historical event to America’s timeline.
JFK’s assassination took place on Friday, November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. He had been traveling in a motorcade along with his wife Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally’s wife, Nellie. On their way to Dealey Plaza, the motorcade passed the Texas School Book Depository where shots were fired at 12:30 p.m., hitting President Kennedy, as well as Governor Connally.
After the shooting, the president was taken to Parkland Hospital, where doctors determined that he had suffered a mortal wound. At 1:00 p.m., only a half hour after the shooting, JFK was pronounced dead by his personal physician, Dr. George Burkley.
A week after JFK’s assassination, his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, formed the Warren Commission to investigate the shooting. According to the commission’s final report, there had been only one shooter, thought to be Lee Harvey Oswald. Although Oswald was never officially convicted due to him being shot and killed by a man named Jack Ruby, the general public has labeled him as guilty.
It was determined that the first shot to hit Kennedy entered through his back, penetrated his neck, and left his throat, lodging itself into Governor Connally’s back. The second shot hit Kennedy in the head, and it was this shot that inevitably caused Kennedy’s death.
Although this is the report approved by the Warren Commission, not everyone accepts it. There are countless conspiracy theories surrounding JFK’s assassination.
“In school I learned how there was a lot of controversy over JFK’s death. I think I agree with the Warren Commission, and I definitely think that Lee Harvey Oswald was the only shooter. I know there are some people who think there was a conspiracy to kill JFK or that there were more than one shooters, but I just don’t think that,” says senior Jennifer Park.
The FBI generally agrees with the Warren Commission’s findings. They similarly believe that three shots were fired; however, they disagree with where the shots all hit.
The Warren Commission reported that one of the shots missed, another one went through Kennedy into the Governor, and the last one hit Kennedy in the head. The FBI, on the other hand, believes that two of the shots hit only Kennedy, and then a third one hit Governor Connally.
This is not the only theory different than the Warren Commission’s. Other groups believe that there was a government cover up regarding JFK’s assassination, as people claimed there had been witness intimidation and evidence contamination.
Some also debate the number of shooters. While the Warren Commission, the FBI, and a large portion of the public believe Lee Harvey Oswald to be the lone shooter, others claim there had been multiple shooters, due to the number of shots fired and their origin.
“I’ve never seen so much controversy about something. I think the JFK assassination is probably the most controversial event in United States history. It’s crazy how many theories there are about his assassination,” says sophomore Erin Seppi.
Regardless of the numerous conspiracy theories surrounding JFK’s assassination, the nation grieved for his loss all the same.
What theory do you most agree with?