On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy took a campaign swing through Texas. The president’s swing, and his life, ended in Dallas. As his motorcade drove through Dealey Plaza, an assassin gunned down President Kennedy. His car sped to the nearest hospital where the president was declared dead. Dallas police later arrested Lee Harvey Oswald. Despite the overwhelming evidence, many continue to believe Oswald was a patsy and a conspiracy to hide the truth exists to this day. However, there is no evidence to support a conspiracy. People have a hard time believing that a little person such as Oswald could be responsible for assassinating the President of the United States.
The 1964 election was a year away when President Kennedy and Vice-President Lyndon Johnson decided to stump in Texas. The pair won the 1960 campaign by the skin of their teeth and wanted to shore up support. Texas was not friendly territory for an East Coast elite like Kennedy. So, the pair decided to visit right before the holidays as a preliminary for the 1964 campaign. Meanwhile, Lee Harvey Oswald decided to kill the president.
Six days before the murder, a Dallas newspaper reported Kennedy’s trip. Oswald would have his opportunity.The former marine sharpshooter defected to the Soviet Union. However, the Soviets decided they did not want him and denied his application for citizenship. He married a Russian woman and after running the bureaucratic gauntlet, returned to America. Oswald also tried to defect to Cuba to participate in Castro’s revolution, but the Cubans refused his entry.
A frustrated, stateless, Oswald decided to strike for his progressive ideals. On April 10, 1963, he decided to assassinate the ardent anti-communist General Edwin Walker. The communist Oswald would strike the fascists. That day, Walker sat in his dining room, shots rang out, but the bullet struck the window frame and deflected. Dallas police had no suspects in the case. By November, he decided to prove his revolutionary credentials by shooting John Kennedy.
Around 12:30 p.m. CST on November 22, 1963, the Kennedy motorcade slipped into Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Oswald waited at the Texas School Book Depository that employed him. Kennedy decided to drive without the bullet proof bubble top on his limousine so the people could see their president. Texas First Lady Nellie Connally turned to the president and reassured him that Dallas loved him. Seconds later, shots rang down from the depository building striking President Kennedy and Governor John Connally. The limo seemed to slow for a second before speeding to Parkland Hospital. Kennedy had no chance of survival. The doctors pronounced him dead at 1:00 p.m. His casket was taken to Air Force One and then onto Washington D.C. Vice President Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office aboard the plane. Despite being in the motorcade, Johnson was not targeted. On November 25, President Kennedy was given a state funeral. Ironically, Oswald was assassinated on the 24th.
Following the shooting, Oswald fled the building and went to his boarding house. After a brief stop, he ran onto the Dallas streets. Oswald lacked an escape plan. Obviously, he had not thought the assassination through. He must have acted suspiciously as police officer J.D. Tippit stopped Oswald. The assassin murdered Tippit and ran for the darkness of a movie theater. Unfortunately for Oswald, he left witnesses. A short time later, 200 officers arrived and arrested Oswald for the murder. The police interrogated Oswald and probably beat him. Oswald begged for a lawyer and wanted Communist Party USA chief counsel John Abt to represent him. If Abt was not available, he wanted an ACLU attorney. In the end, he did not need a lawyer. Local strip club owner Jack Ruby murdered Oswald in a fit of rage.
Lee Harvey Oswald was a little man. He was communist rejected by communists. Both Cuba and the Soviet Union refused to naturalize him. Oswald attempted to spread communist fliers in New Orleans and was fined. He tried to murder the staunch anti-communist Edwin Walker and failed. Ironically, the only thing Oswald was good at was sharpshooting. Unlike Walker, Kennedy had no window frame to protect him.
Some have suggested a conspiracy killed Kennedy. However, the FBI and 60 Minutes were able to recreate Oswald’s shooting prowess. Witnesses place Oswald at the Texas School Book Depository building at the time of the assassination. Oswald owned the murder weapon and his palm print was on the gun. In fact, fibers from the shirt he wore at the time of his arrest were in the gun. Bullets from the limousine and from Governor Connally matched the rifle. Photos exist of Oswald holding the gun. Considering Oswald’s history, political orientation, probable frustrations after being rejected by the Russians and Cubans, and the physical evidence, there can only be one conclusion.
Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated John F. Kennedy and murdered Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit. There was no conspiracy and Oswald acted alone. Oswald owned the murder weapon and forensics tie Oswald to the shooting. Witnesses place Oswald at the Texas School Book Depository at the time of the assassination. Additionally, people witnessed Oswald shoot Tippit and he attempted to kill General Walker. So, he had the ability to kill. On top of this, he wanted to prove his revolutionary credentials and strike the enemies of communism. Oswald had the means, motive, and opportunity to kill John Kennedy. Unfortunately, he succeeded. Worse, circumstances surrounding the assassin’s death led to almost fifty years of conspiracy theories. After all, how could an abject failure such as Oswald murder the president?