With conspiracy theories still swirling, questions surrounding the investigation headed by the FBI and CIA and the first lady’s clothing still stained with blood out of the public view, 50 years later America remains fascinated with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
On Nov. 22, 1963, the president and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy were on a five-city tour of Texas, heading into Dallas.
According to jkflibrary.org, the presidential party left the hotel and went by motorcade to Carswell Air Force Base for the 13-minute flight to Dallas. Arriving at Love Field, President and Mrs. Kennedy walked toward a fence where a crowd of well-wishers gathered.
The first lady received a bouquet of red roses, which she brought with her to the waiting limousine. Gov. John Connally and his wife, Nellie, were seated in the open convertible as the Kennedys entered and sat behind them. Vice President and Mrs. Johnson occupied another car in the motorcade.
The procession left the airport and traveled along a 10-mile route that wound through downtown Dallas on the way to the Trade Mart where the President was scheduled to speak at a luncheon.
The car turned off Main Street at Dealey Plaza around 12:30 p.m. As it was passing the Texas School Book Depository, witnesses say they heard gunfire.
Bullets struck the president’s neck and head and Connally was hit in the chest.
The car sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital just a few minutes away where a Catholic priest was summoned to administer the last rites, and at 1 p.m. John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead.
The president’s body was brought to Love Field and placed on Air Force One. Before the plane took off, Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office, administered by U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Hughes. The brief ceremony took place at 2:38 p.m.
Less than an hour earlier, police had arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, a recently hired employee at the Texas School Book Depository. On Sunday morning, Nov. 24, Oswald was killed by a man later identified as Jack Ruby.
To this day, questions surround the CIA’s quick 48-hour investigation, and the public remains interested in documents that to this day remain sealed.
Five decades later, Americans still don’t have the full story, and thousands of pages of documents from the assassination remain sealed.
The JFK Assassination Records Act passed in 1992 remains in effect today, and will be reviewed by the U.S. President in 2017.
Another historical item that remains sealed from that day is the dress worn by the first lady.
Now preserved by the National Archives in a climate-controlled vault outside of Washington, it is subject to Kennedy family restrictions that it not be seen for almost a century more.
The pink suit is not to be seen until the year 2103.