In the fall of 1963, President John F Kennedy and his advisors were preparing for the next presidential campaign. Although there was no formal announcement, it was pretty much assumed that he was going to run for a second term. At the end of September, Kennedy began traveling west, speaking in nine different states in under a week. JFK used it to sound out themes of education, natural resources, security, and world peace.
A month later, the President spoke to democratic gatherings in Philadelphia and Boston. As he moved farther into his political campaign, he began to publically announce the importance of him winning both Florida and Texas. As he went to visit Texas, his wife, Jackie Kennedy, would be accompanying him. This trip would be Mrs. Kennedy’s first public appearance since the death of their infant child, Patrick.
The President was aware that any issues between Texas political leaders would cause an issue for his campaign, which necessitated his presence. He also knew that there was a plethora of political extremist who his presence would temper during the reelection process.
A light rain was falling on the morning of November 22nd. Still, a crowd of over several thousand people gathered outside and around the hotel where the Kennedys were staying in Fort Worth. After a speech, the President and his group left the hotel and traveled through a ten-mile processional winding through downtown Dallas’s streets to his scheduled speech at the Trade Mart. Crowds of exuberant people lined the streets and showed their support to the Kennedys. The car turned off Main Street at Dealey Plaza around 12:30 p.m, as it was passing the Texas School Book Depository. Gunfire soon rang out among the plaza.
Bullets struck the President’s neck and head and hit the governor in the back. The car sped off to the Parkland Memorial Hospital, only minutes away. Unfortunately, little was able to be done to help the President. In line with his religion, a catholic priest was called to give him his last rites. The body was brought to the Love Field and placed on Air Force One. Before the plane took off, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson stood in the crowded compartment and took the oath of office.
Less than an hour earlier, police had arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, a recently hired employee at the Texas School Book Depository. He was being held for the assassination of President Kennedy and the fatal shooting of a patrolman on the street.
All information, tapes, and investigation of the assassination were ordered by theUS Congress that all assassination-related material be housed together under the supervision of the National Archives and Records Administration.