The assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy is one of the most historic tragedies in the last 200 years of American politics. This year will mark 53 years since President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. Whether you were alive during that period of time, or just read about it, you probably know that the killer’s name was Lee Harvey Oswald. Most people are also stunned by the number of conspiracy theories surrounding this particular assassination. Some theorists have argued there was a foreign power involved, and others have suggested aspects of betrayal in the killing. All the same, though, this post highlights 5 solid facts about the assassination of the 35th President of the United States.
1. Oswald Wasn’t Arrested for Killing John Kennedy
The alleged killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, wasn’t actually captured for killing the president. He was arrested for shooting (fatally) a Dallas police officer, about 45 minutes after the Kennedy assassination. Mr. Oswald denied killing anyone. He was transferred to a county jail where two days later he was fatally shot by a Dallas nightclub operator going by the name Jack Ruby.
2. The Assassination Was Not a Federal Crime
In 1963, the assassination of Kenned wasn’t considered a federal crime. This only changed in 1965. That’s an interesting piece of data especially considered that before Kennedy, three other presidents had been killed (Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley).
3. Only Time a Woman Swore In a President
A few hours after John Kennedy was assassinated, Lyndon Johnson (then Vice President), was sworn in as president while aboard Air Force One. Jackie Kennedy was standing by his side. The oath was administered by a federal judge named Sarah Hughes. This is the only time a woman ever did so.
4. No TV Shows for 4 Days
After Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, CBS showed the first bulletin of the killing. NBC and BBC joined in after that, interrupting their broadcast for a record 4 days. Before September 11, the J. F. Kennedy assassination was the biggest uninterrupted news event on TV.
5. Oswald Had Earlier Tried to Assassinate General Edwin Walker
8 months before he shot Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald had tried to assassinate Edwin Walker, a former general in the U.S army. Gen. Edwin was an outstanding anti-communist who resigned from his military career in 1961. Walker turned out to be a high-profile critic of the President Kennedy’s administration, taking a stand against the government’s intent to racially integrate schools. The commission set up to investigate the Kennedy shooting established that Oswald had tried to kill Walker while the general was spending time at home. This attempt was unsuccessful, with Walker just suffering minor bullet fragment injuries.
There are lots of other loads of facts surrounding the Kennedy shooting, most of which are made up. These five straight facts describe the events that immediately related to this historical tragedy.