President Kennedy and the first lady riding through Dealey Plaza just minutes before the gun shot.
A street view of Dealey Plaza after Kennedy had went through.
Backstory and Context
President John F. Kennedy had been preparing for the upcoming election year. After traveling out west, speaking in nine different states in a week, he began to campaign in Texas. He had known that there was a lot of tension and fighting between party leaders in Texas. This tension and fighting could have potentially been a huge issue when it came to Kennedy's reelection. He wanted to win Texas and decided to campaign in the city of Dallas, Texas, the hometown of Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. Dallas was the area where the U.S. Ambassador of United Nations, Adlai Stevenson, was attacked physically while delivering a speech. Kennedy did not seem to worry much about all of the disagreements, but wanted to be out in the "political fray."
On that rainy morning of November 22, several thousand people stood outside of Kennedy's hotel, present-day, Hilton Fort Worth. After he came outside to give a few remarks, he shook hands with many smiling faces that morning. The President and the First Lady took a thirteen minute flight to Dallas to a welcoming crowd as they proceeded off the plane. They entered an open convertible despite threats and CIA advisors tried to convince Kennedy to ride in a car with a roof in order to keep him safe.The rain finally ceased and the President headed through the streets of Dallas. Many excited people of Dallas lined up beside the streets to wave at the President and his wife.
At 12:30 pm, gunshots were fired as the car entered Dealey Plaza. The gun shot landed in Kennedy's head and neck, causing him to fall into Mrs. Kennedy's lap. The Governor was also shot in the chest in the front seat. He survived. After the shots, the car raced off to the hospital where the President of the United States would be pronounced dead. It is believed that the shooter was indeed Lee Harvey Oswald, a recently hired employee at the Texas School Book Depository, located in Dealey Plaza. There are many different theories regarding who actually shot Kennedy and if there was another person involved. Oswald was shot during a prison transfer by Jack Ruby. There are many conspiracy theories regarding this event.
"Lee Harvey Oswald," Biography.com. Accessed October 10, 2014. http://www.biography.com/people/lee-harvey-oswald-9430309.
"November 22, 1963: Death of the President," JFK Presidential Library and Museum. Accessed October 10, 2014. http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-in-History/November-22-1963-Death-of-the-President.aspx?p=2.