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Kennedy Assassination

Lee Harvey Oswald

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Sound Files
Oswald shot NBC TV    Oswald shot CBS TV

Kennedy Assassination

November 22, 1963
November 23, 1963
November 24, 1963
November 25, 1963
Lee Harvey Oswald

Kennedy Family Tree

Single Bullet Theory

Kennedy Gravesite

Personal Accounts

John F. Kennedy's
Inaugural Address

Kennedy, Lincoln similarities

Inaugural Address (13 MB )
"Ask not..." excerpt
Official death announcement
Cronkite - Kennedy shot
Cronkite - Kennedy dead
Oswald shot NBC TV
Oswald shot CBS TV

Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald
Mugshot from Dallas PD

On November 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas and Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the crime. Other details about the assassin are subject to debate.

In the limited space here, one must defer to the prevailing opinion which is that Lee Harvey Oswald was a principal player in the Kennedy assassination, most probably he was at least one of the shooters. He may have been the only shooter but that determination may never be conclusively made.

The Warren Commission said that Oswald acted alone. Verily I say unto X-Files fans, he was the original Lone Gunman. Yet any student of Court TV can tell you that the investigation was sloppy, the crime scene "contaminated" and the investigators lacked credentials.

Even had Oswald lived, could he have been successfully prosecuted? Honchos at the Justice Department worried about this very issue even while he was in custody, fearing that the way the prisoner was being handled and his lack of an attorney would never survive appeal.

What is certain is that the name Lee Harvey Oswald will always be infamous. Further, he has the dubious honor of being the first person ever shot and killed on live TV.

Lee Harvey Oswald with gun
Lee Harvey Oswald holding communist papers. The rifle in his hand and the revolver on his hip are purportedly the ones that killed Kennedy and Tippit respectively. Oswald claimed to police that someone superimposed his face and that the picture was a fake.
Let's stick with some generally accepted facts.

Oswald, born October 18, 1939, in New Orleans, Louisiana, served in the Marine Corps from 1956 until 1960.

According to the Warren Report, "Oswald was trained in the use of the M-1 rifle. His practice scores were not very good, but when his company fired for record on December 21, he scored 212, 2 points above the score necessary to qualify as a "sharpshooter" on a marksman/sharpshooter/expert scale."

During his time in the Marines, he became enamored of the Soviet Union and communist ideology. Because of his stated intention to renounce his U.S citizenship, Oswald received an "undesirable discharge" from the Marine Corps Reserve.

Oswald went to Russia with the original intention of defecting, found the living wasn't too easy and came home in 1962. He brought with him a wife, Marina (Nikolayevna Prusakova) Oswald and they would have two children: June Lee Oswald (born Feb. 15, 1961), Audrey Marina Rachel Oswald (born Oct. 20, 1963).

The couple moved to Texas. While living in there his wife Marina says that he told her he had shot at former Marine General Edwin Walker. Indeed, a shot was fired into the ultraconservative Walker's home, narrowly missing him. Oswald told his wife he did it because Walker was an extremist who deserved to die.

Next Oswald migrates alone to New Orleans and begins contacting the "Fair Play for Cuba" group in New York. He hands out pamphlets promoting them, claiming he is a member, which they will later deny.

Both in Texas and Louisiana, he gets fired from jobs for incompetence. He receives unemployment compensation.

Oswald travels to Mexico City in late September of 1963. There he contacts the Cuban consulate wanting one visa to go to Russia with a stopover in Cuba. It was refused. Then he tries the Soviets for the same routing. They say it could take 3 months for an answer.

Lee Harvey Oswald returned to Dallas and on Oct. 15, 1963 was hired by Roy Truly at Texas School Book Depository.

November 22, 1963

Oswald was at work at the Texas School Book Depository and was seen with a package which contained, he says, "curtain rods." At lunch time most of the employees rushed outside to catch a glimpse of President Kennedy's motorcade. But not Lee Harvey Oswald.

At the time the President passed by, no employee other than Oswald was on the sixth floor.

William L. Brennan one hundred and seven feet from the Depository saw a three black employees on the fifth floor and a youngish man on the sixth floor with a rifle. He saw the rifle retreat from view after the shots were fired. Brennan later gave a description to police - a white male, around thirty, slender build, height five feet ten inches, weight about 165 pounds. This is what went out over police radios..

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About the Law
In 1963 it was not a federal law to kill a U.S. president. Thus jurisdiction rested with local and State authorities.

The horror story of Dallas convinced Congress that a remedy was required.

Public Law 89-141, signed on August 28, 1965, enacted 18 U.S.C. 1751, prohibiting the killing, kidnapping, conspiracy, assault or attempt to kill or kidnap the President or Vice President. Jurisdiction was now federal.

Similarly, when Senator Robert F. Kennedy was killed in June 1968, there was no general Federal statute that prohibited the assassination of Members of Congress. Public Law 91-644, signed on January 2, 1971, enacted 18 U.S.C. 351, which extended the protection of the Federal criminal law to Members of Congress, paralleling that extended to the President and the Vice President.

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