Friday, 22 November 2013

Remembering the key players and witnesses in the JFK assassination

Fifty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the case continues to transfix Americans. Millions of people's lives were forever affected on November 22, 1963. Below, a look at some of the key people from one of the most talked-about crimes in history.

John F. Kennedy
The 35th president of the United States was shot while riding in an open top limousine through downtown Dallas. Kennedy was just 46 at the time of his death, and though he was only in office for a few years, his influence is still felt today. Among his accomplishments were the establishment of the Peace Corps, the successful navigation of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and leading the charge to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Many of Kennedy's faults have come to light since his passing, but few presidents remain as highly regarded.
Jackie Kennedy
The former first lady passed away in 1994 in New York City at the age of 64. Five years after the death of President Kennedy and shortly after the slaying of Bobby Kennedy, Jackie married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, sparking a large controversy. The two remained married until his death in 1975. Jackie moved back to New York where she began a successful career in book publishing. Like her first husband, Jackie lived in the White House for just a few years, but her grace, class and style remain the stuff of legend
Lee Harvey OswaldA short time after Kennedy was shot, authorities grabbed Lee Harvey Oswald, the supposed lone gunman who used a sniper rifle from a nearby book depository. Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby two days later while in police custody. Much has been written about Oswald and whether he was truly the lone gunman or, as he put it, "a patsy." The Warren Commission, which was formed to find answers about the assassination, found that he acted alone. But 50 years later, many people aren't so sure.
Jack Ruby
Was Ruby part of a mass conspiracy or just a murderous nightclub manager? Like so many other aspects of the death of JFK, the questions surrounding Ruby continue to be debated. One thing that has never been up for contention is that Ruby killed Oswald just two days after JFK's death. The shooting, which was committed in a police station basement and broadcast on live television to millions of horrified viewers, led many to wonder if Ruby was acting on behalf of the mafia. The Warren Commission found that Ruby was not part of any conspiracy.
Ruby was found guilty of murder in 1964. He died of cancer three years later at Parkland Memorial Hospital, the same place where Oswald died and where JFK was pronounced dead.

abraham zapruder at left

Abraham Zapruder
The Zapruder film is perhaps the most studied motion picture in the history of the medium. Shot by Abraham Zapruder on the day of Kennedy's death, the 8 mm film captured the exact moment when Kennedy was shot. Zapruder sold his film to Life magazine for $150,000 and donated $25,000 to the widow of J.D. Tippit, the Dallas police officer who was allegedly shot and killed by Oswald the same day as JFK. Zapruder died in 1970 after a battle with stomach cancer. He was 66.

John and Nellie ConnallyRiding with John and Jackie Kennedy that fateful day were John and Nellie Connally. John Connally, then the governor of Texas, was seriously wounded during the assassination. He recovered from his injuries and went on to become the Secretary of the Navy and later the Secretary of the Treasury. He died in 1993.
Nellie Connally was sitting in front of Mrs. Kennedy when JFK was struck. While riding in the limousine, moments before JFK was shot, she supposedly told Kennedy, "Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you." Nellie Connally dedicated much of her life to diabetes and breast cancer awareness. She died in 2006.

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