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WHO KILLED JFK ? A Year Nine Assessment WHO WAS JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY? Kennedy was born on 29 May 1917 in Boston, U.S.A. His father was the son of an Irish immigrant and his mother the daughter of a very wealthy Banker who was also the mayor of the city of Boston. They were a very ambitious family and John, affectionately known as ’Jack’ went to Harvard where he graduated in. 1940 after winning note with the publication of "Why England Slept", an expansion of his senior thesis on Britain’s lack of preparedness for World War 11. During the war he was highly decorated for bravery in the field of battle. He rescued several of his crewmen after the boat he was Commander of was rammed by a Japanese destroyer off the Solomon Islands. The Kennedy's had a family motto; it read .... 'THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO WIN - DON’T COME THIRD OR SECOND - THAT DOESN’T - BUT WIN, WIN. WIN. This is the idea that all the members of his family were determined to follow. For Jack, his final aim was to win the Presidency of the United States. He would be the first Catholic ever to achieve this goal. JFK was determined that he was going to succeed and be the number one man in America. FACT SHEET ONE FACT SHEET TWO KENNEDY AS PRESIDENT OF THE USA After he left the Navy in March 1945, he became a journalist. However family tradition, their motto and the driving force behind them, the father steered jack into Politics. They also gave Jack something else very important for the achievement of office and that was wealth. It was estimated that jack's father was worth around $250,000,000 in 1950. In 1953 Jack married the daughter of an American businessman Jacqueline Bouvier. Their marriage was very glamorous and everywhere they went they were photographed together, holding hands or kissing. Their luxurious lifestyle was a feature that thrilled everyone in Europe as well as America. In 1957 JFK received an important award for his book, "The Profiles of Courage". This book told the story of politicians who stood for unpopular causes, which they believed were right. It was obvious to many in his political party, the democrats, that this man would make a very good President. After an unsuccessful attempt to win the Vice-Presidency nomination in 1956, Kennedy began to plan for the Presidential election of 1960. The issues of defence and economic stagnation were raised in four televised debates in which Kennedy's poised and vigorous performance lent credence to his call for new Leadership. On 8th November 1960, after defeating his opponent Richard Nixon, the Republican candidate JFK became the youngest ever President elected at the age of 43 years and the first ever Roman Catholic. FACT SHEET THREE KENNEDY IN THE WHITE HOUSE Many people all over the world rejoiced at the election of JFK, especially minorities like Blacks and Puerto Ricans who lived under the constant fear of prejudice and violence when they came to live in America. His inaugural address set a tone of youthful idealism that raised the nation's hopes. “ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU; ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY“, he exhorted. His very youth inspired the young generation to hope for a better world to live in and his speeches brimmed full of promises for peace, justice and freedom. Yet these very noble sentiments were to plunge him into numerous controversies which brought about his assassination. THE NEW FRONTIER The American's have a deep love of their pioneering history when they conquered the Wild West. Although there was no west to conquer in 1960, there were other serious problems to be tackled and JFK wanted to see some of the old spirit return to the way in which it was done. He appointed his brother Robert Kennedy as Attorney General of the U.S. Together they set out to conquer their NEW FRONTIER . This policy consisted of the following goals: TO CONQUER POVERTY IN AMERICA TO EXTEND FULL CIVIL RIGHTS TO All, IRRESPECT1VE OF COLOUR, CREED OR RELIGION TO PURSUE RESEARCH INTO SPACE TRAVEL TO HELP POOR AND DISTRESSED PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD Much of Kennedy's programme of New Frontier reforms in the area of housing, education and social welfare had been blocked by Conservative opposition in Congress. Kennedy had also offered support to the CIVIL PLIGHTS MOVEMENT, an organisation which was trying to establish equal rights for black Americans, but progress had been slow. Kennedy had appointed Negroes to important official positions, yet Federal law officers still had to be sent down to Southern States to escort coloured students into previously all white schools and colleges and to guard black Americans as they lined up to register their vote. Demonstrators protesting against racial discrimination and segregation also had to be protected from angry white mobs by U S. marshals. Progress was very slow. Unfortunately, the world situation did not help Kennedy, and trouble in Cuba, Berlin and the Southern States of America were to bring about his downfall. FACT SHEET FOUR THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS In 196l, his first year in office, Kennedy was battered by a series of adverse international developments, inheriting from the previous administration a secret plan to overthrow the Cuban regime of Fidel Castro. Kennedy approved an invasion of Cuba in April by refugees operating with the help of U.S. agencies. The abrupt failure of the Bay of Pigs resulted in personal embarrassment for the President. Cold war tensions were further aggravated when the Berlin wall was erected in in August and further exacerbated by the Soviet Union sending the first man into Space and resuming atmospheric nuclear tests in September. In October 1962 rumours began to mount that nuclear armed Soviet missiles were being set up in Cuba. JFK ordered a naval and air quarantine on shipments of offensive weapons to Cuba. At first armed conflict seemed likely. But the Soviets pulled back and the Americans seemed to have won a political triumph. Kennedy's prospects in foreign affairs improved in 1963 as he was warmly received in West Berlin, where he pledged continued support for West Germany. The two super Powers agreed to establish a hot line between Moscow and Washington. Such developments were clouded, however, by the worsening situation in South Vietnam where Kennedy had committed 17,000 U.S. military advisors on behalf of an unstable regime beset by corruption and a growing communist insurgency. Kennedy’s Enemies Many people were jealous of Kennedy for his money and his power. Many groups of people felt threatened by his policies he proposed. Some examples include; WHITES in the deep south, especially the KLU KLUX KLAN who terrorised blacks. The C&A. (Criminal Intelligence agency) - JFK wanted the government to control their affairs much more. The MAFIA who were affected by the Kennedy's continued attempts to fight organised crime. These three groups were very powerful organisations and they all disliked Kennedy. Tasks 1. Background Questions (read fact sheets 1 to 4) a) What sort of background did Kennedy come from? Choose from the list below: Rich Poor Protestant Catholic Happy Unhappy b) What sort of career did Kennedy follow? Copy out the correct statements: He did not do very well or try hard with his studies He was intelligent and went to a top American University He was a timid man who stayed at home during World War 2 He was brave, and a natural leader and won a medal for bravery He was not interested in politics and only wanted an ordinary job He was very ambitious and wanted to be President of the United States c) Why do you think that the Democratic party thought he would be a glamorous choice for a Presidential candidate? d) What problems did Kennedy want to solve in America ? e) Explain what the following organisations are : The Klu Klux Klan The Mafia The CIA f) From the following list identify and explain which groups would have the most reason to end Kennedy’s presidency : Poor Americans Black Americans Southern Racists (the Klu Klux Klan) Soviet Government Castro’s Cubans Right Wing Conservatives The CIA Vice President Johnson Supporters of Castro OR 2) The Kennedy File - write a profile of JFK using the following subheadings - try to write as much as you can for each : Full Name / Religion Family Background/Education War Record Character traits (what kind of man is he?) Ambitions Likely opponents/enemies FACT SHEET FIVE DALLAS President Kennedy decided to make a personal tour of Dallas for political reasons. Texas was traditionally a strong Democrat area, but during the 1960 elections it had voted for the Republican candidate Nixon. A tour with his wife and Vice- President Johnson would help his chances of winning this large southern state in 1964. Dallas, an important industrial and commercial city in the heart of Texas, was also a centre for conservative and reactionary political ideas and provided a base for political extremists and right-wing activists. Kennedy was warned that Dallas was a dangerous place: ‘MR. PRESIDENT, YOUR’E GOING INTO A HORNET’S NEST‘. On the day of Kennedy's visit, the DALLAS MORNING NEWS paper displayed a full page advertisement. Under the title WELCOME MR. KENNEDY TO DALLAS, the advertisement criticised among other issues, Kennedy's Cuban policy. This advertisement appeared almost level headed compared to other right-wing literature at the time of the presidents visit. Hand bills were handed out a day before the visit with the heading WANTED FOR TREASON FACT SHEET SIX ASSASSINATION IN DALLAS President Kennedy arrived at Love Field Airport sometime before noon on Friday 22nd November 1963. From here the Presidential party were to travel in a Motorcade which was to pass through the business district of Dallas before arriving at the city's trade mart building, where he was due to give a speech at 12.30pm DEALY PLAZA At precisely 12.30pm the Presidential motorcade entered Dealy Plaza and started to move slowly along Elm Street. Slightly after 12.32pm, as the president's car slowed down to about 11mph, a shot rang out. The president was seen slumping towards his wife with both hands reaching for his throat. Within seconds another shot rang out and the president's head suddenly exploded, spraying out tissue, blood and fragments of bone. Mrs. Connally, seated immediately in front, claimed she heard Jacqueline exclaiming: “ JACK... THEY’VE KILLED MY HUSBAND... I HAVE HIS BRAINS IN MY HAND.” She was then seen to clamber onto the boot of the car, to be met by secret service man Hill, who had leapt from the car behind to give assistance. Ten seconds after the first shots the president's car accelerated at high speed towards Parkland Memorial Hospital. Governor Connally had serious wounds to his back, chest, wrist and thigh but he would recover. AT 1PM JOHN F KENNEDY WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD BY DR.KEMP CLARK FACT SHEET SEVEN OSWALD- THE SUSPECTED ASSASSIN Howard Brennan who had viewed a man with a rifle at the sixth floor of the Book Depository provided the police with a description of the gunman. All available policemen in Dallas were issued with this description except for J.D.Tippet who was instructed to remain in the Oak Cliff district, close to Oswald's lodgings, and to’ be at large for any emergency that comes in‘. MURDER OF OffICER TIPPETT Tippet’s car drew up alongside a young man, and a witness testified that after a short conversation Tippet got out of the car and approached the man. At this point, the other man pulled out a hand gun and shot the policeman, before running off in the direction of Jefferson Boulevard. ARREST OF 0SWALD 0SWALD was arrested in the Texas theatre, following a phone call to the police about a young man behaving suspiciously and hiding from police cars. After identity parades and interrogation, Oswald was charged with the murder of Officer Tippet and formally accused of the murder of Kennedy. Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby as he was being transferred to the county jail, but he remained the prime suspect in Kennedy's assassination. FACT SHEET EIGHT THE WARREN COMMISSION One week after Kennedy's death, the new President, Lyndon Johnson set up a commission who were ordered to: "ASCERTAIN, EVALUATE ANP REPORT UPON THE FACTS RELATING TO THE ASSASSINAT1ON OF THE LATE PRESIDENT KENNEDY” The commission, headed by Chief justice Warren, was made up of seven men including a future American President and a former director of the CIA. Ten months later after "EXHAUSTIVE INVESTIGATION OF EVERY PARTICLE OF EVIDENCE IT COULD DISCOVER ” the WARREN COMMISSION issued its report, containing the following conclusions: KENNEDY AND POLICE OFFICER TIPPET WERE BOTH SHOT BY ONE MAN - LEE HARVEY OSWALD OSWALD ACTED COMPLETELY ALONE - NO 0THER PERSON WAS INVOLVED 0SWALD HAD FIRED THREE RIFLE SHOTS FROM THE SIXTH FLOOR OF THE BOOK DEPOSITORY THE PRESIDENT BEEN STRUCK FROM THE REAR BY TWO BULLETS, ONE OF WHICH HAD ENTERED THE BACK OF HIS HEADAND CAUSED HIS DEATH. OSWALD HAD BEEN SHOT BY JACK RUBY WHO WAS ANXIOUS TO PROTECT KENNEDY’S WIDOW FROM SUFFERING The Warren report was generally accepted by the American public, however by the mid 70's doubts had been sown by the publication of a number of books critical of the Commission’s findings. In 1976 the HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINAT1ONS was set up to investigate further and concluded that President Kennedy was “PROBABLY ASSASSINATED AS A RESULT OF A CONSPIRACY” FACT SHEET NINE WHY THERE HAVE BEEN DOUBTS ABOUT THE CONCLUSIONS OF THE WARREN COMMISSION Many people have questioned the conclusions of the Warren commission. Below are several reasons why: Number One The Commission did not interview all of the available witnesses and only selected the evidence of those who incriminated Oswald. Number Two There was eye witness evidence that Oswald was not alone in the Book Depository, the place from which there were shots fired at the President. Number Three The time between the first and second shots fired at Kennedy was 1.66 seconds, yet tests carried out by the FBI show that the best time reached by an expert marksman to load, aim and fire the gun accurately was 2.25 seconds. Number Four The Police did not follow other leads in the investigation. For example, just after the shooting, a car with false number plates was seen leaving the area. A man had been seen hurrying to the car with something tucked under his arm. Number Five Police Officer Tippet was apparently killed with Oswald's revolver, yet four independent witnesses to his death said that the person responsible was not Oswald. Number Six The Warren Commission accepted the testimony of an eye witness called Howard Brennan. He said that he had seen a man in the Texas Book Depository and that he had seen the flash of gunfire from the window. Brennan told the police that he was sure that it was Oswald, yet he failed to identify him in a line up. Further more he was proven to have bad eye sight. Accounts by witnesses that contradict the Warren Report: Julie Ann Mercer (a motorist travelling along Elm Street some time before the assassination)l noticed a truck parked on the side of the road 15Oft before the underpass. She claimed she saw a man step out of the truck and go up to the Grassy Knoll and behind a wooden fence carrying "what appeared to be a rifle- case." Lee Bowers (a railway employee stationed in a tower overlooking the Grassy Knoll) claimed he saw two men behind the fence and observed a flash of light 'or smoke’ from the Knoll during the shooting. Jean Hill (a schoolteacher who was standing near the President's car at the time of the shooting) reported, "I heard four to six shots, and I'm pretty used to guns. They weren't echoes or anything like that. They were different guns that were being fired. Gordon Arnold (a young soldier on leave standing on the slope of the Grassy Knoll) declared: "The shot came from behind me, only inches over my left shoulder. I had just got out of basic training. In my mind, live ammunition was being fired. It was being fired over my head and I hit the dirt." Carolyn Arnold (a secretary working in the Book Depository): "About a quarter of an hour before the assassination, I went into the lunchroom on the second floor for a moment ... Oswald was sitting in one of the booth seats ... and appeared to be having lunch." Bonnie Ray Williams (a Depository employee) went to the sixth floor to eat his lunch and stayed there until 12.15 or 12.20 and claimed he saw nobody while he was there. Arnold Rowland, a bystander, claimed he saw two men on the sixth floor of the Depository, one in the far left hand window holding a rifle with a telescopic sight and another, a dark complexioned man at the right hand window, 15 minutes before the assassination. Other witnesses also saw a gunman and another man on the 6thfloor at the time of the assassination. Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig (standing near the south side of Elm Street)claimed he saw Lee Harvey Oswald leave the School Book Depository and enter a Rambler station wagon driven by a heavy set man with a dark complexion, 15 minutes after the assassination. The car drove off down Elm Street towards the freeway. Mrs Earlene Roberts, Oswald's landlady, reported that around 1 p.m., just after her tenant had gone to his room, a police car drew up outside and sounded the horn twice and then moved slowly away. Oswald left the building soon afterwards. Frank Wright, a resident on the street where Officer Tippet was killed, recalled: "I was the first person out ... I saw a man standing in front of the car. He was looking toward the man on the ground ... He ran as fast as he could go and he got into his car --- he got in that car and he drove away as fast as you could see!' Another witness to Tippet's killing, Mrs Acquilla Clemmons, claimed she saw two men near the policeman's car just before the shooting and described the gunman as "short and kind of heavy." This is the so-called ‘magic bullet’ - it shows how a single bullet could have caused injuries to the President and Governor Connally These are some of the photographs released by the FBI to support the explanation of Kennedy being from above and behind. WANTED FOR TREASON THIS MAN is wanted for treasonous activities against the United States: 1. Betraying the Constitution (which he swore to uphold): He is turning the sovereignty of the U.S over to the communist controlled United Nations. He is betraying our friends (Cuba, Katanga, Portugal) and befriending our enemies (Russia, Yugoslavia, Poland). 2. He has been WRONG on innumerable issues affecting the security of the U. S. (United Nations -Berlin wall -Missile removal- Cuba- Wheat deals - Test Ban Treaty,etc.) 3. He has been lax in enforcing Communist Registration laws. 4. He has given support and encouragement to the Communist inspired racial riots. 5. He has illegally invaded a sovereign State with federal troops. 6. He has consistently appointed Anti-Christians to Federal office. Upholds the Supreme Court in its Anti-Christian rulings. Aliens and known Communists abound in Federal offices. 7. He has been caught in fantastic LIES to the American people (including personal ones like his previous marriage and divorce).
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