A sniper shot and killed President John F Kennedy on the streets of Dallas Friday. A 24-year-old pro-Communist who once tried to defect to Russia was charged with the murder shortly before midnight.
Kennedy was shot about 12:20 pm Friday at the foot of Elm Street as the Presidential car entered the approach to the Triple Underpass. The President died in a sixth-floor surgery room at Parkland Hospital about 1 pm, though doctors say there was no chance for him to live after he reached the hospital.
Within two hours, Vice President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as the nation’s 36th President inside the presidential plane before departing for Washington.
The gunman also serously wounded Texas Governor John Connally, who was riding with the President.
Four hours in surgery
Connally spent four hours on an operating table, but his condition was reported as “quite satisfactory” at midnight.
The assassin, firing from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building near the Triple Underpass, sent a Mauser 6.5 rifle bullet smashing into the President’s head.
An hour after the President died, police hauled the 24-year-old suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, out of an Oak Cliff movie house.
He had worked for a short time at the depository, and police had encountered him while searching the building shortly after the assassination. They turned him loose when he was identified as an employee but put out a pickup order on him when he failed to report for a work roll call.
He also was accused of killing a Dallas policeman, J D Tippit, whose body was found during the vast manhunt for the President’s assassin.
Oswald, who has an extensive pro-Communist background, four years ago renounced his American citizenship in Russia and tried to become a Russian citizen. Later, he returned to this country.
Friendly crowd cheered Kennedy
Shockingly, the President was shot after driving the length of Main Street through a crowd termed the largest and friendliest of his 2-day Texas visit. It was a good-natured crowd that surged out from the curbs almost against the swiftly moving presidential car. The protective bubble had been removed from the official convertible.
Mrs Connally, who occupied one of the two jump seats in the car, turned to the President a few moments before and remarked, “You can’t say Dallas wasn’t friendly to you.”