The 57th Anniversary of the Assassination of President Kennedy

 

I was in third grade when President Kennedy was murdered. They let us out of school early but didn’t tell us why. I walked home with my sister Joan, who was in fifth grade. My mom was watching the TV and told us what happened. I now have an apartment just over a mile from Dealey Plaza where it happened. We walked there yesterday and took pictures.

One of the first things you notice is how small of a space the plaza is. The pictures make it look much bigger. The man in the road is next to the X marking where the third fatal shot hit. In the picture below I’m next to where Zapruder was when he filmed the assassination.

I attended a discussion about it three years ago by Zapruder’s granddaughter.

At the base of the Texas Book Depository, there is a sign which reflects the controversy over the assassination; note the word alleged in it.

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  1. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    I was two, so no remembrance of the event. Also, as many know, the day Aldous Huxley and  C. S. Lewis passed away.

    • #1
  2. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    I was in third grade at Chopin Elementary school in Chicago.

    My first knowledge of the assassination was when the schools black janitor came in our classroom and told our teacher that Kennedy had been shot.  His look of sadness stays with me to this day.

    • #2
  3. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Oh and I no longer believe a word of the Warren Commission Report.

    • #3
  4. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    I remember that elementary school had just let out and the teachers and the mothers were in small groups talking about it.  I remember wondering why my mother was crying, because I thought, “We don’t like Kennedy.”  

     

    (Let me hasten to add, that I didn’t think it was a good thing, I just was surprised that my mother was so upset.)

    • #4
  5. DonG (Biden is compromised) Coolidge
    DonG (Biden is compromised)
    @DonG

    To really appreciate the scene, you need to go into the book repository and look out the window.  This is from the 7th floor as the 6th floor is sealed.  The 5th floor is a museum, which I recommend.

     

    Dallas, Texas - View of Dealey Plaza from the Old Texas School Book  Depository HD (2016) - YouTube

    • #5
  6. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    DonG (Biden is compromised) (View Comment):
    This is from the 7th floor as the 6th floor is sealed. The 5th floor is a museum, which I recommend.

    My Sensei (Okay, Hanshi, but almost no one knows that word) was a USMC Gunnery Sergeant Retiree.  Asides from being a badass at martial arts, he was an incredible shooter.  Literally, Olympic alternate shooter.  He said, “I came to be a conspiracy theorist when I looked out of the book depository, and knew I couldn’t make that shot with that rifle.”

    • #6
  7. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    DonG (Biden is compromised) (View Comment):
    This is from the 7th floor as the 6th floor is sealed. The 5th floor is a museum, which I recommend.

    My Sensei (Okay, Hanshi, but almost no one knows that word) was a USMC Gunnery Sergeant Retiree. Asides from being a badass at martial arts, he was an incredible shooter. Literally, Olympic alternate shooter. He said, “I came to be a conspiracy theorist when I looked out of the book depository, and knew I couldn’t make that shot with that rifle.”

    I’ve heard several people say it’s really not that difficult a shot, especially with a telescopic sight.

     

    • #7
  8. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    DonG (Biden is compromised) (View Comment):
    This is from the 7th floor as the 6th floor is sealed. The 5th floor is a museum, which I recommend.

    My Sensei (Okay, Hanshi, but almost no one knows that word) was a USMC Gunnery Sergeant Retiree. Asides from being a badass at martial arts, he was an incredible shooter. Literally, Olympic alternate shooter. He said, “I came to be a conspiracy theorist when I looked out of the book depository, and knew I couldn’t make that shot with that rifle.”

    I wondered about that looking at the picture above and thinking was Oswald really that good a shot?

    • #8
  9. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    EB (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    DonG (Biden is compromised) (View Comment):
    This is from the 7th floor as the 6th floor is sealed. The 5th floor is a museum, which I recommend.

    My Sensei (Okay, Hanshi, but almost no one knows that word) was a USMC Gunnery Sergeant Retiree. Asides from being a badass at martial arts, he was an incredible shooter. Literally, Olympic alternate shooter. He said, “I came to be a conspiracy theorist when I looked out of the book depository, and knew I couldn’t make that shot with that rifle.”

    I wondered about that looking at the picture above and thinking was Oswald really that good a shot?

    One thing to remember is that the big tree covering part of the road to the right (where shots 2 and 3 hit) was either not there in 1963 or was much smaller. Thus, it was a much easier shot in 1963.

    • #9
  10. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    There is probably no greater living author about shooters and shooting than Stephen Hunter, the “Dostoevsky of the sniper rifle.”  His thriller, The Third Bullet, wraps some amazing facts into a humdinger of a story about JFK’s assassination.

    Fact I didn’t know before reading this book:  The FBI “firearms expert” that testified before the Warren Commission was a handgun instructor.  His experience and expertise with long guns was limited, if not non-existent. 

    • #10
  11. She Member
    She
    @She

    I was in fourth grade.  We’d been in the United States of America for 24 days, and were living in the Kennedy stronghold  of Brookline, MA. I was attending Edward Devotion School (it’s since been renamed, because you know, slavery), JFK’s kindergarten school.  Dad was a fellow at Harvard.

    It was an unsettling introduction to our new home, experienced in one of the places that was among the most emotionally devastated in the country.

    • #11
  12. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Richard Easton: I was in third grade when President Kennedy was murdered.

    Same here.  The Kennedy Assassination was my first “Where were you when?” moment . . .

    • #12
  13. Right Wing Teamster Lawyer Thatcher
    Right Wing Teamster Lawyer
    @RightWingTeamsterLawyer

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    There is probably no greater living author about shooters and shooting than Stephen Hunter, the “Dostoevsky of the sniper rifle.” His thriller, The Third Bullet, wraps some amazing facts into a humdinger of a story about JFK’s assassination.

    Fact I didn’t know before reading this book: The FBI “firearms expert” that testified before the Warren Commission was a handgun instructor. His experience and expertise with long guns was limited, if not non-existent.

    Yu beat me to it–That is a great book.  Raised the question, as I recall, why didn’t Oswald take the shot before the motorcade made the slow left turn into the plaza?

    I wonder if we have seen the last new Hunter book?

    • #13
  14. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    DonG (Biden is compromised) (View Comment):
    This is from the 7th floor as the 6th floor is sealed. The 5th floor is a museum, which I recommend.

    My Sensei (Okay, Hanshi, but almost no one knows that word) was a USMC Gunnery Sergeant Retiree. Asides from being a badass at martial arts, he was an incredible shooter. Literally, Olympic alternate shooter. He said, “I came to be a conspiracy theorist when I looked out of the book depository, and knew I couldn’t make that shot with that rifle.”

    What was the line in Full Metal Jacket . . . “Those individuals showed what one motivated marine and his rifle can do

    • #14
  15. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    He said, “I came to be a conspiracy theorist when I looked out of the book depository, and knew I couldn’t make that shot with that rifle.”

    It’s not that far and the car wasn’t moving that fast.  I have never shot of rifle of that kind, but if it was in good condition and properly zeroed, it shouldn’t be that hard of a shot.

     

     

    • #15
  16. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    I’m tired of Kennedy hagiography.  Even his complete incompetence and misfeasance in the navy is sold to us as heroic.  It is apparently physically impossible to discuss the Apollo missions without playing “we choose to go to the moon” speech.  He spawned one of the most corrupt political machines through his family that our country ever endured.  

    When he died, I was only a few months old, so I don’t remember the world before everyone worshipped at the altar of JFK.  I do know, though, that all politicians are crooked liars including the even more “sainted” Lincoln.  The more people tell me how wonderful a politician is, the less we’re allowed to be critical of them, the more I suspect that the depths of their depravity is unbounded.

    • #16
  17. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    He said, “I came to be a conspiracy theorist when I looked out of the book depository, and knew I couldn’t make that shot with that rifle.”

    It’s not that far and the car wasn’t moving that fast. I have never shot of rifle of that kind, but if it was in good condition and properly zeroed, it shouldn’t be that hard of a shot.

    The Mannlicher-Carcano is a notoriously lousy firearm.  It was originally manufactured for Italian Alpineiri fighting in the mountains.  It shoots a big, fat, slow round.  That rifle spits out the round in such a manner that the round begins to tumble at/about 50m from muzzle launch.  Plus, the angle of the shots from the book depository to the target make for a very awkward firing position. 

     

     

    • #17
  18. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Stad (View Comment):

    Richard Easton: I was in third grade when President Kennedy was murdered.

    Same here. The Kennedy Assassination was my first “Where were you when?” moment . . .

    Ninth grade here. Mrs. Fahey’s English class. I can remember the girl’s name who came to the door and told us, after which we all went to the auditorium to watch it on TV. Later when we came back to the room, one guy was chuckling at some of the girls who had been crying. One of them must have been on a movie date with him, because she yelled at him “Well you cried at [whatever movie it was]!” Funny what you remember.

    My first “where were you” moment was Sputnik. My dad took us out in the yard at night to try to see it.

    • #18
  19. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    I saw far fewer of these types of posts this year. The generation that was so enthralled with the “Camelot” mythology is passing. 

    The one thing that always annoyed the crap out me was the phrase that become attached to the assassination: “The day America lost her innocence.” Oh, please.

    We had fought a bloody four-year civil war, lost Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley to assassin’s bullets, and twice in that century had fought in a World War. Less than 20 years earlier, 400,000 families were told their sons were never coming home in short terse Western Union messages from the War Department. “Innocence” my… clavicle.

    Besides, who talks of an assassination in the same terms of a 17-year old girl losing her virginity in the backseat of her boyfriend’s father’s station wagon? 

    • #19
  20. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    It was a terrible thing. 

    I am not making light of it, but it is interesting to think that but for the voter fraud that got him elected, he might have lived to a ripe old age or even be alive today.

    • #20
  21. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    David Carroll (View Comment):

    It was a terrible thing.

    I am not making light of it, but it is interesting to think that but for the voter fraud that got him elected, he might have lived to a ripe old age or even be alive today.

    With his medical issues, he probably wouldn’t be alive at 103.

    • #21
  22. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    David Carroll: …he might have lived to a ripe old age or even be alive today.

    Born in 1917 that would be a stretch. Possible, but a stretch considered his other disabilities. (Not to mention the STDs.) 

    • #22
  23. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    He said, “I came to be a conspiracy theorist when I looked out of the book depository, and knew I couldn’t make that shot with that rifle.”

    It’s not that far and the car wasn’t moving that fast. I have never shot of rifle of that kind, but if it was in good condition and properly zeroed, it shouldn’t be that hard of a shot.

    The Mannlicher-Carcano is a notoriously lousy firearm. It was originally manufactured for Italian Alpineiri fighting in the mountains. It shoots a big, fat, slow round. That rifle spits out the round in such a manner that the round begins to tumble at/about 50m from muzzle launch. Plus, the angle of the shots from the book depository to the target make for a very awkward firing position.

    The Mannlicher-Carcano is plenty lethal enough.   The families of many sons who didn’t come home from North Africa and Italy in WW2 can attest.

    And Oswald’s Marine marksmanship documents from basic training still exist.   From any position with a rest he was a fine shot.   Standing, not so much.   But the M1 was a long heavy rifle and Oswald was a  smaller guy.  So I’m not surprised he had an issue controlling the rifle offhand.

    The thing that seals it for me is the testimony of a woman who was at the corner that day.    She was a little girl then and she is visible in the Zapruder film.  White coat red dress.    Her movements on the film comport to her testimony.    She was across the street facing the Book Depository.   She asserts that she saw the rifle barrel come out of the open window after JFKs car turned the corner.

    • #23
  24. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    He said, “I came to be a conspiracy theorist when I looked out of the book depository, and knew I couldn’t make that shot with that rifle.”

    It’s not that far and the car wasn’t moving that fast. I have never shot of rifle of that kind, but if it was in good condition and properly zeroed, it shouldn’t be that hard of a shot.

    The Mannlicher-Carcano is a notoriously lousy firearm. It was originally manufactured for Italian Alpineiri fighting in the mountains. It shoots a big, fat, slow round. That rifle spits out the round in such a manner that the round begins to tumble at/about 50m from muzzle launch. Plus, the angle of the shots from the book depository to the target make for a very awkward firing position.

    The round is not one I would describe as fat – it’s only a 6mm, which was small.  You’re right, though, in that it is long, heavy, and slow by comparison with contemporary cartridges of that era.  Italy was behind in modernizing the ballistics of the slug, and its shape didn’t lend itself well to the the spitzer / boat-tail modernization that everyone else went to either right before WWI, or right after.  However, being a slower round its round-nose shape would have given it a flatter trajectory if it didn’t start to tumble (.45ACP FMJ slugs, being barely supersonic, have similar advantages / disadvantages).  All in all, I’m rather with those who say that Oswald with a Mannlicher-Carcano surplus carbine, in that position, and with surplus ammo, would have had a helluva time making that shot.  Not totally impossible, but still bloody unlikely unless he was using hand-loads and a very very well tuned rifle (and Italian rifles of that vintage have a deservedly poor reputation).

    The chief advantage of the Mannlicher-Carcano is that it is very quick to fire, being a straight-pull bolt, and this sort of action does allow a shooter to more easily stay on target between shots, while cycling quickly.  A Mauser or Lee action would be a touch slower, and does require a bit more to re-acquire between shots if not braced or sand-bagged.

    [EDIT per Hoyacon’s notes] – I checked and he is right, Oswald used the later version which corrected a lot of flaws in the older ones, and used a Mauser style action with a Mannlicher magazine system.  This was a stronger and better-supported action.

    • #24
  25. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    He said, “I came to be a conspiracy theorist when I looked out of the book depository, and knew I couldn’t make that shot with that rifle.”

    It’s not that far and the car wasn’t moving that fast. I have never shot of rifle of that kind, but if it was in good condition and properly zeroed, it shouldn’t be that hard of a shot.

    The Mannlicher-Carcano is a notoriously lousy firearm. It was originally manufactured for Italian Alpineiri fighting in the mountains. It shoots a big, fat, slow round. That rifle spits out the round in such a manner that the round begins to tumble at/about 50m from muzzle launch. Plus, the angle of the shots from the book depository to the target make for a very awkward firing position.

    It was an 88 yard shot by Oswald, who had achieved (low) marksman status in the Marines, admittedly four years previously.  The Mannlicher, which was patterned on the Mauser and briefly mistaken for one in the post-shooting investigation, was the second version of that rifle, after the first had proven unreliable in the late ’30s.  Oswald had presumably practiced with it since he had taken a shot at “conservative” General Edwin Walker earlier and narrowly missed.

    Attempts by the left to fob the Kennedy assassination off on a “vast right-wing conspiracy” in Dallas are some of the more distressing aspects of the whole controversy.

    • #25
  26. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    The only conspiracy theory I Almost buy is prefaced on one little known fact…

    There is indisputable, documentary evidence of another rifle in Dealey Plaza that day.  A much better weapon than the Italian POS that BossMongo doesn’t like.   And it was loaded with exactly the kind of ammunition that would fragment the way the bullet that hit JFKs head did.   And it was located behind JFK at the time.

    • #26
  27. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    The only conspiracy theory I Almost buy is prefaced on one little known fact…

    There is indisputable, documentary evidence of another rifle in Dealey Plaza that day. A much better weapon than the Italian POS that BossMongo doesn’t like. And it was loaded with exactly the kind of ammunition that would fragment the way the bullet that hit JFKs head did. And it was located behind JFK at the time.

    Link?

    • #27
  28. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    EJHill (View Comment):
    Besides, who talks of an assassination in the same terms of a 17-year old girl losing her virginity in the backseat of her boyfriend’s father’s station wagon? 

    Well, it was JFK, who was as handsy as Bill Clinton.

    • #28
  29. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    He said, “I came to be a conspiracy theorist when I looked out of the book depository, and knew I couldn’t make that shot with that rifle.”

    It’s not that far and the car wasn’t moving that fast. I have never shot of rifle of that kind, but if it was in good condition and properly zeroed, it shouldn’t be that hard of a shot.

    The Mannlicher-Carcano is a notoriously lousy firearm. It was originally manufactured for Italian Alpineiri fighting in the mountains. It shoots a big, fat, slow round. That rifle spits out the round in such a manner that the round begins to tumble at/about 50m from muzzle launch. Plus, the angle of the shots from the book depository to the target make for a very awkward firing position.

    Like I said, I’ve no experience with the Carcano, but it beggars belief that anyone would make a long rifle like that which couldn’t shoot more than 50 yards.  The shot that killed Kennedy was only 88 yards.

    Edit:  Most people with rudimentary training and practice, can easily hit a basketball with almost any rifle at 88 yards.

    • #29
  30. JamesSalerno Coolidge
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Skyler (View Comment):

    I’m tired of Kennedy hagiography. Even his complete incompetence and misfeasance in the navy is sold to us as heroic. It is apparently physically impossible to discuss the Apollo missions without playing “we choose to go to the moon” speech. He spawned one of the most corrupt political machines through his family that our country ever endured.

    When he died, I was only a few months old, so I don’t remember the world before everyone worshipped at the altar of JFK. I do know, though, that all politicians are crooked liars including the even more “sainted” Lincoln. The more people tell me how wonderful a politician is, the less we’re allowed to be critical of them, the more I suspect that the depths of their depravity is unbounded.

    Agreed. There’s even an “If Kennedy was alive today, he would be a Republican/Conservative!” movement, which I find to be hilarious.

    • #30
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