On November 22nd 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. At 1pm, the President was pronounced dead and a manhunt began for his assassin. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested only a few hours later, but was shot on his way out of the police department in Dallas.
Despite the fact that by all accounts it seemed that Oswald shot Kennedy, there are many who believe in the conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination; that Oswald perhaps didn’t work alone, some even claiming that the CIA were behind the shooting.
50 years later, JFK’s death and the mystery around it still haunts people. Here are twelve facts you may not have known about it.
1. JFK spent barely an hour in Dallas before he was shot.
Kennedy arrived in Dallas just before 12pm on November 22nd in 1963. He was in Dallas for just under an hour when at 1pm, he was pronounced dead.
2. Air Force One had to be altered for the coffin.
When the Secret Service arrived at Air Force One with the President in a coffin, they had to cut out two rows of seats in order to place the coffin on the plane.
3. Jackie didn’t want to wash off the blood.
She wanted people to see what had happened and felt incredibly guilty for wiping the blood off her face and hair. She even told Bobby Kennedy later that she shouldn’t have wiped off the blood.
4. Jackie’s famous suit is still in storage.
Jackie’s famous Chanel dress, which was covered in JFK’s blood, is in the National Archives and will not be on view until the year 2103 in accordance with the wishes of the Kennedy Family.
5. Kennedy was taken to the same hospital as his assassin.
Barely a couple of days after the shooting of Kennedy, Oswald was shot in police custody. He was taken to the same hospital as Kennedy before he died.
6. John Jr’s birthday was the day of Kennedy’s funeral.
JFK’s son turned 3 the day of the President’s funeral.
7. Jackie put her wedding ring on Jack’s finger.
Before the coffin was closed, Jackie placed her wedding ring on JFK’s finger.
8. Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in on Air Force One, Jackie was his witness
Just after take off from Dallas returning to Washington, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the next President of the United States. Jackie stood by his side. He swore his oath on JFK’s book of Catholic missals.
9. Jackie insisted that the man who drove the car in Dallas also drove his hearse.
Bill Greer, the man who was driving the President’s limousine in Dallas, felt responsible for JFK’s death and was overcome with grief. However, Jackie wanted to express that she had the utmost confidence in him and insisted he drove the hearse to the hospital on arrival in Washington.
10. Killing the President wasn’t always a Federal offence.
When Kennedy was killed in Dallas, it was treated like another murder. In fact, the medical examiner in Dallas almost prevented Kennedy’s body from being removed from the city. The Secret Service and Kennedy’s aides refused, ensuring that his body made it to Air Force One.
11. Jackie carried some of JFK’s brain into the operating theatre
Due to where the injuries occurred on the President and where Jackie was sitting, she actually ended up holding the President’s head and some of the brain matter from the injury.
12. The first correspondence from the Johnson administration was to Kennedy’s children.
Johnson sat and wrote these brief letters when he returned to Washington.
“Dear John—It will be many years before you understand fully what a great man your father was. His loss is a deep personal tragedy for all of us, but I wanted you particularly to know that I share your grief—You can always be proud of him. Affectionately, Lyndon Johnson”
“Dearest Caroline—Your father’s death has been a great tragedy for the Nation, as well as for you at this time. He was a wise and devoted man. You can always be proud of what he did for his country. Affectionately, Lyndon Johnson”