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November 23, 2023

President John F. Kennedy Riding in an Open Car in Dallas, Texas Before His Assassination on November 22, 1963

The most notorious political murder in recent American history occurred this day on November 22,1963, when John F. Kennedy, the 35th U.S. president (1961–63), was shot and killed while riding in an open-car motorcade in downtown Dallas, Texas.

The shocking event of 60 years ago happened near the end of JFK’s third year as president. Riding in the same car as Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy was Texas Gov. John B. Connally, as well as Connally’s wife, Nellie Connally.

That same day, the suspect in the shooting, Lee Harvey Oswald, was arrested. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as president that day as well as the stunned nation absorbed the blow of so suddenly and violently losing its elected president.

The car turned off Main Street at Dealey Plaza around 12:30 p.m. As it was passing the Texas School Book Depository, gunfire suddenly reverberated in the plaza. Bullets struck the president's neck and head and he slumped over toward Mrs. Kennedy. The governor was shot in his back.

Right after the shooting, the car sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital just a few minutes away. But little could be done for the president. A Catholic priest was summoned to administer the last rites, and at 1:00 p.m. John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead. Gov. Connally had been seriously wounded but later recovered.


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