Nearly 55 years after his death in Dallas on November 22, 1963, JFK continues to fascinate.
Editor's note: Throughout November, IrishCentral is commemorating Kennedy month, in honor of the famed Irish American political dynasty and their legacy. In the countdown to the anniversary of JFK's assassination on November 22, 1963, we look at the events surrounding his death.
The 35th President of the United States, John F Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, and nearly 55 years later the world continues to pick apart the events of the fateful day and conspiracy theorists try to figure out what really happened.
The shooting in Dallas may have caught the world’s attention so quickly as it was literally televised to the world. You would think that this would offer transparency, with thousands of eyes upon the scene that day and the US secret services surrounding JFK’s motorcade, but the event remains shrouded in mystery.
The fact that two days later, the man accused of the crime, Lee Harvey Oswald, was shot and killed, live on TV. Oswald shot Kennedy and wounded Texas Governor John Connally, but whom did he mean to harm and did he act alone? All of these questions have been the basis for books, films and documentaries over the years.
Here IrishCentral looks at five of the weirdest facts surrounding the assassination of John F Kennedy:
Lee Harvey Oswald was Russian
In 1962 Lee Harvey Oswald received $435.71 from the US State Department as a loan to return to the USA. Oswald was a US Marine until 1959 when he was discharged due to hardship. The same year he had filed for Soviet citizenship, telling the US Embassy in Moscow “I am a Marxist.”
He married a Russian woman in Minsk and had a daughter in 1962. The same year he and his new family moved back to the United States.
There were four attempts on JFK’s life
President John F Kennedy was the target of at least four assassination attempts, including one in 1960 shortly after he was elected. On this occasion, a retired postal worker filled his car with dynamite and followed the President-elect from Hyannisport, on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, to Palm Beach, in Florida.
Kennedy apparently said, “Brother, they could have gotten me in Palm Beach… There is no way to keep anyone from killing me."
In the lead-up to JFK’s assassination in Dallas, two additional plots – one in Chicago and one in Tampa – were discovered.
JFK’s Lincoln convertible
The car John F Kennedy and his wife Jackie were riding in on that fateful day was a 1961 Lincoln Continental four-door convertible code-named the X-100. Amazingly, after evidence was collected, the car was over-hauled, cleaned and returned to service at the White House in 1964.
The car went on to serve US presidents until 1977 and is currently displayed at the Henry Ford Museum, in Dearborn, Michigan.
John F Kennedy v Abraham Lincoln
There are some eerie parallels between the assassinations of John F Kennedy and the United States' 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, in 1865. Honest Abe was shot by John Wilkes Booth, while attending the Ford's Theatre, in Washington DC, with his wife.
Here are the weird coincidences:
- Both were assassinated by Southerners and were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.
- John Wilkes Booth was born in 1839. Lee Harvey Oswald was born in 1939.
- Both assassins were known by their three names, which are equally composed of fifteen letters
- Booth and Oswald were killed before their trials.
The window that went missing
The window from where Harvey Lee Oswald shot John F Kennedy went missing…Yes! You read that right missing.
On Nov. 22, 1963, Oswald leaned out a window on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository in Dallas, where he worked and fired three shots.
Six years after the assassination, Gen. D. Harold Byrd, owner of the building, had the window removed. Byrd had the window framed and hung in his mansion.
Then the building was owned by Aubrey Mayhew. He then removed the window, which he said was the correct window.
Both of these windows ended up being sold on eBay.