Moments before his assassination, President John F. Kennedy waved to an enthusiastic crowd in Dallas, Texas.

Photograph by Walter Sisco, courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain

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  • On November 22, 1963, U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in his motorcade in Dallas, Texas. Texas Governor John Connally, riding in the convertible limousine with President Kennedy, was also shot and seriously injured. Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit was killed in a separate, related incident. Controversy about the motive and even the assassin has surrounded the event ever since.
     
    President Kennedy’s successor, President Lyndon Johnson, organized the first analysis of the assassination, a report named after its chairman, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. The Warren Commission found that Lee Harvey Oswald, an alienated former Marine, shot the president and Connally from an improvised sniper’s nest on the sixth floor of a nearby office building. The report also found that Oswald shot and killed Officer Tippit while on the run from authorities.
     
    A later investigation, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), disputed the Warren Commission report. Although the HSCA acknowledged that Oswald killed the president, they found “that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The committee was unable to identify the other gunmen or the extent of the conspiracy.”
     
    Dozens of theories have surfaced about possible conspirators in the assassination. Members of organized crime, Cuban exiles, Soviet spies, and even rogue elements of the CIA and FBI have all been accused—none successfully.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    accuse Verb

    to blame or charge with a fault or crime.

    acknowledge Verb

    to recognize the truth or existence of something.

    alienated Adjective

    isolated or distanced from society.

    analysis Noun

    process of studying a problem or situation, identifying its characteristics and how they are related.

    assassinate Verb

    to murder someone of political importance.

    CIA Noun

    (Central Intelligence Agency) U.S. government agency whose mission is to "preempt threats and further U.S. national security objectives by collecting intelligence that matters, producing objective all-source analysis, conducting effective covert action as directed by the president, and safeguarding the secrets that help keep our nation safe."

    conspiracy Noun

    secret, evil, or unlawful plan.

    controversy Noun

    disagreement or debate.

    convertible Noun

    vehicle with a folding or removable top.

    dispute Noun

    debate or argument.

    exile Noun

    forced ejection from a country, or a person who feels forced to leave.

    extent Noun

    degree or space to which a thing extends.

    FBI Noun

    (Federal Bureau of Investigation) government agency whose mission is "to lead and coordinate intelligence efforts that drive actions to protect the United States."

    identify Verb

    to recognize or establish the identity of something.

    improvised Adjective

    created without preparation.

    incident Noun

    event or happening.

    investigation Noun

    process involving examination and research into a topic or situation.

    limousine Noun

    large, luxury automobile.

    motive Noun

    reason a person acts in a certain way.

    motorcade Noun

    procession of cars or other automobiles.

    necessary Adjective

    required or needed.

    organize Verb

    to coordinate and give structure to.

    organized crime Noun

    centralized network of illegal activity that often crosses local, regional, and national borders.

    rogue Adjective

    renegade or no longer obedient.

    sniper Noun

    gunman who fires from a concealed place.

    Soviet Adjective

    having to do with the Soviet Union and the areas it influenced.

    successor Noun

    person who comes next.