JFK 50: Remembering the Kennedy Assassination

JFK 50: Remembering the Kennedy Assassination

JFK 50: Remembering the Kennedy Assassination

JFK's Motorcade Arrives at Dealey Plaza; Shots Fired

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    As the limousine proceeded along Elm Street past the Texas School Book Depository, President Kennedy appeared to raise his hand toward his head within seconds of being fatally shot. Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy held the President's forearm in an effort to aid him. Gov. John Connally of Texas, who was in the front seat, was also shot.

    At 12:29 p.m., nearing the end of the motorcade route in downtown, Dallas police motorcycles leading the presidential motorcade turn the corner from Main Street onto Houston Street.

    According to the Warren Report, "Mrs. Connally, elated by the reception, turned to President Kennedy and said, 'Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you.' The President replied, 'That is very obvious.'"

    At 12:30 p.m., the President's limousine turned onto Elm Street traveling at about 11 mph.  Seconds later, a sharp crack pierced the air and President Kennedy reached for his throat.

    The first shot to hit the President entered his back and exited his neck.  According to the Warren Report, that same bullet also injured Gov. John Connally.

    Roughly three seconds later, as stated in the Warren Report, "Mrs. Kennedy then heard a second shot and saw the President's skull torn open under the impact of the bullet. As she cradled her mortally wounded husband, Mrs. Kennedy cried, 'Oh, my God, they have shot my husband. I love you, Jack.'

    Realizing what was unfolding, agents scrambled toward the President's limousine as it suddenly lurched forward and sped toward the triple underpass and Stemmons Freeway.

    Inside the Vice President's car, which was about a half-block behind the President's limousine, Special Agent Youngblood is credited with shielding Vice President Lyndon Johnson with his own body as the car passed through Dealey Plaza and under the triple underpass.

    The motorcade then raced toward Parkland Memorial Hospital, about four miles away.

    The majority of witnesses to the shooting reporting hearing three or four shots, some even reported more. Conspiracy theories abound about the number of shots, shooters and even the seating locations of the President and Gov. Connally. Findings from the Warren Commission indicate there were three shots fired, two of which were responsible for the injuries to the JFK and Connally.  The third shot is believed to have missed.