“Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.”
These were just some of the words spoken by President John F. Kennedy when he gave his inauguration speech on January 1, 1961 – a beginning many Americans would remember throughout time, an ending no one could ever forget.
On Nov. 22, 1963, as the president rode through the streets of Dallas with his wife Jacqueline at his side, his Lincoln Continental convertible left him exposed to a crime that would shock the nation.
At approximately 12:30 p.m., the president of the United States was shot and killed.
The suspect was a man who worked at the Texas School Book Depository, the building from which the shots were fired. Lee Harvey Oswald was the man police were looking for.
Oswald’s initial arrest that day was not for the shooting of the president, but for the fatal shooting of a police officer, J.D. Tippit. The .38 caliber revolver used was found on him and later tied to the slaying of the officer.
Once he was apprehended, it shortly came together that this was the man who shot and killed the president. Police felt it had enough evidence to formally charge Oswald with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Two days after the historic moment, Oswald was set to be transferred from the Dallas Police Headquarters to the Dallas County jail. During this transfer Jack Ruby, a local night club owner, shot Oswald in the stomach with a small-caliber pistol. He was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead.
Oswald never had his day in court to this day, many believe he did not kill the president and theories circulate of what really happened. Some say there was more than one person involved, others say he was innocent altogether.
A 2013 Washington Post-ABC News poll reported that 62 percent of people believe there was a cover-up of the truth. According to the Washington Post, a similar poll was taken in 1966, only three years after the assassination, and 46 percent of people suspected it was a multiple person job.
However, some claim there is no conspiracy and that the events reported are nothing but truth. Hugh Aynesworth was a reporter at the time for the Dallas Morning News, and he was recently a keynote speaker at the College Media Conference in Dallas Texas and talked about the events in November of ‘63.
Not only was Aynesworth there when the president was shot, but he was also present at the movie theater for the arrest of Oswald, as well as at the city jail for the shooting of Oswald. He said he doesn’t believe the alternate theories and said people love a conspiracy.
“People love a mystery, it’s more fun,” he said.
On Thursday Oct. 26, the U.S. government released 2,800 records related to the assassination of JFK. This was in an effort to comply with a law from 1992 which mandated the release of the documents. However, 300 records were kept sealed and not released to the public.
The released files have been made available online to the public. There are also hundreds of books with different theories on what really happened. Whichever story you choose to believe lies behind tons of research, understanding and pure instinct.