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Day that rocked the world.


THE DRAMATIC moments when US President John F Kennedy was assassinated and his supposed killer Lee Harvey Oswald was also shot dead two days later were reported in the Daily Post.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of his killing on November 22, 1963 in what remains arguably the most shocking event in the history of America Yet the motive and identity of the gunman or gunmen on that cataclysmic day in Dallas continue to be disputed with a myriad of conspiracy theories.

Under a main headline "KENNEDY ASSASSINATED', we carried the strapline: "Oh, no, cries his wife as she cradles dying President's head in her lap."

Like hundreds of newspapers worldwide, we related the now familiar story about how the 46-year-old politician was riding in a motorcade with his wife Jackie when three shots were fired and he was hit in the head. The shots apparently came from the Texas School Book Depository.

He was rushed to Parkland Hospital, given a blood transfusion but died less than half an hour afterwards at 1pm local time.

The Daily Post also explained how he was the fourth US President to be shot dead. It followed the deaths of Abraham Lincoln in 1865, James A. Garfield in 1881 and William McKinley in 1901.

The Daily Post also carried reaction from a man from Heswall on the Wirral living in the US. John Ravenscroft told the paper: "The whole city is stunned and bitterly ashamed that this thing could have happened here. Dallas has a reputation for extreme right wing views but no-one believed this could happen. There are many theories going round but no-one believes this was a Communist plot. I went through a cordon near the tragedy and saw a policeman in tears."

But millions of TV viewers were left stunned again as JFK murder suspect Lee Harvey Oswald, handcuffed and guarded, was shot leaving Dallas city gaol. He died two hours later also at PArkland Hospital. The suspected murderer, club owner Jack Ruby, 52, was arrested.

With a main headline "LEE OSWALD SHOT DEAD," the Daily Post also carried the strapline: "Police say club owner told them: I did it for Jacqueline Kennedy."

Yesterday President Barack Obama bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom on more than a dozen prominent Americans 50 years after the death of the award's founder, President John F Kennedy.

Mr Obama honoured former President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and leaders in sports, science and public service in a White House ceremony. He said the recipients remind Americans of their own potential.

The president says the late Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, showed America's daughters, including his own, that they can set their sights high.

The ceremony opened a day of tributes to Kennedy ahead of the 50th anniversary of his assassination on Friday.

Kennedy established the modern version of the medal but died before the first presentation.

Mr Obama also paid tribute to Kennedy's legacy, joining Mr Clinton to lay a wreath at Kennedy's grave.

Mr Obama and Mr Clinton held the hands of Ethel Kennedy, widow of JFK's brother Robert F Kennedy, who was also assassinated, as they made their way up the stairs at Arlington National Cemetery.

First lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined the two presidents as they placed a wreath near the eternal flame that marks Kennedy's gravesite.

Mr Obama and Mr Clinton placed their hands over their hearts as a bugler played Taps near an American flag at half-mast.

Mr Obama made no public comments, but greeted Kennedy relatives gathered to honour his legacy.

It's been five decades since American President John F Kennedy was assassinated - and the theories about who did it, why and how still rage on.

Observers know that at 12.30pm, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th American President, was shot by two bullets - one in the head, one in the neck - while his open-top limousine made its way through a crowded street in Dallas, Texas.

We know that as the world mourned, 24-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and charged with murder.

In autumn 1964, a presidential commission led by Chief Justice Earl Warren and grilling 552 witnesses, concluded that Oswald had been working alone in his gruesome act, that he was simply a deranged individual.

But no one really accepted that analysis back then - and they certainly haven't accepted it in the intervening decades.

Cue a quick round-up of the 'Most Popular JFK Assassination Conspiracy Theories'.

Was, for one example, JFK really shot by Oswald, or was he shot by his own government? Were they pre-empting the fact that he might pull out of the Vietnam War and cost them millions of dollars? What if it wasn't Oswald's bullet that felled the President, but a bullet that actually came from a nearby CIA officer? Or what if Oswald, a self-declared Marxist, was actually running a mission for the communists in Russia (or the communists in Cuba, take your pick)? Believe whichever, mainly baseless, explanation you like, but one thing that no one can debate is that these assassination 'conspiracy theories' have become almost as infamous as the assassination itself.

Indeed, type 'JFK conspiracy' into Google and it throws up some 152,000,000 search results in under a second. A 2003 Gallup poll found that 75% of Americans still felt the assassination was a conspiracy, and another survey just a few months ago, showed that 59% still believe the aforementioned 'explanations' could be true. "November 22 changed the world, and it has since been difficult to accept that one man could have been solely responsible," says Mark Malcomson, principal and tutor for American History at City Lit. "The enormity of what happened couldn't be down to one sad, misguided individual, could it?"


President John F Kennedy rides in a motorcade with his wife Jacqueline before the shooting
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Nov 22, 2013
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