Killing the President: Assassinations, Attempts, and Rumored Attempts on U.S. Commanders-in-Chief

By Willard M. Oliver; Nancy E. Marion | Go to book overview

8
John F. Kennedy

INTRODUCTION

On Friday, November 22, 1963, the attractive forty-six-year-old president, John F. Kennedy, was on a political trip to Texas to reach out to the people of that state. His beautiful and elegant wife Jackie was traveling with him, something she rarely did. She was so popular with voters that Kennedy wanted her to be there as a way to increase his appeal with the citizens of Texas. The couple arrived at Dallas’s Love Field from Fort Worth at 11:38 A.M. and proceeded to a motorcade that would give thousands of Dallas residents a view of the president and first lady.

On the sixth floor of a warehouse that overlooked the motorcade’s route, a young ex-marine with communist leanings and a checkered past built a sniper’s nest out of cartons of books. No American president had been assassinated since Leon Czolgosz had shot and killed William McKinley more than sixty years earlier. Now Lee Harvey Oswald was about to place in his rifle’s crosshairs a popular president who had already made history dealing with the Soviet Union, Cuba, civil rights, and other issues. The story of this assassination is arguably the dominant American story of the twentieth century.


JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY

The thirty-fifth president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was born on May 29, 1917, in Brookline, Massachusetts, the second of nine children.1 His father was Joseph P. Kennedy, a wealthy Irish Catholic businessman from Boston, and his mother was Rose Fitzgerald, whose father was John F. “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, the mayor of Boston.

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Killing the President: Assassinations, Attempts, and Rumored Attempts on U.S. Commanders-in-Chief
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Andrew Jackson 1
  • 2 - Abraham Lincoln 15
  • 3 - James a. Garfield 35
  • 4 - William McKinley 53
  • 5 - Theodore Roosevelt 69
  • 6 - Franklin D. Roosevelt 87
  • 7 - Harry S. Truman 99
  • 8 - John F. Kennedy 113
  • 9 - Gerald R. Ford 131
  • 10 - Ronald Reagan 147
  • 11 - Other Assassination Attempts 161
  • 12 - Rumored Assassinations 181
  • Notes 197
  • Bibliography 219
  • Index 227
  • About the Author 237
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