Introduction To John Fitzgerald Kennedy History Essay
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29th, 1917 – November 22, 1963) known as JFK was the 35th President of the United States, from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. He was the youngest man to be elected president and unfortunately the youngest to die as well. He was born in Brookline, Massachusetts and his father, Joseph Kennedy Sr. was a wealthy businessman and a demanding individual who wanted his sons to take the political route to fame.
He had had major accomplishments and in his early life attended prestigious schools including Princeton and Harvard University, and receiving various medals during the time he served in the navy such as the Navy and Marine Crops Medal, the Purple Heart, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 3 bronze stars, and the World War 11 Victory Medal.
His political achievements were extensive including winning the Democratic primary for Massachusetts’ Eleventh District, defeating Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. to be elected to the United States Senate, winning the Democratic nomination for president and then finally becoming the 35th President.
Events which occurred during his presidency included the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the African American Civil Rights Movement, and the early stages of the Vietnam War.
As one can see, JFK’s accomplishments were vast and significant to the development of the United States. He was renowned for being an excellent orator, with charm, intelligence, calmess, and an individual who strived for success. Unfortunately, he was assassinated the day of November 22nd 1963.
The Question: Who really assassinated President John Fitzgerald Kennedy?
The assassination of JFK was on the afternoon of November 22nd 1963 in Dallas Texas. Kennedy was on a political trip to smooth out relations in the Democratic Party between Ralph Yarborough and Don Yarborough, and John Connally.
Before 12:30 pm. Central Standard Time, the presidential limousine made its way into Dealey Plaza and slowly to the Texas School Depository. The First Lady of Texas, Nellie Connally, turned around to him and said, “Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you,” to which President Kennedy agreed.
As the Presidential turned and passed the Depository and went down Elm Street, three gunshots were fired at President Kennedy. At first, there was hardly any reaction from the crowd after the first shot, as many thought it was just a firecracker or the exhaust of the car making noise. However, it was gravely clear that this was not the case after the second and third. The worst had occurred. President Kennedy was assassinated.
Lee Harvey Oswald: The Alleged Assassin of JFK
Lee Harvey Oswald whom who according to three government investigations assassinated President Kenney in Dallas, Texas on the day of November 22nd 1963.
Oswald was born in New Orleans on October 18th, 1939. As he grew up, he had lived in 22 homes and attended 12 different schools around Louisiana. These numerous disruptions in his life may have affected him psychologically.
Some describe him to be a fanatical Marxist whose belief in the political philosophy drove him to assassinate Kennedy. Although considered a smart boy at a young age, his behavior at school gradually deteriorated to the point that he was sent to a detention center and had psychiatric treatment. A U.S. Marine, a previous Soviet citizen, and having several incidents with the law, it seems Oswald had the background for committing such a treacherous act.
After the murder, Oswald was found and charged with the assassination of JFK and Officer J.D. Tippit, an individual whom he had murdered that same day. However, before Oswald could have a fair trial, he was murdered by Jack Ruby.
Many consider this individual to be the killer of JFK, but there is evidence as well to suggest otherwise. Before one decides whether Oswald is guilty, one must consider the mysteries surrounding the assassination.
Mysterious Circumstances Surrounding the Assassination
There are many mysterious circumstances that have been found when analyzing the assassination of JFK. The authenticity of the investigation work done by the government, the masterminds behind the killing, and the evidence itself have been questioned.
One of the theories issued by the Warren Commission (The President’s Commission on the Assassination of JFK) is that a single bullet caused all of the non-fatal wounds in both President Kennedy and John Connally and the other bullet caused the fatal head wound. Supposedly, this “magic bullet”, a 6.5 mm diameter and 3.0 cm long rifle bullet was able to go through Kennedy’s neck. Connally’s chest, wrist, and finally ending in his thigh. If this theory was possible, this bullet would have gone thorough through 15 layers of clothing, 7 layers of skin, about 15 inches of human tissue, hit a necktie knot, destroy of 4 inches of ribs, and shattered a radius bone. In addition, the bullet found was completely undamaged with an intact copper jacket. The interesting point is that in order for both men to have been injured in the spots they were, the entry point of the bullet would have to had been different.
Another interesting point to bring up is the amount of time to supposed find the Oswald and the amount of time required for him to die. Oswald was found only 80 minutes after the assassination, where he was trying to sneak into a movie theater without buying a ticket. Furthermore, he was murdered 2 days later by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
One of the interesting things to consider as well was the time required to operate the rifle. Oswald was able to successful hit his target without a scope. Some claim that it was not possible to aim and fire the Carcano rifle in less than 2.3 seconds. Re-enactments of the assassination had 11 volunteer marksmen try to fire at a target using the “sighted” Carcano rifle and failed to score two hits. Also, the time span between the two shots was supposedly between 4.8 to 5.6 seconds as stated by the Warren Commission, but it took the average time of 10 volunteer marksmen more time to commit such a feat.
There is significant evidence that the shot could have been fired from the front rather than from the back based on the wounds produced on Connally and Kennedy. Some say that there is a high probability that there was a second assassin who fired a bullet was hiding behind the grassy knoll fence. The Zapruder video suggests that he was killed by a person in front as well.
Lastly, the majority of the key witnesses in this case to find out who killed JFK were assassinated. Over 16 key witnesses were killed in various situations and circumstances. However, no one will know whether these killings were to keep this quiet or they were just coincidence.
Why assassinate John F. Kennedy?
Although many believe John F. Kennedy was on the verge of creating a new world with freedom, equality, and peace for the United States, there were others who simply hated him for the choices he made during his time as President.
One of the first key issues was the stolen election. In order to win, the Democrats tampered with the votes in two states: Illinois and Texas, with the help of Mafia boss Sam Giancana and Kennedy’s running mate Lyndon Johnson. As a result, Kennedy won the presidency over Nixon. However, he forgot to pay his debts to the Mafia boss and the Johnson. Instead, JFK created a Justice Department strike force whose goal was to eliminate organized crime. He attempted to get rid of Giancana. Furthermore, Kennedy planned to get rid of Johnson as well from his upcoming 1964 election. He planned to sever all ties with them.
Another reason why JFK was hated is because of his decisions made at the Bay of Pigs Invasion, an attempt by anti-Communist Cuban exiles with the help of the US to overthrow Fidel Castro. When it was clear that he had underestimated the strength of Fidel’s defense, he abandoned the Cuban exiles and let them be taken as prisoners. Afterwards he said he would “splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds” for failing to figure out the extent of Castro’s power. After rescuing the prisoners through bartering, he promised the exiles another chance to overthrow Castro. However, in October 1962 after resolving the Cuban Missile Crisis, he gave up the anti-Castro attempt. He closed the training bases in Florida and Louisiana and began to improve relations with Castro instead. He even made a promise to the USSR to acknowledge Cuba’s sovereignty. To other Americans, it seemed like he was caving in to Communism.
Other reasons as to why JFK was hated are because of the way he reacted to the USSR’s building of the Berlin Wall, The Vietnam War, and The Civil Rights Movement. When the USSR built the Berlin Wall, JFK did nothing and as a result, Eastern Europe and the Baltic States were now under Communist control. Furthermore, by the autumn of 1963 JFK wanted to pull out of the Vietnam War, which received much criticism due to the fact the U.S. had such a major part and that if they left, South Vietnam would fall under Communist control. Lastly, Kennedy antagonized the South by encouraging the Civil Rights Movement. He passed a bill guaranteeing the right for anyone to vote and have access to all public transportation no matter if they were black or white.
These decisions made by JFK were the reasons why he was not liked by so many individuals, groups, and nations. With so many motives and no concrete evidence, it is clear why there are so many theories as to who killed John F. Kennedy.
The Conspiracy to kill JFK
During President Kennedy’s presidency, the Secret Service reviewed over 400 threats to his life in which three of them were serious enough to heighten security. Anti-Castro exiles, right-wing individuals, southern racists, the military, the Mafia, and even some of the people in his own government agencies hated him. This is due to some of his decisions he made during his presidency. With all of these enemies, it was no wonder there have been so many possibilities and speculations as to who killed JFK.
Unfortunately, this case has never been solved, because some of the information is still being held by the United States Government. Other issues which hinder the progress of solving the case are that the various teams that investigated the assassination failed or inadequately assessed the information at the scene. One example is the Federal Bureau Investigation. They automatically targeted Oswald for the crime and did not consider any other possibilities. Furthermore, they were very secretive and refused to share any information with other agencies and departments with their findings.
Nevertheless, some theories have been produced which provide reasonable explanations as to who initiated the assassination plot and why.
The Theories as to who killed JFK
Nevertheless, some theories have been produced which provide reasonable explanations as to who initiated the assassination plot and why.
The Soviet Union
There are 2 theories that the Soviets were behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy. After being disgraced by the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, it was proposed that Nikita Khrushchev initiated the plan. The first theory was that Oswald was ordered to kill JFK by a KGB assassin overseer named Valery Kostikov. The second theory was that the KGB captured Oswald while he was in Russia and sent a double back to the US to kill Kennedy. Either theory can explain why the Warren Commission developed the lone gunman theory. If the Soviets were wrongfully accused, there was a risk of a war breaking out.
However, there were reasons to prove why this was not the case. Why would the USSR risk a nuclear warfare to promote Lyndon B. Johnson to President of the United States? Furthermore, the mother of Oswald identified the corpse in Oswald’s grave as her son.
Fidel Castro’s Cuba
This theory suggested that Fidel Castro was the one who orchestrated the assassination of JFK. Similarly to the theory above, this shows a motive for the Warren Commission for a cover-up to prevent the world from knowing that the assassination was Communist-directed. Castro’s motive was that the CIA had sponsored the Mafia attempts to kill Kennedy, and he had warned Kennedy that the attacks may “boomerang”.
However, there are flaws in this theory as well. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, relations between JFK and Cuba had been actually improving. Furthermore, there was nothing to be gained by having Johnson as President. Lastly, if Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin, how would he have come in contact with Cuba? He had never been to Cuba in his entire life.
This theory suggested that New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello was behind the assassination of JFK. There was a reasonable motive as to why they would have committed the crime. When the Mafia greatly helped get JFK elected in 1960, JFK in return apprehended and deported Marcello a few months after he was elected into office. When Marcello returned through challenging his deportation, he threatened to kill JFK and talked about getting a “nut” to kill him.
The Mafia would not be the type to use an inexperienced individual such as Oswald to assassinate JFK. Instead, he would be set up to take the fall and it is clear that the Mafia could not have done the entire job themselves, since it wouldn’t reveal why the government covered up the situation. A possibility that has been suggested is that the Mafia blackmailed the government into producing a cover up in exchange for keeping quiet about the CIA hiring Mafia assassins to kill Fidel Castro. The more realistic approach is that the Mafia was hired to do the job.
The Cowboys (The Southwesterners)
Some suggests that wealthy Texans / south westerners were the ones who came up with the plan. By the summer of 1963, many Texans were upset with JFK’s oil depletion tax credit, the punishment of General Edwin Walker, and the possibility of that Lyndon Johnson would be relieved from his position of Vice President. However, the problem with this theory was why would they advertise their intentions to kill the President ahead of time?
The Mongoose Team
This last theory is that rogue agents from the CIA, the Defense Department and State Department assassinated JFK. (After the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Mongoose was the secret code name for programs set up by JFK). Their motive was that they were angry at JFK’s decision to withdraw from the Bay of Pigs and saw it as a concession to Communism. They felt that Lyndon Johnson as President would be better for the country.
These angry rogue agents decided to set up Oswald, a low ranking Naval agent and plant false clues pointing the Soviets, Cuba, and the Mafia to make their plan hidden. This theory also explained how an official investigation could be tampered with and how Oswald could have been framed. However, the difficulty in proving whether this is true or not doesn’t depend validity of the theory but the lack of evidence controlled by the government.
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