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Was there a conspiracy behind the Kennedy Assassination?

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States. At 43, he was the youngest man ever elected President. (Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was a year younger when he assumed the Presidency upon the assassination of President McKinley. ) Kennedy was also the first Roman Catholic to be President, the first President born in the 20th century, and the first Pulitzer Prize was to hold the office. He was the fifth Democrat to become President since the Civil War. Kennedy brought vigor, intelligence, and wit to the Presidency—a combination later referred to as the “Kennedy style.

” During the new Frontier, as his administration was called, the first American was sent into space, the nation began a period of unprecedented economic prosperity, the government committed itself to the cause of civil rights, and efforts were made to improve Soviet-American relations. Under the guidance of Jacqueline Kennedy, the youngest and most elegant First lady of modern times, special attention was given to the arts, and an extensive redecoration of the White House was undertaken (see Bradlee, B. C. Conversations with Kennedy (Norton, 1999).

Largely through the influence of their father, the Kennedy children were highly competitive among them, but also developed a strong sense of loyalty to one another. While they were growing up, the elder Kennedy made his mark in the business world, becoming a multimillionaire through investments in stocks, real estate, and various business ventures. II. Background A. Career in Politics After the war, John entered politics. He was elected to the US House of Representatives for the Democratic Party in Massachusetts in 1946 and then to the US Senate in 1952.

In 1953 he married Jackie Bouvier. They had two children: John and Caroline. In 1956 John tried but failed to become vice-president of the United States. In 1960 he ran for president. He won a narrow victory, getting 113,000 more votes out of the 68,800,000 cast than his Republican opponent, Richard Nixon (see Manchester, William. One Brief Shining Moment: Remembering Kennedy (Little, Brown, 2001). B. Mr. President When he became president, he told Americans: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

” He believed that Americans should do more to help less fortunate people, and established the Peace Corps to send volunteers to work abroad. John Kennedy faced two main challenges as president. The first came from abroad. The USSR (a union of Eastern European and Central Asian countries that included Russia) had been an ally of the United States during World War II but was now its deadliest enemy. The two countries faced each other in Europe and South East Asia, and built up huge stocks of nuclear missiles and other weapons.

They even competed in space after Russia became the first nation to launch an unmanned satellite and then a man into space (see Manchester, William. One Brief Shining Moment: Remembering Kennedy (Little, Brown, 2001). In response, John Kennedy stated that the United States would land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. • The New Frontier Youth and vigor were brought to the government by the new President. The average age of his cabinet when first constituted was 47 ? years, youngest since that of Andrew Jackson. During the early months of his administration, Kennedy sent a rash of liberal legislative proposals to Congress.

Many of these bills eventually were passed; several, however, were blocked by a coalition of conservative Republicans and Southern Democrats. Because of a business recession that had begun in 1960, Kennedy accelerated government spending. Unemployment compensation was extended to cover the long-term unemployed. A program of federal aid to chronically depressed areas was enacted. Social security benefits were increased and retirement was allowed at age 62. The minimum hourly wage was raised from $1. 00 to $1. 25, and some 3,600,000 additional workers were given minimum-wage protection (see Martin, R.

G. A Hero for Our Times: an Intimate Story of the Kennedy Years (Macmillan, 2003). Business activity had improved by April, 1961, and continued to increase throughout the Kennedy administration. New highs were reached on the stock market. In 1962, the President won a major victory in his campaign to promote economic growth while restraining inflation. The major steel companies, under strong administration pressure, revoked a decision to raise steel prices. Kennedy’s action, however, made many in the business community feel that he was antibusiness. C. The Cuban Missile Crisis

In October 1962 the two countries almost went to war when the USSR placed nuclear weapons on the island of Cuba, only 145 kilometers to the south of the United States. John Kennedy demanded that the USSR withdraw the missiles. After a tense few days, the USSR agreed, and nuclear war was prevented. The next year, relations between the two countries improved and a “hot line” telephone link was set up between the two countries to help prevent a future war (see Martin, R. G. A Hero for Our Times: an Intimate Story of the Kennedy Years (Macmillan, 2003). D. Civil Rights Movement

The second challenge came from home. In the southern states of the United States, black people were treated as second-class citizens. Firstly, they could not vote. Secondly, they faced discrimination and segregation. They were unable to use buses reserved for white people and in restaurants and other public places they were made to sit in special areas or were banned altogether. They also could not attend all-white schools and universities. Kennedy supported their demand for equal rights, and when rioting took place, he sent US troops into the southern states to enforce black people’s rights (see Bradlee, B.

C. Conversations with Kennedy (Norton, 1999). III. Discussion A. Assassination of the President Late in 1963, Kennedy began to make plans for the 1964 election and scheduled a political tour of Texas. While riding in a motorcade in Dallas on November 22, 2963, he was struck by two rifle bullets fired from the sixth story of the Texas School Book Depository. Fatally wounded, the President slumped into the arms of Mrs. Kennedy. He was rushed to parkland Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Governor John B. Connally of Texas, riding in the same car, was seriously wounded, but survived.

At the Dallas airport, Vice president Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President on the Presidential airplane, which soon after flew to Washington, D. C. , carrying Kennedy’s body. News of the assassination stunned the nation and the world. A massive outpouring of grief followed (see Hurt, Henry. Reasonable Doubt: an Investigation into the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, 2001). Kennedy’s body lay in state first in the White House and then in the U. S. Capitol. His funeral was held on November 25 in St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington.

It was attended by representatives of nearly all nations. Millions of mourners viewed the ceremonies on live television. Kennedy was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, where a memorial flame was lighted at his grave. In Dallas, 24-year-old lee Harvey Oswald, a former marine who had lived for a time in the Soviet Union, was charged with the President’s murder. On November 24, as he was being moved from city jail to the country jail, Oswald was shot by jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub operator, and died soon after. IV. Conclusion A. The Warren Report.

There are many speculations came out after the assassination of Kennedy. Others speculated that there was conspiracy happened. To stop the speculation, a commission was set up. The Warren Report was a commission headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren was set up by President Johnson to make an official inquiry into the assassination. According to the Warren Commission’s report, which appeared in September, 1964, there had been no domestic or foreign conspiracy; Oswald was the sole assassin; and no connection existed between Oswald and Ruby. (Ruby’s motive was presumed to be revenge.

) The findings of the warren Commission did not dispel doubts surrounding the assassination, and many persons were convinced that some sort of a conspiracy had existed. During 1977-78, a special committee of the U. S. House of representatives conducted a new investigation of the killing. It concluded that a conspiracy probably did exist and that there was another gunman, although it was “unable to identify the other gunman or the extent of the conspiracy” (see Stein, R. C. The Story of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (children Press, 1999).

Neither Warren Commission report nor the House committee’s findings ended speculation about what really happened and who was responsible.


1. Bradlee, B. C. Conversations with Kennedy (Norton, 1999). 2. Hurt, Henry. Reasonable Doubt: an Investigation into the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 2001). 3. Manchester, William. One Brief Shining Moment: Remembering Kennedy (Little, Brown, 2001). 4. Martin, R. G. A Hero for Our Times: an Intimate Story of the Kennedy Years (Macmillan, 2003). 5. Stein, R. C. The Story of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (children Press, 1999).

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