Many Americans still remember where they were on November 22nd, 1963. Many could not believe that what they had heard on the radio and seen on TV was real; President John Fitzgerald Kennedy had been assassinated, the youngest ever elected president, and the youngest to have died. Kennedy had become a symbol of the United States’ ideals and future, and with his assassination arose a national sense of fear and distrust. His death caused an incredible commotion in the people and still today, fifty years after, it is impossible to watch the assassination and funeral footage and not feel overwhelmed with questions, mainly who and why.
It all happened as President Kennedy was preparing his political campaign for the upcoming elections and went to Texas to give a series of political speeches. The next day, November 22nd,1963, in Dallas at around noon, he was assassinated as his car drove around masses of people. He was shot twice, once in the back and once in the neck and died shortly after. Several hours after the assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and charged with killing the president. In The Road to Dallas David Kaiser explains how this trip to Dallas almost did not happen as several newspapers “stated that a presidential motorcade through Dallas was unlikely”1; yet it was later on confirmed. But as it turned out, Oswald had been preparing for this event for a while.
Kaiser describes Lee Harvey Oswald as an American man who had a troubled childhood as “he never knew his father, his mother [had] an unstable personality [and] he suffered a great deal in school…because of dyslexia.”2 He was also “prone to sudden outbursts of aggression”3 and once, when seeing a psychiatrist, he “confessed to violent fantasies.”4 Throughout his unstable life he lived in Russia for unknown reasons, where he met his wife, Marina Prusakova, with whom he had two children. He also showed interest in different communist organizations, and fled to Mexico in an effort to get to Cuba, which was at the time both illegal and dangerous. At this point, he was willing to give up his American citizenship, as he recognized himself as a true communist.
He became a suspect for the attempted murder of retired General Edwin Walker, an anti-communist, as “Oswald appears to have visited Walker’s neighborhood repeatedly during the first week of April ,”5 and even though “the FBI was unable to match the bullet to Oswald’s rifle…overwhelming evidence indicates that [he] fired the shot.”6 Because of this and other incidents, the FBI became very interested in Oswald, and kept a close eye on him and his wife, Marina, who was often interrogated regarding Oswald’s whereabouts.
In the same month, Oswald left Dallas for New Orleans, which was “a major center of organized crime.”7 The government had started an intensive fight against organized crime in the United States; its ”biggest targets included Sam Giancana in Chicago…and Carlos Marcello,”8 who was the boss of the...