John F Kennedy was born in Brooklyn, Massachusetts on May 29, 1917. Kennedys maternal grandfather, John Fitzgerald was a politician who served as the mayor of Boston and a congressman while his paternal grandfather P. J Kennedy was a liquid trader and a wealthy banker. Joseph Kennedy Sr., who was John Kennedys father, made a fortune as a successful banker and on the stock market. Rose E. Fitzgerald was Kennedys mother, and she was a Boston debutante. Johns brothers include Robert Kennedy, and U.S Attorney General and Ted Kennedy, who is considered as a powerful senator in the history of America. Before John F. Kennedy became the 35th president in 1961, he served in both the U.S Senate and the U.S House of Representatives (Meagher and Gragg 3).
John Kennedys Presidency
John Kennedy became the youngest man to be elected as the U.S president. On November 8, 1960, he narrowly beat Richard Nixon, who was the vice president to become the 35th U.S president. John Kennedy chose Lyndon Johnson, who was the Senate majority leader as his running mate, and later on to become the vice president. During his inauguration on January 20, 1961, John Kennedy inspired Americans to become active citizen members by stating, Ask what not your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country (Collins 5). The greatest achievement during his three-year term as U.S president came in the field of foreign affairs. He helped to capitalize on the strength of activism. In 1961, John Kennedy implemented the Peace Corps. The same year he also established the progress alliance to enhance economic ties with Latin America. These efforts were made in order to mitigate the spread of communism and poverty levels in the region (Biography.com 1).
Lyndon B. Johnson
Johnsons success in the Senate made him depicted as a potential presidential candidate. Unlike John Kennedys life story, Lyndon Johnson felt the pinch of rural poverty when he grew up in Texas. Born in 1908, Lyndon worked his way to the university where he taught Mexican students. During the 1960 presidential campaign, Lyndon Jonson was elected as the vice president and running mate of John Kennedy. When Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Johnson was henceforth sworn in as the 36th president of the United States. Under the regime of Johnson, the country made some achievements such as the space exploration. In 1968, three astronauts effectively orbited the moon, and their efforts were received well with Lyndon (whitehouse.gov 1).
The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
George points out that John Kennedy was assassinated on November 21, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. The president and his wife Nellie had traveled to Dallas for a campaign trip. As the presidential motorcade moved through the Dealey Plaza, the limousine was fired upon injuring Governor Connelly and killing the president (2). The three shots were fired from a nearby warehouse. Hours after John Kennedys assassination, the police arrested 24-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald, who as the warehouse employee (Polidoro 4). Oswald was regarded to be a communist sympathizer and a former U.S Marine who defected to the Soviet Union, but later returned to the U.S. two days after Oswald was arrested and while being transferred to another jail, Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner assassinated Oswald. In 1967, Ruby died of cancer in prison while awaiting a retrial (Stockland 72). The death of John Kennedy led to a national tragedy and with many conspiracy theories surrounding his death, the official version remains that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Alternative theories of Kennedys death emerged including the CIA, the Mafia, and the KGB (George 148).
The Conspiracy Theories of Kennedys Assassination
According to Ferrell, most conspiracy theories pivoting around the notion of Kennedys assassination illustrate that Oswald did not act alone. During the 1960s and 1970s, the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) was frequently mentioned in involving in attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro, a foreign leader (1). Theories emerge that Kennedy was killed because he was seeking peace with the Soviet Union and turning away from the war. Government reports indicated that the CIA was not cooperative during the investigations, and this led to many people depicting Oswald as a potential CIA agent (McAdams 2). A former CIA agent by the name of Howard Hunt was frequently mentioned as a potential participant in the JFK assassination conspiracy (Weiner 1). In 2007, before Hunt died, he wrote an autobiography that goes further to implicate Lyndon Johnson, the then vice president of Kennedy in the assassination. Hunt suggested that Lyndon arranged the assassination of Kennedy through manipulating the CIA agents since he had the funds to do so. Hunt in his autobiography claims that the CIA was also angered by the presidents actions. Other CIA agents such as David Morales, Bill Harvey, and Cord Meyer are also named in his autobiography as orchestrators of the assassination. Another gunman of French origin is also cited as the one who pulled the trigger and shot Kennedy from the grassy Knoll (Hunt and Aunapu 224).
Another conspiracy theory in the assassination of Kennedy implies that the Mafia might have killed Kennedy. Robert Kennedy, who was JFKs brother, was the Attorney General, who was effectively cracking down crime. The theory purports that the Mafia group that was working anti-Castro groups might have assassinated Kennedy (Swift 1).
The Mafia, the U.S government, and the CIA are potential conspirators in Kennedys assassination. According to Swift, a 2013 survey was conducted, and the result indicate that 61% of Americans still believe that Lee Oswald did not act alone in the killing of Kennedy. 30% of Americans surveyed believed that Oswald was the lone gunman in the assassination (1). Even though the Warren Commission, which was the government investigation team in the murder found out that Oswald acted alone, there still are many unanswered questions since Oswald never even stood trial. 13% of the Americans surveyed indicated that the Mafia was responsible for Kennedys death, 7% believed the CIA participated, and 13% cited that the federal government was linked in the conspiracy (Swift 1). The key point is that the assassination of Kennedy was a breaking point moment in the history of America. Americans continue to speculate why the shooting occurred, how it happened, and if Oswald acted alone.
Impact of Kennedys Assassination
An estimated 1 million people lined up in Washington D.C on November 24, 1963, in order to view the funeral proceedings of Kennedy. The murder of John Kennedy was among the most wrenching events for many Americans (University of Virginia 1). John Kennedy was a hero, and if not for his death, many scholars imply that the visionary politician might have averted the social and political disorder of the 1960s. From the public perspective, John Kennedy was ranked with the likes of Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Kennedys death has been cited by scholars as a commemoration of legacy and adoration. Kennedy was a leader with style, and who stood up for his personal morals (Blaine and McCubbin 9).
The assassination of John Kennedy was a dark point for America and its people. In spite of the many conspiracy theories purporting who was responsible for the death of Kennedy, the Warren Commission indicated that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman responsible for Kennedys death. However, as one CIA agent, Howard Hunt depicted in his autobiography in 2007, Lyndon Johnson is also mentioned as an orchestrator to the killing. This indicates that finding the truth about Kennedys murder will always be a tough course as more and more conspiracy theories emerge.
Biography.com,. 'John F. Kennedy Biography'. N.p., 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
Blaine, Gerald, and Lisa McCubbin. The Kennedy Detail. New York: Gallery Books, 2010. Print.
Collins, Anne. John F. Kennedy. London: Oxford University Press, 2015. Print.
Ferrell, Mary. 'The CIA and the JFK Assassination'. Maryferrell.org. N.p., 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
George, Alice L. The Assassination of John F. Kennedy. New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.
Hunt, E. Howard, and Greg Aunapu. American Spy. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2007. Print.
McAdams, John. 'JFK / The Kennedy Assassination Home Page'. Mcadams.posc.mu.edu. N.p., 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
Meagher, Michael, and Larry Dale Gragg. John F. Kennedy. Santa Barbara: Greenwood, 2011. Print.
Polidoro, Massimo. 'Facts And Fiction In The Kennedy Assassination'. The Committee for Sceptical Inquiry 29.1 (2005): n. pag. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
Stockland, Patricia. The Assassination Of John F. Kennedy. ABDO, 2007. Print.
Swift, Art. 'Majority In U.S. Still Believe JFK Killed In A Conspiracy'. Gallup.com. N.p., 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
University of Virginia,. 'American President: John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Death Of The President'. N.p., 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
Weiner, Tim. 'Watergate Warrior'. The New York Times 2007: 2. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
whitehouse.gov,. 'Lyndon B. Johnson'. N.p., 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.
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