Assassination on Elm Street


Window from where Kennedy was shot

Window from where Kennedy was shot

Elm Street

On Monday I asked what significant event in history is marked with an X in the road. The X is located on Elm Street in Dallas and marks the location where President Kennedy was shot. Just before 12:30 p.m., Kennedy’s limousine entered Dealey Plaza and slowly approached the Texas School Book Depository. When the Presidential limousine turned and passed the Depository and continued down Elm Street, shots were fired at Kennedy.

Morbid?

As I was looking at the X a woman and her companion came up by me. The woman took a really good look at the X. As she turned away she remarked to her companion, “This is really morbid, all these people looking at where President Kennedy was killed.” To me it was history. I was excited to be at this famous spot. I made sure I had some photographs. Years ago when I visited Gettysburg, where 50,000 men were killed in three days, I didn’t think it was morbid. Lessons can be learned from Little Round Top and Pickett’s Charge. History is a great instructor if we will listen.

Assassination

As President Kennedy waved to the crowds on his right, a shot entered his upper back, penetrated his neck, and exited his throat. He raised his clenched fists up to his neck and leaned forward and to his left, as Mrs. Kennedy put her arms around him. The final shot took place when the Presidential limousine was passing in front of the John Neely Bryan north pergola concrete structure. As the shot was heard, a fist-size hole exploded out from the right side of President Kennedy’s head, covering the interior of the car and a nearby motorcycle officer with blood and brain tissue.


Kennedy parade route

Kennedy parade route

GPS Coordinates

Within minutes of me asking the meaning of X, Jewel of Layton, Utah wrote in the comments that it is where JFK was assassinated and that the GPS coordinates are 32.77903, -96.80867. Jewel, alias Steven, my son, knew we were in the Dallas-Fort Worth area but so did everyone else.

The Window

Howard Brennan, who was sitting across the street from the Texas School Book Depository, notified police that as he watched the motorcade go by, he heard a shot come from above, and looked up to see a man with a rifle make another shot from a corner window on the sixth floor. In the photograph I took it is the second window from the top on the right. Brennan had seen the same man minutes earlier looking out the window.

The First X

The X where I stood on Monday was the second location where President Kennedy was shot. The first location is a few yards along Elm Street. Jill is standing on the spot in the road. The red building to her right is the Dallas County Annex. In Kennedy’s day it was the Texas School Book Depository where the shots were fired from.

Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald, reported missing to the Dallas police by his supervisor, Roy Truly, at the Depository, was arrested an hour and 20 minutes after the assassination for killing a Dallas police officer who had spotted Oswald walking along a sidewalk in the residential neighborhood of Oak Cliff. He was captured in a nearby movie theater. Oswald’s case never came to trial because two days later, while being escorted to an armored van for transfer from Dallas Police Headquarters to the Dallas County Jail, he was shot and killed by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby.


Jill standing on the first X on Elm Street

Jill standing on the first X on Elm Street

Further Reading

Wikipedia has a lot of details in the article John F. Kennedy assassination, which is where I went for information for my post. Perhaps readers of my blog can suggest other sources that they have found interesting. The first official investigation of the assassination resulted in the Warren Commission Report. A multitude of books and articles criticizing the Warren Commission’s findings have been written. We may never know the exact details of that day.
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