In 1963

April 10, 1963: Oswald tries to shoot Gen. Walker

Life Magazine, February 21, 1964

Ron Capshaw, a writer in Midlothian, Virginia, noted a year ago that 51 years ago this month, Lee Oswald fired a rifle shot at Gen. Edwin Walker, who had been cashiered from the Army for proselytizing to his troops with his right-wing, white supremacist politics.

Capshaw, a contributor to National Review, The Washington Times, and The New York Post, argues this incident on April 10, 1963, points toward Oswald’s sole guilt as the assassin of President Kennedy seven months later. I disagree with Capshaw’s interpretation but agree the Walker incident is important.

Capshaw writes: Read more

Castro predicted Cuba would be blamed for JFK’s assassination

“Now,” Fidel said, “they will have to find the assassin quickly, but very quickly, otherwise, you watch and see, I know them, they will try to put the blame on us for this thing.”

The story comes from “When Castro Heard the News,” by French journalist Jean Daniel writing in The New Republic, Dec. 7, 1963.

Castro was right.

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During the missile crisis, Jackie Kennedy refused to leave JFK’s side

As the United States lurched towards war over Soviet missiles in Cuba in October 1962, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy refused the suggestion that she leave her husband in the White House and move to a safer location.

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Tour the White House with Jackie Kennedy

On Feb. 14, 1962, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy took CBS News and a national television audience on a tour of the newly remodeled White House.
Let’s tag along.

In 1963, RFK urged lifting of the Cuba travel ban that is still in effect 51 years later

In 2014, most Americanns are barred by law from visiting Cuba, the island nation closest to America. When it comes to Cuba, Amrica’s vaunted ideals of “free trade” are frankly repudiated by the government in Washington which justifies violation Americans’ freedom to travel in the name of supporting democracy and human rights.

A half century ago,  Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy came to believe that the ban on travel to Cuba was “inconsistent with “our views of a free society,” as these historic documents collected by the  non-profit National Security Archive reveal..

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Dawn of 1964 had a melancholy feeling and a message

“Christmas and New Year’s Eve, 50 years ago, was one of mixed emotions in the wake of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963,” writes Tom Hintgen in the The Fergus Falls Daily Journal in Minnesota. “Still, Americans looked forward to ushering in the new year of 1964.”

“During the holidays in 1963 there were no video games, no CDs and no games to be played on a personal computer. But there were train sets, footballs and Schwinn bicycles, given as Christmas gifts. Kids in 1963 also longed for pogo sticks and even a few hula hoops left over from the Eisenhower years of the 1950s.” Read more

Christmas with the Kennedys

Jack and Jackie Kennedy’s Christmas card from 1959

John and Jackie Kennedys sent out a Christmas card every year. They were about to send one in November 1963 when tragedy struck. The Kennedy’s never-sent 1963 Christmas card is now a collector’s item; one sold for $45,000 in 2006.

Dec 24, 1963: Top CIA official seeking to investigate Oswald is ‘sandbagged’ by his bosses

The spy who sang

John Whitten is a rare hero of the JFK story. He was a senior CIA official who sought, behind the scenes, to conduct an honest investigation of what the agency knew about accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, before President Kennedy was killed.

But at a meeting on Christmas Eve 1963 deputy director CIA Richard Helms and counterintelligence chief Jim Angleton shut down Whitten’s efforts to investigate Oswald’s contacts among pro- and anti-Castro Cubans and relieved him of his responsibilities for investigating JFK’s assassination.

Whitten’s story, which I first reported in the Washington Monthly in 2003, illuminated the inner workings of the CIA in the days and weeks after JFK was killed. It is the story of a “good spy” whose pursuit of the truth about JFK’s death cost him his career. Read more

Dec. 22, 1963: Former president Truman called for abolition of CIA

Truman's complaint

Truman’s complaint

“For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment,” wrote former President Harry Truman on the one-month anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination

“It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.”

Truman never linked JFK’s death to the clandestine service but the timing of his piece, published in the Washington Post, was suggestive. Already Soviet bloc news outlets were speculating Kennedy’s murder–and the murder of the only suspect while in police custody–pointed to U.S. government involvement in the assassination.

“This quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue–and subject for cold war enemy propaganda,” Truman wrote. Read more

Dec. 17, 1963: Mark Lane for the defense

Mark Lane

Mark Lane

On December 17, 1963, a lawyer from New York named Mark Lane wrote to Chief Justice Warren to “respectfully request that your Commission give consideration to the appointment of defense counsel” for the accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. He enclosed an article he had written.

The article was published two days later in the National Guardian, a weekly publication of leftist politics.

The headline proclaimed

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Dec. 16, 1963: Behind closed doors, the Warren Commission is baffled

With the FBI’s report on Kennedy’s assassination, the Commission undertook to select staffers and figure out how to approach its work.

Chief Justice Warren complained about the leaks of the FBI report:  ”I have read that report two or three times and I have not seen anything in there that has not been in the press.”

The Commissioners then held a wide-ranging discussion of JFK’s assasination, including:

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Nov. 27, 1963: Johnson invokes JFK in speech to Congress

 

In President Johnson’s address to a joint session of Congress five days after JFK’s assassination, he declared, “let us continue,” an echo of Kennedy’s inaugural injunction, “let us begin anew.”

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Nov. 26, 1963: A conspiracy allegation from Mexico City

On Tuesday the 26th, President Johnson met with many of the heads of state who had come to Washington for Kennedy’s funeral. The idea of a Presidential commission to address the assassination was not yet settled.

Meanwhile, in Mexico City another allegation of Communist conspiracy involving Oswald emerged, adding to the earlier CIA reporting that Oswald had met with a KGB officer associated with “Department 13″ – sabotage and assassinations.

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Nov. 25 1963: After the funeral, Washington’s response firms up

LBJ on the phone

On the Monday following the tragic and astonishing events in Dallas, President Kennedy’s body was laid to rest in Arlington cemetery. A host of foreign dignitaries took part, including British Prime Minister Home, French President Charles de Gaulle, and many others.

Meanwhile the federal government’s response to the assassination was taking shape. Read more

Nov. 24, 1963: Jack Ruby kills Oswald. Why?

In an exclusive interview with JFK Facts earlier this year, one of Ruby’s friends–a dancer who worked in his nightclub in 1963 and knew the man well, offered this informed explanation.