In 1963

Once and future presidents


The young Bill Clinton shook President Kennedy’s hand on July 24, 1963.

Letters to Oswald: hoax or evidence?

On January 17, 1964, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wrote to J. Lee Rankin, the general counsel of the Warren Commission, on the evidence compiled as Commission Document 295: four letters postmarked in Havana that suggested or alleged that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was a contract killing undertaken by Lee Harvey Oswald under the direction of an agent for Fidel Castro named Pedro Charles.

Hoover concluded it was “some type of hoax, possibly on the part of some anti-Castro group,” since the FBI Crime Lab found that the same Remington No. 10 typewriter had been used to prepare all four letters:

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Memories of the CIA in Miami

A faithful reader sent a link to a telling new story about the CIA in Miami in the 1960s when the presence of one of the largest CIA stations in the world was an open secret — yet officially unknown.

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Memorial Day 1963: Standing where he would be buried

From historian Michael Beschloss, a glimpse of John F. Kennedy at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day 1963, one day after his last birthday.

The Washington Post reported:

“President Kennedy led the memorial observances by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington. He was accompanied by his two-year-old son John Jr. who held tightly to the hand of a Secret Service agent.”

JFK was standing where he would be buried six months later.

JFK balked at Castro peace feelers, historian says

Historian David Kaiser

Historian David Kaiser

Diplomatic historian David Kaiser, the author of a new and well-reviewed book about World War II, took time out from flogging it to respond to John Simkin’s post on JFK’s Cuba policy, CIA looped in on Castro peace feelers.

Kaiser, author of The Road to Dallas, says the argument that JFK was a dove on Cuba is overdrawn. He dismisses the idea that Kennedy’s evolving Cuba policy fatally alienated the CIA.

CIA was in the loop for Castro peace feelers

Lisa Howard, ABC News

Lisa Howard, ABC News reporter

In response to Two secret memos on JFK and Cuba, John Simkin, the British historian wrote the following essay that gives valuable context to this neglected story.

Simkin writes:

“The secret negotiations that took place between the JFK administration and the Cuban government could be significant issue in the JFK assassination.

“A key figure in this was Lisa Howard.

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Two secret memos about JFK and Cuba

One of the very best JFK document researchers recently called attention to two important JFK documents from 1963. They both concern President Kennedy’s exploration of normalizing relations with Fidel Castro’s government in Cuba.

Are the memos relevant to story of JFK’s assassination ? You be the judge.

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Who found Oswald’s wallet?


The story of the murder of Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit on November 22, 1963, took an unexpected twist this past year.

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Coming soon: Inside Oswald’s wallet

Seen at the crime: Dallas police officers handling Lee Oswald’s wallet

From Bill Simpich, author of the revelatory new book State Secret, comes another piece of original research into JFK’s assassination:

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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.