“Just as the president’s car was passing by, I heard what sounded like fireworks to a ten year old child. I remember turning my head from side to side trying to see where they were coming from. It sounded like different directions. All of a sudden, Jacqueline Kennedy stood up in the car as it raced away.”
— Bren Young of Camdenton, Missouri, who was in Dealey Plaza at age 10. She spoke to The Lake News Online.
Gayle Newman, left, and Bill Newman in Dealey Plaza on Nov. 21, 2013.
I was in Dealey Plaza yesterday and I saw Bill Newman talking to a TV correspondent. On November 22, 1963, Newman and his wife Gayle and their young two children were among the people closest to President Kennedy when the fatal shot rang out.
I recalled my own conversation with Newman seven years ago. We spoke in the lobby of the hotel where we were both attending a JFK research conference. A plumber by trade, he struck me as a down-to-earth man who accepted the accident that delivered him into one of the most decisive moments in American history, and he lived with it responsibly.
“Mr. President, I was in one of the two press buses in the presidential cavalcade in Dallas then when Mr. Kennedy was murdered, covering for the Washington Post and my Texas newspaper, the Texas Observer. An hour or so before at Love Field I was a person or two behind the rope when he and Ms. Kennedy came down the ramp. They were beautiful in the midday sunlight. Beautiful.”
Defenders of the semi-official theory of JFK’s assassination sometimes suggest that anyone who disagrees is deluded or dishonest. Dale Myers and Gus Russo have dubbed the benighted souls “the conspirati,” a term intended to convey disdain for those allegedly emotionally needy or intellectually incompetent people who doubt the claim that one man killed JFK for no reason.
The problem with this trope, alas, is the facts. There were plenty of astute observers of American power in 1963 who rejected the official theory of a “lone nut” and concluded President Kennedy had been killed by his enemies.
Here are six six U.S. government insiders in 1963 who suspected a JFK was killed by a conspiracy.
Featuring Hollywood actors reading from the letters sent to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy after the death of her husband, the movie offers an escape from the interminable loop of an unsolved true crime story. As the trailer (produced by Steven Speilberg) indicates, “Letters to Jackie” frames November 22, 1963, as a family tragedy — a personal, not political, event.
The press coverage of President Kennedy’s State of the Union address, on the morning of Tuesday January 15, 1963, while generally positive could not match the adulation shown his wife and family.
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy arrives at the Capitol to listen to her husband’s State of the Union address on January 14, accompanied the Architect of the Capitol, J. George Stewart. The man gesturing with his had in the background is Secret Service agent Clint Hill who would be at her side when JFK was killed eleven months later. (JFK Library and Museum)
“Perhaps there was only one assassin, but he did not act alone…..Dallas was the ideal location for such a crime.”
– William Walton, a friend of the Kennedys, speaking on behalf of Robert and Jacqueline Kennedy. Walton delivered his message in Moscow to Georgi Bolshakov, who had been a backchannel to the Soviet leadership and was asked to repeat it to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. This incident occurred a week after the assassination.