In 1963

June 10, 1963: A profile in courage with lethal consequences

President Kennedy’s speech to the graduating class of American University in Washington DC on June 10, 1963, represented the beginning of his “strategy for peace”  to wind down the Cold War. His bold proposal for a joint U.S.-Soviet moon flight was part of this strategy.

Kennedy’s vigorous style and clear mind never had a more important goal — or more powerful enemies.

19) Origins of the cover-up: ‘Jim [Angleton] would prefer to wait out the Commission’

James Angleton

The reason James Angleton’s still-secret testimony to the Church Committee matters in 2017 is found in this Warren Commission document.

It states:

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18) Dec 24, 1963: CIA official investigating Oswald is ‘sandbagged’ by his bosses

John Whitten is a rare hero of the JFK story.

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17) After JFK was killed, ex-president Harry Truman called for CIA abolition

 “For some time I have been disturbed   by  the way the CIA has been diverted  from its original assignment,” wrote   former president Harry Truman in the  Washington Post on December 22, 1963. It was exactly one month after the assassination of President Kennedy.

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9) November 11, 1963: right-wing racist talked about how JFK would be shot

There were warnings in the fall of 1963 that President Kennedy’s life was in danger. JFK was hated by the political right for his increasingly forthright defense of peace and civil rights.

An undercover policer officer in Florida was canvassing his sources when he heard talk of a plot. And the details were specific.

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8) Nov. 5, 1963: JFK considers secret talks with Castro

Fidel Castro

Was JFK going to make peace with Cuba?

On November 5, 1963, President Kennedy was exploring the idea. You can hear JFK talking about it with aides on this White House tape recording. (The substantive conversation starts at :25 in the recording.)

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6) Oct. 10, 1963: Six top CIA officers discuss Lee Harvey Oswald

Fifty fifty years ago, a man named Lee Harvey Oswald came to the attention of a group of senior CIA officers in Langley, Virginia. Oswald had recently visited the Cuban consulate and Soviet Embassy  in Mexico City. A CIA wiretap captured a man identifying himself as “Oswald.”

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5) ▶ Listen: Oswald talks about Cuba; CIA assets amplify his message.

Self Portrait in Red

From JFK Lancer, a recording of radio program broadcast by WDSU radio in New Orleans on August 20, 1963.

▶ Lee H. Oswald debates the Cuba issue with anti-communist activist Ed Butler, and anti-Castro militant Carlos Bringuier of Cuban Student Directorate (DRE).

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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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Silence like a cancer grows

Did you know that Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” was a response to JFK’s assassination? I didn’t.

‘Concerning the Facts and Consequences of the Tragic Death of President John F. Kennedy’

What Cuban leader Fidel Castro said  on November 23, 1963 about JFK’s assassination: Read more

What happened when Oswald was arrested?

Oswald at Texas Theater

Lee Harvey Oswald being arrested at the Texas Theater, November 22, 1963

In a 2013 essay for Time magazine,the late Gary Mack wrote about this photo of Oswald’s. The photo is interesting but the editorial treatment is fascinating Read more

What a senior KGB officer said about Lee Harvey Oswald

Nikolai Leonov

Insider: Fidel Castro, Nikolai Leonov, and Nikita Khrushchev

Nikolai S. Leonov has an interesting perspective on the story of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Leonov joined the KGB in 1958 and retired in 1991 with the rank of Lieutenant General. In the spring of 1963, his fluency in Spanish gained him the job as the Russian interpreter for Cuba president Fidel Castro during his first visit to the USSR in the spring of 1963, In the photo above he is the man standing between and behind Castro and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Read more

Sept. 27, 1963: Oswald arrives in Mexico City

On this day 55 years ago, a strange American visitor appeared at the Soviet and Cuban consulates in Mexico City. His name would soon be world famous: Lee Harvey Oswald. Within 24 hours, a joint US-Mexico intelligence gathering operation received wiretap reports on his unusual actions.

The story of what happened next is told in Bill Simpich’s groundbreaking new book, “State Secret: Wiretapping in Mexico City, Double Agents, and the Framing of Lee Oswald,” which is being serialized by

In a season of JFK sotries distinguished by ill-informed experts, bogus revelations, and a Fox News fibber, Simpich’s book qualifies as the most important piece of JFK scholarship to be published this year.

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The political movie that JFK wanted Hollywood to make 

When it was released in 1964, the movie’s chilling message about the fragility of American democracy and the danger of far-Right paranoia was underscored by a real-life backstory that was just as disturbing. Frankenheimer made Seven Days in May at the personal urging of President John F. Kennedy, who’d clashed with an Army general with extremist views early in his administration, and apparently feared such a cabal really was possible. Sadly, JFK did not live to see the film he helped bring to the screen

Source: The Movie That JFK Wanted Made, But Didn’t Live to See | Boundary Stones: WETA’s Washington DC History Blog (h/t Marshal)

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