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Parkland Hospital Archives > JFK Facts

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JFK’s Assassination Explained For British History Channel

When History Hit, a British history channel, asked me for an interview about the 58th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, I hastened to agree, especially when they said they’d throw in a hundred dollars for my trouble. “A hundred quid is always welcome,” I said to my new-found Cousins. Stateside news outlets are rarely so fair to free-lance talent. …

RIP: Dr. Robert McClelland, the most important JFK witness

Dr. Robert McClelland saw JFK’s wounds up close on November 22, 1963.

Dr. Robert McClelland, the surgeon who oversaw the effort to save President Kennedy’s life in 1963, died earlier this month at age 89.  In his interviews, you sense a man of considerable dignity, humility, and integrity. It comes as no surprise that he self-published an anthology of writings on surgery to which thousands of doctors subscribed. He was both a teacher and doctor, an instructor and  a healer. And it is those qualities that make McClelland one of the most important witnesses to JFK’s assassination.

In 1963, McClelland was 34 years old. He had just become the chief of surgery at Dallas’s Parkland Hospital. When the mortally wounded JFK was brought to Trauma Room One, McClelland stood over the dying president and participated in the efforts to save him. He observed the president’s fatal head wound for about 10 minutes from a distance of less than two feet.

“My God,” he recalled saying to his colleagues. “Have you seen the back of his head. There’s a wound in the back of his head that’s about five inches in diameter.”

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. …

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