Who Shot John F. Kennedy?

2616 Words Feb 4th, 2018 10 Pages
The assassination of President John. F. Kennedy on the 22nd November 1963 shook America to its core. Indeed, it can be argued that America has never really recovered from the events in Dallas on that day. The weekend after the assassination, a poll showed that ⅔ of Americans believed there was a conspiracy – that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone . This remains a widely held view. For the American people, it perhaps seemed too much to bear that one man had killed the President. As Evan Thomas put it, “when something terrible happens in the life of a nation, there has to be a reason for it. It is not good enough to say, ‘Some nut with a rifle killed JFK.’ Such a monstrous thing - there must be a monstrous plot. ”
After the third shot rang out, Jacqueline Kennedy screamed, “my God, they killed him”, whilst Governor Connally responded “They're going to kill us all. ” From the start, the presumption was that there was a ‘they’. Considering the enemies America possessed at this time, it seemed obvious to assume that the President’s assassination was a conspiracy. This essay will contend that this was a psychological, rather than an intellectual, response, borne of great sorrow and lack of surety of the American place in the world, with Vietnam ongoing, still a ‘police action’ and not a declared war, and the Cuban Missile Crisis not long in the past. This has obscured the simpler view – that it was relatively easy for one, disaffected and murderous (for it is…

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