JFK assassination: 55th anniversary of the day the lights went out in Dallas

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This Thanksgiving marks the 55th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Shortly after noon on Nov. 22, 1963, shots were fired at the car Kennedy was riding in with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, then Texas Governor, the late John Connally and his wife Nellie, Kennedy was struck in the neck and head, and Connally was stuck in the chest.

As the First Lady held the President’s bleeding head in her lap, the limo sped toward Parkland Memorial Hospital where a Catholic priest administered the last rites and he was pronounced dead 30 minutes later.

Connally was hospitalized, but recovered from the wound.

Former U.S. Marine and Russian sympathizer Lee Harvey Oswald quickly was identified as a suspect and was arrested 70 minutes after allegedly shooting Kennedy, but not before he allegedly fatally shot Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit, 45 minutes after Kennedy in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas.

Kennedy’s Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson, was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States on Air Force One in Dallas, Texas, just before it back to Andrew’s Air Force Base. At the ceremony, was Jacqueline Kennedy, still wearing the pink suit she wore on the flight from Fort Worth to Dallas for the day’s events, though now blood-stained from the ride to the hospital with her husband’s brains bleeding into her lap.

As soon as Johnson was sworn in, she retired to the back of the plane where she would sit next to her husband’s casket on the long trip home.

Back in Dallas, Oswald denied shooting anyone. But he never was to have his day in court because two days later, as live television covered his transfer from the Dallas City Jail to Dallas County Jail, Oswald was fatally shot in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters.

The shooter was Dallas nightclub operator Jack Ruby. It was 11:21 a.m. on Sunday, November 24, 1963.

Oswald was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital where he later was pronounced dead.

Although Ruby was convicted of Oswald’s murder, his conviction was overturned on appeal. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, Ruby died in prison in 1967 while awaiting a new trial.

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