On November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m. John F Kennedy (JFK) was shot while driving through Dealey Plaza in Dallas Texas. A 10-month investigation concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated Kennedy, and had been a lone gunman. This version of events has been hotly debated, with theories ranging from multiple gunman to the CIA hiring the Mafia. It also turns out that public opinion matches the scepticism of conspiracy theorists, with a recent 2017 study from FiveThirtyEight revealing that just 33% of Americans believe the official story.
On this day, Kennedy was due to deliver a speech. The speech spanned 36 pages and started with homage to previous presidents and the Democratic Party Kennedy was representing.
“One hundred and eighteen years ago last March, President John Tyler signed the Joint Resolution of Congress providing statehood for Texas. And 118 years ago this month, President James Polk declared that Texas was a part of the Union. Both Tyler and Polk were Democratic Presidents. And from that day to this, Texas and the Democratic Party have been linked in an indestructible alliance–an alliance for the promotion of prosperity, growth, and greatness for Texas and for America.”
This was followed up with pledges the president had promised;
[In Amarillo] “Business profits–having risen 43 percent in 2 years–now stand at a record high;”
[In Grand Prairie] “In less than 3 years our national output will shortly have risen by a record $100 billion–industrial production is Up 22 percent, personal income is up 16 percent.”
“We have initiated the training of more physicians and dentists. We have provided 4 times as much housing for our elderly citizens, and we have increased benefits for those on social security.”
JFK then finished his speech with strong words on peace and freedom:
“For this country is moving and it must not stop. It cannot stop. For this is a time for courage and a time for challenge. Neither conformity nor complacency will do. Neither the fanatics nor the faint-hearted are needed. And our duty as a party is not to our party alone, but to the Nation, and, indeed., to all mankind. Our duty is not merely the preservation of political power but the preservation of peace and freedom.
So let us not be petty when our cause is so great. Let us not quarrel amongst ourselves when our Nation’s future is at stake. Let us stand together with renewed confidence in our cause–united in our heritage of the past and our hopes for the future–and determined that this land we love shall lead all mankind into new frontiers of peace and abundance.”