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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
The Assassination of John Kennedy
Aired November 23, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the average man's life, there are two or three emotional experiences wired into his heart and his brain, and no matter what happens to me, I'll remember November the 22nd as long as I'll live.
WALTER CRONKITE, CBS NEWS: There has been an attempt on the life of President Kennedy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are combing the floors of the Texas book depository building to find (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oswald has been shot. At point blank range fired into his stomach.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police are working on the assumption that Oswald's murderer was to shut him up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentleman of the Central Intelligence Agency killed John Kennedy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stories have been suppressed. Witnesses have been killed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have the right to know who killed our President and why he died.
JOHN KENNEDY, 35TH UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: I stand here tonight on what once was the last frontier. The pioneers gave up their safety and sometimes their lives to build our new west.
Beyond that frontier are uncharted areas of science and space, unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered pockets of ignorance and prejudice. But I believe that the times require imagination and courage. I'm asking each of you to be pioneers toward that New Frontier.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Dallas, preparations were already underway for extraordinary police protection when the President should arrive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you anticipate any trouble on the President's arrival? CHIEF JESSE CURRY, DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Because of what has happened here previously, we would be forced (ph) I think not to anticipate some trouble. I don't -- Really, I don't anticipate any violence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here comes Air Force number One. The President's plane now touching down. As Mrs. Kennedy and the crowd yells and the President of the United States. And I can see his fan all away from here.
DAN RATHER, ANCHOR: Looking at how things actually went, it wasn't just a trip to Dallas. It was a political trip preparing for the 1964 elections.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shaking hands now with the Dallas people, Governor and Mrs. Connally. Governor Connally on your left.
ROBERT MACNEIL, AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST: It was whether Kennedy could use his charisma and his influence to get all these squabbling Democrats in Texas to come together before the election the next year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And here comes the President now. In fact, he's not in his limousine. He's departed the limousine and he is reaching across the fans shaking hands.
MACNEIL: In those days, everybody could get a lot closer to the president. I was standing behind Mrs. Kennedy and I saw a hand reach through the chain-link fence and break off one of the red roses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thousands of children now is swarming trying to get over the fence. The Dallas police trying to keep them back. It was great for the people and makes the eggshells even thinner for the Secret Service's job it is to guard the man.
RATHER: And the trip had gone terrific and well in Texas. Pretty hard away to script for it going any better.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thousands will be on hand for that motorcade now which will be in downtown Dallas.
LAWRENCE WRIGHT, AUTHOR, IN THE NEW WORLD: A number of my classmates were gone. They were at the parade. My father had been invited to have lunch with Kennedy at the Trade Center. There was a move, a climate of excitement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The speech of President Kennedy at the Dallas Trade Mart will be broadcast by 570 Radio. Stay tuned for the President's Dallas speech at the Trade Mart on 570 Radio.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This moment in Houston (ph) to the KILT (inaudible) Dallas, three shots were fired at the motorcade of President Kennedy today in downtown Dallas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police radios are telling that the President has been hit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Parkland Hospital has been advised to standby for a severe gunshot wound.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Walter Cronkite in our newsroom in ...
There has been an attempt on the life of President Kennedy.
JAY WATSON, WFAA-TV, DALLAS TEXAS: Just turn the mic on. I can't hear you, Johnny. What do you want? You want me to move back a little bit? Is this all right now? Is this all right? Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce to you the chief camera man and assistant news director of WFAA Television. This is Bert Shipp. Bert, we have brought the people pretty much up to date, would you tell them exactly what you know as of this point?
BERT SHIP, WFAA-TV, DALLAS, TEXAS: Well Jay, I was standing at the Trade Mart waiting for his arrival there. All of a sudden, they -- we saw them approaching, they didn't slow down, and a matter of fact they were going 70 to 80 miles an hour and passed us. And then I jumped in the police car and went to Parkland.
AUBREY RIKE, AMBULANCE DRIVER: There's two lanes I'm running in one of them had a large (inaudible) machine gun and they were calling for stretchers and (inaudible) and the Governor leave out (inaudible) first.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened after this?
RIKE: Well then the President Connally behind him and they took him -- both of them back to the operating room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Albert Thomas, Democratic, Texas is standing outside the emergency room said he's been told the President was still alive but in very critical condition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President has not arrived here. A group of Secret Service men and other officials is gathered where the President normally would enter and discussing heatedly with one another, some subject or other, of course we have no idea what.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, here is an announcement from the platform, Mr. Eric Johnson with an announcement.
ERIC JOHNSON: It is true that our President and Governor Connally in the motorcade have been shot. We shall tell you as much as we know as soon as we know anything.
WATSON: A gentleman just walked in our studio that I am meeting for the first time as well as you, this is WFA TV here in Dallas Texas. May I have your name please, sir?
ABRAHAM ZAPRUDER: My name is Abraham Zapruder.
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: Mr. Zapruder?
ZAPRUDER: Zapruder, yes. UNIDENITIFIED MALE: Zapruder, and would you tell us your story please, sir?
ZAPRUDER: I got out and about half an hour earlier and get a good spot to shoot some pictures.
CHARLES BREHM, WITNESS: ... a five-year-old boy and myself were by ourselves on the grass there on Palmer Atreet and I asked Joe to wave to him and Joe waved and I waved and then ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's all right, sir.
BREHM: And he was waving back. He was -- the shot rang out and he slumped down in his seat.
GAYLE NEWMAN, WITNESS: ... and then all of a sudden this next one popped and Governor Connally grabbed his stomach and kind of laid over to the side. And then another one, it was just also but -- and President Kennedy reached up and grabbed -- and looked back - he's grabbed his ear and blood just started gushing out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you the person who had fired it?
JEAN HILL, WITNESS: No. Not -- I didn't see any person fired a weapon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You only heard it?
HILL: I only heard it. And I looked up and I saw a man running up the hill.
ROBERT CARO, AUTHOR, THE PASSAGE OF POWER: If it's a conspiracy, not only the President who was hit, the Governor was hit, who know if the next shot would have been for Lyndon Johnson?
Johnson's car pulls into the emergency bay of Parkland Hospital. Four agents reach in and they grabbed Johnson and pulled him out and start to run him down one car over around looking for a safe place.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Johnson, his whereabouts are being kept secret for security reasons. If anyone knows where Mr. Johnson is, it is not us at this moment.
WRIGHT: There was a signal moment in our cultural history, suddenly it occurred to us the right thing to do is to turn on television.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reports continue to come in. And then confused in fragmentary fashion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Kennedy here has been given a blood transfusion at Parkland Hospital here in Dallas in an effort to save life.
WRIGHT: It was odd because there were no commercials. It was just a continuous experience. CRONKITE: Two priests have entered the emergency room at Parkland Hospital where he rest after the assassination attempt which now was about a half hour ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are your feelings right now, ma'am?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am absolutely shocked. We have the same birthday. I'm just crazy about him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, who would want to shoot the President? What did he do? I mean he's been doing so much for the country. Then somebody (inaudible) and shoots him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A flash from Dallas. Two priests who were with President Kennedy say he is dead. This is the latest information we have from Dallas. I will repeat with the greatest regret, two priests who were with President Kennedy say he has died of bullet wound.
BOB HUFFAKER, TV REPORTER: Malcolm Kilduff, the Assistant Press Secretary was filling in for the regular press secretary and then he had to draw himself up to give the most fateful announcement that a press secretary might have ever had to give.
ROBERT MACNEIL, AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST: All the cameras were rolling and I remembered he put his fingers like this on the desk and press very hard to stop his hands trembling.
MALCOLM KILDUFF, ASSISTANT PRESS SECRETARY: President John F. Kennedy died in approximately 1:00 Central Standard Time today, here in Dallas, he died of gunshot wound in the brain. I have no other detail regarding the assassination of the President.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people standing here are stunned just as all of us are beyond belief that the President of the United States is dead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All over the world, people are going to remember all their lives what they were doing when they first heard that President Kennedy had been killed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The crowds are standing around in silence and sorrow in the rain. The strange thing is you don't even notice it's raining. And if you do notice, you don't care.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just can't believe it. It's exactly how that (inaudible) someone in my own family is dead. I just can't believe it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't think ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible), you don't know what's going on. Why? Why did it happen? Who would have wronged such a thing is the question?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the first minutes and hours, chaos and confusion was radiating out from the scene itself.
RATHER: It's very pervasive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take the service agents felt the gun fires from an automatic weapon fired possibly from a grassy knoll..
RATHER: I saw some police run up this grass. I thought they're chasing the gunman. I run with them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They report here that the attempted assassin we now hear it was a man and a woman.
RATHER: They got to the top, looked around. A policeman went over the fence so I went over the fence too. There was nothing there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The television newsman said that he looked up just after the shot was fired then saw a rifle being withdrawn from a fifth or sixth floor window.
RATHER: There was original thought that the shots came from in here. And now it's believed that the shots came from this building here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I still believe that he's running back to our detective feat (ph) a depository building. They are going to continue searching in that building for the -- with the assassin of the President.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In central downtown Dallas in a virtual state of siege they are combing the floor with the detectives at the depository building in an effort to find this suspected assassin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the building on the sixth floor we found an area near a window that is supposedly been blocked by boxes of books and also the three sprint (ph) shield that apparently been fired from a rifle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crime Lab Lieutenant J.C. Day just came out of that building with a British .303 rifle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a 7.65 mauser.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A high-powered army or Japanese rifle of 25 caliber.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A 3030 rifle.
RATHER: Much of the first things you hear are going to be wrong. And to some degree, you will constantly trying to separate out what seem to be a fact.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Dallas, a Dallas policemen just a short while ago was shot and killed while chasing a suspect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: J.D. Tippit, a good experienced police officer was shot three times in the chest in the old cliff section of Dallas. Then the manager of a shoe store saw the suspect walked into the Texas Theater.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone has been arrested in one of the downtown theaters. They don't know if it was the man who shot the policeman or the person who actually shot President Kennedy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They suddenly jumped this man and started to drag him out of the theater. Tussled him up to the car as the crowd broke and started to maul the police officers and grab this man trying to run with him. They shouted murderer and the officers hustled him into the car and ran away just as fast as they could.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we mentioned just short while ago, a number of arrests have been made in Dallas in the wake of President Kennedy's death. We have scenes of one of those arrests in the downtown area. This was just after a Dallas policeman was shot in the vicinity of a downtown movie house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... as he approached me, the man who hit McDonallin (ph) in the face with his left hand, reached the pistol with his right hand. And as he reach his pistol, I grabbed him alone and (inaudible)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did he say to you after he was arrest?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just said, this is it, all over with now (ph).
HARRY REASONER: This is a picture of him. He probably does not look exactly like this now after he has been questioned. Has Lee Oswald ...
ROBERT CARO: The President was shot, a police officer shot then someone named Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested. Oswald maybe a suspect in the assassination. Who is he?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lee Oswald of Dallas, a former marine who spent some time in Russia who had one time and applied for Soviet citizenship.
SGT. GERALD HILL: Description that we had of the suspect (inaudible) was on similar to the description we have and the man we were looking for as the assassin. But at that time we have not been able to make (inaudible) in any way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Down there in this third floor, a crowd of camera man reporters wait for a possible appearance of the man accused of killing President Kennedy and a Dallas police officer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, there will be a great deal of confusion. This draw us a lot of -- but through the door. I don't know if you saw him, Oswald is in 1026 North Beckley. He's an employee of a book binding firm in this building which the police sends Secret Service men believed the President was shot today. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mrs. Kennedy accompanied the body in an ambulance from the hospital to the airport where it will be flown back to Washington.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They had everyone out in the emergency room and the hospital completely on the first floor there and they come out and told us we would have to have to remove the remains into a casket.
BOB HUFFAKER: Lyndon Johnson had ordered that the body be brought immediately to Air Force One. So there was a little tug of war. It almost shook the crucifix off of the top of the coffin as they were trying to get that coffin out of the hospital.
DENNIS MCGUIRE: They took him out and put him into the first and one of the Secret Service men, well about two or three of them got into the Hurst (ph) and just drove off and (inaudible) is standing there.
CRONKITE: Vice President Johnson is expected to be sworn in as president aboard an airliner before flying back to the nation's capital.
MAX HOLLAND: Not everyone realized that Johnson was already the President because he in fact had taken the oath in January '61 the same oath the President takes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Johnson wanted to show the American people that the government is functioning without interruption. And also perhaps he wanted to show that his predecessor's family bore him know ill will for the assassination.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lyndon Baines Johnson is flying back to Washington to take the reins of government in which time President Johnson will have to take into his hands the reins of the most powerful nation in the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We think November 22nd 1963 as the date when the President was killed. But it was also but then when a president was created
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any doubt in your mind chief that Oswald is the man who killed the President?
CHIEF JESSE CURRY, DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: I think this is the man who killed the President, yes sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any evidence that anyone else may have been linked with Oswald to this shooting?
CURRY: At this time we don't believe so.
LEE HARVEY OSWALD, SUSPECT IN THE ASSASSINATION OF JOHN F. KENNEDY: I don't know what this is all about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill the President?
OSWALD: Sir? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill the President?
OSWALD: I work in that building.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you in the building at the time?
OSWALD: Naturally if I work in that building, yes sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back up man, come on man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill the President?
OSWALD: No they're taking me in because of the fact that I mentioned the Soviet Union. I'm just a patsy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill the President?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is room 317 homicide bureau here at the Dallas Police Station. As you see they are bringing the weapon that was allegedly used in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy this afternoon at 12:30 here in Dallas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 6.5 apparently made in Italy in 1940.
PAUL GOOD, ABC NEWS: Police have traced the rifle, purchased in Chicago by mail order. He bought under the alias of A. Heidel (ph). Handwriting experts have established that the handwriting on the purchase order was in fact made by Oswald at the price of $12.78 cents, the life of the President of the United States apparently was bought.
RATHER: In the wake of the Kennedy assassination, the Dallas Police on the one hand they were committing all of their resources to trying to solve the crime. There they had -- they were ill-equipped to handle this tsunami of reporters.
HARVEY OSWALD: Well I was questioned by judge by -- about the death (ph) at that time that I was not allowed (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In bringing Oswald out, they were of course doing something that you would never see happen today, but they were trying to cooperate with the press with the understanding that there would not be questions shouted at him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill the President?
OSWALD: No, I have not been charged with that, in fact nobody has said that to me yet. The first thing I heard about it was when the newspaper reporters in the hall asked me that question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have been (inaudible)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
OSWALD: The police will get me.
BILL LORD, ABC NEWS: 1:35 this morning a complaint was read, it charged, "Lee Harvey Oswald did voluntarily and with malice of forethought killed John F. Kennedy by shooting him with a gun," following the reading of the complaint, Oswald said, "That's ridiculous."
VINCENT BUGLIOSI, AUTHOR, RECLAIMING HISTORY: Within hours of the assassination it was very obvious to virtually everyone on Dallas Law Enforcement that Oswald had killed Kennedy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief can you tell us in summary what directly links Oswald to the killing of the President?
CURRY: Well the fact that he was on the floor where the shots were fired from, immediately before the shots were fired, the fact that he was seen carrying a package to the building. The fact that ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you're saying (inaudible)
CURRY: Yesterday morning.
BUGLIOSI: After the shooting in Dealey Plaza, Oswald was the only employee at the book depository that fled the building. Forty-five minutes later he shoots and kills Officer J.D. Tippit. Half hour later at the Texas Theater he resisted arrest by pulling his gun on the arresting officer.
During 12 hours of interrogation by the Dallas Police Department over the weekend he told one provable line after another.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you fire that rifle?
OSWALD: Well, these passages (ph) you people have been given by, I emphatically deny these charges.
BURGLIOSI: Within a day or so thereafter when they discovered what a complete nut this guy was, they were satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that Oswald had acted alone.
WILL FRITZ, CAPTAIN, DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: There's only one thing that I can tell you without going into the evidence that this case is synched, that this man killed the President and there's no question in my mind about it.
We plan to transfer this man not tonight. The man will be here but no later than 10:00 in the morning while it will -- that will be early enough.
UNIDETIFIED MALE: Chief do you have any concern for the safety of your prisoner in view of the high feeling among the people of Dallas over the assassination of the President?
CURRY: No but precautions will be taken of course that I'm not -- I don't think that the people will try to take the prisoner away from us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lee Oswald is to be taken soon to the county jail.
FRITZ: That's true.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you are going to be taking there how sir?
FRITZ: We are going to use an armored motor vehicle to take him.
PRISCILLA MCMILLAN, AUTHOR: The Dallas Police meant to transfer Lee into the regular prison during the night to avoid the press. And then someone must have overruled them so that Lee could be photographed by the press during the transfer.
BOB WALKER, WFAA, DALLAS TEXAS: We're standing by awaiting the transfer of Oswald from City Jail to County Jail. And for that report, here is ABC's Bill Lord at the City Jail. Bill what's the situation?
LORD: Well, I am presently in the basement of the Dallas Municipal Building, and it is like an armed camp. Police officials are frankly worried. They don't want anything to happen to Oswald.
It is through this cadre of newsmen, photographers and policeman that Lee Oswald with be brought to a vehicle for transfer to the Dallas County Jail at a distance of about 15 blocks which ironically is just across from the scene where President Kennedy was assassinated on Friday.
RATHER: Anticipation has built up here in downtown Dallas in front of the county jail. They are waiting for a glimpse of Lee Oswald
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There he is. There's him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me have it alive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's been shot. He's been shot. Lee Oswald has been shot. There is the man with the gun, absolute panic, absolute panic here in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters. The detectives have their guns drawn, there is no question about it. Oswald has been shot at point blank range fired into his stomach.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oswald is shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is Oswald.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is the man who shot the man.
BOB HUFFAKER, WRLD-TV REPORTER: Immediately after the shooting our only witness that we could talk to were other reporters. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where did he go?
FRANCOIS PELOU, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE: But he was here he just, they just put the gun down I saw flash on the black (inaudible).
PELOU: I say they saw it was a group of men right here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he one of us or what?
PELOU: I thought was he one of the detective, you know, he had hat...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
HUFFAKER: The situation is now that Lee Harvey Oswald has been shot. The man who say the shot fired said it was fired by a man wearing a black hat, a brown coat, a man that everyone down here thought was a secret service agent. We can hear sirens outside and ambulance apparently is moving down now into the basement. Here comes the ambulance. And Oswald will be removed now. The ambulance is being pulled up in front of us here. Here comes Oswald. He is ashen and unconscious at this time now being moved in. He's not moving. He's in the ambulance now. In attendance police are quickly climbing in. The ambulance is leaving Dallas Police Headquarters. Where will he be taken?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm assuming Parkland Hospital.
HUFFAKER: Parkland Hospital. The irony of ironies the place where President John F. Kennedy died.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe the man...
LISA HOWARD, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: No, don't take the microphone. Keep your head up. Let's try it again. What is your reaction to the shooting of Oswald?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well I think it's a deplorable situation. The man has entitled to a fair trial.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you give him a fair trial, of course, killing him just like that - that ain't going to be President Kennedy back to life. And after he get a (inaudible) out in the street and let the people kill him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should not only shoot him but cut him up in pieces.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put him every one hour in a fire and stood them up for one day. And then next day starts again.
HOWARD: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Running man that I believe it I didn't see it. I think it's the man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's he look like?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't give you descriptive now. He's known locally.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Immediately after the ambulance left, somehow I began to suspect that maybe the shooter was someone who was known to the police.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know this subject? Do you know him? Have you seen him before?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he from Dallas here?
UNIDEITNFIED MALE: I couldn't tell you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know what kind of business he happens to be in?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That I wouldn't want to say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dallas City Hall is normally a public building, but today, it was really under armed guard.
We -- is this a confirmed report as to who did the shooting? Vic Robertson from City Hall reports that Jack Ruby the owner of the Carousel which is a bar in Dallas did the shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My statement will be very brief. Oswald expired at 1:07 p.m.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Died?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He died at 1:07 p.m. We have arrested the man. The man will be charged with murder.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is he?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The man -- the suspect's name is Jack Rubenstein I believe. He goes with the name of Jack Ruby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And here at Associated Press a still picture of the moment, the split second, as the shot was fired. This is the man Dallas police have identified as Jack Rubenstein and this of course is Lee Harvey Oswald. You see the gun in the hand of Ruby and just about to be fired.
RATHER: I know my own feelings were and I think they were widely shared by many if not most Americans. This can't be coincidental. The assassin is assassinated in the police station. What in the hell is going on?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just learned from City Hall from a very authoritative source that police are working on the assumption that there indeed is a connection between Jack Ruby and Lee Oswald and that in some manner of speaking, Oswald's murder was to shut him up.
JIM UNDERWOOD, ASST. NEWS DIRECTOR, KRLD-TV DALLAS TEXAS: Captain Will Fritz just told me that Ruby has said that he did it, that it was his gun, and that he had lived up a tremendous grievance over the death of the President.
VINCENT BUGLIOSI, AUTHOR, "RECLAIMING HISTORY": In Jack Ruby's small mind, he thought he was going to become a big, big hero. I mean, he killed the guy who killed the President.
TOM HOWARD, ATTORNEY FOR JACK RUBY: Commend what he did, I think he ought to have the Congressional Medal of Honor for it. And a lot of other good American citizens think he did exactly the right thing in shooting down this communist.
CRONKITE: Word also in just now from Dallas that homicide, the Chief Captain Will Fritz has now said that the case of President Kennedy's assassination is now closed with the death of Oswald. It may not however be the opinion of the U.S. Secret Service or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
EARL WARREN, (FRM) U.S. CHIEF JUSTICE: Our nation is bereaved. The whole world is poorer because of his loss. But we can all be better Americans because John Fitzgerald Kennedy has passed our way. Because he has been our chosen leader at a time in history and his character, his vision, and his quiet courage have enabled him to chart a course for us, a safe course for us through the shoals of treacherous seas that encompass the world.
And now that he is relieved of the almost superhuman burden we imposed on him, may he rest in peace.
CRONKITE: Dallas today had even more to mourn at it held funeral services for one of its own. Who was a victim of Friday's tragedy, Officer J.D. Tippit.
MURPHY MARTIN, WFAA TV, DALLAS TEXAS: It was a funeral of a different sort today in nearby Fort Worth.
This was the dreary funeral of Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged murderer of President Kennedy.
The pathetic group of mourners included Oswald's mother, Marguerite, his wife Marina, his brother Robert, and Oswald's two children, one of them a babe in arms.
The six pall-bearers you see here are newsmen. There were not enough relatives or friends on hand to serve as pall-bearers. GEORGE HERMAN, CBS NEWS: Now, there is a new flag of the President of the United States flying in the White House. In President Kennedy's old oval office, Mrs. Evelyn Lincoln, his secretary and her aids have removed every scrap, every vestige of the signs of the personal touches of President Kennedy.
RATHER: We know from history that one test of society is how do we handle the transfer of power at the top. Lyndon Johnson, whatever you thought him, and a lot of people just liked and gravely, some even hated him would be the President of United States. I think it shouted about the strength of the country and that we swear by the rule of law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President of United States.
LYNDON JOHNSON, (FRM) U.S. PRESIDENT: My fellow Americans, all I have, I would have given gladly, not to be standing here today.
CARO: Johnson knows he has to show the country that the ship of state is sailing on under a new captain but at the same time, he can't appear to be too anxious to assume power and he has to keep the Kennedy people on board with him. So, that speech means everything.
JOHNSON: No words are strong enough to express our determination to continue the power of trust of America that he began.
JOHN CHANCELLOR, REPORTER, NBC NEWS, VIENNA: The people of Europe just cannot believe that a lone avenger made his way into a major police station and killed without difficulty the most celebrated and infamous criminal in the United States.
MAX HOLLAND: One of the most important things that happened after Oswald's murder was that we, you know, will forever deny the why. I mean people at the time believed he did it. Question was why.
TURNER CATLEDGE, NEW YORK TIMES MANAGING DIRECTOR: The odd questions continually coming up about a possibility of an international plot.
CARO: There's still all this story that the Russians might be behind it or Cuba might be behind it. Johnson sees there's a real danger in that. You want to put this rumors to rest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigation into all the facts of these last four days may not be limited to the State of Texas or the FBI. Some Congressman already have suggested a Congressional Investigation.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: Killing a President wasn't a Federal Crime at the time, so you had the Federal Government intervening and still what was a local murder.
HOWARD WILLENS, ASSISSTANT COUNSEL, WARREN COMMISSION : There certainly was a concern of competing investigations, there was the Dallas Criminal Investigation, there was the State of Texas Court of Inquiry and there were committees on both sides of Congress while of course the FBI had been given the job to conduct a full scale investigation. CARO: Johnson realized that something has to be done. He realizes that he has to appoint a body that the public will respect to look into this.
JOHNSON: I've got to have a top blue ribbon presidential commission to investigate the assassination. I'm going to ask Chloe (ph) and Dallas and Ford and Bob (ph) and Kurt (ph) and Russell and (inaudible) this morning chairman.
CARO: He is one public governmental official in the United States, universally respected for his integrity and he is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Earl Warren. If there's one person in Congress that everyone respects, it's Richard Russell of Georgia. He has to get them both on the Commission. There is however a problem. Russell is a segregationist through and through and despises Warren for the decisions that he's made on the court.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Johnson thought if they can agree on a verdict, then ought to be satisfying 90 percent of American public opinion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Russell 2191.
SENATOR RICHARD RUSSELL, (R) GEORGIA: How honest do you think about in connection -- but I could say that Chief Justice Warren, I don't like that man.
JOHNSON: You will serve with anybody for the good of America and you're going to do it. I can't arrest you and I'm not going to put the FBI on you but you god damn sure going to serve, I'll give you that.
CARO: Lyndon Johnson was known as the greatest salesman one on one who ever lived. So he meets first with Warren and he says, "If I asked you to put on your uniform and fight for America you do it. I'm asking you to fight for America in a different way."
Then Johnson has to get Richard Russell.
RUSSELL: Mr. President please.
JOHNSON: No, it's already done it's been announced.
RUSSELL: You mean you give...
JOHNSON: Yes sir, I gave the announcement it's already in the papers and you're on it.
RUSSELL: Well I think you did wrong getting Warren and I know damn right you got wrong in getting me.
JOHNSON: No. I think it's what I think you do (inaudible).
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