Sixty Years On

Kent Anderson
6 min readNov 22, 2023

There is a joke that goes like this:

Kevin Costner dies and meets God. He asks Him, “Who killed Kennedy?”

“Oswald, acting alone.”

Sixty years ago, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was to give a speech at the Trade-Mart in Dallas, Texas. He was then to go to Austin to speak to there, overnight at Vice-President Johnson’s ranch and then fly back to Washington the next morning.

He had given a speech in nearby Fort Worth that morning, where he quipped, “Two years ago, in France, I remarked that I was the man who accompanied Mrs. Kennedy to Paris and I’m beginning to feel the same way here in Texas.”

It was a political trip, designed to shore up his 1964 prospects in Texas, where just weeks earlier, United Nations Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson had been attacked. Kennedy cancelled a scheduled trip to Chicago to watch Notre Dame play Navy shortly after that.

He never made it to the luncheon at the Trade-Mart. At 12:30 CST as the president, his wife and Governor John Connelly and his wife turned the corner, past the Texas School Book Depository Building to hit the freeway, shots were fired at the motorcade.

The number of shots are still debated today. Three, four, five? Six? We know of at least three, fired from the sixth floor of the Book Depository and that one of those shots missed, ricocheted off the freeway sign, nicked a curb and then hit a bystander on the other side of the street. He didn’t realize it until later.

Kennedy reached for his throat. Then, in the front ‘jump’ seat Connelly was shot. His right arm was hit and the bullet ended up logged in his left thigh. Somehow, defying the laws of physics and reality, this ‘pristine’ bullet had gone through the president’s neck and throat, shattered Connelly’s forearm and landed in his left leg, virtually in-tact in his leg.

There are so many weird events surrounding that day. Too many shady characters, too many conflicting details.

The Texas School Book Depository is an old building, built around the early 1900s. Today, it is a multi-purpose throwback office space, with one exception — The Sixth Floor. Where Lee Harvey Oswald was purported to have shot and killed President Kennedy 60 years ago.

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Kent Anderson

Purveyor of Truth and Facts. Lifelong Detroiter. Journalist. Loves good TV, sports, friends and family. Mostly. Also: https://rollingwheelie.substack.com/