Monday, February 18, 2008

That day in Dallas

Everybody who was alive on Nov. 23, 1963, still remembers what they were doing when they heard that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas. So, the announcement expected today that the Dallas County District Attorney's Office has found some long-lost Kennedy-related items in an old safe in the county courthouse is sure to bring a tidal wave of old memories. Dallas DA Craig Watkins is expected to make the announcement at a press conference today, the Dallas Morning News reported Sunday. The Kennedy assassination was a watershed moment in U.S. history; it was for many the day the United States lost its innocence. Most Americans believed for years that the killing was the result of a conspiracy; many still do because Oswald was shot and killed two days later. A presidential commission chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren conducted an extensive investigation and determined Oswald acted alone; a Congressional investigation some 20 years later concluded it likely there was a conspiracy. The items in the safe reportedly do not allay suspicions; they include a transcript of a purported conversation one month before the assassination about plans to kill Kennedy between Oswald and his killer, Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby. Other items in the safe are clothing, possibly belonging to Oswald and Ruby, letters to and from former Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade, who prosecuted Ruby, transcripts of the Ruby trial and letters to Ruby. The transcript is believed to be part of a movie script, Countdown in Dallas, that Wade worked on, the newspaper reported. The FBI investigated the transcript as part of the Congressional investigation. Kennedy was fatally shot as he rode through the streets of Dallas in an open motorcade; then-Texas governor John Connally was shot and seriously wounded but survived. Connally became a member of the Republican Party and served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Richard Nixon in 1971 and 1972.

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