On a sunny Texas day in November 60 years ago, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the president of the United States, and his elegant wife Jacqueline Lee ‘Jackie’ Bouvier Kennedy touched down in Air Force One at Dallas’ Love Field just before noon.
She was pretty in pink from head to toe, including a fetching pink pillbox hat perched on her head. He, dashing as always, standing 6 ft 1, was outiftted in a grey suit and blue tie. They made a stunning couple.
The Kennedys got into the back seat of a black 1961 Lincoln Continental convertible limo with John Connally, then governor of Texas, and his wife Nellie and a posse of secret service agents. Their motorcade, flanked by plenty of police, whizzed off for a lunch engagement at a wholesale trade centre, the Dallas Market Center, downtown.
It was a 16 km ride and the route was charted out to give President Kennedy plenty of mileage to wave, greet and smile at the friendly Dallas folks.
As the cars took a left onto Elm Street through Dealy Plaza, near a warehouse for school textbooks, the Texas School Book Depository, Nellie Connally pleasantly remarked: ‘Mr President, they can’t make you believe now that there are not some in Dallas who love and appreciate you, can they?’
The 35th president of the United States of America, probably smilingly, said his last four words at 12.30 pm CST on November 22, 1963: ‘No, they sure can’t’.
He turned to wave at the crowds on his right and three fatal shots, fired by an assassin acting indepedently, Lee Harvey Oswald, from the depository, hit him — the first entered his back, exiting his larynx and he slumped, the next hit his head and ended his life. Jackie held him muttering forlornly repeatedly: ‘They have killed my husband…’
It was the fourth time in US history that an American president had been assassinated and killed.
Photographs curated by Manisha Kotian/Rediff.com
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