John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time (18:30 UTC) on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas. Fatally shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy was traveling with his wife, Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally’s wife, Nellie, in a presidential motorcade. A ten-month investigation from November 1963 to September 1964 by the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone in shooting Kennedy, and that Jack Ruby also acted alone when he killed Oswald before he could stand trial. Kennedy’s death marked the fourth (following Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) and most recent assassination of an American President. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnsonbecame President upon Kennedy’s death, taking the constitutionally prescribed oath of office onboard Air Force One at Dallas Love Field before departing for Washington, D.C.
In contrast to the conclusions of the Warren Commission, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded in 1979 that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy”. The HSCA agreed with the Warren Commission that the injuries sustained by Kennedy and Connally were caused by Oswald’s three rifle shots, but they also determined the existence of additional gunshots based on analysis of an audio recording and therefore “… a high probability that two gunmen fired at [the] President.” The Committee was not able to identify any individuals or groups involved with the conspiracy. In addition, the HSCA found that the original federal investigations were “seriously flawed” in respect of information-sharing and the possibility of conspiracy. As recommended by the HSCA, the acoustic evidence indicating conspiracy was subsequently re-examined and rejected.
In light of the investigative reports determining that “reliable acoustic data do not support a conclusion that there was a second gunman,” the Justice Department has concluded active investigations, stating “that no persuasive evidence can be identified to support the theory of a conspiracy in … the assassination of President Kennedy.”However, Kennedy’s assassination is still the subject of widespread debate and has spawned numerous conspiracy theories and alternative scenarios. Polling in 2013 showed that 60% of Americans believe that a group of conspirators was responsible for the assassination.