Donald Trump releases John F Kennedy assassination files: Revisiting the death of the 35th US president

Editor's note: On 22 November, 1963, President John F Kennedy was assassinated while visiting Texas with his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy. On Thursday, the US government released several thousand secret files on his assassination. Here is one of the first news reports of the incident.

Dallas: President John F Kennedy, thirty-fifth president of the United States, was shot to death by a hidden assassin armed with a high-powered rifle. Kennedy, 46, lived about an hour after a sniper cut him down as his limousine left downtown Dallas.

Automatically, the mantle of the presidency fell to Vice President Lyndon B Johnson, a native Texan who had been riding two cars behind the chief executive. There was no immediate word on when Johnson would take the oath of office.

Donald Trump releases John F Kennedy assassination files: Revisiting the death of the 35th US president

File image of President John F Kennedy on the day of his assassination. AP

Kennedy died at Parkland Hospital, where his bullet-pierced body had been taken in a frantic but futile effort to save his life.

Lying wounded at the same hospital was Governor John Connally of Texas, who was cut down by the same fusillade that ended the life of the youngest man ever elected to the presidency. Connally and his wife had been riding with the president and Mrs Kennedy.

The first lady cradled her dying husband's blood-smeared head in her arms as the presidential limousine raced to the hospital. "Oh, no," she kept crying. Connally slumped in his seat beside the president.

Police ordered an unprecedented dragnet of the city, hunting for the assassin. They believed the fatal shots were fired by a white man about 30, slender of build, weighing about 165 pounds, and standing 5 feet 10 inches tall. The murder weapon reportedly was a 30-30 rifle.

Shortly before Kennedy's death became known, he was administered the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church. He had been the first Roman Catholic president in American history.

Even as two clergymen hovered over the fallen president in the hospital emergency room, doctors and nurses administered blood transfusion. Kennedy died of a gunshot wound.

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Updated Date: Oct 27, 2017 08:11:33 IST

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