Day #1: Assassination Walkthrough

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March 27, 2017 by Hayley Ellis

There were a handful of key characters in the Kennedy assassination. Based on the Warren Commission, today in class we did a walkthrough of the Kennedy assassination up until the point that Buell Frazier and Lee Oswald got to work on the morning of November 22, 1963.

The Warren Commission was headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren and included members such as Gerald Ford and David Belin (of the Belin and Blank Center in Iowa City). The Warren Commission was meant to investigate the Kennedy assassination because Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who was thought to have assassinated Kennedy was killed before he got a trial. The report concluded that Oswald had in fact committed the crime. For the most part, the general public accepted the report as fact until Geraldo Rivera showed the Zapruder film in 1975 on Good Night America. Americans hadn’t seen the entire Zapruder film until 1975 and this began to raise questions among the general public. The film shows Kennedy’s head going back which doesn’t make sense for him being shot from behind. Suddenly people began to change their opinions and conspiracy theories began circulating. Following the hysteria that ensued, the House of Representatives investigated and came to the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald did it BUT there was a HIGH probability of another shooter.

Lee Harvey Oswald was a man who had routines. On weekends he visited his wife Marina who lived with Ruth Paine, a woman who was part of an organization that worked to make relations better between the US and Soviet Union- just outside of Dallas. Ruth and Marina became friends as Marina did not speak any English and Ruth did speak some Russian. Throughout the week he lived at a boarding house in Dallas. On weekends he would catch a ride with a co-worker, Buell Frazier to visit his wife and child.

On Thursday November 21, 1963 Oswald broke his routine. He asked Buell Frazier for a ride to see his wife after work that evening under the guise of getting some curtain rods. When Oswald got to see his wife, she was embarrassed that Lee hadn’t called ahead and they weren’t expecting him. Ruth and Marina didn’t know anything about the curtain rods that Lee had told Buell about. The next morning, Friday November 22, 1963 Buell Frazier was getting ready for work when he saw Lee Oswald putting something in the back of his car wrapped in a blanket. He didn’t think anything of it. He was coming for curtain rods in the first place.  Lee Carries the package into work and nobody thinks much of it. As it turns out, nobody ever found curtain rods. But they did find a Mannlicher Carcano Rifle. Which kind of looks like curtain rods. gun.png

On the day of November 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy was traveling through Dallas on a fundraising trip preparing for the 1964 Presidential Election. The Presidential motorcade was going through Dallas when they came up to the Texas Schoolbook Depository when they made a sharp turn on Elm Street.

That’s about as far as we get in class today– more tomorrow on the walk through of the assassination.

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