By Bill Dudley

I was a small boy 50 years ago today, November 22,1963,  when our youngest President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. This event not only shocked all of America, it changed our country forever.  Everyone who was alive that day, recalls exactly how they heard the news.

Kennedy was truly a man of the times. He was a handsome charismatic man with a beautiful young family, who brought both color and personality to a black & white world. He inspired young citizens, and spoke for those who had no voice. He believed government, if managed properly,  could make the world a better place.

He established The Peace Corps, heavily supported our adventures into outer space, and (at the end), became a strong advocate for Civil Rights. He made many mistakes in his early days as President, and was a deeply flawed individual. However his dynamic personality, strong focus on trying to make all Americans responsible citizens, and excellent triumph of conquering television as a communication tool, made him very popular with a very diverse public.

Many Americans actually think they saw the assassination live on television. They didn’t, as the famous film you have seen for decades shot by Abe Zapruder, a home movie, actually surfaced AFTER the assassination. To this day, 61 % of Americans still believe there was a conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy. They find it very hard to believe that one lone nut could cut down such an important person, who influenced so many.

Was it the CIA, the FBI, the mafia, the Cuban government, or maybe even Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson? Those and many more have been in (and out) of the conspiracy mix, since we all saw Jack Ruby kill suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald on live TV two days later. That was very suspicious, but Ruby may have also been a lone nut seeking publicity. Unfortunately, by doing this, Ruby prevented what would have been the biggest trial of the 20th century.

Oswald also brutally murdered Dallas policeman James Tippit that same day by shooting him in the head. In April of 1963, he attempted to assassinate General  Edwin Walker, an outspoken critic of all that Oswald loved, including Communism and Cuba. Oswald was crazy, angry, and dangerous. He shot at Kennedy three times. He killed him. No other bullets, from any other guns have ever been found. No-one in the Kennedy family has ever questioned this. I no longer will either.

Sadly, recent senseless shootings all over the country, have been done by one or two lone assassin’s with mental problems. Two of the four Presidents assassinated (McKinley and Garfield), were also shot by lone gunmen. True, there were at least seven conspirators in the Abraham Lincoln killing, even though John Wilkes Booth pulled the trigger, but this was an anomaly.

It is much easier to accept  that many people were involved in the Kennedy assassination, (as I myself did for many decades), because we just can’t wrap our minds around the fact that one evil nut, really can change history.

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