#268- JFK, My leaving cert history project from 2014

In my Google Docs account I have some old projects from school and college that I’ve kept there for years. One of these was my history research topic on JFK. I remember that I wanted to cover a lot of the conspiracy theories but my teacher told me that I needed more facts in my project. Here is the unedited information I found back in 2014.


My interest in the assassination of American President John F Kennedy was ignited when I watched the film JFK by Oliver Stone.It was being shown as 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the Presidents death.The fact that Kennedy was of Irish descent.Was the first Roman Catholic President elected and that there were conspiracy theories surrounding his death intrigued me.Having discussed my topic with my teacher i drew up my aims.I knew that finding sources on the assassination of Kennedy on the internet and my local library would be relatively easy as it is a well documented event.I lovated the book “ Killing Kennedy 50 years 50 lies: from the Warren Commision” on Amazon.ie. The book included detailed accounts and their investigation into the President’s death.I was able to compare this source with the youtube video “The Kennedy assassination-beyond conspiracy  BBC” and online at www.JFKlibrary.org. I made and began to develop a more in depth understanding of what happened in Dallas Texas. I then proceeded to write a first draft of my essay on computer.Keeping to the word count proved problematic and i needed my teachers help with editing.Researching this topic gave me a great insight into the work of the Historian as regards research and balance.I also improved my computer skills.

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JFK research project (2014)

(source 2) 

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on the 29th of May 1917 in Massachusetts, United States. He became the 35th President of the United States being the youngest President at the time as well as the first Catholic President elected.He entered Harvard in 1936 where his older brother Joe was a student. After they graduated both John and Joe joined the Navy and fought in World War 2.JFK became a war hero but his older brother Joe died when his plane was shot down.Joe Kennedy senior,JFKs father, now convinced JFK to run for congress in Massachusetts.  He won this election in 1946 and thus began his political career. He was a popular politician and decided that he would run for president in 1960. When he beat Richard Nixon in one of the closest Presidential elections in history he became the 35th President of the United States,

John F Kennedy was a youthful man and had high hopes for the United States.He did a lot to stop racial conflict in the United States and he managed to avoid a nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis. He became one of the most beloved Presidents of all time.

JFK flew into Dallas Texas on the 22nd of november 1963.The President was there to give a number of political speeches.He was riding through Dallas in his presidential motorcade, accompanied by his wife Jacqueline Kennedy and Texas governor John Connally and his wife. When the Presidential motorcade turned onto Elm street and passed the book depository shots rang out.The entire scene can be seen on the only video evidence recorded by Abraham Zapruder,.This footage captured a shocking moment in history and has helped explain what happened but is also a source for conspiracy theories and an alleged cover up.Kennedy was hit in the back, then Connally was hit in the back and shouted out “My God they’re going to kill us all”.After this the President was shot in the back of the head and subsequently died.

There was a list of possible suspects. One was  the Italian mafia,because the presidents father Joe had allegedly paid off a high ranking  gangster named Sam Giancana to rig the presidential election figures to ensure the election victory.When JFK was elected Joe never paid Giancana in full and this assassination could be seen as revenge.However this was never proved and is only speculation.JFK and his brother Robert, US attorney general, were also inditing many high ranked mobsters at the time in their war against organised crime.This created hatred towards the kennedys.They also pursued the teamsters who ran the US trucking trade unions, in particular Jimmy Hoffa the teamsters leader, because they thought he was corrupt and working with the Mafia.Thus the list of suspects grew.

At this time there was many white conservatives especially in the southern states who did not like the Kennedys stand on racial equality and it was possible that someone wanted to get rid of the man making changes in America.These included the racist group the ku klux klan (kkk).The final group that may have wanted to assassinate the president was communist backed sympathisers,They hated Kennedy because of the way he embarrassed soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev during the Cuban missile crisis and. All of these groups were well financed and had the contacts and the tools to pull off such an assassination plan.

The man arrested for the shooting of President Kennedy was Lee Harvey Oswald,He was a worker in the book depository.Oswald was a small skinny man with communist ties and a Russian wife.He had lived in Russia for a while and worked in the US army as a sharpshooter.He was arrested at a local movie theatre near where the President was shot.He was questioned on the assassination and he only responded by saying “i was set up i’m a patsy thats all”. When Oswald was being transferred by police officers he was shot in the stomach at close range by Jack Ruby a local night club owner with ties to the mafia. Ruby said “ I did it for Ms. kennedy”. By killing Oswald Ruby ensured that a confession or full answer would never be gotten from Oswald.

In order to get answers on what happened on that November morning the Warren commission was set up and lead by Earl Warren Chief Justice of the United States.Lyndon B.Johnson the vice president had already taken the oath of office at 2:38 p.m that day.And he would be the man the commision would report to.The commission was set up on the 29th of November.The Warren commision came to their conclusion after interviewing over 190 witnesses and using all evidence available at the time that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone that day “the lone gunman theory”. This caused great controversy.The general public did not believe that Oswald acted alone.Most Americans believed that there was more than one killer waiting for Kennedy that day.This led to many conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy’s death.

“The single bullet theory” or jokingly referred to “the magic bullet theory” grew up because it was impossible or “magic” that a single bullet could penetrate two people at the same time and enter the body at different angles.It was one of the findings of the Warren Commission that the third and final bullet did this to JFK and Connally. This theory was seen as highly implausible not only by the experts but by the American public as a whole.

Another of the seemingly endless theories includes the grassy knoll theory.Many believe and witness  Jean Hill “the lady in red on the Zapruder film” said they saw a gunman on a picket fence on the grassy knoll near the motorcade and four shots were fired and not three like in the commission’s report.And the final fatal shot was fired by an unknown gunman.Other theories include suggestions of a CIA plot against Kennedy because he didn’t back the Bay of Pigs operation.Many other theories range from simple lone gunman theories to more elaborate theories such as oil barons wanted the president dead because he had raised the tax laws regarding oil making them lose enormous fortunes.


2013 marked the fiftieth anniversary of JFKs death.To this day conspiracy theories continue and the truth about his death may never be established. However historically Kennedy was the first President born in the 20th century and he inspired young people across the country to enter public service. He was also the first President to embrace modern technology which included television, Because Americans saw him and his family often they felt connected to him. Thus when the assassination happened people were able to watch the tragedy unfold in their own homes leading to an outpouring of grief across the country and to many people in the US and across the world remembering where they were when the assassination took place.To this day JFK is seen as one of Americas greatest Presidents. Since he was assassinated in office in living memory and since the cause of his death continues to intrigue JFK holds a unique place within US history.

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