One week after President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot, President Lyndon Johnson established a special commission, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, to investigate the assassination – on this date in 1963. After ten months of gathering evidence, the Warren Commission released their report, concluding there was no evidence of a conspiracy, either domestic or international, in the assassination, and that Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin, acted alone.
The presidential commission also found that Jack Ruby, the nightclub owner who murdered Oswald on live national television, had no prior contact with Oswald. According to the report, the bullets that killed President Kennedy and injured Texas Governor John Connally were fired by Oswald in three shots from a rifle pointed out of a sixth floor window in the Texas School Book Depository.
Despite its seemingly firm conclusions, the report failed to silence conspiracy theories surrounding the event. In 1978, the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in a preliminary report that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy” that may have involved multiple shooters and organized crime. The committee’s findings, as with the findings of the Warren Commission, continue to be widely disputed.
So what happened that fatal day in Dallas, 53 years ago? In a recent survey, nearly 70 percent of the American people indicated they believe the Warren Commission had it wrong, and there were multiple shooters.
I have my own opinion. I’m sure you have yours. The fact is, no one really knows for sure. That’s how it is with life. Despite millions of hours spent by experts pouring over the evidence, despite re-examination upon re-examination of the famous Zupruder film, no one knows.
There are some things in this life that no one knows or understands. And that is a good thing. It serves to remind us that there is One to whom we can turn that has answers man can never find on his own.