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On September 24, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson receives the Warren Commission’s report on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Since the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald’s motive for assassinating the president remained unknown. Seven days after the assassination, Johnson appointed the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy to investigate the event. The commission was led by Chief Justice Earl Warren and became known as the Warren Commission. It concluded that Oswald had acted alone and that the Secret Service had made poor preparations for JFK's visit to Dallas and had failed to sufficiently protect him.
The circumstances surrounding Kennedy's death, however, have since given rise to numerous conspiracy theories. The commission's conclusion that Oswald was a "lone gunman" failed to satisfy some who witnessed the attack and others whose research found conflicting details in the report. Critics of the Warren Commission's report believed that additional ballistics experts' conclusions and a home movie shot at the scene disputed the theory that three bullets fired from Oswald's gun could have caused Kennedy's fatal wounds as well as the injuries to Texas Governor John Connally, who was riding with the president. Because of these controversies another congressional investigation was conducted in 1979; that committee reached the same conclusion as the Warren Commission. During its almost year-long investigation, the Warren Commission reviewed reports by the FBI, Secret Service, Department of State and the attorney general of Texas. It also poured over Oswald's personal history, political affiliations and military record. Overall, the Warren Commission listened to the testimony of over 500 witnesses and even traveled to Dallas several times to visit the site where Kennedy was shot. The enormous volume of documentation from the investigation was placed in the National Archives and much of it is now available to the public.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Murder & Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California 1849-1949. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following link: