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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. IV - Page 132« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Gov. John Bowden , Jr. Connally)

Mr. Specter.
Are there any other conversations which stand out in your mind on the portion of the motorcade trip through Dallas itself?
Governor CONNALLY. No; actually we had more or less. desultory conversation as we rode along. The crowds were thick all the way down on both sides, and all of us were, particularly the President and Mrs. Kennedy were, acknowledging the crowds. They would turn frequently, smiling, waving to the people, and the opportunity for conversation was limited. So there was no particularly significant conversation or conversations Which took place. It was, as I say, pretty desultory conversation.
Mr. Specter.
Did the automobile stop at any point during this procession?
Governor CONNALLY. Yes; it did. There were at least two occasions on which the automobile stopped in Dallas and, perhaps, a third. There was one little girl, I believe it was, who was carrying a sign saying, "Mr. President, will you please stop and shake hands with me," or some---that was the import of the sign, and he just told the driver to stop, and he did stop and shook hands, and, of course, he was immediately mobbed by a bunch of youngsters, and the Secret Service men from the car following us had to immediately come up and wedge themselves in between the crowd and the car to keep them back away from the automobile, and it was a very short stop.
At another point along the route, a Sister, a Catholic nun, was there, obviously from a Catholic school, with a bunch of little children, and he stopped and spoke to her and to the children; and I think there was one other stop on the way downtown, but I don't recall the precise occasion. But I know there were two, but I think there was still another one.
Mr. Specter.
Are there any other events prior to the time of the shooting itself which stand out in your mind on the motorcade trip through Dallas?
Governor CONNALLY. No; not that have any particular significance.
Mr. Specter.
As to the comment which Mrs. Connally had made to President Kennedy which you just described, where on the motor trip was that comment made, if you recall?
Governor CONNALLY. This was just before we turned on Elm Street, after we turned off of Main.
Mr. Specter.
Onto Houston?
Governor CONNALLY. Onto Houston, right by the courthouse before we turned left onto Elm Street, almost at the end of the motorcade, and almost, I would say, perhaps a minute before the fatal shooting.
Mr. Specter.
What was the condition of the crowd at that juncture of the motorcade, sir?
Governor CONNALLY. At that particular juncture, when she made this remark, the crowd was still very thick and very enthusiastic. It began to thin immediately after we turned onto Elm Street. We could look ahead and see that the crowd was beginning to thin along the banks, just east, I guess of the overpass.
Mr. Specter.
Was there any difficulty in hearing such a conversational comment?
Governor CONNALLY. No, no; we could talk without any, and hear very clearly, without any difficulty, without any particular strain. We didn't do it again because in trying to carry on a conversation it would be apparent to those who were the spectators on the sidewalk, and we didn't want to leave the impression we were not interested in them, and so we just didn't carry on a conversation, but we could do so without any trouble.
Mr. Specter.
As the automobile turned left onto Elm from Houston, what did occur there, Governor?
Governor CONNALLY. We had--we had gone, I guess, 150 feet, maybe 200 feet, I don't recall how far it was, heading down to get on the freeway, the Stemmons Freeway, to go out to the hall where we were going to have lunch and, as I say, the crowds had begun to thin, and we could--I was anticipating that we were going to be at the hall in approximately 5 minutes from the time we turned on Elm Street.
We had just made the turn, well, when I heard what I thought was a shot. I heard this noise which I immediately took to be a rifle shot. I instinctively turned to my right because the sound appeared to come from over my right
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