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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VII - Page 475« Previous | Next »

(Affidavit of Clifton C. Carter)

side of the front seat of Vice President Johnson's car immediately turned and pushed Vice President Johnson down and in the same motion vaulted over the seat and covered the Vice President with his body. At that instant Mrs. Johnson and Senator Yarborough, who were riding in the back seat along with the Vice President, bent forward. Special Agent Youngblood's action came immediately after the first shot and before the succeeding shots.
I distinctly remember three shots. There was an interval of approximately 5 to 6 seconds from the first to the last shot, and the three shots were evenly spaced. The motorcade promptly accelerated and traveled at high speeds up to 75 to 80 miles an hour to Parkland Memorial Hospital. The President's automobile, the President's follow-up car, the Vice President's automobile, and the Vice President's follow-up car pulled into the emergency entrance at Parkland. Attendants from the hospital with two stretchers carried President Kennedy and Governor Connally into the hospital. At one point I briefly helped remove Governor Connally from the car onto the stretcher. After President Kennedy and Governor Connally had been taken into the hospital, Vice President Johnson, Mrs. Johnson, Special Agent Youngblood and I entered the emergency area and were taken to a small room where we waited. I went out on a couple of occasions to secure coffee. Congressmen Henry Gonzalez, Jack Brooks, Homer Thornberry and Albert Thomas came into the room where Vice President Johnson waited. About 1 o'clock Mrs. Johnson left the room, stating that she wanted to visit with Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Connally.
At 1:12 p.m. Special Agent Emery Roberts brought the news that President Kennedy was dead. At that moment the only people present were Vice President Johnson, Congressman Thornberry, Special Agent Len Johns, and I. Special Agent Roberts advised Vice President Johnson to return to the White House forthwith because of the concern of the Secret Service that there might be a widespread plot to assassinate Vice President Johnson as well as President Kennedy.
Vice President Johnson then asked that Kenny (O'Donnell) and Larry (O'Brien) be consulted to determine what their views were on returning promptly to Washington. Kenny and Larry came down and told Vice President Johnson that they agreed he should return to Washington immediately. Vice President Johnson then asked me to try to alert some of the members of his staff to go to the airport for the return trip to Washington. I then proceeded to look for those members of the staff, and I was later driven to Love Field by a young Dallas policeman. By the time I returned to the Presidential plane (AF-1), Vice President and Mrs. Johnson had already boarded the plane and arrangements had already been made to have Vice President Johnson sworn-in as the President. I do not have any personal knowledge of Vice President Johnson's conversation with Attorney General Kennedy concerning the advisability of a prompt swearing-in or of the arrangements to have Judge Sara Hughes participate in that ceremony. I was present at the swearing-in and shortly thereafter the President's plane took off for the Washington area.
The original conversations concerning President Kennedy's trip to Texas occurred on June 5, 1963 at the Cortez Hotel in El Paso, Texas. President Kennedy had spoken earlier that day at the Air Force Academy and Vice President Johnson had spoken at Annapolis. The President and Vice President met with Governor Connally at the Cortez Hotel to discuss a number of matters, including a trip by the President to Texas. Fred Korth and I were present when the three men assembled, but Fred Korth and I left during their discussion of the President's proposed trip. The first tentative date was to have the trip coincide with Vice-President Johnson's birthday on August 27th, but that was rejected because it was too close to Labor Day. President Kennedy's other commitments prevented him from coming to Texas any sooner than November 21st, which was the date finally set.
Signed this 20th day of May 1964.
(S) Clifton C. Garter,

Earle Cabell

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