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Warren Commission Report: Page 28« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER I - Summary and Conclusions)

CHAPTER II - THE ASSASSINATION

THIS CHAPTER describes President Kennedy's trip to Dallas, from its origin through its tragic conclusion. The narrative of these events is based largely on the recollections of the participants, although in many instances documentary or other evidence has also been used by the Commission. Beginning with the advance plans and Secret Service preparations for the trip, this chapter reviews the motorcade through Dallas, the fleeting moments of the assassination, the activities at Parkland Memorial Hospital, and the return of the Presidential party to Washington. An evaluation of the procedures employed to safeguard the President, with recommendations for improving these procedures, appears in Chapter VIII of the report.

PLANNING THE TEXAS TRIP

President Kennedy's visit to Texas in November 1963 had been under consideration for almost a year before it occurred. He had made only a few brief visits to the State since the 1960 Presidential campaign and in 1962 he began to consider a formal visit.1 During 1963, the reasons for making the trip became more persuasive. As a political leader, the President wished to resolve the factional controversy within the Democratic Party in Texas before the election of 1964. 2 The party itself saw an opportunity to raise funds by having the President speak at a political dinner eventually planned for Austin. 3 As Chief of State, the President always welcomed the opportunity to learn, firsthand, about the problems which concerned the American people.4 Moreover, he looked forward to the public appearances which he personally enjoyed.


The basic decision on the November trip to Texas was made at a meeting of President Kennedy, Vice President Johnson, and Governor Connally on June 5, 1963, at the Cortez Hotel in El Paso, Tex.6 The President had spoken earlier that day at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and had stopped in El Paso to discuss the proposed visit and other matters with the Vice President and the Governor.7 The three agreed that the President would come to Texas

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