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Warren Commission Report: Page 29« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER II - THE ASSASSINATION)

in late November 1963.8 The original plan called for the President to spend only 1 day in the State, making whirlwind visits to Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Houston.9 In September, the White House decided to permit further visits by the President and extended the trip to run from the afternoon of November 21 through the evening of Friday, November 22. When Governor Connally called at the White House on October 4 to discuss the details of the visit, it was agreed that the planning of events in Texas would be left largely to the Governor. At the White House, Kenneth O'Donnell, special assistant to the President, acted as coordinator for the trip.12


Everyone agreed that, if there was sufficient time, a motorcade through downtown Dallas would be the best way for the people to see their President. When the trip was planned for only 1 day, Governor Connally had opposed the motorcade because there was not enough time. The Governor stated, however, that "once we got San Antonio moved from Friday to Thursday afternoon, where that was his initial stop in Texas, then we had the time, and I withdrew my objections to a motorcade." According to O'Donnell, had a motorcade wherever we went," particularly in large cities where the purpose was to let the President be seen by as many people as possible.16 In his experience, "it would be automatic" for the Secret Service to arrange a route which would, within the time allotted, bring the President "through an area which exposes him to the greatest number of people."

ADVANCE PREPARATIONS FOR THE DALLAS TRIP

Advance preparations for President Kennedy's visit to Dallas were primarily the responsibility of two Secret Service agents: Special Agent Winston G. Lawson, a member of the White House detail who acted as the advance agent, and Forrest V. Sorrels, special agent in charge of the Dallas office. Both agents were advised of the trip on November 4.18 Lawson received a tentative schedule of the Texas trip on November 8 from Roy H. Kellerman, assistant special agent in charge of the White House detail, who was the Secret. Service official responsible for the entire Texas journey.19 As advance agent working closely with Sorrels, Lawson had responsibility for arranging the timetable for the President's visit to Dallas and coordinating local activities with the White House staff, the organizations directly concerned with the visit, and local law enforcement officials.20 Lawson's most important responsibilities were to take preventive action against anyone in Dallas considered a threat to the President, to select the luncheon site and motorcade route, and to plan security measures for the luncheon and the motorcade.

Preventive Intelligence Activities

The Protective Research Section (PRS) of the Secret Service maintains records of people who have threatened the President or so conducted
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