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Warren Commission Report: Page 425« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VII - Lee Harvey Oswald: Background and Possible Motives)

CHAPTER VIII - The Protection of the President

IN THE 100 years since 1865 four Presidents of the United States have been assassinated--Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy. During this same period there were three other attacks on the life of a President, a President-elect, and a candidate for the Presidency, which narrowly failed: on Theodore Roosevelt while campaigning in October of 1912; on President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when visiting Miami on February 15, 1933; and on President Harry S. Truman on November 1, 1950, when his temporary residence, Blair House, was attacked by Puerto Rican Nationalists.1 One out of every five Presidents since 1865 has been assassinated; there have been attempts on the lives of one out of every three.


Prompted by these dismaying statistics, the Commission has inquired into the problems and methods of Presidential protection in effect at the time of President Kennedy's assassination. This study has led the Commission to conclude that the public interest might be served by any contribution it can make to the improvement of protective arrangements. The Commission has not undertaken a comprehensive examination of all facets of this subject; rather, it has devoted its time and resources to those broader aspects of Presidential protection to which the events of last November called attention.


In this part of its inquiry the Commission has had full access to a major study of all phases of protective activities prepared by the Secret Service for the Secretary of the Treasury following the assassination. As a result of this study, the Secretary of the Treasury has prepared a planning document. dated August, 27, 1964, which recommends additional personnel and facilities to enable the Secret Service to expand its protection capabilities. The Secretary of the Treasury submitted this planning document on August 81, 1964, to the Bureau of the Budget for review and approval. This planning document has been made a part of the Commission's published record; the underlying staff and consultants' reports reviewed by the Commission have not, since a disclosure of such detailed information relating to protective measures might undermine present methods of protecting the President. However, all information considered by

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