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Warren Commission Report: Page 48« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER II - THE ASSASSINATION)

that Special Agent Clinton J. Hill had to leave the left front running board of the President's followup car four times to ride on the rear of the President's limousine.132 (See Commission Exhibit No. 698, p. 47.) Several times Special Agent John D. Ready came forward from the right front running board of the Presidential followup car to the right side of the President's car.133 Special Agent. Glen A. Bennett once left his place inside the followup car to help keep the crowd away from the President's car. When a teenage boy ran toward the rear of the President's ear,184 Ready left the running board to chase the boy back into the crowd. On several occasions when the Vice President's car was slowed down by the throng, Special Agent Youngblood stepped out to hold the crowd back.135


According to plan, the President's motorcade proceeded west through downtown Dallas on Main Street to the intersection of Houston Street, which marks the beginning of Dealey Plaza.136 From Main Street the motorcade turned right and went north on Houston Street, passing tall buildings on the right, and headed toward the Texas School Book Depository Building.137 The spectators were still thickly congregated in front of the buildings which lined the east side of Houston Street, but the crowd thinned abruptly along Elm Street, which curves in a southwesterly direction as it proceeds downgrade toward the Triple Underpass and the Stemmons Freeway.138


As the motorcade approached the intersection of Houston and Elm Streets, there was general gratification in the Presidential party about the enthusiastic reception. Evaluating the political overtones, Kenneth O'Donnell was especially pleased because it convinced him that the average Dallas resident was like other American citizens in respecting and admiring the President. 139 Mrs. Connally, elated by the reception, turned to President Kennedy and said, "Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you." The President replied, "That is very obvious."

THE ASSASSINATION

At 12:30 p.m., e.s.t., as the President's open limousine proceeded at approximately 11 miles per hour along Elm Street toward the Triple Underpass, shots fired from a rifle mortally wounded President Kennedy and seriously injured Governor Connally. One bullet passed through the President's neck; a subsequent bullet., which was lethal, shattered the right side of his skull. Governor Connally sustained bullet wounds in his back, the right side of his chest, right wrist, and left thigh.

The Time

The exact time of the assassination was fixed by the testimony of four witnesses. Special Agent Rufus W. Youngblood observed that the large electric sign clock atop the Texas School Book Depository Building showed the numerals "12:30" as the Vice-Presidential automobile proceeded north on Houston Street, a few seconds before the
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