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Warren Commission Report: Page 57« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER II - THE ASSASSINATION)

them into Parkland Hospital through the emergency entrance.237 The agents moved a nurse and patient out of a nearby room, lowered the shades, and took emergency security measures to protect the Vice President.238 Two men from the President's followup car were detailed to help protect the Vice President. An agent was stationed at the entrance to stop anyone who was not a member of the Presidential party. U.S. Representatives Henry B. Gonzalez, Jack Brooks, Homer Thornberry, and Albert Thomas joined Clifton C. Carter and the group of special agents protecting the Vice President.239 On one occasion Mrs. Johnson, accompanied by two Secret Service agents, left the room to see Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Connally.240


Concern that the Vice President might also be a target for assassination prompted the Secret Service agents to urge him to leave the hospital and return to Washington immediately.241 The Vice President decided to wait until he received definitive word of the President's condition.242 At approximately 1:20 p.m., Vice President Johnson was notified by O'Donnell that President Kennedy was dead.243 Special Agent Youngblood learned from Mrs. Johnson the location of her two daughters and made arrangements through Secret Service headquarters in Washington to provide them with protection immediately.244


When consulted by the Vice President, O'Donnell advised him to go to the airfield immediately and return to Washington.245 It was decided that the Vice President should return on the Presidential plane rather than on the Vice- Presidential plane because it had better communication equipment.246 The Vice President conferred with White House Assistant Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff and decided that there would be no release of the news of the President's death until the Vice President had left the hospital.247 When told that Mrs. Kennedy refused to leave without the President's body, the Vice President said that he would not leave Dallas without her.248 On the recommendation of the Secret Service agents, Vice President Johnson decided to board the Presidential airplane, Air Force One, and wait for Mrs. Kennedy and the President's body.249

Secret Service Emergency Security Arrangements

Immediately after President Kennedy's stretcher was wheeled into trauma room 1, Secret Service agents took positions at the door of the small emergency room. A nurse was asked to identify hospital personnel and to tell everyone, except necessary medical staff members, to leave the emergency room. Other Secret Service agents posted themselves in the corridors and other areas near the emergency room. Special Agent Lawson made certain that the Dallas police kept the public and press away from the immediate area of the hospital.250 Agents Kellerman and Hill telephoned the head of the White House detail, Gerald A. Behn, to advise him of the assassination. The telephone line to Washington was kept open throughout the remainder of the stay at the hospital.251
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