«NOVEMBER 22, 1963 (Friday) 12:00 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) Nine Secret Service agents drinking at Pat Kirkwood’s bar the “Cellar Door” in Fort Worth, ...»
July 16, 2004 R.D. Morningstar, a pilot who flew for 12 years from the same NJ airport facility from which JFK Jr. flew his last flight has asked the FBI, FAA and NTSB to reopen the case in the light of evidence and personal testimony revealing that the 9/11 suicide pilots were secretly training at the same airport facility, Caldwell Flight Academy (CFA), at the time that JFK Jr. was killed. Two of the 9/11 terrorists, Muhammad Atta and Marwan Alshehhi, were living in Paterson, NJ, 2 miles from Caldwell Airport and working at a shopping mall, adjacent to the airport. In October, 1999, Morningstar encountered Marwan Alshehhi, who crashed into WTC Tower # 2 in the pilot’s lounge at CFA. On November 7th, 2000, Morningstar followed Muhammad Atta, who crashed into Tower # 1, while flying from the Hudson River to Caldwell Airport. He later saw Atta being debriefed in a foreign language by an Eastern European Flight Instructor. In May of 2001, Morningstar met Hani Hanjour, the suicide pilot who crashed into the Pentagon, conversing with him several times. Hanjour was also living in Paterson, NJ while working as ground crew person at Caldwell Flight Services, refueling and towing aircraft rented at CFA. In August, 2001, Morningstar notified the FAA Caldwell Tower Supervisors and the FBI of the presence and suspicious behavior of Eastern European Flight Instructors training Middle Eastern pilots in foreign languages at Caldwell Airport, NJ.
At that time, Morningstar was experiencing repeated instances of tampering with the aircraft, which he rented at CFA. Many complaints of radio malfunctions, bad instruments and wire-rigged controls by the pilot to CFA staff and owners were ignored as Hanjour and Atta made final preparations for the 9/11 attacks. On April 30th, 2004, Morningstar submitted a detailed 10-page report to the National Commission on the Terrorist Attacks on the United States. The report was written to Governor Thomas Kean, Chairman of the Commission, with another copy of the report submitted to Commissioner John F. Lehman, former Secretary of the Navy.
August 2, 2004 Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have begun work on a digital scanning apparatus that they believe will be able to reproduce sound from the only known audio recording of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas. The recording was made through an open microphone on a police motorcycle during Kennedy’s motorcade into Dealey Plaza, where the president was shot to death. The sounds were captured onto a Dictaphone belt at police headquarters, but scientific analyses of them over decades proved anything but conclusive, fueling arguments about how many people were actually involved in killing the president. Results should be available in a year’s time.
September 24, 2004 John “Jack” Burnham Bates, a prominent San Francisco trial lawyer and a former president of the n Commonwealth Club, dies of pneumonia at his home in Piedmont. RFK was visiting the Bates ranch on the day that Marilyn Monroe died. Robert Kennedy was in San Francisco that weekend to address the American Bar Association. Bates’ ranch is 60 miles south of San Francisco. That Sunday morning RFK attended church near the Bates ranch and played touch football and rode horses that afternoon.
On Monday, he addressed the ABA convention.
October 2, 2004 (Havana, Cuba) The book “1963, The Plot”, which affirms US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and anti-Cuban groups have direct involvement in assassination of President John F. Kennedy, is published here Saturday. Fabian Escalante, former head of Cuba’s State Security, wrote the book in which he said Cuba was a related victim of the plans to murder Kennedy.
The book, in 248 pages, says the masterminds and actual perpetrators of the murder of Kennedy will be discovered soon and they will likely be found inside the CIA and the anti-Cuban groups based in Miami, Florida. Kennedy’s murder was undoubtedly backed by the US authorities, Escalante said while presenting the book, adding “they have reasons, means and men trained for such purpose.” According to the author, the book lists 90 names of Cuban exiles who might have been involved in the assassination.
October 6, 2004 It’s one of the most recognized photographs in U.S. history: Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, buckling against a bullet fired by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby. But for decades, the site of the shooting – the basement of the former Dallas police headquarters at Main and Harwood streets – has been closed to the public, shutting out conspiracy buffs and curious tourists alike. That’s about to change, city officials say. With plans in the works to redevelop the old City Hall complex, in two or three years visitors may be able to go to the gloomy basement sally port – and potentially the fifth-floor jail cell where Mr. Oswald and later Mr. Ruby were held in 1963. “It’s been a site people have been interested in for years,” interim City Manager Mary Suhm said. “We need to be sure to facilitate those who want to see it. It completes the history.” The basement parking garage where Mr. Oswald was shot gives little indication of its historic past. But the fifth-floor jail – a maze of mint-green metal bars – is chilling. Each cell holds a steel toilet, a bunk and a chipped wooden bench, etched with everything from initials to checkerboards.
Eerie shadows drape the narrow hallways, and voices distort into echoes. Assistant City Manager Ryan Evans said the city hopes to work with the Sixth Floor Museum to design tasteful exhibits for the basement and, hopefully, for the upstairs cell as well. But museum officials said they have had only one conversation with the city and haven’t made a commitment yet. The Oswald shooting is more than just history to Jim Leavelle. The former Dallas homicide detective was handcuffed to the accused assassin when Mr. Ruby stepped from the crowd and fired his pistol. Mr. Leavelle gets hundreds of letters a year from people interested in hearing his story or visiting the old headquarters. “I was in the wrong spot at the right time,” Mr. Leavelle said. Revealing these tourist treasures is an affordable way to bring more visitors – and more dollars – into the heart of downtown, Mr. Evans said. “The bottom line is we’re trying to do everything we can to increase the vibrancy, the uniqueness, the excitement of downtown,” he said. “This could generate an increase in the pedestrian count in the city’s core.” Mr. Evans said opening the building to the public would also set the stage for a citywide tour centering on the Kennedy assassination. It could include the Sixth Floor Museum, Dealey Plaza and the Texas Theater on Jefferson Boulevard, where Mr. Oswald was captured. “Any time people have family in from out of town, they might take them [downtown] for this,” he said. With all the public interest in the Oswald shooting, Mr. Leavelle said, the site probably should have been opened sooner. “I get an awful lot of requests to go in there,” he said. “To my way of thinking, it would have been better to give people a chance earlier.” But Mr. Evans said it would’ve been unsafe to open the site to the public while the building housed the city’s Police Department. Currently, the building is vacant except for some limited municipal court operations. “We were security-minded – we didn’t want a bunch of conspiratists walking through police headquarters,” he said. Now that the Police Department has moved to the new Jack Evans Police Headquarters south of downtown, he said, “We’re in a position where we can open it up to the world.” Mr. Leavelle said it couldn’t come at a better time. “It’s something that’s sorely needed in that part of town,” he said. “It’s going to be a good thing for the city.”
January 8, 2005 The younger sister of President John F Kennedy dies at the age of 86. Rosemary Kennedy, who was n born mentally retarded, was the inspiration for sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who founded the Special Olympics for mentally disabled athletes. Her brother, Sen Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, and other family members are with her when she dies of natural causes on Friday at Fort Atkinson Memorial Hospital. The oldest daughter of Rose and Joseph Kennedy, Rosemary Kennedy lived most of her life in Jefferson, Wisconsin, at St. Coletta’s, one of the oldest organizations in the United States providing support services for people with developmental disabilities. “Rosemary was a lifelong jewel to every member of our family. She was always a loving presence in our lives,” the statement said.
January 27, 2005 Nick McDonald, a former policeman who arrested Lee Harvey Oswald at a Dallas movie theater afn ter President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, dies today. He is 76. McDonald arrived at Dallas’ Dealey Plaza moments after Kennedy was shot on Nov. 22, 1963. Later that day, he searched the Texas Theater and helped make the historic arrest, grappling with the man suspected of shooting Kennedy after Oswald pulled a gun. By then, Oswald already had shot another Dallas officer dead in a confrontation. ``He made a fist and bam, hit me right between the eyes,’’ McDonald recalled years afterward. ``Knocked my hat off. I came back and hit him.’’ But it wasn’t until later in the day that McDonald realized whom he had captured. McDonald died at a local hospital of complications from diabetes, said his wife, Rose. In a memoir, ``The Arrest and Capture of Lee Harvey Oswald,’’ McDonald recalled going to the rear of the theater after police received a tip that a suspicious man had entered without paying. ``As I peeked through the heavy curtains out into the audience (Johnny Brewer), at my shoulder, pointed out the suspect,’’ McDonald wrote. As the two officers confronted Oswald, the suspect said, ``Well, it’s all over now.’’ As police tried to search and cuff him, Oswald pulled a pistol and tried to fire, but McDonald grabbed the weapon and moved to block the trigger with his hand. ``I could feel the hammer glide under my hand,’’ McDonald wrote. ``The returning hammer made a dull, audible snapping sound as the firing pin struck the flesh of my left hand, between the thumb and forefinger. ``Bracing myself, I stood rigid, waiting for the bullet to penetrate my chest.’’ But the bullet didn’t fire. McDonald jerked the weapon from Oswald, fell on top of him and finally subdued him. Born March 21, 1928, in Camden, Ark., he graduated from Camden High School, served in the Navy and was a Korean War veteran. McDonald served 25 years with the Dallas Police Department, retiring as a sergeant and moving to Hot Springs in 1980.
February 1, 2005 Today, at the at the 34th annual Barrett-Jackson classic car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, the 1962 Lincoln Continental “Bubbletop” limousine used by President John F. Kennedy is auctioned off for $632,500. The car was used frequently by President Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, according to R.M. Auctions. Among other notable occupants were President Lyndon Johnson, Pope Paul VI, and the Apollo astronauts.
February 15, 2005 NEW YORK (AP) - An oak rocking chair that President John F. Kennedy used to rest his bad back sold for $96,000 to an anonymous telephone bidder Tuesday at the opening of a three-day auction of property from the Kennedy family’s homes. The bidding at Sotheby’s showroom was brisk, with many lots selling for 10 to 20 times their presale estimates. ``For whatever reason, I’ve always been fascinated with Kennedy,’’ said Doug Ellis of Princeton, N.J., who paid $1,560 for a pair of brass candlesticks from the Kennedys’ home in Hyannis Port, Mass. ``I probably have 600 books about the Kennedys.’’ The auction, which took in $1.7 million Tuesday, was expected to be more modest in scope than a 1996 Kennedy sale at Sotheby’s that brought in $34.5 million, including $2.5 million for Jacqueline Kennedy’s engagement ring from Aristotle Onassis. The 700-plus lots in the current sale include collections of ordinary objects such as magazines, records and glass jars. Bidding on most items Tuesday started at way over the auction house’s conservative estimates. A sugar bowl estimated at $100 to $150 sold for $7,200 and a group of assorted baskets worth $150 to $250 fetched $1,560. Stephen “Skippy” Weinstein, a trial lawyer from New Vernon, N.J., paid $18,000 for a red flannel blanket monogrammed ``JFK.’’ ``I just admired him so much,’’ said Weinstein, who worked as an aide to a U.S. senator during the Kennedy administration. ``I thought what he tried to do for the country was admirable.’’ The auction included items from the Kennedy and Onassis homes as well as furniture from the private family quarters of the White House. Lots to be sold on Wednesday include horse blankets, a frame from the animated film ``101 Dalmatians’’ signed by Walt Disney, and an Aaron Shikler portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy with Caroline and John Jr. in their Fifth Avenue apartment. The property was consigned by Caroline Kennedy, who said in an introduction to the catalog that she has given everything of historical significance to the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and kept the things that mean the most to her and her children. She says a portion of the auction proceeds will go to the library foundation and other charities.
May - 2005 By Anthony Summers, Don DeLillo, Elias Demetracopoulos, G. Robert Blakey, Gerald Posner, Jefferson Morley, Jim Lesar, John McAdams, John Newman, Norman Mailer, Paul Hoch, Richard Whalen, Robbyn Swan, Scott Armstrong, Vincent Bugliosi
To the Editors:
It is disappointing to learn that the Central Intelligence Agency filed motions in federal court in May 2005 to block disclosure of records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy forty-one years ago.
In response to the journalist Jefferson Morley’s lawsuit brought under the Freedom of Information Act, the CIA is seeking to prevent release of records about a deceased CIA operations officer named George E. Joannides.
Joannides’s story is clearly of substantial historical interest. CIA records show that the New Orleans chapter of a Cuban exile group that Joannides guided and monitored in Miami had a series of encounters with the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald three months before Kennedy was murdered. Fifteen years later, Joannides also served as the agency’s liaison to the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He did not disclose his role in the events of 1963 to Congress. The public record of the assassination and its confused investigatory aftermath will not be complete without his story.
The spirit of the law is clear. The JFK Records Act of 1992, approved unanimously by Congress, mandated that all assassination-related records be reviewed and disclosed “immediately.” When Morley filed his lawsuit in December 2003, thirteen published JFK authors supported his request for the records in an open letter to The New York Review of Books (www.nybooks.com/articles/16865).
Eighteen months later, the CIA is still stonewalling. The agency now acknowledges that it possesses an undisclosed number of documents related to Joannides’s actions and responsibilities in 1963 which it will not release in any form. Thus records related to Kennedy’s assassination are still being hidden for reasons of “national security.” As published authors of divergent views on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, we say the agency’s position is spurious and untenable. Its continuing non-compliance with the JFK Records Act does no service to the public. It defies the will of Congress.
It obscures the public record on a subject of enduring national interest. It encourages conspiracy mongering. And it undermines public confidence in the intelligence community at a time when collective security requires the opposite.
We insist the CIA observe the spirit of the 1992 JFK Assassination Records Act by immediately releasing all relevant records on the activities of George Joannides and any records at all that include his name or relate in any way to the assassination story—as prescribed by the JFK Records Act. The law and common sense require it.
May 13, 2005 NEW YORK (AP) - A section of fencing from the infamous grassy knoll in Dallas’ Dealey Plaza is going up for auction. The weather-beaten picket fence, along with its metal posts, goes up for bid Sunday at the Lelands.com online auction house. Bidding on the fence from the scene of President Kennedy’s Nov. 22, 1963, assassination runs through June 16. ``It’s an iconic item, in a macabre sort of way,’’ said Simeon Lipman, director of Americana at the Long Island-based auction house. The fence was rescued from the junk heap five years ago by Dealey Plaza tour guide Ronald D. Rice. When a construction crew began dismantling the fence to replace it in January 2000, Rice grabbed four sections - each nearly 6 feet long and 4 1/2 feet high - and put them into storage. When the storage payments were not made, the fence was sold at public auction to Daniel Moses, who approached Lelands last year about selling it off, Lipman said. Although the section of fence is indisputably from the Dallas location, there are questions about whether it’s the fence that was standing on Nov. 22, 1963. The curator at the Sixth Floor Museum overlooking Dealey Plaza says many of the fence’s wooden pickets were replaced over the years. Lelands agrees that pickets snatched by souvenir hunters or ruined by the weather were replaced, but maintains ``the wooden cross members that make up the main frame and the metal posts are original and predate 1963.’’ Several of the pickets have JFK-related graffiti, including the message, ``Oswald Was Framed.’’ Conspiracy theorists have long suggested a second gunman might have hidden behind the fence. The minimum opening bid for the fence is $5,000, although Lipman acknowledged he had no idea what kind of bidding might ensue. ``It’s impossible to say with such a unique item,’’ he said.
June 24, 2005 DALLAS (AP) - An online casino has purchased a section of fencing from the scene of President John F.
Kennedy’s assassination for nearly $33,000. The purchase by GoldenPalace.com adds to the casino’s collection of artifacts, which includes a grilled cheese sandwich bearing the image of the Virgin Mary and an invitation to the canceled wedding of runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks. The auction, offered by Lelands.com, closed Friday. Lelands said that the fence has been repaired a number of times over the years and few of the pickets are believed to be original. The metal posts were the only portion that may have been on the grassy knoll the day Kennedy was shot in November 1963, said Gary Mack, curator at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, which is dedicated to Kennedy’s life. When a construction crew began dismantling the fence to replace it in January 2000, a tour guide grabbed four sections and put them into storage. When the storage payments weren’t made, the fence was sold at public auction to a man from Texas. The man approached Lelands last year about reselling it, said Simeon Lipman, director of Americana at the New York-based auction house.
July 14, 2005 BOSTON (AP) -Several artifacts from John F. Kennedy’s presidency have arrived at the Kennedy Library and Museum, including a piece of wood from the platform believed to be where Kennedy stood while he took the oath of office in 1961.
The items, which arrived last week, were briefly displayed on Wednesday. They also include JFK’s first-edition copy of his book, ``Why England Slept,’’ kept in a drawer in the Oval Office, and a light brown suede glove believed to be the mate to one already at the library, worn by Kennedy at his inauguration. The artifacts were recovered by the National Archives and Records Administration from the estate of Robert L. White, a collector who obtained them from the president’s late secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, library officials said. The library also now has a map of Cuba with Kennedy’s notes from briefings on the Cuban Missile Crisis. White had obtained the map from Lincoln and sold it, and the federal government recovered it last year for the Kennedy library. Other new material includes thousands of pages of national security documents, letters, notes and memoranda. Curators are considering when and where to display the collection, Kennedy Library director Deborah Leff said.
August 5, 2005 (Reuters) Marilyn Monroe fretted over a relationship with then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and had a one-night stand with actress Joan Crawford that left her cold. Monroe also thought sex with former spouse and playwright Arthur Miller was just “so-so” and maintained a deep affection for ex-husband Joe DiMaggio. But she credited her psychiatrist with teaching her how to achieve orgasm. The Los Angeles Times revealed a few glimpses into Monroe’s mind on Friday in excerpts of tape recordings the sex symbol and actress is said to have secretly made for her psychiatrist in the days before she died at the age of 36 in 1962. The Times said it obtained a written record of the tapes from the only person still alive who claims to have heard them -- former prosecutor John Miner, 86, who says the recordings support his belief Monroe was a victim of foul play. Miner took “extensive” and “nearly verbatim” notes from the tapes when they were played for him by Monroe’s therapist, Dr. Ralph Greenson, now deceased, while Miner was investigating her death. Monroe’s body was found on Aug. 5, 1962, in her Los Angeles home. An autopsy concluded she died of barbiturate poisoning, and the death was ruled a probable suicide. Conspiracy theories abounded for decades suggesting Monroe was murdered. Prosecutors reexamined the case in 1982 but decided there was insufficient evidence to warrant a new criminal investigation. Miner told the Times he examined the tapes in a bid to determine Monroe’s state of mind and came away believing the recordings showed the actress was anything but suicidal. According to excerpts, Monroe started off the recording -- a kind of self-analysis through free association -- by thanking her doctor for helping her regain “control of myself, control of my life.” “You are the only person who will ever know the most private, the most secret thoughts of Marilyn Monroe,” she says. She also credits him for helping her unlock the secret to orgasm after years of unsatisfying sex, and goes on to dwell on the shape of her own body, her two famous former husbands, and her feelings toward such fellow stars as Clark Gable and Frank Sinatra, whom she called “a wonderful friend.” At one point, she describes standing naked in front of full-length mirrors to examine her own body -- “My breasts are beginning to sag.... My waist isn’t bad. My ass is what it should be, the best there is.... OK, Marilyn, you have it all there.” Of her sexual liaison with Joan Crawford, Monroe said, “Next time I saw Crawford, she said she wanted another round. I told her straight-out I didn’t much enjoy doing it with a woman. After I turned her down, she became spiteful.” Although Monroe has long been rumored to have had an affair with President John F. Kennedy, the tapes bear no evidence of that, the Times said. They do strongly suggest she and the president’s brother, Robert, were involved romantically. “There is no room in my life for him,” she says. “I guess I don’t have the courage to face up to it and hurt him. I want someone else to tell him it’s over. I tried to get the president to do it, but I couldn’t reach him.” Discussing her failed marriage to DiMaggio, Monroe said, “We didn’t end our love for each other.” She said the baseball great needed a “traditional” wife but there was “no way I could stop being Marilyn Monroe and become someone else.” By contrast, Monroe’s marriage to Arthur Miller was “my mistake, not his,” she said. “He couldn’t give me the attention, warmth and affection I need. It’s not in his nature.... As bed partners, we were so-so.” The Times said Miner was allowed to hear the tapes on condition he never reveal their contents and only broke his promise years after Greenson’s death when some Monroe biographers suggested the doctor might be considered a suspect in her death.
August 4, 2005 (UPI) -- A U.S. study that used hypnotic suggestion finds the brain can override responses experts have long assumed to be ingrained and automatic, such as reading. The study provides compelling evidence that humans can “unlearn” an automatic process and points to hypnotic suggestion as a powerful new tool for brain research generally. The study by Weill Cornell Medical College researchers focused on the Stroop Test -- a hallmark of attentional research that asks people to name the ink color a word is printed in. However, the test has a trick, the word “red” might be printed in green ink, which sets up a cognitive conflict within the brain, which is inclined to answer what it reads -- “Red”, even though it knows the correct answer is “Green.” The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Some researchers have long suggested that hypnosis played a part in Sirhan Sirhan’s assassination of Robert Kennedy. This theory was ridiculed by authorities who said that a hypnotised subject would not, even under hypnosis, do things that the subject knew were wrong or unlawful.
August 13, 2005 Fidel Castro celebrates his 79th birthday today.
October 18, 2005 GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) - A watch that Marilyn Monroe reportedly gave President Kennedy as a birthday gift has fetched $120,000 at an auction. The gold Rolex is inscribed: ``Jack, With love as always from Marilyn May 29th 1962.’’ Kennedy was born May 29, 1917. Bill Panagopulos, founder of the Alexander Autographs auction house, said the buyer was an East Coast collector, but he didn’t release a name. The watchcase contains a poem, written on a small piece of paper, titled, “A Heartfelt Plea on Your Birthday.’” The poem reads: ``Let lovers breathe their sighs/ And roses bloom and music sound/ Let passion burn on lips and eyes/ And pleasures merry world go round/ Let golden sunshine flood the sky/ And let me love/ Or let me die!’’ Monroe performed a sultry rendition of ``Happy Birthday to You’’ for Kennedy on May 19, 1962, at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The actress is believed to have given the watch to Kennedy aide Kenneth O’Donnell, who passed it on to the president, Panagopulos said. But when Kennedy saw it, he told O’Donnell to “get rid of it,’” according to a note that was sold with the watch, Panagopulos said. The watch, which was sold Saturday, had been expected to sell for between $40,000 to $60,000. ``It’s the hardest thing I ever had to estimate,’’ Panagopulos said.
``Historic relics, especially when there is a hint of scandal attached, defy any attempt by an auctioneer to estimate their selling price.’’ November 2, 2005 NEW YORK (AP) - A trove of John F. Kennedy memorabilia amassed by a cleaning-supplies salesman
- from presidential doodles to a ``hot line’’ telephone to the White House - will be auctioned next month. The sale of nearly 2,000 lots at Guernsey’s auction house will also include the Omega watch Kennedy wore at his inauguration, a sailboat, two rocking chairs, and 1950s passports issued to Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Robert White, who collected the items before his death in 2003, became fascinated as a teenager with the career of then-Sen. Kennedy, Guernsey’s President Arlan Ettinger said. White began a correspondence with Evelyn Lincoln, Kennedy’s secretary, and they became friends after Kennedy’s 1963 assassination. ``The two were kindred spirits in their devotion to the late president,’’ Ettinger said. ``It was said that Robert became the son that she never had.’’ When Lincoln died in 1995 she bequeathed a file cabinet full of presidential items to White, adding to his already substantial collection, Ettinger said. The Dec. 13-17 auction will feed a seemingly insatiable appetite for Camelot nostalgia. A 1996 auction of items consigned by the Kennedy family brought in $34.5 million at Sotheby’s, and a second Sotheby’s sale took in $5.5 million earlier this year. Among the lots being sold by Guernsey’s are a ``hot line’’ telephone Kennedy took with him when he traveled - and which provided an automatic connection to the White House - and a page of doodles on which the phrase ``Blockade Cuba!’’ is circled. Ettinger said other items such as campaign posters and buttons should be fairly affordable to the general public.
December 17, 2005 Columnist Jack Anderson dies at the age of 83. Anderson, author of the syndicated Merry-Go-Round n column, hailed from the “muckracking” tradition of journalism and broke ground in uncovering various scandals over several decades.
Anderson took over the column from his partner and mentor Drew Pearson upon Pearson’s death in 1969. Anderson wrote a piece on March 7, 1967, which published information about “a reported CIA plan in 1963 to assassinate Cuba’s Fidel Castro.” This column was what prompted President Lyndon Johnson to direct CIA Director Richard Helms to prepare the Inspector General’s Report on Plots to Assassinate Fidel Castro. The Anderson piece relayed the claim - which the Church Committee later found had originated with Johnny Roselli and others - that “Senator Robert Kennedy may have approved an assassination plot which then possibly backfired against his late brother.” A later Anderson column in January 1971 added more details to the story.
December 30, 2005 LACONIA, N.H. (AP) - Lewis Hanson dies. He served as a pilot for four presidents and co-piloted n the flight that brought John F. Kennedy’s body back from Dallas aboard Air Force One. Hanson who was 81, was a retired U-S Air Force colonel. He flew everyone from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to the Shah of Iran. Hanson retired in 1969 to Center Harbor, New Hampshire, where he raised cattle and chickens and produced maple syrup. He became a selectman in 1970, a position he held for more than 35 years until his death.
January 4, 2006 BERLIN (Jan. 4) - Cuba lay behind the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald and its agents provided the gunman with money and support, an award-winning German director says in a new documentary film.
Wilfried Huismann spent three years researching “Rendezvous with Death,” based on interviews with former Cuban secret agents, U.S.
officials and a Russian intelligence source, and on research in Mexican security archives. The film, shown to journalists in Berlin on Wednesday, says Oswald traveled to Mexico City by bus in September 1963, seven weeks before the Kennedy shooting, and met agents at the Cuban embassy there who paid him $6,500. Oscar Marino, a former Cuban agent and a key source for the documentary, told Huismann that Oswald himself had volunteered for the assassination mission and Havana had exploited him. “Oswald was a dissident.
He hated his country...Oswald offered to kill Kennedy,” Marino said in the film. “He was so full of hate, he had the idea. We used him...
He was a tool.” He said he knew with certainty that the assassination was an operation of the Cuban secret service G-2, but would not say if it was ordered by President Fidel Castro. Oswald was shot dead by Jack Ruby two days after killing Kennedy in Dallas on Nov.
22, 1963. The film argues Cuba wanted to eliminate Kennedy as the chief enemy of its Communist revolution, and portrays him and Castro as dueling opponents each trying to assassinate the other first. Former CIA official Sam Halpern told Huismann: “He (Castro) beat us. He bested us. He came out on top, and we lost.” Laurence Keenan, an officer of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who was sent to Mexico City immediately after Kennedy’s death to investigate a possible Cuban connection, said he was recalled after just three days and the probe was aborted. “This was perhaps the worst investigation the FBI was ever involved in,” Keenan said. “I realized that I was used. I felt ashamed. We missed a moment in history.” Keenan, 81, said he was convinced Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, blocked further investigation because proof of a Cuban link would put him under irresistible pressure to invade the island, a year after the Cuban missile crisis had brought the United States and Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war. “Most likely there would have been an invasion of Cuba which could have had unknown consequences for the whole world,” he told journalists at the screening, saying that was why Johnson preferred to accept Oswald as “a crazed lone Marxist assassin.” Interviewed for the film, Alexander Haig, then a U.S. military adviser and later secretary of state, quoted Johnson as saying “we simply must not allow the American people to believe that Fidel Castro could have killed our president.” “And the reason was that there would be a right-wing uprising in America, which would keep the Democratic party out of power for two generations,” Haig said. He added that Robert F. Kennedy, brother of the assassinated president and attorney general in his administration, had personally ordered eight attempts on the life of Castro, who is still in power to this day. Cuban and Russian sources interviewed in the film say the KGB alerted the Cubans to Oswald in mid-1962 after he left the Soviet Union, where he had lived for three years, and returned to the United States with his Soviet wife and their daughter.
Cuban intelligence first made contact with Oswald in November 1962, according to the film. Huismann also unearthed a U.S. intelligence report shown to Johnson which said Cuban secret service chief Fabian Escalante flew via Mexico City to Dallas on the day of Kennedy’s assassination, and back again the same day. Tracked down by the film maker, Escalante denied he had been in Dallas and evaded questions about Cuba’s alleged role. “What is truth, what are lies?” he said, smiling.
January 31, 2006 Coretta Scott King dies at the age of 78. She was the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who led n the civil rights movement in the 1960s and promoted non-violent action in pursuit of justice and peace. Mrs. King led her family since Dr. King’s murder in 1968. Respected and mourned across the world, Mrs. King also caused discomfort among some with her refusal to accept the notion that her husband had been killed by a lone gunman with no apparent motive. Little-remembered or commented upon was the 1999 civil trial which she pushed, wherein a jury found that her husband had been murdered as a result of a conspiracy involving elements of the federal government.
March 27, 2006 Eighteen-year-old J.D. Tippit (Officer J.D. Tippit’s grandson) is awarded the Eagle Scout badge, Boy Scouting’s highest honor. The home-schooled senior from Forney is considering a college major in law enforcement. He hopes to become a police officer, or a Texas Ranger, or maybe even a Secret Service agent. “In a way, it’s almost like I’m finishing the story. He was in the middle of his career. He was enjoying it; he had a family. And he was cut down,” J.D. said. “It’s almost like a calling.” Officer Tippit was cruising Oak Cliff on Nov. 22, 1963, about 45 minutes after the president had been shot when he noticed something suspicious.
He stopped to question Oswald, who shot him four times in front of several witnesses and fled. Oswald soon was cornered inside the Texas Theatre, where he tried to shoot one of the arresting officers. He was charged that night with the murder of Officer Tippit, and later with Kennedy’s assassination. Warren Commission assistant counsel David W. Belin called the slaying of Officer Tippit “the Rosetta Stone” that helped unravel the mystery of the president’s murder. Even today, the older customers at the Chili’s restaurant where J.D.
works as a waiter often remark on his name. They share stories about where they were when Kennedy was killed and what happened to them afterward. “Kids my age, I’ve never had anyone even near my age ask me if I’m related to J.D. Tippit,” he said. “They don’t know who he is.” Gary Mack, curator of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, said Officer Tippit has unfortunately become one of the forgotten key figures among the events surrounding Kennedy’s assassination. “Innocent people don’t kill police officers. If Oswald killed Tippit, then he must have killed Kennedy is the general thinking,” Mr. Mack said. “Had he not stopped Oswald, Oswald may not have been an obvious suspect to anyone else.” At the Eagle Scout ceremony at First Christian Church in Terrell, Troop 390 Scoutmaster David Lindsey told the crowd that “becoming an Eagle Scout is a great honor. But becoming an Eagle Scout is also a great responsibility.” Betty Tippit, J.D.’s mother, pinned on his Eagle Scout badge, and his father, Curtis Tippit, wrapped his new blue kerchief around his collar. Curtis Tippit was 4 years old when his father was killed. He doesn’t remember much about him, but it makes him happy to call out his name when his son arrives. “I know if he was alive, he’d be very proud,” Mr. Tippit said at the Eagle Scout ceremony. “I know he’s going to honor his name.” J.D., the second eldest of eight children, had to earn badges for citizenship in the community and the nation to become an Eagle Scout. But his grandfather had already taught him something about that. Officer Tippit was a World War II paratrooper veteran working three jobs to support his family when he was killed. “He’s the kind of guy I’d like to be, a real family man with good values. He loved to serve his country,” J.D. said. Along with his high school studies, his Scouting duties and job, J.D. also works for a Rockwall home-schooling association, attends Eastfield College in Mesquite and goes to church every Sunday. He also cares for his two youngest siblings and drops by his grandmother’s house to work in the yard. He has his second-degree black belt in karate.
Officer Tippit’s widow, Marie Flinner, said her grandson takes after him with his love of life and caring for others. She had discouraged her late husband from becoming a police officer until she saw how much he enjoyed it. If her grandson follows him into the ranks, he has her blessing. “I think his granddad would be happy with that,” she said, nodding slowly. “I would pray for him every day, same as I did for his granddad.” May 1, 2006 John Kenneth Galbraith dies at age 97. Galbraith served as Ambassador to India during JFK’s presin dency. They were personal friends. Author of The Affluent Society, The New Industrial State, and other important works, Galbraith was also a longstanding critic of America’s entry into war in Vietnam, an opposition voiced even during the Kennedy administration’s early buildup of advisors. His book Letters to Kennedy contains prophetic remarks about the pitfalls awaiting the U.S. in that region.
Galbraith’s arguments in favor of using economic policy as a force for social change were not very popular among the conservatives of the Reagan era and later years, but his powerful intellect and moral voice remain worth paying attention to.
May 2, 2006 Col. James B. Swindal, the Air force One pilot who flew JFK’s body back to Washington in the n hours after his assassination in Dallas, dies today in Cocoa Beach, Florida. He is 88.
May 5, 2006 In an article, “Fortunes Of Kings, Queens And Dictators,” Forbes today puts Fidel Castro in 7th place in a group of 10 world leaders with “lofty positions and vast fortunes.” The magazine estimates Castro’s personal wealth to be $900 million
- nearly double that of the $500 million of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and just under Prince Albert II of Monaco’s estimated $1 billion.
The article also refers to rumors of Castro having “large stashes in Swiss bank accounts.” “All this makes me sick,” Castro responds on the communist government’s daily public affairs program Mesa Redonda, or “Round Table.” “Why should I defend myself against this rubbish?” Later on the program, Castro pounds the table, saying, “If they can prove I have an account abroad... containing even one dollar I will resign my post.” May 12, 2006 The official investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy found that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. But a recent poll shows nearly 80 percent of Americans doubt that conclusion of the Warren Commission. Retired Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman, who rose to fame during the O.J. Simpson case, says he’s always been fascinated by the conspiracy theories surrounding the JFK assassination so, when the opportunity presented itself, he decided to conduct his own probe and put his findings in a book. He concluded the “lone gunman theory” was accurate and the assassination was “A Simple Act Of Murder,” the title of his new book. On The Early Show Friday, Fuhrman conceded to co-anchor Harry Smith that there have been about 450 other books about that fateful day in Dallas in November 1963, and “That’s not counting magazine articles, documentaries, docudramas or anything else.” So why did he decide to go that route? “No one with any investigative background, like a detective, has given this case a thorough examination,” he told CBS News, “so I decided to conduct my own investigation, which I’ve detailed in this book.” Fuhrman told CBS News that he went where the evidence led him, which was that Oswald “acted alone. None of the conspiracy theories really pans out.
You have to look at this case as a simple murder, where the victim just happened to be the president of the United States. Too much time has been spent on proving theories that just don’t hold any water. This case is just not as complicated as many people think. Lee Harvey Oswald, it’s clear that we can connect him up at every place in this crime,” Fuhrman told Smith. “He has no accountability during the assassination. He is the trigger man. His fingerprints, the gun. It goes on and on and on. From the point of the first shot, they are simple shots. They are easy shots. They are easy shots for an average civilian marksman, let alone somebody that was trained by the Marine Corps. … So it’s not something that is impossible, improbable that he did it. In fact, it was quite easy.” May 15, 2006 Five prominent John F. Kennedy assassination experts convene today at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. to present new findings and make the case that the U.S. government’s investigation of the JFK assassination was replete with errors and, most likely, a deliberate cover-up. These experts also raise an important question: Does the JFK assassination 43 years ago (and the U.S. government’s likely cover-up of the details of that assassination) hold the key to regaining public trust in government? These five experts - appearing for the first time in a national forum together - each have meticulously assembled key parts of a complex puzzle that lead any objective observer to just one conclusion: that the government deliberately covered up the details of the JFK assassination and misled the American public.
May 17, 2006 Investigators in Michigan begin digging at Hidden Dreams Farm in a search for “the human remains of James Riddle Hoffa,” according to the search warrant, obtained by The Associated Press. “This is the best lead I’ve seen come across on the Hoffa investigation,” says Daniel Roberts, special agent in charge of the Detroit FBI field office for the past two years. A law enforcement official in Washington says the search is based on information developed several years ago and verified more recently.
The information indicates there was a high level of suspicious activity on the farm the day Hoffa vanished, the official says, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing. A backhoe appeared near a barn that organized crime members had used for meetings, but that location was never used again after Hoffa disappeared, the official says. The 85-acre farm is less than 20 miles from the suburban parking lot where Hoffa was last seen on July 30, 1975. Detroit’s WDIV-TV reports that the tip comes from a 75-year-old former associate of Rolland McMaster, who owned the property at the time of Hoffa’s disappearance. McMaster, 93, of Fenton, Michigan, was a longtime associate of Hoffa’s. His attorney says he was out of town on the day Hoffa disappeared. No one has ever been charged in Hoffa’s disappearance. He was last seen in 1975 at the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. (This search is eventually called off. No remains are found.) June 9, 2006 The JFK Library announces plans to undertake a large-scale plan to digitize its holdings of 48 million pages of documents, 400,000 photos, and thousands of hours of video and audio recordings.
June 14, 2006 Vincent E. Drain, 86, dies today of a stroke at UT Southwestern University Hospital. On Nov. 22, n 1963, FBI Special Agent Drain was just back from lunch when Dallas police radio traffic pulled him into the biggest case of his career.
About 10 minutes later, he was in the trauma room at Parkland Memorial Hospital, where doctors were trying to save President John F.
Kennedy’s life. Mr. Drain found himself immersed in history as it unfolded. His assignments included escorting Lee Harvey Oswald’s rifle and other evidence to Washington, D.C., on a midnight flight aboard an otherwise empty C-135 Stratolifter. About 24 hours later, he made the return flight to Texas on an F-104 Starfighter. “He absolutely adored hiswork,” said his wife, Ruth Vandeveer Drain of Dallas.
“Going to work every day... he was just so happy to be in the FBI.” Mr. Drain was born in McKinney. He received a bachelor’s degree from what is now the University of North Texas. He wanted to serve in the Army Air Corps but couldn’t pass the vision test. He taught school and coached football in Wylie before attending the FBI Academy. He graduated in 1941. He spent 28 years of his 35-year FBI career in Dallas, his wife said. Mr. Drain was extensively involved in the investigation of Kennedy’s assassination but, out of loyalty to the FBI, did not write a book about his time on the case, his wife said. He did recount his story for one of the eyewitness accounts that Larry A. Sneed used for his 1998 book No More Silence: An Oral History of the Assassination of President Kennedy. The afternoon of the assassination, Mr. Drain was in the Parkland trauma room and at Love Field when the president’s body was taken aboard Air Force One. About 8 p.m., Mr. Drain’s superiors in Washington demanded the rifle for testing. He first had to assure Dallas authorities that he would personally protect the chain of evidence. In Mr. Sneed’s book, Mr. Drain said he would take the evidence to Washington, wait until it was examined and bring it back. The negotiations and packing took hours, well past the last Dallas flight to Washington. “We were told that the FBI in Washington wanted the material by morning if we had to walk it up there,” he said in his account. Mr. Drain arranged for a C-135 transport to fly him from Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth to Washington. “This was an empty plane, and they were flying high and really letting her go,” Mr. Drain said. “During the flight they let me listen to all the shortwave broadcasts about the British, French and Canadians -- calling their troops and their submarines going to sea -- because they were afraid the Russians might attack.” Mr. Drain later took other evidence to Washington and back. He worked on the investigation, including interviewing Oswald’s wife, Marina, whom he met the night of the assassination. He said he was part of a team that worked long hours on the case. Mrs. Drain said her husband did “tons of interviews” and testified before the Warren Commission. He looked at it as simple dedication to a job: “The thing about it is that the FBI agents are just like schoolteachers, doctors, lawyers or merchants; there’s nothing superhuman or magic in the work. It’s hard work, and you have to face it out.” Mr. Drain retired in 1977.
July 31, 2006 Cuban leader Fidel Castro temporarily cedes presidential power to his brother Raul Castro because of “an intestinal crisis” that requires Fidel to undergo “complicated surgery,” according to a letter read on Cuban national television.
August 13, 2006 Fidel Castro sends Cubans a sober greeting on his 80th birthday today, saying he faces a long recovery from surgery - and warning they should be prepared for “adverse news.” But he encourages them to be optimistic and says Cuba “will continue marching on perfectly well.” Castro, who underwent surgery for an unspecified intestinal ailment that forced him to step aside as president two weeks ago, says in a statement that his health has improved, but stresses he still faces risks.
August 16, 2006 Leonard H. Marks, a communications lawyer who helped Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife acquire n the television stations that built their fortune and who later served as director of the United States Information Agency in the Johnson administration, dies today in Washington. He is 90.
August 21, 2006 Former President (and Warren Commission member) Gerald Ford receives a cardiac pacemaker today at the Mayo Clinic. Ford, 93, rests comfortably after the operation, and his wife and children are with him. Ford is expected to continue to recuperate at the clinic for several days. The pacemaker is designed to enhance his heart’s performance.
Also today, scientists at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory say metallurgical chemical “fingerprints” on the bullets that killed JFK and wounded then Texas Governor John Connally may have been misinterpreted and that the government’s crucial “single gunman theory” has been thrown into doubt. “It basically shatters what some people call the best physical evidence around,” chemist Pat Grant, director of the lab’s highly respected Forensic Science Center announces. Grant and Lab metallurgist Erik Randich find that the chemical “fingerprints” used to identify which bullets the fragments came from are not quite the “smoking gun” as thought pointing to Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunman. The FBI used five bullet fragments recovered from the limousine, Connally’s body, the president’s brain and from a stretcher for its initial tests using what is known as “neutron activation” analysis. Those tests proved inconclusive, but later tests by chemist Vincent Guinn -- a renowned specialist in neutron activation -- on the bullet lead pointed directly at Oswald.
Guinn said the fragments came from just two bullets -- both of which came from Oswald’s Russian-manufactured rifle. Randich says the Lawrence Livermore tests come to a different result. “We don’t know if there were two bullets,” said Randich. “There could have been two bullets, but the lead composition data shows there could be anywhere from one to five bullets.” September 2, 2006 Nellie Connally dies today. She is 87. Connally, the widow of former Gov. John Connally, dies in n her sleep late Friday or early Saturday at Westminster Manor in Austin, says Julian Read, who served as the governor’s press secretary in the 1960s. Nellie Connally was the last surviving person who rode in JFK’s limo when he was assassinated. She was reportedly the last person to speak to him before he was killed: “Mr. President, you certainly can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you.” September 17, 2006 Patricia Kennedy Lawford dies in her Manhattan home at age 82, lucky enough to be one of the n few Kennedys of her generation to succumb to natural causes.
October 19, 2006 The US government makes information available to the public indicating that, in November 1963, JFK was secretly working with the #3 official in Cuba -- Commander Juan Almeida, head of the Cuban Army -- to stage a “palace coup” against Fidel Castro. Even today, the CIA currently lists Almeida as the #3 official in Cuba, just behind Raul Castro. The fact that Almeida remained unexposed and high in the Cuban government for decades is a primary reason that over four million pages of JFK assassination files were kept secret until the late 1990s. Recently declassified files show that in addition to protecting Almeida, agencies from the CIA to the FBI to Naval Intelligence also withheld information to hide their own intelligence failures and domestic surveillance operations, as well as to protect the reputations of their own agencies and key officials.
* The JFK-Almeida coup plan (codenamed AMWORLD by the CIA) came about because of the failure to resolve the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. As JFK’s Secretary of State Dean Rusk revealed, JFK’s pledge not to invade Cuba never took effect because of Fidel’s refusal to allow “UN inspections” for “weapons of mass destruction” that were part of JFK’s deal with the Soviets to end the crisis. JFK, not Bush, was the first president to use those terms. CommonDreams.org November 4, 2006 After 27 years on the federal bench, Judge Harold Barefoot Sanders next month will leave the U.S. District Court, where until recently he served as chief justice. The departure will sever a link that goes back to the nearly extinct breed of Texas Democrat that once dominated the state and the nation. That list includes President Lyndon B. Johnson, Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, U.S. Sen. Ralph Yarborough and U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Federal Judge Barefoot Sanders’ progressive stance on civil rights put him at odds with outspoken Dallas conservatives. Judge Sanders, 81, has been called an “LBJ liberal,” but he prefers the term “moderate” – “though I plead guilty to the LBJ part.” He is best known for presiding over Dallas’ desegregation case for 22 years, until declaring the case ended in 2003. During that time, he also directed the overhauls of the state schools for the mentally retarded and state hospitals for the mentally ill. The appointment to the federal bench in 1979 marked the second half of his career. Before that he was a state representative, ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House and Senate, served in the Justice Department and counseled President Johnson. He was the U.S. attorney for North Texas when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963. “I was against him coming here,” he recalled. “The atmosphere at the time was very hostile.” Judge Sanders had a particularly uneasy feeling about plans for the motorcade to pass through Dealey Plaza, though he incorrectly forecast the nature of the danger. “I thought you might have people throwing rocks down from the triple underpass,” he said. “But I didn’t even imagine what was going to happen would happen.” On the Tuesday before the president’s arrival in Dallas, Judge Sanders shared his qualms with JFK’s vice president, Lyndon Johnson.
“He said he thought it was a bad idea, too... but the decision had been made and the president was coming to Dallas, so he said let’s stop worrying and get to work on it,” Judge Sanders said. The judge was in the motorcade later that week when the fatal shots were fired at the president. After Mr. Kennedy was declared dead, Mr. Johnson asked to be sworn in as president by federal Judge Sarah Hughes.
Judge Sanders contacted her at home and she agreed, immediately departing for the president’s plane at Dallas Love Field. She asked Judge Sanders to have a copy of the presidential oath of office ready at her arrival. There ensued a moment of comedy in a tragic weekend. No one could find the oath, Judge Sanders said. “I was looking for it, I think half the federal attorneys in the country were looking for it,” he said. “We were looking in the statute books, and all the time, there it was in the Constitution, pure and simple.” November 7, 2006 Walter Cronkite shares tales about presidents and politics, as well as his perspective on current events with about 900 people at the University of the Pacific’s Faye Spanos Concert Hall. The former CBS Evening News anchor also answers questions written by Pacific students, faculty and other audience members and posed by Pacific president Don DeRosa. Sitting in an
overstuffed easy chair as he spoke, here’s how the 90-year-old Cronkite responds to questions about:
» Reporting the assassination of President John F. Kennedy: “I had tears in my eyes, I was not ashamed of that. Some people think I should have been. It gripped me by the throat.” » Kennedy’s killer: “I’m not sure (Lee Harvey Oswald) was the only culprit. I have some doubts.” » President Richard Nixon: “I think he had a screw loose.... There were occasions when he could be quite pleasant. Those occasions sometimes lasted as long as a minute.” November 17, 2006 The first of many surveillance cameras is installed in downtown Dallas, Texas. Once the system is up and running, it is reported that the Dallas Police Department will be able to monitor 30-percent of the business district. Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle says, “It will create an environment where people know they can’t do anything unlawful in the central business district, because the fact that the cameras are going to take away their anonymity.” Some agree with Dallas police and believe the cameras will deter crime and, but for others the surveillance system is also raising concerns about rights of privacy.
December 26, 2006 Gerald R. Ford, who picked up the pieces of Richard Nixon’s scandal-shattered White House as the n 38th and only unelected president in America’s history, dies today. He is 93 years old. Ford was also the last surviving member of The Warren Commission.
December 30, 2006 Candy Barr, an exotic dancer who befriended Jack Ruby, dated a mobster, shot her husband, went n to prison for drug possession, and starred - unwillingly, she insisted - in a famous stag film, dies today in Victoria, Tex. She is 70. The Slavik Funeral Home in Edna, Tex., confirms the death, but provides no details. The Associated Press says she dies of pneumonia.
January 4, 2007 Marion I. Elvidge, 89, dies today. She began her career graduating from The New England Baptist n Hospital School of Nursing working first at N.E. Baptist where she cared for President John F. Kennedy while he recuperated from back surgery following WW II, and then at Worcester City Hospital in Maternity for many years before retiring. She was born December 23, 1917 in Worcester and has been a lifelong resident of Grafton, MA.
January 14, 2007 E. Howard Hunt - the former CIA man who organized the Watergate break-in and was once eyed in the assassination of JFK - says that Lyndon Johnson could be seen as a prime suspect in the murder. In a new memoir, “American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate & Beyond,” due out in April, Hunt, 88, writes: “Having Kennedy liquidated, thus elevating himself to the presidency without having to work for it himself, could have been a very tempting and logical move on Johnson’s part. “LBJ had the money and the connections to manipulate the scenario in Dallas and is on record as having convinced JFK to make the appearance in the first place. He further tried unsuccessfully to engineer the passengers of each vehicle, trying to get his good buddy, Gov. [John] Connally, to ride with him instead of in JFK’s car - where... he would have been out of danger.” Hunt says Johnson also had easy access to CIA man William Harvey, who’d been demoted when he tried to have Fidel Castro poisoned in defiance of orders to drop covert operations against Cuba. Harvey was “a ruthless man who was not satisfied with his position in the CIA and its government salary,” Hunt writes.
“He definitely had dreams of becoming [CIA director] and LBJ could do that for him if he were president... [LBJ] would have used Harvey because he was available and corrupt.” Hunt denies any hand in the assassination, insisting he wasn’t one of three mysterious hobos who were photographed at the scene. On Watergate, Hunt says he saved G. Gordon Liddy from gagging on urine-tainted booze as they got ready to break into Democratic National Committee headquarters, telling him, “I know you like your scotch, but don’t order it... Last night when we were hiding in the closet, I had to take a leak in the worst way, and when I couldn’t bear it any longer, I found a fairly empty bottle of Johnnie Walker Red - and now let’s just say it’s quite full.” January 22, 2007 Former Florida Senator George Smathers, colleague and friend of John F. Kennedy, dies today at the n age of 93. Smathers was an advocate for attention and dollars devoted to Latin America, and was an early opponent of Castro. In 1975, he told the Church Committee in 1975 about a discussion he had with JFK concerning the possible assassination of Castro, and also about the idea of faking an attack on Guantanamo Bay as a pretext for sending troops into Cuba. Smathers supported many Democratic causes of the 1960s, but was generally an opponent of civil rights legislation. A friend of Richard Nixon as well as Kennedy, Smathers sold Nixon a house on Key Biscayne after Nixon resigned from the Presidency.
January 23, 2007 E. Howard Hunt, who helped organize the Watergate break-in that led to the downfall of Richard n Nixon’s presidency, dies at age 88, The Associated Press reports. In 1959 Hunt visited Cuba and decided that Fidel Castro posed a serious threat to the security of the United States: “I wrote a top secret report, and I had five recommendations, one of which was the one that’s always been thrown at me, is that during... or... slightly antecedent to an invasion, Castro would have to be neutralized - and we all know what that meant, although I didn’t want to say so in a memorandum with my name on it.” Hunt played an important role in planning the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. He was CIA station chief in Mexico during the early 1960s and was rumored to have been involved in the conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy. In 1970 Hunt officially retired from the the Central Intelligence Agency. On the advice of Richard Helms, Hunt went to work for Robert F. Bennett, the head of the Robert Mullen & Co, a small public relations company in Washington. In 2006 it was announced that Hunt had written his memoirs. This included a claim that Lyndon Baines Johnson might have been involved in ordering the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
January 31, 2007 It was announced today that the hearse that carried JFK’s body to Love Field from Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, will be auctioned off in May.
February 19, 2007 A recently discovered home movie shows a brief but clear glimpse of President Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy just seconds before his assassination. The film shows a clear glimpse of President Kennedy and the first lady a few blocks from Dealey Plaza. The silent, 8 mm color film is “the clearest, best film of Jackie in the motorcade,” said Gary Mack, curator of the Sixth Floor Museum, which focuses on Kennedy’s life and assassination. The film was unveiled Monday on the museum’s Web site.
The film shows a clear glimpse of President Kennedy and the first lady a few blocks from Dealey Plaza and roughly 90 seconds before the killing. Also visible is Secret Service agent Clint Hill riding on the back of the car. The assassination is not shown in the 40-second clip. The film ends with some footage the next day outside the Texas School Book Depository. Amateur photographer George Jefferies, 82, took the footage and held onto it for more than 40 years, Mack said. Jefferies mentioned it in a casual conversation with his son-inlaw, Wayne Graham, and the two agreed to donate it to the museum. At least 150,000 people lined the motorcade route, and Mack said he believes there are more film and photographs out there. “I know there are pictures out here that have not surfaced,” Mack said. “The museum is always on the lookout for pictures. The bottom line is don’t throw anything away.” February 24, 2007 Ronald Hilton, an influential scholar on Latin America who played a role in uncovering secret prepn arations for Cuban exiles’ invasion at the Bay of Pigs, dies at his home on the Stanford University campus, in Palo Alto, Calif. He is 95.
The death is announced on the Web site of the World Association of International Studies, which Professor Hilton founded in 1965, and was confirmed by his daughter, Mary Huyck of Greenwich, Conn. It was in November 1960 that The Nation published an article about United States efforts in Central America to prepare for what would become the Bay of Pigs invasion the following spring. The magazine attributed crucial information to Professor Hilton, then the director of the Institute of Hispanic American Studies at Stanford, who had just returned from a research trip to Guatemala. Professor Hilton told an editor at the magazine that it was an open secret in Guatemala that the Central Intelligence Agency had set up a base there for training Cuban exiles to overthrow Fidel Castro. Years later, Clifton Daniel, managing editor of The New York Times, said in a speech that the report by Professor Hilton and The Nation had spurred the newspaper to undertake its own investigation of the training base. The Times then published several articles about the impending attack, which would end in disastrous failure. Part of one of those articles, which appeared in the paper a week before the invasion began, was withheld on national security grounds at the request of the Kennedy administration, a decision that editors later said they regretted.
March 1, 2007 Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Kennedy insider who helped n define mainstream liberalism during the Cold War and remained an eminent public thinker into the 21st century, dies. He is 89.
March 20, 2007 Press reports today say that, prior to his death, E. Howard Hunt had been preparing for publication of “American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond,” released this month. Hunt’s son, St. John, says it was he who suggested the idea of a memoir when he convinced his father that it was time to reveal anything he knew about the Kennedy assassination. It has always been suspected that Hunt shared his Cuban exile friends’ hatred of Kennedy, who refused to provide air cover to rescue the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion that Hunt helped organize. “He told me in no uncertain terms about a plot originating in Miami, to take place in Miami,” said St. John. He said his father identified key players and speculated that then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was responsible for moving the venue to Dallas, where the Texan could control the security scene. But the memoir’s published passages about the assassination have an equivocal tone. Hunt provides only a hypothetical scenario of how events in Dallas might have unfolded, with Johnson atop a pyramid of rogue CIA plotters. The brothers insist their father related to them a detailed plot to assassinate Kennedy.
Hunt told them he was approached by the conspirators to join them but declined, they say. That information was cut from the memoir, the brothers say, because Hunt’s attorney warned he could face perjury charges if he recanted sworn testimony. Hunt also had assured his wife Laura before they married in 1977 that he had nothing to do with the assassination. St. John says he respected his father’s wishes while he was alive but feels no obligation now. He is writing a script about his father, and his brother, David, is shopping for a publisher for their father’s account of CIA involvement in the Kennedy shooting. Despite the brothers’ efforts, their father’s role will probably never be known. The materials they offer to substantiate their story, examined by the Los Angeles Times, are inconclusive. Hunt answers questions on a videotape using speculative phrases, observing that various named figures were “possibly” involved. A chart Hunt sketched during one conversation with St. John shows the same rogue CIA operation he describes in the memoir. None of the accounts provides evidence to convincingly validate that their father disclosed anything revelatory. Hunt’s widow and her two children, 27-yearold Austin and 23-year-old Hollis, dismiss the brothers’ story, saying it is the result of coaching an old man whose lucidity waxed and waned in his final months. Kevan bitterly accuses her brothers of “elder abuse,” saying they pressured their father for dramatic scenarios for their own financial gain. Hunt’s longtime lawyer, Bill Snyder, says: “Howard was just speculating. He had no hard evidence.” St.
John, who sports a mustache and longish graying coif combed back from a receding hairline, has a more personal reason to believe in his father’s disclosures. He said he was instructed by Hunt in 1974 to back up an alibi for his whereabouts on the day Kennedy died, 11 years earlier. “I did a lot of lying for my father in those days,” St. John said. The brothers, who both possess Hunt’s piercing pale-blue eyes, concede they would like to profit from their father’s story but insist he meant them to. “My father died utterly unapologetic about anything he did,” David said. “People do that kind of thing all the time,” St. John said of the prospect of making money from his father’s deeds. Nor does he think the story will reflect badly on their father. “I don’t think it was terrible that he was approached [with the assassination plot] and turned them down.” That Hunt, a skilled obfuscator, might have left contradictory accounts of the Kennedy plot to protect friends and preserve the mystery is not lost on his sons. “That’s the way spies are,” David says with a wry smile, remembering a father he never really knew. “They lead double lives and maintain cover.” March 27, 2007 Former U.S. presidential aide and movie ratings creator Jack Valenti remains hospitalized after suffering a stroke last week. Valenti, 85, is resting at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He was preparing to promote his new book, “This Time, This Place: My Life in War, the White House, and Hollywood,” which is due out in June. Valenti served as an aide to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and was aboard Air Force One by Johnson’s side when he was sworn in after Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. A Texas native, Valenti ran an advertising agency in Houston before heading to Washington to work for Johnson, then majority leader of the U.S. Senate. He later spent 38 years as the top lobbyist for Hollywood, heading the Motion Picture Association of America, or MPAA, where he helped develop a voluntary ratings system for movies and fending off government attempts to curb explicit sex and violence on film. After leaving the MPAA, he worked with the television industry to fight tougher regulations to address concerns by parents’ groups and regulators about profanity and sexual content on broadcast television. He still retains an office at the movie organization’s Washington headquarters.
April 3, 2007 David Harkness dies. He was supervising point control on Main Street, and called an ambulance to n the TSBD to take epileptic Jerry Belknap to Parkland Hospital. He was standing near Elm and Houston Streets, and said he heard three shots, the last two “pretty close together,” but could not determine the source of the shots. He spoke to witness Amos Euins, and then encountered two men “lounging” at the rear of the TSBD who said they were Secret Service agents (no i.d. sought). He took part in the arrest of several tramps in the railroad yard though not, as he put it, the “famous” ones. He said he saw Jack Ruby (whom he knew) “poking around” Dealey Plaza the morning of the assassination, and told him to move on, and testified at Ruby’s trial that the nightclub owner was in the crowd that had gathered at the police station about 3 PM on November 23rd (Oswald’s transfer was originally scheduled for that afternoon). Harkness retired from the DPD in 1973, and later worked for the Probation Department.
April 17, 2007 David L. Johnston, 80, the Dallas County Justice of the Peace who arraigned Lee Oswald, dies today n of a stroke at his East Dallas home. On 11-22, Johnston was at the Trade Mart for the president’s scheduled luncheon speech. After the shooting, he was summoned to Parkland Hospital. That afternoon, he signed the search warrant for the suspect’s Beckley Avenue room.
He conducted Oswald’s arraignment that evening for the Tippit murder, and arraigned him after midnight for the killing of President Kennedy.
April 26, 2007 Jack Valenti, the former White House aide and film industry lobbyist who instituted the modern n movie ratings system and guided Hollywood from the censorship era to the digital age, dies. He is 85. He dies of complications from the stroke at his Washington, D.C., home, said Seth Oster of the Motion Picture Association of America.
April 30, 2007 The “deathbed confession” audio tape in which former CIA agent and Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt admits he was approached to be part of a CIA assassination team to kill JFK is aired this weekend - an astounding development that goes completely ignored by the establishment media. Saint John Hunt, son of E. Howard Hunt, appeared on the nationally syndicated Coast to Coast Live radio show on Saturday night to discuss the revelations contained in the tape. Hunt says that his father mailed the cassette tape to him alone in January 2004 and asked that it be released after his death. The tape was originally 20 minutes long but is edited down to four and a half minutes for the Coast to Coast broadcast. Hunt alleges on the tape that then Vice President Lyndon B.
Johnson was involved in the planning of the assassination and in the cover-up, stating that LBJ, “Had an almost maniacal urge to become president, he regarded JFK as an obstacle to achieving that.” Saint John Hunt says that shortly before his death, his father felt “deeply conflicted and deeply remorseful” that he didn’t blow the whistle on the plot at the time and prevent the assassination, but that everyone in the government hated Kennedy and wanted him gone in one way or another. Kennedy’s promise to “shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter the remnants to the wind” was being carried out and this infuriated almost everyone at the agency. According to Hunt,
the following individuals were key players in the assassination of JFK:
According to Hunt’s confession, which was taken by his son, St. John (“Saint”) Hunt, over the course of many personal and carefully
planned father-son meetings, the following individuals were among the key participants:
Lyndon B. Johnson: LBJ, whose own career was assisted by JFK nemesis J. Edgar Hoover (FBI), gave the orders to a CIA-led hit team, and helped guide the Warren Commission/lone gunman cover-up.
Cord Meyer: CIA agent, architect of the Operation Mockingbird disinformation apparatus, and husband of Mary Meyer (who had an affair with JFK).
David Atlee Philips: CIA and Bay of Pigs veteran. Recruited William Harvey (CIA) and Cuban exile militant Antonio Veciana.
William Harvey: CIA and Bay of Pigs veteran. Connected to Mafia figures Santos Trafficante and Sam Giancana.
Antonio Veciana: Cuban exile, founder of CIA-backed Alpha 66.
Frank Sturgis: CIA operative, mercenary, Bay of Pigs veteran, and later Watergate figure.
David Morales: CIA hit man, Bay of Pigs veteran. Morales was also a figure involved with the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.
Lucien Sarti: Corsican assassin and drug trafficker, possible “French gunman,” Grassy Knoll (second) shooter.
May 7 2007 Joyce Bruce Pitzer, 92, the widow of Navy Lt. Cmdr. William B. Pitzer, dies of Alzheimer’s disease n May 7 in Plantsville, CT. Her husband is reported to have been in possession of a movie film showing President Kennedy’s body; he died of a gunshot wound to the head in 1966 in the television studio of the Bethesda Naval Medical School, officially ruled a suicide.
May 10, 2007 John K. Lattimer, a prominent urologist, ballistics expert and collector of historical relics who treatn ed top-ranking Nazis during the Nuremberg war crimes trials and was the first nongovernmental medical specialist allowed to examine the evidence in President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, dies today at a hospice near his home in Englewood, N.J. He is 92. Dr. Lattimer wrote several articles in medical journals describing experiments he had conducted with rifles, scopes and ammunition similar to those used by President Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. In 1972, the Kennedy family chose Dr. Lattimer to be the first nongovernmental expert to examine 65 X-rays, color photos and black-and-white negatives taken during the autopsy. A front-page New York Times article, with a photograph of Dr. Lattimer, quoted him saying that the images “eliminate any doubt completely” about the validity of the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Oswald fired all the shots that struck the president.” May 19, 2007 (Reuters) Bullet analysis used to justify the lone assassin theory behind President John F. Kennedy’s assassination is based on flawed evidence, according to a team of researchers including a former top FBI scientist. Writing in the Annals of Applied Statistics, the researchers urged a reexamination of bullet fragments from the 1963 shooting in Dallas to confirm the number of bullets that struck Kennedy. Official investigations during the 1960s concluded that Kennedy was hit by two bullets fired by Lee Harvey Oswald. But the researchers, including former FBI lab metallurgist William Tobin, said new chemical and statistical analyses of bullets from the same batch used by Oswald suggest that more than two bullets could have struck the president. “Evidence used to rule out a second assassin is fundamentally flawed,” the researchers said in their article. “If the assassination (bullet) fragments are derived from three or more separate bullets, then a second assassin is likely.” The Kennedy assassination set off a whirlwind of theories about who killed the 46-year-old president. The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, concluded in 1964 that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, fired three shots, one of which missed the president’s car.
There have been many challenges to its conclusions over the years. The House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that Oswald was probably part of a conspiracy that could have included a second gunman who fired but missed Kennedy.
The panel’s supporting evidence was a bullet analysis that said fragments collected from the site were too similar to be from more than two slugs. But the latest report found that many bullets from the same batch used by Oswald had a similar composition. “Further, we found that one of the thirty bullets analyzed in our study also compositionally matched one of the fragments from the assassination,” the article said. “This finding means that the bullet fragments from the assassination that match could have come from three or more separate bullets.” By Catherine Elsworth in Los Angeles Fresh debate over the assassination of President John F Kennedy has erupted following a research team’s claims that bullet analysis used to show that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone was “fundamentally flawed.” Researchers urged authorities to conduct a fresh forensic analysis of the five bullet fragments. The team of experts, which includes a former senior FBI scientist, is challenging the analysis of bullet fragments on which government officials based their conclusion that Oswald alone fired the two bullets that killed the president in 1963, the Washington Post reports. At the time investigators concluded that the five bullet fragments recovered from the scene came from just two bullets, which were both traced to the same batch of bullets Oswald owned. But an article in the Annals of Applied Statistics claims that the “evidence used to rule out a second assassin is fundamentally flawed”. The report, by William Tobin, a former FBI laboratory metallurgist, and Cliff Spiegelman and William James, of Texas University, is based on new statistical calculations and a modern chemical analysis of bullets from the batch Oswald purportedly used. While the researchers reached no conclusion about whether more than one gunman was involved in the Dallas shooting, they urged authorities to conduct a completely fresh forensic analysis of the five bullet fragments. The researchers believe that the bullet fragments could have come from three or more separate bullets. If the five fragments came from three or more bullets, it would mean that a second gunman’s bullet would have had to have struck the president, the research team has concluded. Despite the Warren Commission Report findings that Oswald acted alone, many continue to believe others were involved in the shooting or that it was part of a broader conspiracy which was then the subject of an official cover-up.
June 6, 2007 DALLAS (AP) - A document said to be the flawed original version of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s death certificate is up for sale, 43 years after a mistake helped make it void. The certificate was pulled from the Internet auction site eBay this week after not finding a buyer. The document mistakenly lists Kennedy’s address as “600 Pennsylvania Ave.” - not 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., better known as the White House. The certificate also omits Kennedy’s Social Security number, another error that forced the certificate to be amended. Don McElroy, a funeral home worker who helped load Kennedy’s casket into the hearse at Dallas Parkland Hospital, believes he has the only unaltered death certificate from the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination.
June 12, 2007 Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the 85-year-old mother-in-law of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the sister of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., is recovering from a series of strokes, Schwarzenegger said. Schwarzenegger said that Shriver’s family was told that she would “never speak again” because of damage caused by the strokes, but the governor said Shriver has proven her doctors wrong.
June 22, 2007 On June 25, the CIA will declassify its 693-page “family jewels” documents, according to the National Security Archive. Collected in 1973 under the orders of CIA Director James Schlesinger, these records describe 25 years of what the National Security Archive calls “revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation,” among other abuses of the Agency’s charter. CIA’s current director, Michael Hayden, announced yesterday the release of these files, only a tiny portion of which has been previously available to the public. The National Security Archive has also posted a 6-page summary of illegal CIA activities compiled in 1974, and a memo from the briefing of President Gerald Ford in January 1975.
July 4, 2007 (By Tim Shipman in Washington, Sunday Telegraph) Lee Harvey Oswald could not have acted alone in assassinating President John F Kennedy, according to a new study by Italian weapons experts of the type of rifle Oswald used in the shootings. John F Kennedy and Jackie in an open-topped car in Dallas: Zapruder. Oswald ‘did not have time to fire all Kennedy bullets.
The new findings will encourage conspiracy theorists In fresh tests of the Mannlicher-Carcano bolt-action weapon, supervised by the Italian army, it was found to be impossible for even an accomplished marksman to fire the shots quickly enough. The findings will fuel continuing theories that Oswald was part of a larger conspiracy to murder the 35th American president on 22 November 1963. The official Warren Commission inquiry into the shooting concluded the following year that Oswald was a lone gunman who fired three shots with a Carcano M91/38 bolt-action rifle in 8.3 seconds. But when the Italian team test-fired the identical model of gun, they were unable to load and fire three shots in less than 19 seconds - suggesting that a second gunman must have been present in Dealey Plaza, central Dallas, that day. Two of the bullets hit Kennedy, with the first - the so called “magic bullet”, ridiculed by conspiracy theorists - also wounding the governor of Texas, John B Connally, after it had struck the president. In a further challenge to the official conclusions, the Italian team conducted two other tests at the former Carcano factory in Terni, north of Rome, where the murder weapon was made in
1940. They fired bullets through two large pieces of meat, in an attempt to simulate the assumed path of the magic bullet. In their test, the bullet was deformed, unlike the first bullet in the Kennedy assassination, which remained largely intact. The second bullet is thought to have missed its target. According to the commission, the third disintegrated when it hit Kennedy’s head. The new research suggests, however, that this is incompatible with the fact that Oswald was only 80 yards away, in a book depository, when he fired. The Italian tests suggest that a bullet fired from that distance would have emerged intact from Kennedy’s head, implying that the third shot must instead have come from a more distant location. The findings will encourage conspiracy theorists who hold that Oswald could not have fired three shots in time. For each shot, he would have had to push up the gun’s bolt handle, pull the bolt backwards to eject the spent cartridge case and then forward to slide the next round into the chamber, before turning down the bolt handle to lock it in place. Nearly seven out of 10 Americans believe that Kennedy was murdered as a result of a plot. Depending on which theory they back, the participants supposedly included any or all of the CIA, the Mafia, the Cubans, the FBI chief J Edgar Hoover, the military-industrial complex and Vice-President Lyndon B Johnson. It is the second challenge in two months to the view of the Warren Commission that Oswald acted alone. In May, researchers at Texas A&M University argued that the ballistics evidence used to rule out a second gunman had been misinterpreted. The findings will be a frustration to Vincent Bugliosi, the author of a 1,600-page book, also published in May, which claimed to put to rest all the conspiracy theories of the past 44 years. The Italian findings will be hotly contested by those who believe that Oswald was a lone gunman - not least because they contradict firing tests previously conducted, using Oswald’s actual rifle, by the FBI and the US Marines, and another study by Washington police marksmen using an identical gun. Oswald would only have needed to reload the weapon twice in the eight seconds to get off all three shots, since the time was measured only from the moment he fired the first shot. The FBI concluded that a marksman could have fired a shot at least every 2.3 seconds. In his book, Mr Bugliosi details how after just two or three minutes’ practice with the gun in 1979, three police marksmen aiming at three targets representing Kennedy at the same distance from Oswald, got away three shots in less than eight seconds. One marksman hit the targets twice and missed the third shot by an inch. A second shooter scored a “kill” with his second shot. Mr Bugliosi recounts three separate ballistics tests that found that the magic bullet could have wounded Kennedy and Connally and emerged in similar condition to the real bullet. But that is unlikely to stop the Italian research fuelling another generation of conspiracy writers.
July 11, 2007 Lady Bird Johnson, the former first lady who championed conservation and worked tenaciously for n the political career of her husband, Lyndon B. Johnson, dies. She is 94. Johnson, who suffered a stroke in 2002 that affected her ability to speak, returned home late last month after a week at Seton Medical Center, where she’d been admitted for a low-grade fever. She dies at her Austin home of natural causes about 5:18 p.m. EDT. Elizabeth Christian, the spokeswoman, says she was surrounded by family and friends. Even after the stroke, Johnson still managed to make occasional public appearances and get outdoors to enjoy her beloved wildflowers. But she was unable to speak more than a few short phrases, and more recently did not speak at all, Anne Wheeler, spokeswoman for the LBJ Library and Museum, said in 2006. She communicated her thoughts and needs by writing, Wheeler says. The daughter of a Texas rancher, she spent 34 years in Washington, as the wife of a congressional secretary, U.S. representative, senator, vice president and president. The couple had two daughters, Lynda Bird, born in 1944, and Luci Baines, born in 1947. The couple returned to Texas after the presidency, and Lady Bird Johnson lived for more than 30 years in and near Austin. She said her husband “bullied, shoved, pushed and loved me into being more outgoing, more of an achiever. I gave him comfort, tenderness and some judgment - at least I think I did.” When Johnson challenged Sen. John F. Kennedy unsuccessfully in 1960 for the Democratic presidential nomination, his wife was his chief supporter, although she confessed privately she would rather be home in Texas. His nomination as vice president on Kennedy’s ticket drew her deep into a national campaign. She stumped through 11 Southern states, mostly alone, making speeches at whistle stops in her soft drawl. In his 1965 memoir, “Kennedy,” JFK special counsel Theodore Sorensen recalled her “remarkable campaign talents” in the 1960 campaign. She was with her husband in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, when Kennedy was assassinated, and was at his side as he took the presidential oath of office aboard Air Force One. In her book “A White House Diary,” she recalled seeing Jacqueline Kennedy with her husband’s blood still on her dress and leg. “Somehow that was one of the most poignant sights - that immaculate woman, exquisitely dressed, and caked in blood,” she wrote. Suddenly, the unpretentious woman from Texas found herself first lady of the United States, splitting time between the White House and the Johnson family’s 13-room stone and frame house on the LBJ Ranch, near Johnson City west of Austin. Her White House years also were filled with the turbulence of the Vietnam War era. The first lady often would speak her fears and hopes into a tape recorder, and some of the transcripts were included in the 2001 book “Reaching for Glory, Lyndon Johnson’s Secret White House Tapes, 1964-1965,” edited by historian Michael Beschloss. “How much can they tear us down?” she wondered in 1965 as criticism of the Vietnam War worsened. “And what effect might it have on the way we appear in history?” She quoted her husband as saying: “I can’t get out. And I can’t finish it with what I have got. And I don’t know what the hell to do.” Both daughters married while their father was president. Luci married Patrick Nugent, in 1966 at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. That marriage ended in divorce and she wed Canadian banker Ian Turpin in 1984. Daughter Lynda Bird married Charles Robb, later governor and U.S. senator from Virginia, in a White House wedding in 1967. After she and her husband left Washington, Lady Bird Johnson worked on “A White House Diary,” published in 1970. She also served a six-year term starting in 1971 as a University of Texas regent. She was born Claudia Alta Taylor on Dec. 22, 1912, in the small East Texas town of Karnack. Her father was Thomas Jefferson Taylor, a wealthy rancher and merchant. Her mother was the former Minnie Lee Patillo of Alabama, who loved books and music. Lady Bird Johnson received her nickname in infancy from a caretaker nurse who said she was as “pretty as a lady bird.” It was the name by which the world would come to know her. She disliked it, but said later, “I made my peace with it.” When Lady Bird was 5, her mother died, and her aunt, Effie Patillo, came to care for her and two older brothers. She graduated from Marshall High School at age 15 and prepared for college at St. Mary’s Episcopal School for Girls in Dallas. At the University of Texas in Austin she studied journalism and took enough education courses to qualify as a public school teacher. She received a bachelor of arts degree in 1933 and a bachelor of journalism in 1934. A few weeks later, through a friend in Austin, she met Lyndon Johnson, then secretary to U.S. Rep. Richard Kleberg, a Democrat from Texas. The day after their first date, Lyndon Johnson proposed. They were married within two months, on Nov. 17, 1934, in San Antonio. In December 1972, the Johnsons gave the LBJ Ranch house and surrounding property to the United States as a National Historic Site, retaining a life estate for themselves. The property is to transfer to the federal park service after her death. The family’s privately held broadcasting company - later overseen by Luci Baines Johnson - was sold in March 2003 to Emmis Communications of Indianapolis. Lady Bird Johnson had been a director of the radio company in her later years and even attended most board meetings before her 2002 stroke. In addition to her two daughters, survivors include seven grandchildren, a stepgrandchild, and several great-grandchildren.
August 3, 2007 Boston, MA – In the week that marks the 44th anniversary of the signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum announced that it has declassified a tape recording of a White House meeting at which President Kennedy discusses the opposition of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the treaty and the upcoming debate in Congress. The pact was signed in Moscow on August 5, 1963 by the United States, the United Kingdom and the USSR. The recording will be made available to researchers for the first time on Monday, August 6, 2007. On July 9, 1963, the President met privately in the Oval Office with Vice President Lyndon Johnson, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Maxwell Taylor. This meeting took place immediately after a larger National Security Council meeting on the test ban negotiations, specifically Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Averell Harriman’s upcoming mission to Moscow. General Taylor expressed to the President the opinion of several members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who were privately critiquing the idea of a test ban and about the possibility that they may state these opinions publicly to Congress. The President, although open to debate on the subject, is concerned
about the timing of any formal, public evaluation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the test ban issue:
“I don’t care who comes up and testifies - it ought to be wide open. That’s the time you gotta say it and we haven’t presented our case – then I can say this is why I am for it and that’s the way - then the Chiefs can speak about the military disadvantages and advantages.
Proliferation is certainly a danger to us… I am afraid that if the Chiefs ever met that there are (risks) having position against even an atmospheric test ban, at a very time, which would will leak out, at a very time when Harriman (is in Moscow) …So even though they’ve all taken a separate position, which seems to me somewhat better off than we are that ‘the Joint Chiefs of Staff have met and said this is a threat’ - God we would be in a terrible shape.” On July 26, 1963, President Kennedy gave a radio and television address to the American people on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. In
this speech, the President proclaimed:
“But now, for the first time in many years, the path of peace may be open. No one can be certain what the future will bring. No one can say whether the time has come for an easing of the struggle. But history and our own conscience will judge us harsher if we do not now make every effort to test our hopes by action, and this is the place to begin. According to the ancient Chinese proverb, ‘A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step’. My fellow Americans, let us take that first step. Let us, if we can, step back from the shadows of war and seek out the way of peace. And if that journey is a thousand miles, or even more, let history record that we, in this land, at this time, took the first step.” The treaty pact was signed in Moscow on August 5, 1963 by US Secretary of State Dean Rusk, British Foreign Secretary Lord Home and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko. In a joint communiqué released after the treaty pact was signed, the three signatory nations stated, “that this treaty is an important initial step toward the lessening of international tension and the strengthening of peace.” The Test Ban Treaty was debated and ratified in the Senate and the U.S. instrument of ratification was then signed by President Kennedy in the Treaty Room of the White House on October 7, 1963. The treaty entered into force on October 10, 1963.
December 23, 2012 According to the ancient Mayan calendar, the world comes to an end on this date.
October 27, 2017 ALL JFK ASSASSINATION RECORDS MUST BE DISCLOSED.
EPILOGUE In March 1979 the Assassinations Committee formally asked the Department of Justice to arrange specialist examination of some films shot in Dealey Plaza, to study the acoustics evidence, to review the Committee’s findings, and to report whether further investigation was justified.
It took the Department until March 1988 -- almost a decade later -- to forward its five-page conclusion to Congress.
The Department ruled that no persuasive evidence had been identified to support the theory of a conspiracy in the assassinations of either President Kennedy or Martin Luther King. “No further investigation appears to be warranted,” said the Department, “unless new information... sufficient to support additional investigative activity, becomes available.”