History Argumentative Essay Sample
The Assassination of Kennedy
Lee Harvey Oswald made three shots from the Texas School Book Depository Building “fatally wounding President Kennedy and seriously injuring Governor Connally” (“John F. Kennedy assassinated”). Oswald was born in New Orleans in 1939 and in 1956 joined the U.S. Marines. In 1959 he left for the Soviet Union and tried unsuccessfully to become a Soviet Union citizen. In 1962 he was allowed to return to the U.S. with his Soviet wife and little daughter. He bought a revolver and had precedent of shooting at but missing former U.S. Army general early in 1963. Lately he founded pro-Castro organization. Oswald was determined to go to Cuba and then to get back to the Soviet Union. However, in October he got a job at the Texas School Book Depositary Building.
One month later he shot the President and killed a policeman who suspected him and questioned him at his rooming house in Dallas. Despite this fact the police managed to arrest Oswald 30 minutes later in a movie theater. He was arraigned for the murders of President Kennedy and Police Officer. However, Oswald was never put into jail or brought to trial. On his way to a more secure county jail, one man, Jack Ruby, emerged from the crowd and shot him with a revolver. This man was immediately arrested. He claimed that his rage and despair at Kennedy’s assassination made him kill Oswald. Ruby was charged with the first-degree murder despite some people called him a hero.
Jack Ruby, whose full name was Jacob Rubenstein, featured in many theories about Kennedy’s assassination. He was engaged into illegal business and was an ideal person whom to include into conspiracy. Many people believe that he killed Oswald in order to keep larger secret from revealing. He was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to death though he pleaded innocent and referred his crime to the rage and grief he experienced after the President’s death. However, the sentence was never completed, Ruby died of lung cancer in 1967 awaiting a new trial. According to Warren Commission, Oswald and Ruby did not meet before and were not parts of larger conspiracy. The report stated that neither domestic nor international parties were involved in organizing this murder.
However, there are a number of “theories that have sprung up around the event,” the Week says. Some of them look the most believable. The ‘magic bullet’ theory is based on the fact that Oswald fired only three bullets but managed to kill the President and badly wounded Governor Connally. The Warren Commission came up with ‘single-bullet theory’ under which both men were injured by a single bullet. This theory has been highly criticized because of the fanciful trajectory. Skeptics believe that there was more than one shooter. Another theory called ‘the grassy knoll’ supports the idea that Oswald was not alone in this murder. When the President was shot, the cortege was passing a grassy knoll. Shortly after the events, the police arrested three tramps in the car. All men looked more like CIA assassins rather than hobos.
If Oswald was paid for his job, there is a question who paid him. The list of candidates is pretty long. According to conspiracy theorists, the CIA was interested in Kennedy’s death because he wanted to close this organization. Though this idea about CIA plot seems bizarre, no one can find enough evidence to prove or dismiss it. The mafia goes second in this list. It has nothing to do with John, but was involved into dealing with his brother Robert. He was the US attorney general famous for his anti-mafia operations. He was the reason why the number of prosecutions against mafia leaders increased. The KGB may want to kill Kennedy for worldwide humiliation of the Soviet Union during the Cuban crisis in 1962. Taking into account Oswald’s devotion to communist ideas it seems rather believable that Soviet agents interacted with him on this issue. Other people in this list could also have motive. Lyndon Johnson became the President soon after Kennedy’s death was announced. According to some polls conducted at those times, 20% of Americans believe that he was involved in the assassination.
Kennedy was also interested in classified files which the CIA could not allow even the president to see. He was interested in ending the Vietnam War, but this conflict was for the benefit of some bankers who gained dividends. Some of people accuse Jacqueline Kennedy or William Greer, the driver, of being a secret assassin though it seems unreal and unbelievable. Other conspiracy theorists blame a mysterious man with black umbrella who seemed suspicious. The day was bright and sunny that makes illogical why he held the black umbrella. This man stood exactly on the place where the shots were fired. Louie Steven Will, the Umbrella Man, had another explanation to this saying that it was kind of protest and had nothing to do with murder.
There were lots of reasons why doubt report of the Warren Commission, but it still gives no theory any chance to be proved. There is no evidence of any connection between Oswald and Ruby as well as between any other persons mentioned in theories. The fact is that the President was shot twice with the second shot fatal for him. He may have been alive at the moment of reaching Parkland Hospital, but his condition was hopeless. Ian Scott wrote that “if America has never been satisfied with the explanations for the events in Dealey Plaza, part of the answer lies with the people’s own refusal to come to terms with that loss and the changes followed.”
America was changed forever. The Kennedys were symbols of ideal American family just as the first couple should be for entire nation. There were other presidents but the Kennedy’s contribution has not still been outweighed. His death changed America both culturally and politically. Television has become the primary information source surpassing newspapers. The Americans began to doubt their government and this distrust became permanent. The era of conspiracy theories is simple evidence to inability of people to “accept the simplicity of the assassination” (Giokaris). Kennedy’s death created an opportunity of full-on American Military Engagement into Vietnam conflict. The President was an opponent of any American participation in Vietnam. Both Kennedy’s presidency and his early death contributed in their way to the creation of a new great society in America which is capable of thinking and analyzing, being united and withstand difficulties.
Giokaris, J. % Ways JFK’s Assassination Changed America Forever. Policy. Mic, 22 Nov 2013. http://mic.com/articles/74069/5-ways-jfk-s-assassination-changed-america-forever
“John F. Kennedy assassinated.” History: This Day in History, n.d. <http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/john-f-kennedy-assassinated>
Scott, I. How JFK’s Assassination Changed America Forever: The US Has Spent 50 Years Trying to Find His Replacement. Mirror, 22 Nov 2013. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/how-jfks-assassination-changed-america-2821260
Warren, E. Report of the Warren Commission: The Assassination of President Kennedy. Rep. New York: McGraw-Hill Book, 1964. National Archives and Records Administration. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/warren-commission-report/
“Who Killed JFK? 51 Years of Conspiracy Theories?” The Week, 2 Mar 2015. http://www.theweek.co.uk/us/jfk-anniversary/55933/who-killed-jfk-51-years-of-conspiracy-theories
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