About 2,800 classified files on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 has been released following President Donald Trump’s approval.
The president said the public deserved to be “fully informed” about the event, which has been the subject of numerous conspiracy theories.
However, some documents have been withheld at the request of government agencies.
One memo revealed that the FBI had warned police of a death threat against the assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
FBI director J. Edgar Hoover wrote: “We at once notified the chief of police and he assured us Oswald would be given sufficient protection.”
Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine and self-proclaimed Marxist, was shot dead in the basement of the Dallas Police department two days after JFK was killed.
As the documents are pored over and analyzed, other findings include a CIA memo that suggests Lee Harvey Oswald spoke with a KGB officer at the Russian embassy in Mexico City. The memo says the KGB officer Lee Harvey Oswald spoke with worked for a department “responsible for sabotage and assassination”.
Another memo showed that Soviet officials feared an “irresponsible general” would launch a missile at the USSR in the wake of JFK’s death.
The US is marking 50 years since President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, Texas.
Dallas, which has long struggled with the legacy of the murder, hosts a series of official events on Friday.
John F. Kennedy is often ranked among the nation’s most revered presidents, though he served less than three years.
He is commemorated for his youthful vigor, his leadership through the Cuban missile crisis, and his challenge to America to put a man on the Moon.
But he is also remembered for ordering one of the most disastrous episodes of the Cold War, the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of communist Cuba by a CIA-trained paramilitary force of Cuban exiles.
JFK’s family members laid a wreath on his grave at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington DC on Friday. His wife Jackie Kennedy and two of their children are also buried there.
Nearby, President Barack Obama ordered the White House flag be flown at half mast.
Among official events in Dallas on Friday, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will perform, Mayor Michael Rawlings will give an address, and bells will toll at the minute of Kennedy’s death.
Those events and others conclude a week of tributes to the slain US leader.
John F. Kennedy is often ranked among the nation’s most revered presidents, though he served less than three years
Kennedy, a Democrat, was part of one of the most prominent US political dynasties of the 20th Century.
His father, Joseph, was a wealthy businessman who served in senior positions in the government of President Franklin Roosevelt, including as ambassador to Britain.
Two of his brothers later served as US senators and ran for president. One of them, Robert, was himself assassinated in 1968. Edward Kennedy, who died in 2009, was a champion of progressive causes including universal healthcare.
JFK’s daughter Caroline is now the US ambassador to Japan.
On November 22, 1963, JFK and his wife Jackie travelled to Dallas for early campaigning ahead of the following year’s election.
Crowds of supporters lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the couple. As the presidential motorcade entered Dealey Plaza at around 12:30 local time, JFK’s convertible passed the Texas School Book Depository.
Gunshots rang out across the plaza. Bullets struck the president in the head and neck. Half an hour later, JFK was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Soon after, Vice-President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as president aboard Air Force One.
Lee Harvey Oswald, an employee at the depository, was arrested in connection with the shooting.
On November 24, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald was scheduled to be transferred from police headquarters to a county jail when he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner.
Although JFK’s murder has provided endless fodder for conspiracy theorists, official inquiries have determined Lee Harvey Oswald alone was responsible for the assassination.
JFK’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald may have been a loner in life, but it seemed in death he at least had Nick Beef next to him.
Visitors to Lee Harvey Oswald’s grave in Fort Worth, Texas, have wondered who Nick Beef was since a mysterious gravestone appeared next to the legendary killer’s around 1997.
The New York Times solved that mystery Friday, tracking down Nick Beef to New York City where he is alive and well.
Now 56-years-old, Nick Beef is a writer and “non-performing performing artist”.
Nick Beef was born Patric Abedin, the son of a Air Force navigator. When President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline landed at Carswell Air Force base in Fort Worth on November 21, 1963, he was there on the side of the road to welcome them to Texas with the many other well-wishers.
He had lost his father, so a military police officer pulled him up on his shoulders to find his dad.
Just then the president and first lady drove past and he had a prime view.
Visitors to Lee Harvey Oswald’s grave in Fort Worth, Texas, have wondered who Nick Beef was since a mysterious gravestone appeared next to the legendary killer’s around 1997
It was quite a story, and one that she shared with all of his classmates at Waverly Park Elementary School the next day.
At recess Nick Beef had to stay inside since he was an asthmatic, so he was alone when he heard the principal come on the loudspeaker twice to announce that first the president had been shot, and then that he was dead.
When his class returned, he had to break the news to his teacher and friends.
Years later, he relocated to Arlington, Texas with his remarried mother and would make a weekly trip back to the air base to get an asthma shot.
While in Fort Worth they would often stop at Rose Hill cemetery and look at Lee Harvey Oswald’s grave.
“Never forget that you got to see Kennedy the night before he died,” his mother would say.
In 1975, when Nick Beef was 18, he read in a newspaper article that the plot next to Lee Harvey Oswald’s grave had never been purchased and inquired about it at the cemetery.
He put $17.50 down on the plot and made 16 monthly payments of $10 to secure it.
Eventually Nick Beef would leave the state and move to New York, where he performed in a sketch-comedy troupe, and did some freelance humor writing. Nick Beef married, had two children and divorced.
When he went home to bury his mother in 1996, he stopped by the cemetery and asked to get a gravestone put on his plot.
When asked what he wanted, he decided on Nick Beef to protect his family name.
While he is a comic, he insists that buying the plot and placing the gravestone is not some elaborate joke.
According to an explosive new book by retired CIA agent Brian Latell, which is set to be released next month, Fidel Castro had advance knowledge that President John F. Kennedy was about to be killed in 1963.
Rumors about Fidel Castro’s involvement in a plot to murder his fierce adversary have swirled for almost half a century since communist sympathizer Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK during a trip to Dallas in November 1963.
Now author Brian Latell, who studied Cuban affairs as a CIA analyst in the 1960’s and later became the agency’s chief intelligence officer for Latin America, says he is certain that Fidel Castro at least knew the attack was going to happen.
On the morning of November 22, 1963, the day JFK was killed, Fidel Castro ordered a senior intelligence officer in Havana to stop listening for non-specific CIA radio communications and concentrate instead on “any little detail, any small detail from Texas”, Brian Latell claims in his new book “Castro’s Secrets – the CIA and Cuba’s Intelligence Machine”, set for release next month.
Four hours later, the airwaves came alive with news that John F. Kennedy was dead.
Fidel Castro had advance knowledge that President John F. Kennedy was about to be killed in 1963, claims Brian Latell in his book
Brian Latell also claims that Fidel Castro was aware that Lee Harvey Oswald, who had been denied a visa to visit Cuba at the country’s embassy in Mexico City, told staff there that he was going to murder JFK to prove his allegiance to the communist cause.
“Fidel knew of Oswald’s intentions and did nothing to deter the act,” Brian Latell writes in the book.
In an interview published in The Miami Herald, Brian Latell, now a respected senior lecturer on Cuba at the University of Miami, says he discovered the information in interviews with former Cuban intelligence officers, backed up by declassified US government documents.
“I don’t say Fidel Castro ordered the assassination, I don’t say Oswald was under his control. He might have been, but I don’t argue that, because I was unable to find any evidence for that,” Brian Latell said.
“[But] everything I write is backed up by documents and on-the-record sources.
“Did Fidel want Kennedy dead? Yes. He feared Kennedy. And he knew Kennedy was gunning for him. In Fidel’s mind, he was probably acting in self-defense.”
Brian Latell’s book, billed as the first in-depth study of Fidel Castro’s intelligence operations in the years after the Marxist revolutionary seized power in a 1959 coup, says there is other strong supporting evidence.
The book claims, for instance, that CIA wiretaps of Cuban intelligence agents in the immediate aftermath of the assassination revealed that they already had surprising level of knowledge of Lee Harvey Oswald’s background when only scant details had been reported by the media.
But it is Brian Latell’s interview with former Cuban intelligence officer Fiorentino Aspillaga Lombard, who was in charge of Fidel Castro’s listeners at his Havana compound, which will raise eyebrows.
Fiorentino Aspillaga Lombard, who defected to the US in 1987, told the author that he informed the CIA at his debriefing that Fidel Castro personally issued the order to listen specifically for anything about Texas.
But that information was never revealed publicly, and he never repeated it until he was interviewed for the book.
After his defection, Fiorentino Aspillaga Lombard lifted the lid on Fidel Castro’s lavish lifestyle, giving details of his fleet of luxury yachts, numerous lavish properties in each of Cuba’s provinces and a secret Swiss bank account containing millions of dollars.
But he said that while the population realized that “Fidel has ruined Cuba”, a fear of their leader meant few would ever speak up.
“Who can sanction Castro? What parliament or national assembly can ask for an explanation of what is done with that money?” Fiorentino Aspillaga Lombard said.
The claim that Fidel Castro was aware of Lee Harvey Oswald’s promise to Cuban embassy officials that he was going to murder John F. Kennedy comes from several sources, including a former FBI informant and “superspy” Jack Childs, who penetrated the dictator’s inner circle.
Jack Childs said that Fidel Castro told him that Lee Harvey Oswald “stormed into the embassy, demanded the visa, and when it was refused to him headed out saying: <<I’m going to kill Kennedy for this>>.”
Meanwhile, Fidel Castro was claiming publicly that Lee Harvey Oswald’s visit to the embassy was “a minor matter” that had not been noticed by senior officials in Havana.
Subsequent investigations by the US security agencies, and the official Warren Commission inquiry into John F. Kennedy’s assassination, looked at Fidel Castro’s possible involvement but concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone gunman acting independently.
Among other issues discussed in Brian Latell’s book are the CIA’s own attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro using a variety of methods, including exploding cigars and poison pens. Brian Latell says the efforts were called off after JFK died.
A team of historians and retired Secret Service officers led by historian Max Holland has used new technology to categorically confirm in their minds the judgement that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he killed John F. Kennedy 48 years ago.
Max Holland, who has investigated JFK’s assassination moment for years, led a team which digitally enhanced a number of home videos taken on November 22, 1963.
Max Holland’s team studied Abraham Zapruder’s famous footage as well as many other lesser-known films, and brought them all together for the first time to establish a narrative more clear than ever before.
The team will present their findings in documentary “JFK: The Lost Bullet” on the NatGeo channel this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Max Holland told Fox News:
“I’d say a main thrust of it is to break the stranglehold that the Zapruder film has on our perception of what happened.”
“In a sense, we’ve all been <<Zaprudered>>. The film was so graphic, disturbing, mesmerising, that it became more of our perspective on the assassination than even the perspective of the assassin, which should never have happened.”
Max Holland, who has investigated JFK's assassination moment for years, led a team which digitally enhanced a number of home videos taken on November 22, 1963
The group also discovered, in the amateur footage taken that day by Robert Hughes, a shadowy figure moving on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building – a person believed to be Lee Harvey Oswald.
Lee Harvey Oswald was an employee at the Texas Schoolbook Depository, which overlooked the motorcade.
Contemporary investigators found that in March 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, using the alias “A. Hidell”, purchased a 6.5mm Carcano Model 91/38 rifle by mail order. It is widely agreed this was the gun which killed John F. Kennedy.
Max Holland told Fox News: “Our conclusion is that he fired three shots in about 11 seconds, which is almost double the <<Six Seconds in Dallas>> meme that most people know when they think about the assassination: six seconds, three shots in six seconds.
“We say three shots in 11 seconds, which is a much easier – for I’d say, someone of Oswald’s skill – effortless task.”
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated as he travelled in an open-top car in a motorcade through Dallas. Texas Governor John Connally was also injured.
Within two hours, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the murder of a policeman, then early the next morning he was charged with assassinating JFK.
On the morning of November 24, nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald as he was being transferred to the county jail.
There have been numerous conspiracy theories around JFK’s death, with everyone from the American Mafia and the KGB to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and sitting Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson accused of involvement.
Each theory and every year hundreds of sceptics flock to the site to discuss the latest developments and pay their respects.
When asked by Fox News if there are any “holy grails” of JFK assassination research still not investigated, Max Holland cited Lee Harvey Oswald’s tax returns, which have never been released.
It is widely believed that Lee Harvey Oswald shot three bullets from his rifle. One missed entirely, a second hit John F. Kennedy and passed through Governor John Connally, the third was the fatal shot to the President.
Through FBI testing it was established the gun could be fired by an experienced shooter three times within five to eight seconds.
But in Governor John Connally’s own words: “There were either two or three people involved, or more, in this — or someone was shooting with an automatic rifle.”
John Connally’s wife believed that her husband was hit by a bullet that was separate from the two that hit Kennedy.
In the Zapruder film, the JFK’s head appears to move backwards after the last, fatal shot, an indication to some that a bullet was fired from the front.
There have been witness statements that two men were seen on top of a grassy knoll to the west of the Texas School Book Depository before the shooting.
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