November 22, 1963 US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy is shot while travelling in an open-top motorcade in Dallas, Texas. Half an hour later he was pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital.
Also in the car was Kennedy’s wife Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, who was injured by one of the bullets, and Connally’s wife. Just over an hour after the shooting, police arrested 24-year-old former marine Lee Harvey Oswald on suspicion of the murder of Kennedy and a police officer who had tried to question him. Oswald denied the accusations, claiming he was a “patsy”, or scapegoat. Two days after Kennedy’s assassination, Oswald was himself shot dead by Jack Ruby. In the absence of a trial, the Warren Commission was set up to establish the truth. The Commission concluded that Oswald shot Kennedy and had acted alone although this theory remains to this day a subject of enormous debate and controversy. Kennedy, the fourth US president to be assassinated while in office, was succeeded by his vice-president Lyndon Johnson.
Also on November 22: Notorious pirate Edward Teach, or “Blackbeard” is killed (1718); launch of the Cutty Sark (1869); Juan Carlos is declared King of Spain (1975); Margaret Thatcher withdraws from her party’s leadership race, effectively resigning as UK Prime Minister (1990); Angela Merkel becomes the first female German Chancellor (2005).
Born on November 22: George Eliot (1819), André Gide (1869), Charles de Gaulle (1890), Benjamin Britten (1913), Terry Gilliam (1940), Billie Jean King (1943), Jamie Lee Curtis (1958), Boris Becker (1967), Scarlett Johansson (1984).
Back in the Day: JFK shot dead