John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m. CST in Dallas, Texas, while riding in a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza. Kennedy was riding with his wife Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally's wife Nellie when he was fatally shot from a nearby building by Lee Harvey Oswald. Governor Connally was seriously wounded in the attack. The motorcade rushed to the local hospital, where Kennedy was pronounced dead about 30 minutes after the shooting; Connally recovered.
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Oswald, a former US Marine, was arrested by the Dallas Police Department 70 minutes after the initial shooting. He was charged under Texas state law with the murder of Kennedy and that of J. D. Tippit, a Dallas police officer. At 11:21 a.m. November 24, 1963, as live television cameras were covering his transfer from the city jail to the county jail, Oswald was fatally shot in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters (then in the Dallas Municipal Building) by Dallas nightclub operator Jack Ruby. Oswald was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he soon died. Ruby was convicted of Oswald's murder, though it was later overturned on appeal, and Ruby died in prison in 1967 while awaiting a new trial.
After a 10-month investigation, the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald assassinated Kennedy, that Oswald had acted entirely alone, and that Ruby had acted alone in killing Oswald. Kennedy was the eighth and most recent US president to die in office, and the fourth (following Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) to be assassinated. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson automatically became president upon Kennedy's death.
In its 1979 report, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) agreed with the Warren Commission that Oswald's three rifle shots caused the injuries that Kennedy and Connally sustained. After analysis of a dictabelt audio recording the HSCA concluded that Kennedy was likely "assassinated as a result of a conspiracy". The committee could not identify a second gunman or group involved in the possible conspiracy, although the HSCA concluded that analysis pointed to the existence of an additional gunshot and “a high probability that two gunmen fired at [the] President".
The U.S. Justice Department concluded active investigations and stated "that no persuasive evidence can be identified to support the theory of a conspiracy" in the assassination. However, Kennedy's assassination is still the subject of widespread debate and has spawned numerous conspiracy theories and alternative scenarios. Polls conducted from 1966 to 2004 found that up to 80 percent of Americans suspected that there was a plot or cover-up. The assassination was the first of four major assassinations of the 1960s in the United States, coming two years before the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, and five years before the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.