Who shot JFK? Most people accepted the answer. Lee Harvey Oswald fired the fatal shots at President John F. Kennedy from his perch at a sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. He was arrested hours later, initially for killing a police officer but ultimately arraigned for the president’s murder. On Nov. 24, Jack Ruby, who ran a nearby nightclub, shot and killed Oswald as police were escorting him toward an armored car that would take him to jail. The entire thing was caught on live network TV.
Obviously the murder of the president of the United States was a life-altering event for millions of people, shattering their sense of security and, for some, their hopes for the future. Kennedy’s death changed the course of the nation, particularly when it came to the war in Vietnam. But JFK’s murder also launched the mother of conspiracy theories, as probed in pop culture by the likes of Oliver Stone’s JFK, and John and Jackie Kennedy became almost mythological figures, with every generation since lending its cinematic, TV and literary takes on the Camelot couple to the conversation.