January 3

This Day in History

General Interest

Jan 3, 1967:

Jack Ruby dies before second trial

On January 3, 1967, Jack Ruby, the Dallas nightclub owner who killed the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, dies of cancer in a Dallas hospital. The Texas Court of Appeals had recently overturned his death sentence for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald and was scheduled to grant him a new trial.

On November 24, 1963, two days after Kennedy's assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald was brought to the basement of the Dallas police headquarters on his way to a more secure county jail. A crowd of police and press with live television cameras rolling gathered to witness his departure. As Oswald came into the room, Jack Ruby emerged from the crowd and fatally wounded him with a single shot from a concealed .38 revolver. Ruby, who was immediately detained, claimed he was distraught over the president's assassination. Some called him a hero, but he was nonetheless charged with first-degree murder.

Jack Ruby, originally known as Jacob Rubenstein, operated strip joints and dance halls in Dallas and had minor connections to organized crime. He also had a relationship with a number of Dallas policemen, which amounted to various favors in exchange for leniency in their monitoring of his establishments. He features prominently in Kennedy assassination theories, and many believe he killed Oswald to keep him from revealing a larger conspiracy. In his trial, Ruby denied the charge, maintaining that he was acting out of patriotism. In March 1964, he was found guilty and sentenced to death.

The official Warren Commission report of 1964 concluded that neither Oswald nor Ruby were part of a larger conspiracy, either domestic or international, to assassinate President Kennedy. Despite its seemingly firm conclusions, the report failed to silence conspiracy theories surrounding the event, and in 1978 the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in a preliminary report that Kennedy was "probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy" that may have involved multiple shooters and organized crime. The committee's findings, as with the findings of the Warren Commission, continue to be widely disputed.

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This Week in History, Jan 3 - Jan 9

Jan 03, 1521
Martin Luther excommunicated
Jan 03, 1868
Meiji Restoration in Japan
Jan 03, 1924
King Tut's sarcophagus uncovered
Jan 03, 1959
Alaska admitted into Union
Jan 03, 1967
Jack Ruby dies before second trial
Jan 04, 1896
Utah enters the Union
Jan 04, 1974
President Nixon refuses to hand over tapes
Jan 04, 1987
Segovia begins final U.S. tour
Jan 04, 1995
104th Congress under Republican control
Jan 05, 1643
First divorce in the colonies
Jan 05, 1895
Dreyfus Affair in France
Jan 05, 1945
Kamikaze pilots get first order
Jan 05, 1968
Prague Spring begins in Czechoslovakia
Jan 05, 1976
Pol Pot renames Cambodia
Jan 05, 1994
Former Speaker Thomas P. Tip O'Neill dies
Jan 06, 1066
Harold II crowned king of England
Jan 06, 1912
New Mexico joins the Union
Jan 06, 1925
Nurmi breaks two world records
Jan 06, 2001
Congress certifies Bush winner of 2000 elections
Jan 07, 1785
Across the English Channel in a balloon
Jan 07, 1979
Pol Pot overthrown
Jan 07, 1989
Emperor Hirohito dies
Jan 07, 1999
Clinton impeachment trial begins
Jan 08, 1642
Astronomer Galileo dies in Italy
Jan 08, 1815
The Battle of New Orleans
Jan 08, 1867
Congress expands suffrage in nation's capital
Jan 08, 1916
Allies retreat from Gallipoli
Jan 08, 1918
Wilson announces his 14 Points
Jan 08, 1962
Mona Lisa exhibited in Washington
Jan 09, 1768
First modern circus is staged
Jan 09, 1806
Nelson buried at St. Paul's Cathedral
Jan 09, 1972
Queen Elizabeth destroyed by fire
Jan 09, 2007
Steve Jobs debuts the iPhone

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