November 29, 1963 : Johnson establishes Warren Commission

Introduction

One week after President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, President Lyndon B. Johnson establishes a special commission, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, to investigate the assassination.

After 10 months of gathering evidence and questioning witnesses in public hearings, the Warren Commission report was released, concluding that there was no conspiracy, either domestic or international, in the assassination and that Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin, acted alone. The presidential commission also found that Jack Ruby, the nightclub owner who murdered Oswald on live national television, had no prior contact with Oswald.

According to the report, the bullets that killed President Kennedy and injured Texas Governor John Connally were fired by Oswald in three shots from a rifle pointed out of a sixth-floor window in the Texas School Book Depository. Oswald’s life, including his visit to the Soviet Union, was described in detail, but the report made no attempt to analyze his motives.

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.

Article Details:

November 29, 1963 : Johnson establishes Warren Commission

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2010

  • Title

    November 29, 1963 : Johnson establishes Warren Commission

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/johnson-establishes-warren-commission

  • Access Date

    December 12, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks