Warren Commission


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Warren Commission,

popular name given to the U.S. Commission to Report upon the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, established (Nov. 29, 1963) by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The commission, which was given unrestricted investigating powers, was directed to evaluate all the evidence and present a complete report of the event to the American people. The members of the commission were Earl Warren, chief justice of the United States; U.S. Senators Richard B. Russell (Democrat from Georgia) and John Sherman Cooper (Republican from Kentucky); U.S. Representatives Hale Boggs (Democrat from Louisiana) and Gerald R. Ford (Republican from Michigan); Allen W. Dulles, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; and John J. McCloy, former president of the World Bank. The commission named former U.S. Solicitor General James Lee Rankin as its general counsel and also appointed 14 assistant counsels and an additional staff of 12. The proceedings began Dec. 3, 1963, and the final report was delivered to the President on Sept. 24, 1964. During its investigation the commission weighed the testimony of 552 witnesses and the reports of 10 federal agencies, most important of which were the Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Dept. of State, the Central Intelligence Agency, and military intelligence. The hearings were closed to the public unless the person giving testimony requested otherwise; only two witnesses made that request. The commission, in its findings, attempted to reconstruct the exact sequence of events of the assassination. Foremost among its conclusions was refutation of speculation that the assassination was part of a conspiracy, either domestic or foreign, or that any elements of the government had a hand in the event. The report maintained that Lee Harvey OswaldOswald, Lee Harvey,
1939–63, presumed assassin of John F. Kennedy, b. New Orleans. Oswald spent most of his boyhood in Fort Worth, Tex. Later, he attended a Dallas high school, and enlisted (1956) in the Marines and served until 1959.
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, acting alone and without accomplices, shot and killed the President and wounded Texas Gov. John Connally from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository Building in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Oswald was also declared the murderer of Police Patrolman J. D. Tippit, who tried to apprehend Oswald some 45 min after the shooting. In addition, Jack Ruby, a Dallas restaurant owner who killed Oswald the day after the assassination (Nov. 24), was found innocent of conspiracy; no connection was found between Oswald and Ruby. The commission concluded its report by recommending reform in presidential security measures, and it offered specific proposals to improve the Secret Service. The commission's findings came under attack from a number of persons who felt it served as a "whitewash." In 1966 New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison began an independent inquiry based on the assumption that the assassination had resulted from a conspiracy. He brought charges against a New Orleans businessman, who, however, was acquitted in 1969. For a summary of the commission's findings, see Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (1964). The commission's proceedings and conclusions are criticized in E. J. Epstein, Inquest (1966) and Mark Lane, Rush to Judgment (1966).
References in periodicals archive ?
The Warren Commission claimed that Lee Harvey Oswald was acting alone, and was motivated by hatred for the political ideology represented by Kennedy.
It was a little uncanny to see memorabilia like the gray fedora hat worn by Ruby when he shot Oswald, the corner window at the sixth floor where the assassin must have waited for the presidential motorcade to pass, the Italian-made Mannlicher-Carcano rifle similar to the one found by investigators, and the scale model of the Dealey Plaza that was prepared by the FBI during the investigations conducted by the Warren Commission in 1964, because these are stark reminders of a sad legacy in America's history.
President Lyndon B Johnson set up the Warren Commission to investigate President John F Kennedy's assassination.
Surely the call made to The Cambridge Evening News should have been brought to the attention of The Warren Commission. Fifty four years after the shots that changed history, Americans are talking about the Kennedy assassination all over again.
The Warren Commission in 1964 concluded that Oswald had been the lone gunman, and another congressional probe in 1979 found no evidence to support the theory that the CIA had been involved.
An official inquiry, the Warren Commission set up by President Johnson, determined that Oswald acted alone.
Every government authority that has examined the investigation of his death, from the Warren Commission to congressional investigators, concluded that Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald, who fired three shots with a mail-order rifle from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository when the presidential motorcade passed by on November 22, 1963.
His 8 mm images initially helped guide Warren Commission investigators to their conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
Though the contents of the documents are protected and there is no information as to what the unreleased documents may contain, researchers have claimed they would not expect anything surprising that would alter the official narrative of the assassination, which was delivered by the Warren Commission in 1964 and said that Oswald acted alone. 
Many of the records regarding the killing and Warren Commission investigation into it have already been released.
The Warren commission's finding was challenged in 1979 by a special House investigative committee that concluded Kennedy was "probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy" and there were likely two shooters.
The FBI and the Warren Commission officially concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin, but various groups believed that Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy.

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