50 years on: Today is the day JFK was killed

EERIE KEEPSAKE: Cr Paul Tully has collected several original newspapers from 1963 covering the assassination of JFK.
EERIE KEEPSAKE: Cr Paul Tully has collected several original newspapers from 1963 covering the assassination of JFK. David Nielsen
Cr Paul Tully has collected several original newspapers from 1963 covering the assassination of JFK. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times
Cr Paul Tully has collected several original newspapers from 1963 covering the assassination of JFK. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times David Nielsen

WHO killed JFK?

That question remains unanswered 50 years after US President John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

But one thing is certain. The death of President Kennedy is an event that left an indelible mark on people right across the world.

Like the moon landing and the death of Princess Diana, many of those alive in 1963 can remember where they were when they first learned of events on that fateful day.

Cr Paul Tully, who had a keen interest in global politics as a youth, was 12 and living in Indooroopilly when his sister told him the dreadful news.

"It was Saturday morning just before 7am when my sister came to tell me that Kennedy had died. I was talking to my mate across the fence next door," Cr Tully recalled.

"My sister had just been to Indooroopilly Holy Family Church where the priest had dedicated the 6am mass to President Kennedy.

"It was almost certainly the first mass in the world dedicated to him."

Because it was a Saturday in Australia when the assassination took place, the QT did not cover the event until the Monday.

The QT reported how then Mayor J.T Finimore had spoken at a public function on Saturday about the assassination where he said: "I desire to express the deepest sympathies of the citizens of Ipswich. Not only has America lost a great citizen and statesman, but so have all the peoples of the world".

The QT also reported how Amberley Air Force Base observed a day of mourning and cancelled operations that had been planned for the day. The QT Facebook page was this week inundated with those who remembered President Kennedy and his family fondly.

Deb Garland posted that she has "studied the Kennedy family for years (and) have also visited Arlington to pay my respects at the family plot. They were American royalty."

Cr Tully has copies of two US afternoon newspapers that were printed the day President Kennedy was assassinated - the New York World Telegram and the New York Journal American.

"I have collected Kennedy memorabilia over the years," he said.

"I always had a fascination and interest in it (the assassination), because what happened shocked the world.

"I think Kennedy probably would have won a second term... and he did a lot of good for America. He had progressive views and used federal laws to promote civil rights. I thought he was a person of the modern era who brought America forward from the conservative days."

Cr Tully visited Dallas two years ago and the assassination scene in Dealey Plaza.

"Even today it is an eerie experience," he said.

"There are two white Xs marked on the road where the vehicle was when the bullets were fired. Tourists get photographed on the spot. Just back from there are traffic lights where drivers in Dallas will take off as quick as they can, because my impression is that they don't like the part Dallas plays in world history."

The Warren Commission of 1964 found that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin of President Kennedy but the subsequent House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) found that he was "probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy".

Cr Tully said the assassination "continues to haunt the world".

He points out that "the internet is now full of network TV coverage of the live shooting of Oswald by Jack Ruby".

Ruby had strong links with the Mafia and his shooting of Oswald has always intrigued Cr Tully.

"At the time, until other information emerged like the Zapruder film, the accepted notion was that there was one assassin," Cr Tully said.

"The interesting thing to me is how Jack Ruby came forward. He was involved with night clubs and was a shady sort of character.

"Did he think that Oswald was going to talk? Did he think that Oswald had some secret that was going to be exposed? That is the one thing to me that always seemed unusual."

Former US Attorney General Robert Kennedy was the first so-called "conspiracy theorist" about the death of his brother.

From the day of his brother's death until he too was assassinated in 1968, Robert conducted his own private investigation into what happened in Dallas.

On the afternoon President Kennedy was killed he rang anti-Castro Cuban, Harry Williams, and said: "One of your guys did it."

Robert Kennedy suspected anti-Castro Cubans, Mafia figures and rogue elements of the CIA were involved in his brother's death, although he was not prepared to say that publicly.

Oswald himself said: "I'm just a patsy".

Ruby, before he died, dropped a bombshell when he had this to say: "Everything pertaining to what's happening has never come to the surface.

"The world will never know the true facts of what occurred... The people who had so much to gain, and had such an ulterior motive for putting me in the position I'm in, will never let the true facts come above board to the world."


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Topics:  editors picks paul tully

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