Category Archives: Assassination

Camelot’s Protector: Book Review of Jacqueline Kennedy’s interviews with Arthur Schlesinger.

For those that lived during the early 1960’s, Jacqueline Kennedy had become more than just the First Lady of the United States, she had become a star. The star of the show that was played out before the nation, with the young president at her side, and a nation that wanted to copy everything that she was doing. Jacqueline Kennedy only wanted a few things in life, and none of it included becoming this type of figure. However, on November 22nd, 1963, fate would take over and put her in a place only a few First Ladies before her had to endure, that of becoming a widow. Every move that she would make in those moments after the gunshots took the life of her husband, would be etched into the minds of millions of Americans for decades to come. The stained pink dress, watching her husband’s successor take the oath of office, finding the right burial spot, and ensuring the nation would never forget this time in history.

It is with history in mind that Jacqueline Kennedy sat down with famed historian and Kennedy advisor, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. for a series of interviews just months after the events in Dallas. The interviews were recorded by Schlesinger and the agreement would be that they would be sealed for 50 years. According to her daughter Caroline Kennedy, the interviews were unlocked just weeks after her mother’s death so that the family could decide if it was time for them to be released. Caroline had decided that it was not the right time, and it would be another 17 years before the public could hear the voice that had been so strong during such a tragic time.

Over the course of the next seven conversations that spanned months during 1964, Jackie Kennedy shed light on many topics regarding her husband. Some of those topics included his presidential aspirations, what he liked to read, his relationship with his brother Bobby, and his plans for after the presidency. The book features a written form of the interviews and it also includes the recordings themselves. I have found myself listening to these conversations on my way to work, and actually hearing her voice, gives the conversation some life. Mr. Schlesinger is careful to avoid many of the controversial topics that have been printed in the years after. Instead, in these early months after JFK’s death, Jackie is painting the image of JFK that she thought he deserved. Asked at one point in the conversation as to how her husband would have described himself, she states, “An idealist without illusions”. A true statement for a man that had so many visions for the country, but were left unfinished by a life cut short.

Some of the other interesting topics that are brought up by Schlesinger, is the relationship that JFK had with the FBI, and the CIA. When asked about the situation, Jackie states, “I know he was going to get rid of J. Edgar Hoover and he always said that those were the two things he did first- you know, Hoover and Allen Dulles, which I guess he had to do at the time”. There are those that believe that individuals such as Hoover and Dulles had something to do with the assassination, and this statement by JFK’s wife, shows the indifference he had with these two men.

Another person of interest in the interviews that came up, was the name Lyndon Johnson. Jackie felt that her husband tried many times over the course of his administration to involve Johnson with decisions, but that Johnson simply just agreed with everything that was being said. So instead of having a “yes” man, he would send him on trips around the world. One notable statement that Jackie makes about this, is something that happened in our current events today. As a new Air Force One was needed, Johnson pushed for JFK to order four more Air Force Ones, and that Moscow’s planes were much faster. In turn Jackie stated, “Jack wasn’t going to spend that much money for four new planes, and Lyndon kept pushing him to do it”. JFK did not give in to Johnson’s demands, and the rift between the two was growing to a point in which Johnson might be dropped from the ticket. Jackie explains that she did not think that JFK would drop Lyndon in 1964, but that JFK had stated to her, “Oh God, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if Lyndon was president?” Well the nation did get to see what would happen, and the effects of his presidency left a scar on the presidency that was felt for decades.

The book is a must have for any Kennedy collector, and the recordings are the most valued portion of the book. Within those CD’s, the voices of history are heard, and the protector of Camelot sheds light on the events before JFK’s presidency, during it, and what could have been after it. Jackie Kennedy believed that her husband would have gone around the world, written a book, or even done something with his library. Instead it was left to her to form the image and history surrounding her husband, and she was able to give the country that brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot.

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Access to the Texas School Book Depository

 

Three years ago I found something in a police statement that has overtaken my mind and my time. This police statement was not meant to be of much, as it was the police statement of Texas School Book Depository Superintendent Roy Truly. The statement was to put more guilt onto alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and ended up having something in it, that I have been researching ever since. Within the statement, Mr. Truly mentions that the Texas School Book Depository had a janitor service that worked overnight within the building. These individuals had keys to the building, and had access to it, in the early morning hours of Friday, November 22nd, 1963. My original post about this company was in the early stages of my research, and within this article, you are going to read about everything that I have found over the past 2 years. Graduate school took me away from the research, but now I am back into it, and finding more out about this company.

So who was Acme Building Maintenance Company, and why did the Warren Commission not look into this company any further? Let’s start at the beginning and review who owned the company and how it became in what could have been, a key part of the set up in the assassination. The company was founded in 1920 by a man named Frank C. Jones. As high rise buildings were popping up inside the city of Dallas, Mr. Jones sought to take advantage of the vast amount of cleaning that these new buildings would need. The company grew at a fast rate and by the 1940’s and 1950’s, they were cleaning over 2 million square feet of office space within the city of Dallas. With an office set up on 1901 Laws Street in Dallas, the company was in a central location to all of its primary customers. The success of the company enabled Mr. Jones to become one of Dallas’s elite businessmen, and with articles featured in the Dallas Morning News during this time, he was able to have great financial success. With this success, Mr. Jones joined the Dallas Citizens Council, a group of powerful Dallas business owners who in later years would set up the luncheon at the Trade Mart for President Kennedy upon his arrival in Dallas. In 1954, an article in the Dallas Morning News had the caption “Acme Building Maintenance, Dallas’ Industrial Janitor”.

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With over 125 employees working under him, and major businesses such as the Baker Hotel, The Dallas Morning News, Southwestern Bell, The Dallas Times Herald, and Dallas Medical and Surgical Hospital, all used the services of Acme Building Maintenance. Although the company was growing, the company was trying to stay local with its business, and it board of directors included such names as, Milt Thomas, Paul Clark, Robert Whitener, and even Mr. Jones’ wife, Eva Jones. The company would get one particular business that would change the course of not only the country’s history, but also this small company as well. In May 1963, Acme became contracted with the Texas School Book Depository. In the months before this contract was taken, another man would join the ranks of the board at Acme, and his name was William Travis. William Travis was also on the board of directors at Republic National Bank of Dallas at this time as well. This new director would play a key part in the eventual downfall of Acme in the coming months, and would later look to take control of the company away from Frank Jones.

The events surrounding the assassination have been well documented, and there is no mention of Acme Building Maintenance except in two police statements. The first was by Truly, and the second would be by the janitor of the TSBD, Eddie Piper. Following along with what Truly had mentioned in his own statement, Piper reiterated the fact that the employees at Acme had access to the building overnight. Yet again, no action was taken place to investigate this company. On November 8th, 1963, a document pertaining to the housing of William Travis, stated that his home was in the stages of foreclosure. This chain of events would lead one to believe that Mr. Travis was in need of money, and he needed it fast. The home was not taken away from him, and in fact by 1964 you would not have known Mr. Travis was in any kind of money issues. By April 1964 in documents found, the Acme Building Maintenance Company changed hands and changed names. The new owners of the company included a man by the name of William Travis, the board member who came to the Acme company in 1963. In documents obtained, the new company would be named, Acme Building Maintenance of Dallas Inc. and with it, the new board consisted of two former Acme board of directors, Travis, and CFO Milton Thomas.

This new company would not keep that new Acme name for long. In June 1964, parts of the Acme company was again sold to an acquisition company called CT Corporation (ChemTech), and the Acme name was still as late as 1966. The remaining holdings of the former Acme company were gone, and what was known as Acme Building Maintenance, a strong Dallas based company with over 200 businesses as customers, was suddenly gone within a year. What came about in the aftermath of this sale, was the founding of a new businesses by William Travis, each of which would be named “Maintenance of”. There was Maintenance of Dallas, Maintenance of Fort Worth, Maintenance of San Antonio, and finally Maintenance of Houston. Each one of these companies has a president or CEO with the last name of Travis. William Travis himself is still listed as the Chairman of the Board of Maintenance of Houston. When reached for comment about this finding, the representatives at Maintenance of Houston said they would get back to me, so far, no contact has been made.

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So where did the original owner Frank C. Jones end up? After the sale of his company, Mr. Jones went was not able to find the success he had with his first company, and by 1966 in documents obtained, he was forced to sell his original home since 1944. Mr. Jones, would go onto working at various companies over the next couple of decades, and would live off of pensions from these jobs. By the time of his death in 1991, Frank Jones was not a well-known man in Dallas anymore, and the company he had founded was broken up into many different companies by a former board member.

By the time the Warren Commission was pulling together witnesses, the Acme company had already been sold twice, and broken up into different companies. With that, the records of all employees went with these acquisitions. The only names that can be found are the original board of directors, and the board of directors from the new company. Was this done to keep the real killers identity a secret, was William Travis paid off and handed keys to would be assassins to set up a sniper’s perch? All of these theories are left to the unknown, but what we know, is that a company that should have been looked into more, clearly was not. If you try and find the name Acme Building Maintenance of Dallas, you will be unable to find them. Most likely, my website will come up. In various city directories they are briefly mentioned, but the State of Texas does not even have them as a business that existed in that state. Another Acme Building Maintenance Inc., existed in Austin, Texas, and they had to give permission to William Travis in order to use the name Acme Building Maintenance of Dallas Inc.

In 2013 on a visit to Dallas, I was visiting the reading room at the Sixth Floor Museum. While I was in there, the late curator of the museum Gary Mack happened to be in there at the same time. I was too afraid to talk to him about this company at the time, so I emailed him later that day in hopes that he would have some more information about them. In his response, he was not able to provide much except for the same police statements that I already had in which they were mentioned. At the end of his email, he told me to keep him informed of this company, as he found it intriguing. I kept digging, and will continue to dig into this company and those that were a part of it at the time. For they, may hold the key to some of the answers in the Kennedy assassination.

 

Assistant President RFK

The assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963 set forth in motion a chain of events in the history of the United States that would reshape it in the years that followed. For those who lived during this time, the events in Dallas changed the lives of many Americans, some too young to understand, and some old enough to realize the damage it had done to our country. The motives behind the assassination have been speculated by many, and the outcome of the research takes the culprits in the assassination to the forefront. One of the theories that has been mentioned was the involvement of Vice-President Lyndon Johnson. Having once been the powerful majority leader of the Senate, the now Vice-President would find his role diminished by the Kennedy administration. In this book review you are going to learn about a book that I had found at a local flea market a few years back. The book, “Robert F. Kennedy: Assistant President”, shows you the possible motivation that Johnson could have had in wanting to ascend to the presidency.

The book written by Gary Gordon in 1962, highlights the many life accomplishments of RFK as he made his way to the position of Attorney General. Within the first few pages the author describes the book as, “The dramatic life story of the second most powerful man in Washington”. Interesting to note about this book since it was written in 1962, was the fact that many polls taken by Newsweek, and U.S News, and other news outlets, put RFK ahead of Lyndon Johnson in terms of their power and influence over the country. The main theme of the book is to bring RFK into the national spotlight and in hopes of showing the American people that he was more than just the President of the United States brother. In many parts of the book, the author paints RFK as the man who not only got JFK elected through his hard work as campaign manager, but that he was not willing to take on a cabinet spot within the administration.

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The many chapters in the book show the reader that RFK may not have been qualified to become Attorney General, but he was able to use his position within the White House to change the role that Attorney Generals had. If those outside of the White House were seeing the way RFK was having influence over the decisions that his brother was making, then you know LBJ saw it as well. As the book starts off showing the Presidential campaign of 1960, it backtracks to highlight the life of RFK. Having no lawyer experience, he did not want the position of Attorney General at first. Trying to not show favoritism to his own family, JFK knew he wanted RFK by his side in those critical decision making times, and that he needed to be a cabinet member to achieve that. According to the author, JFK was quoted as saying, “I’ll take Bobby’s word over almost anybody’s”. The idea of having a family member within the cabinet had not been done before, and RFK was afraid of the political backlash that it would have in a future re-election campaign.

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Something of interest in the book was the trip around the world that RFK took in the early stages of 1962. The trip would be unprecedented by a United States Attorney General, and it had the feel of something more. The trip usually meant for Vice-Presidents, and one that LBJ took himself, was meant for RFK to get a feel of foreign affairs. The trip enabled RFK to see the issues at hand, and he would be able to have a better decision making process on these situations once back in Washington with his brother. It is hard to imagine the LBJ did not take great offense to this, and felt the lack of support from both Kennedy brothers. At the end of the book, the author makes a statement that is eerie to read as it has a statement that looks into the future. The author states, “In 1968, with JFK prevented by the Constitution from running again, the speculation is that Bobby could go before the voters with eight years of experience as an Assistant President”. Was this the motivation that was needed for LBJ, to end the Kennedy presidency? Did he himself want the presidency after JFK, and having read the many magazines and books proclaiming RFK as the second man in Washington, finally get to him? It is just one of the many theories that have been claimed over the years, and books such as these spark the mind into thinking. This book was an interesting find, and I recommend to always be on the lookout for books such as these, as they could hold the motives that others had in assassinating the President of the United States.

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Never Let it Be Forgot

With the passage of the John F. Kennedy Centennial Commission Act in July 2016, the memory of JFK’s life will be remembered throughout the country in 2017. With the 100th anniversary of his birth being remembered by so many who were not alive during his presidency, shows the impact that JFK had on the United States. The memory of John F. Kennedy has not left the mind frame of the American people because of the countless amounts of books, movies, and documentaries about his life. Having been the first television president, JFK left his stamp on the country in which he sought a New Frontier for. It is the vision of the New Frontier, that has had the lasting impact of his life on so many Americans, and it was his death has continued the myth of “what could have been”.

During my two years of grad school, I had set up my thesis about the myth of JFK and how he controlled both image and myth about himself. It was after his death that others around him sought to carry on the legacy and thus Camelot was born. It was not born during the Kennedy years, as JFK would have preferred to be remembered more as a simple man. A man whose love of history was obvious, and he knew that the things he did in the office would be a reflection of his image in the years that followed. Having researched this assignment for a long period of time, the term Camelot became a symbol of the JFK years, and that came directly from his wife Jackie. It was Jackie that sent men such as Arthur Schlesinger Jr, and others to the Library of Congress to seek information about the funeral for President Abraham Lincoln. She wanted to replicate that funeral because she felt that her husband should be remembered as one of the greats.

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Over time the image of JFK has remained intact even though in the years since his death, many allegations of affairs and bad health tried to reshape the image into something different. The image that JFK had built for himself during his run for Congress and the image his wife created in the aftermath of his death has had a stronghold on the American people. Last month I was lucky enough to visit Washington D.C on a research visit. During the first day of the trip, I went to Arlington Cemetery to pay my respects and to also get a feel of the visitors to the site. I noticed many different types of people that went to the gravesite, some old, some young, some from other countries, but all, with a deep respect of the fallen president. If you have never made a trip, I would highly recommend it because you get a feel of “what could have been”. Along with Jackie on the decision to pick a site, was Robert Kennedy and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. The breathtaking view of Washington D.C from the burial site, shows a viewpoint in which JFK is always overlooking the city and nation he had a future for.

It was during this trip that I was able to go to the Library of Congress to research my topic and use the books and online resources that is available there. Having never been, I was intimidated by the fact that I would be sitting in such a historical place. Once inside, I requested books that I had found online, and before you knew it, I was sitting at a desk among other historians and researchers. I have been following the life and death of JFK since I was 8 years old, and not until that moment sitting in that seat, did I ever feel so close to him. History was all around me and I was able to find the things I was looking for within those walls. For any lover of history, going to the Library of Congress should be on the bucket list of things to do.

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With my thesis complete, my main goal for going to graduate school was to be able to write a book that represented everything that I have learned about JFK. His death has overshadowed many of the things in his life, as he has been remembered more in death then in life. By next year, I hope to be able to turn my thesis into my first book, and showcase how he was able to go from a young Jack Kennedy, to John F. Kennedy, then to the persona of JFK. All of which was created by the man himself, and left to those close to him to pass on to a new generation of Americans seeking hope. We have not had a president since him who has captivated the imagination of the country, and whose ideas would still resonate today. If you have visited either Arlington Cemetery, or even the JFK Library in Boston, share your visit with others below. The memory of his life and his death resides in those who choose to continue to share it with others. In the coming months I will be going back to looking into the details surrounding his death, but I will also be showcasing on this site the image and myth that he created.

 

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A New Generation to look at Camelot

Over the past 52 years the United States of America has seen 9 Presidents call the White House home. Each of them brought their own unique quality to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and each would try to leave a legacy behind. It is debatable who is the greatest President of the United States was, but there is no debate as to who would leave the White House too soon before his legacy was still in front of him. The death of President John F. Kennedy would have a ripple effect on our nation in the years that followed his assassination, and we as a nation have always wondered what could have been. The many debates as to who pulled the trigger that day in Dallas has been written about countless times and the debate does not seem to be slowing down with time. As I entered into the world of JFK assassination research at a very early age, my understanding of what happened changed over the years. Not only did my opinion change as I was able to do more research but my writing changed as well.

Almost two years ago I had just finished my bachelor’s degree in business management in hopes of being able to further my career in the field that I had been working in. As the academic advisor was trying to push me into going for my Master’s degree, I realized that maybe I should pursue the one area that has always interested me, History. So at that moment, I wanted to become a better writer, and a better researcher, in hopes of being able to finally write a book about the JFK assassination. The journey would take two years to complete, but at the end of my of Master’s program I would be able to write my final capstone paper. Over these last two years, I have been unable to write many blog posts because of the amount of schoolwork that was in front of me. But here I am, ready to finally write about the topic that has garnered my interest since I was 8 years old, and it would put the finishing touch on my Master’s degree.

 

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As I have been debating what to write about for this massive writing assignment which will turn into my first book, the vast amount of stories about John F. Kennedy’s life and assassination, have been written about. So instead of writing about a particular theory or story about something that happened during his life, I have decided to look at how history has written about JFK. From the side of both conspiracy theorist, lone gunman theorist, and those who write about his life. In my collection alone, I have over 130 books about both his life and assassination, and since 1963 the history of the topic has changed. The story which started with the making of Camelot, to who else could have pulled the trigger, to the dark side of Camelot, and finally back to the legacy and impact of JFK, has ruled the history books of the life and death of our 35th President. The JFK assassination was a pivotal moment in the history of the United States of America, and the outcome of it, would shape the nation for decades to come. The hope of a nation may have died that day in Dallas as well, as the country has looked for the kind of leadership that JFK provided.

Whatever your journey has been in the research about either the life of JFK or the assassination that cut his life way too short, I would invite you to comment below and tell everyone what made you want to read about him or the assassination. What caught your attention either as a child or an adult? As a new generation of researchers emerges, I hope to be able to keep the flame bright on the memory of JFK and have another generation of researchers look into the truth about what happened on that day in Dallas.

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Lyndon Johnson’s role in William Manchester’s “The Death of a President”

The story has been told many times over the past 52 years and yet we are still able to find bits and pieces that we may have missed. When I was 8 years old, my grandmother had a collection of JFK material stored in a metal container. One day when the interest of JFK was beginning to spark, I found myself going through this container. Inside of this container was a vast amount of newspaper clippings, notes that she had written down about this time in history and one book. That book was “The Death of a President” written by William Manchester. It was my grandmother that told me that this should be the first book I read about this time in history and should be my last. I guess to her, this was the true story about what happened during those dark days in November. Although to some, the story of those days may be different then what Mr. Manchester wrote about, he does the job of a historian in bringing the reader to that exact time and giving you a sense that you were there. I have read this book several times over the years and recently as I have been trying myself trying to be a better researcher, have looked a little deeper into the writing of William Manchester’s signature work. In this post I will not go into the entire story that Manchester was trying to give the reader, instead I will showcase some points that stick out the most to me.
One of the main parts of the book that sticks out to me is the lack of cooperation that Lyndon Johnson had in the interview process. As William Manchester was gaining information from many of the key figures that were there that day, including that of First Lady Jackie Kennedy, it was Lyndon Johnson that showed the most resistance. During the course of the interview process, on two occasions President Johnson accepted the invite, then it would be canceled at the last minute. Eventually the two men would come to an agreement that President Johnson would only answer written questions and his responses would be done the same way. As Manchester states, “Some of the replies were detailed; to other inquiries he had no comment.” During the course of this reading, it appears that Manchester had become annoyed by the fact that Johnson was unwilling to recollect his memories of that day, and Manchester states that “It should be added that he has not seen the book in any form”. The frustration with Johnson was evident, but as the reader continues on in the book, it seems rather odd that the first 6 pages of Manchester’s recollection of the days leading up to the assassination and the days following it, involved talking about the Vice-President’s role in the administration and frustrations during his time as Vice-President.
Within the first paragraph in the definitive recollection of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the topic was not about the days leading up to the assassination, instead it was the role of the Vice-President and his frustration with the administration. It would almost seem to the reader that the agreement that Manchester and Johnson formed in order for him to be interviewed must have contained some form of understanding of how this book was going to begin. The political situation in Texas during the fall of 1963 was in ruins as the Democrats were coming apart at the seams. But as Manchester states in that first page, “Johnson would guardedly recall that there had been some discussion of the Texas political situation”. How is it that the main reason for the Kennedy trip to Texas was to restore faith in the party, and Johnson only recalls some discussion? The picture of resentment that Manchester was portraying of Johnson was coming clearer as the writing continued on. As Manchester states, “Johnson had found that he was a stand-by without a script”. Although he may not had the script he wanted, he did find himself thrust into a role that he want. On November 19th, 1963, Lyndon Johnson would take a trip to Dallas to speak with the American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages. Only 3 days before the President was to arrive in Dallas, and at the same convention that former Vice-President Richard Nixon was at during his stay in Dallas during this time . An interesting side note to a story that has not been fully told.

The Vice-President did not have many of the luxuries that were enjoyed by the President, and simple things like having a number not in the public directory was one of them. If Johnson was to go on a flight using a military plane it would have to be assigned to him and he would have to ask permission for that plane. An indication that Johnson was feeling left out of the circle was evident, and as Manchester states “Lyndon Johnson was, in short, a prisoner of his office.” The book that would be able to tell the story of the assassination of John F. Kennedy was beginning with the frustration of his Vice-President. However we want to take this we can look at a quote that William Manchester says in the introduction of this book, “In time I myself shall merely become a source for future historians as yet unborn”. This book was the beginning of my understanding of those days in Dallas, and 48 years after its publication, this book is a reminder that we need to continue to research and look for those clues that might help us better understand what happened that Friday in November.

http://www.lbjlibrary.net/collections/daily-diary.html

References

Manchester, William. The Death of a President, November 20-November 25, 1963, New York: Harper & Row, 1967.
Peppard, Alan. “Kennedy Rival Nixon Left Dallas as JFK Arrived in November 1963.” Dallas Morning News. November 2, 2013. http://www.dallasnews.com/news/jfk50/explore/20131102-kennedy-rival-richard-nixon-left-dallas-as-jfk-arrived-in-november-1963.ece.

Connecting The Dots…

As the years and months go by since the assassination of President Kennedy, we as researchers find ourselves looking at the same material over and over again. Was there something that we missed? Could I have overlooked something? Questions like this will continue to linger on for years and decades to come, but there might be some truth in the overlooking aspect. There has been many research topics available for people to read about regarding the assassination and some point in either a direction of a lone gunman or a conspiracy. As my development into a historian continues, I am trying to make it an effort to show both sides of the story. I want to provide pieces of material for people to read and to make observations based on these findings. The latest finding that I was able to uncover centers around a man named Robert Taylor.
Many people may not even be aware of Mr. Taylor’s story and how he is linked to the assassination. In March or April of 1963, Mr. Taylor, who was a service mechanic at a Shell gas station in Irving, Texas, purchased a gun from an individual who came to the station. The story goes, that two men came to the station to get their 1959 Chevy looked at because of battery problems. When Mr. Taylor informed the men that the price would be $11.50 to fix the generator, the men offered to sell Mr. Taylor a rifle instead. They did not have the money to cover the cost of the repairs and the passenger in the car offered the gun for $12.00 to Mr. Taylor. The driver according to Mr. Taylor said, “You’re not going to let it go for that. You paid $35.00 for it”. It is important to note that Mr. Taylor believed that the person in the passenger seat was Lee Harvey Oswald. The man in the driver’s seat was described by Mr. Taylor as a white male, about 20 years of age and with a thin face. The man that Mr. Taylor was describing was Buell Wesley Frazier, although it is never mentioned in any of the F.B.I reports or even in the Warren Commission testimony that Mr. Taylor gives, no mention of the driver is ever mentioned again, besides in the original statement given to police. It is worth noting that Buell Frazier owned and still owns the 1959 Chevy Bel Air that he was driving when he would take Oswald back and forth to work each morning.

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The mechanics story is much more than about purchasing a rifle from Oswald, it shows that others could have been with him as well. The car that Frazier drove each day, also had battery problems and he states this in both written and oral presentations about the activities before the assassination. As Frazier describes how he had to stay in the car to keep the battery charging while Oswald reached into the back seat and retrieved the “curtain rods”, we should think back to that gas station incident in March. Everything in this world can be looked at as a coincidence, but when you have two individuals matching the descriptions of both Oswald and Frazier months before they say they actually met, shows us there is more out there to look at.

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Another man at this same gas station, Mr. G.E Smith, was not working at the station at the time of the rifle purchase but had heard about it. In his statement to police and the Warren Commission, he tells of a story involving a woman who drove a 1957 station wagon. Mr. Smith says that this woman would come to the station on several occasion to get her car looked at. There was a time when he fixed this lady’s car and offered to take it home for her, and he even helped bring her groceries inside of the house. The woman who had children inside of the house, mentioned that the children in the house spoke better Russian than they did English. The address of this house was 2515 West Fifth Street, and we know that Ruth Paine lived at this address. Mr. Smith did not know the name of the woman, only that she had come there several times before. So, we have evidence that shows that Ruth Paine would go to this station to get her car fixed and even had the serviceman bring it home for her. It is very possible that having the car trouble that Mr. Frazier had with his own car at that time and he admits it several times, Mrs. Paine told him about the Shell gas station.
The Warren Commission did do an interview with Mr. Smith regarding the situation with Mrs. Paine, but in typical form, failed to address or even go into further detail about her being at the station. They also did not put Mr. Taylor’s statements into the finding because they believed that he was misidentifying Oswald in the car. The dots are there if they wanted to connect them and yet they failed to push it further. More indication that the investigation did not fully cover everything to uncover the truth. Although we get the opportunity to look back at things and see it from a distance, it is not hard to connect that Ruth Paine visited this same gas station on multiple occasions that Oswald and a man that fit the description of Frazier were at. The issues with the car that Mr. Taylor serviced that day, were in fact the same problem that Frazier had with his own car. It is all about showing the people information, and every day the research community looks for things like this story.

References

National Archives. Accessed January 29, 2015. http://media.nara.gov/dc-metro/rg-272/605417-key-persons/taylor_robert/taylor_robert-0006.jpg.

National Archives. http://media.nara.gov/dc-metro/rg-272/605417-key-persons/taylor_robert/taylor_robert-0007.jpg.

National Archives. http://media.nara.gov/dc-metro/rg-272/605417-key-persons/smith_glenn_emmett/smith_glenn_emmett-0002.jpg
http://www.c-span.org/video/?287933-1/kennedy-assassination-buell-wesley-frazier-part-1
http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/garage.htm
http://jfkassassination.net/russ/testimony/smith_g.htm

The truth remains out there!!

As the anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy approaches, we are reminded of the day that changed the United States in so many ways. Ever since that day in Dallas, we have a tendency to speak of the “what if” aspect of the Kennedy administration and the policies that would have followed had he survived that day in Dallas. As researchers of the Kennedy assassination we follow that “what if” term as if it is our rallying cry as to finding out the truth. So many “what ifs” exists today about the presidency of John F. Kennedy, that it can be sometimes overwhelming as to the landscape of this country had he lived. The term “what if” will continue on, until the actual truth is revealed and as researchers we are committed to finding out the truth. Each of us has taken on a particular segment of the assassination that interests us, and by coming together with our research, we will one day find that ultimate truth.

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My research has been focused on an organization called the Acme Building Maintenance Company. This company provided the overnight cleaning of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD), and they were present the night before the assassination of the President. Like I mentioned in previous posts about this company, there were two employee each night that had keys to the TSBD, so that they could gain access to the building once of the employees of the building had left for the day. In other words, these an all access to the building the night before the assassination, and could set up a potential snipers nest, or a staged snipers nest for that matter. In digging deeper about this company, the Warren Commission decided very early on that this company did not matter and throughout the entire report, there is not one mention about this company. Only in a report about TSBS supervisor Roy Truly, is the Acme Building Maintenance Company mentioned, and it is one line, on his report. So who really was this company that no one decided to look further into?
The owner of the company was a man named Frank C. Jones, a prominent Dallas businessman, who over the previous 40 years had built up Acme Maintenance into one of Dallas’s largest maintenance companies. Throughout the city and especially the high rise buildings of downtown, Acme Maintenance was there, with the keys in hand. So what role could this company have played in the assassination of President Kennedy? For one, the luncheon at the Dallas Trade Mart was put together by the Dallas Citizens Council. This council consisted of the leading businessmen inside of Dallas, and to this day remains a force within the Dallas community. So, here we have the leading business people inside of Dallas putting together the event for the President and his wife, and yet it would seem that none of them truly expected him to arrive or at least one of them knew he wouldn’t arrive. When inquiring about Frank C. Jones with the Dallas Citizens Council, they acknowledged to me that the name was in their registry of people who have been part of the organization, but were unwilling to provide with me any documents that I may use. This is an organization that is made up today of some of the leading companies in the United States and to protect themselves, they would not let me know any more then I needed to know.
Everything about the Acme Building Maintenance Company is sketchy at best. Through documents obtained through the Secretary of State of Texas, the company was sold to ARA Building Services in early 1964 and was quickly blended in with this organization. The listing for Acme Building Maintenance went to an individual by the name of Edwin Hudson who formed a new Acme Building Maintenance in the summer of 1963, and once the merger between Acme and ARA went through, he applied for an incorporation listing through the Secretary of State. However, this new Acme Building Maintenance Company was never truly a real company, as the address that was listed as the headquarters of this company was and still is, in a residential area of Austin, Texas. It is my belief that the Dallas Citizens Council used Frank C. Jones and his real Acme Building Maintenance as a means to find the best possible shooting angle for the eventual assassination. Once the job was finished, they already had in place a company to buy him out, and hide his company for good. Although I am still in the early stages of research with this company, I believe that there many people in the Dallas Trade Mart at the time of the assassination, knew that the President would never be arriving at his destination that day.
We must continue to research the JFK assassination until the truth is finally told to us, whether it be 5 years from now, or 50 years from now. Our country changed that day in Dallas, and it left us with too many “what ifs” about a man who had the vision of what he wanted to accomplish with his time in office.

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Why we still care..

It has been nearly two months since I wrote my last post on this website due to many reasons. The main reason for the lack of posts, is because I have now entered into my graduate program with a focus on American history. I am hoping that by being able to get a better understanding of how history was written and talked about generations ago, I will in turn, be a better writer and researcher myself. My goals are to be able to find research and tell it in a way that shows people, things they may have not known before. The purpose of this site is not to try and figure out exactly who killed John F. Kennedy, but it is to inform those who may be new to the research. Along the way, I have found some new research that I have shared and I have repeated some of the research by others. The assassination is a moment in time where everything stopped for a moment, and it is up to the research community to tell the story of what happened. We may all have different opinions as to what happened that day in Dallas, but we can agree that it changed our history forever. I myself, is continuing to push forward and looking for material that others may have overlooked or their voice was just not heard loud enough. Below is a sample of what I have been writing in my class, and of course the focus is on John F. Kennedy. It is not the typical assassination research, instead it is about learning the history of the research itself.

Throughout time, there have been many moments that have been cast as life-changing, but few of them can compare to the events that transpired on November 22nd, 1963. For the people that remember the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated it was not only a day that changed the course of history but also a day they would never forget. The assassination of the President of the United States had occurred 3 times prior to 1963 and yet the void the nation felt from this assassination had not been felt since the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865. The assassination of President Kennedy was one of the biggest moments of the 20th century and yet today it still remains an unsolved crime to some. The historiography of the assassination has taken many different turns in the 50 years that have past and many historians have taken their shot at figuring out the unofficial “Crime of the Century”. Although the authorities singled out the man they thought was the assassin, the general public seems to think that a larger plot was involved in the assassination. History has shown us over time just how the nations opinion on this manner has changed.

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For the young readers of today’s generation, it is important for them to understand that the assassination of President Kennedy changed the shape and course of our nation. The Vietnam War was not a war yet, man had not been on the moon, and African-Americans were not given the freedoms and equality in the Civil Rights Act. These specific events were all things that were on the agenda of President Kennedy before that day in Dallas and our history as a nation changed from that day on. Many Americans look back to the Kennedy assassination as a turning point in our nation and that is why after all of these years it is still a topic that is mentioned and talked about today. Learning about what actually happened during those last few moments on Elm St. in Dallas has evolved over time and each author brings their own version to it.

The official story of the events that day are that one lone gunman named Lee Harvey Oswald was able to assassinate the President of the United States with a high powered rifle from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. In December of 1963, President Lyndon Johnson appointed a commission to look into the details of the assassination and to come up with a conclusion. The report, named The Warren Report (based on the commission’s leader, Earl Warren) concluded that in fact Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Since the day, the Warren Report was released the history of the Kennedy assassination began to take on a life of its own. Many authors and researchers were giving their opinion on the manner and over the years countless books have been written about the assassination, whether they believe the Warren Report or whether they believe someone else committed the crime.

When published in 1967, Rush to Judgment by Mark Lane was received with mixed reviews. Our trust in government was fading through the events that were happening in the decade, and the full truth about the Kennedy assassination was still a topic of discussion. When the Warren Report was released in 1964 many Americans believed that version of what happened that day in Dallas. It was very common to believe what the government was telling you was nothing but the truth, and with the assassination of a President you would hope the truth would be told. In his book, Lane examines countless witness testimony that was left out of the final report by the commission and determines that someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald was the true assassin of the President that day. By describing the other key witnesses to the crime, he is able to break down a timeline of events that shows that Oswald was not alone in this plot.
The book has become a cornerstone for future researchers to look back upon. The research done by Mr. Lane was groundbreaking at the time and to go against what the government had said about the assassination was even bigger. The book has led to many more researchers to give their own version of the assassination. To this day the Kennedy assassination is still a highly debated topic with more Americans believing that more than one person was involved in the assassination plot. For once was a strong opinion of a lone gunman, has turned to a “whodunit” mind frame. The conspiracy theories have carried on over the years and Mr. Lane is still right in the middle of all of them because of the work he did back then.

This is just a sample of some of the papers that I have written in my class and I hope to continue to write about the assassination in future classes. Although some of the information is repeated, their is still plenty of materials that have yet to be looked at. In the coming months I will continue into the research of the Acme Building Maintenance Company and its owner Frank C. Jones and to get a more clearer answer as to what happened to the company that had keys to the Texas School Book Depository the night before the assassination.

Sources

Bugliosi, Vincent. Reclaiming history: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2007.

Company, Inc. The official Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, 1964.

Lane, Mark. Rush to judgement: a critique of the Warren Commission’s inquiry …. Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, 1967.

Salinger, Pierre, and Sander Vanocur. A tribute to John F. Kennedy,. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1964.

Photo Courtesy of rgs6 via flickr.
HDR Photo of Texas Book Depository

Happy Birthday Mr. President!!!!

Today marks the 97th Birthday of President John F. Kennedy. Today is a day to remember a person who meant so much to so many people around the world. We spend a lot of time trying to figure out the real assassins in his murder and it is sometimes overlooked on the impact that he had on people then and still does to this day. This site is dedicated to some new and old research into his assassination and I think that on this particular day there should be no talk about that and more about the legacy of JFK. As the years have past since 1963, the world seems to forget about certain days like this and the next time the media will pay attention to remembering JFK, will be around the time of his 100th birthday. To the many researchers and admirers of John F. Kennedy this day is a day that we would like to see become a National Holiday.

The story of John F. Kennedy has been told many times over the years in the countless amounts of books and a variety of movies. What I would like to talk about today is the impact that he still has on the many Americans who lived during that time and to the young Americans who inspire to like him. We have searched for a President like him and have looked for his characteristics in all of them ever since his assassination. Almost every democrat that runs for President of The United States feels the need to plug in some sort of JFK characteristic into their campaign. For instance, the last two democrats that ran for President have tried this tactic, John Kerry and his ties to the Kennedy family, and his initials being JFK, and President Obama using his Presidential campaign and his endorsement by Caroline Kennedy to show America that Camelot would be back. To the people that remember President Kennedy in office, they remember a President that was fearless and when it came down to making a decision he would take the advise of his best advisors and make the best decision for the country. To the many Americans today who only were able to read about JFK in history books, the thing that sticks out is his inauguration speech. As students we learn the phrase “Ask not what our country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. My children are just now learning about JFK in school and they asked me what that saying meant. My response is that JFK wanted us to take pride in our country and not let the country always be the one to take care of you, but as people what we can do for each other throughout the country.

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The idea of Camelot is something that was started 50 years ago and it is something that will carry on for another 50 years and beyond. The time of John F. Kennedy was one of hope and passion, and the country believed in our government. If you are to watch some of the press conferences and television debates of the 1960 Presidential Campaign, you will see some of the same problems we had then are the same today. But there was a belief and a hope of change, and that a President who had the passion and willingness to make the right decisions will get it right. President Kennedy was not the perfect President nor was he the perfect man. We all have our faults and weaknesses, but it is how we react in tough situations that make us who we are. We saw that in President Kennedy, and we want that today in our leaders. Sometimes we look for leaders that need to be perfect in every which way. They need to have the perfect education, perfect marriage, excellent health, in order to be a great leader, and yet JFK lacked in many of these areas and we never knew it. We saw his actions in the battlefield both in World War II and in the Oval Office and that’s what makes him one of the most beloved Presidents of all time.

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Sources:

Kelley, K. (2013, January 23). Obama and the Legacy of Camelot. .

Mimi Alford