JFK assassination: a timeline

By Stephen Jones, MSN UK News. AP
1 of 28 To full screen

At 8.45am on Friday 22 November 1963, John F Kennedy left the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth to catch a flight via Air Force One to nearby Dallas.

The US president was entering the second day of a short visit to Texas, aimed at raising funds for a re-election bid the following year.

The events that followed stunned the world, and plunged the world's most powerful nation in a state of fear and mourning.

Click or swipe through the gallery to view the picture timeline

2 of 28 To full screen

11.40am: The president and first lady are greeted with great enthusiasm upon their arrival at Dallas airport, shaking hands with the public before a planned journey to the Dallas Business and Trade Mart for a luncheon speech.

3 of 28 To full screen

11.54am: Mr and Mrs Kennedy begin their journey in a long motorcade from Love Field through downtown Dallas, with the first lady riding alongside her husband in the back of an open top 1961 Lincoln limo.

Sitting at the front of the three-row vehicle are driver William Greer and secret service agent Roy Kellerman, while Texas governor John Connally sits with his wife Nellie in the middle section.

4 of 28 To full screen

12.29pm: The president's limousine, which has passed through Dallas without incident so far, arrives at the intersection of Dealey Plaza and Houston Street, driving slowly past the soon-to-be-infamous Texas Schoolbook Depository.

Mary Ann Moorman via AP
5 of 28 To full screen

12.30pm: Gunshots are fired. This amateur picture by Mary Ann Moorman shows President Kennedy slumping in the backseat of his car the moment a rifle bullet strikes him in the back of the head.

6 of 28 To full screen

12.30pm: Secret service agent Clint Hill jumps from the car behind after hearing the first shot, just as a further shot hits Kennedy, opening the right side of the president’s head.

7 of 28 To full screen

12.30pm: As the shots ring out, the motorcade speeds up to escape the scene. Mrs Kennedy is heard to scream loudly.

8 of 28 To full screen

12.30pm: Members of the public flee or drop to the ground in panic. Some witness later say the shots sounded like firecrackers.

Warren Commission
9 of 28 To full screen

12.30pm: This aerial photo from the 1964 Warren Commission report into the shooting shows the motorcade's route and identifies the sniper's nest in the nearby book depository.

Time and Life pictures/Getty
10 of 28 To full screen

12.33pm: Lee Harvey Oswald leaves the book depository unsuspected and apparently looking calm and normal.

He is pictured here at an earlier date with the rifle used to kill President Kennedy.

11 of 28 To full screen

12.38pm: The motorcade arrives at Parkland Hospital. Outside, the president’s limousine is seen on the right with the roof covered.

12 of 28 To full screen

1.00pm: After being given his last rites by a local priest, Kennedy is pronounced dead, as this homicide report from the following day indicates.

13 of 28 To full screen

1.14pm: With authorities now hunting the killer, police officer JD Tippit (pictured) is fatally shot after approaching a man matching Oswald's description in Oak Cliff, a residential area of Dallas.

14 of 28 To full screen

1.22pm: A rifle is found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository.

The vantage point used to shoot the president is shown in this photo taken approximately one hour after the assassination.

15 of 28 To full screen

1.40pm: Oswald is arrested at Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff, where the murder suspect is reported to have entered without buying a ticket.

Police later say the suspected killer punched one police officer and attempted to shoot another, shouting: "Well, it's all over now!"

16 of 28 To full screen

2.00pm: Oswald shouts "I didn't shoot anybody" as he arrives at Dallas police department. He is interrogated for several hours before being arraigned at 7.05pm for the murder of Tippit.

17 of 28 To full screen

2.04pm: After arguments between hospital staff and government agents, Kennedy’s body is taken from Parkland hospital and driven to Air Force One for return to Washington.

Camera crews capture the vehicle’s progress as it passes back through Dallas.

18 of 28 To full screen

2.38pm: Following frenzied reports, confirmation of the president’s death is broadcast nationally for the first time.

The above image shows Associated Press wire copy that was sent to news outlets around the country.

19 of 28 To full screen

2.38pm: After the president's coffin arrives, Lyndon B Johnson, Kennedy's vice-president, takes the oath of office - assuming the presidency with Mrs Kennedy by his side.

20 of 28 To full screen

6.00pm: The flight carrying the president's body lands in Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington DC.

Mrs Kennedy is pictured emerging, still wearing her blood-stained dress and holding the hand of her brother-in-law, attorney general Robert Kennedy.

21 of 28 To full screen

11.26pm: Lee Harvey Oswald is formally charged with the president’s murder, as Kennedy’s casket rests in the east room of the White House.

22 of 28 To full screen

23 November: The following day sees the start of a three-day funeral for the fallen president. Here, Mrs Kennedy and children Caroline and John Jr follow the casket as it is carried up the steps of the Capitol building to lie in state.

23 of 28 To full screen

23 November: Back in Dallas, Lee Harvey Oswald - pictured here speaking to reporters - continues to protest his innocence.

24 of 28 To full screen

24 November: Oswald, still in custody, is shot dead by a member of a nearby crowd while being led from police headquarters.

This picture shows the ensuing scuffle with Jack Ruby, the man responsible.

25 of 28 To full screen

24 November: Ruby, a Dallas nightclub operator, is promptly arrested following the shooting. He later says he killed Oswald to “spare Mrs Kennedy” having to go through a murder trial.

26 of 28 To full screen

25 November: The Kennedy family and the rest of the nation say goodbye to Kennedy in a state funeral attended by representatives from over 90 countries.

27 of 28 To full screen

25 November: Thousands pay their respects to the president at a memorial service in New York City, while other major cities across the country carry out similar tributes to one of the most iconic presidents in American history.

28 of 28 To full screen

25 November: Surely the most poignant image of the day, however, is that of Kennedy’s young son, John Jr, saluting the casket of his father.

Sadly, this would be only the first of many tragedies to befall the Kennedys, and the president’s brother Robert, right, would be assassinated just five years later.