Documents on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Featured Content November 20, 2018 – Anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Explore related documents on govinfo


Skip to: Post JFK Assassination Audio Tape RecordingsWarren Commission ReportWarren Commission HearingsOther Related Publications


“All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days, nor in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this administration. Nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”

President John F. Kennedy at his 1963 Inauguration

In June 1963, President John F. Kennedy met with Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and Texas Governor John Connally in El Paso, Texas. They discussed the upcoming 1964 presidential election. President Kennedy had not yet announced that he would be running again, but according to the JFK Library, “it was clear that President Kennedy was going to run and he seemed confident about his chances for re-election.” At the meeting, they determined the need to carry the two states in the South that had the most electoral votes to win in the upcoming election. Campaigning in Florida and Texas became high priority.


In November, President Kennedy set off to campaign in those states. On November 21, the president, accompanied by the first lady, boarded Air Force One to head to Texas. After visiting San Antonio, Houston, and Fort Worth, on November 22, the Kennedys took a quick 13-minute flight from Fort Worth to Dallas. When they landed at Love Field, an adoring crowd was there to greet them.


Mrs. Kennedy received a bouquet of red roses upon arriving in Dallas. She carried them with her to the limousine, where Governor Connally and his wife, Nellie, who had yellow roses, were already sitting.


The specially-fabricated Lincoln automobile had a plastic bubble top, but agents had instructions from the President that the only time the bubble top was to be used was if there was inclement weather, or if Mrs. Kennedy’s hair was getting out of place from strong winds. Though it had been drizzling earlier in the morning, the skies had cleared for their ride around Dallas. Thus, no need for the bubble top.


The excited onlookers could see the Kennedys and Connallys up-close-and-personal as they drove through downtown Dallas. The cheering crowds continued to grow and grow. Secret Service Agent for Mrs. Kennedy, Clint Hill, hopped on the back of the car several times in case he needed to fend off rowdy fans who were flooding the left-hand side of the street along which Mrs. Kennedy was riding.


The plan was to stop at the Trade Mart where President Kennedy was scheduled to speak at a luncheon. That meant the car needed to decelerate to make the sharp turn from Houston onto Elm Street.


As the car was passing the Texas School Book Depository, at around 12:30 p.m., shots were fired, striking the president in the head and neck and the governor in the back. The beautiful red and yellow roses from earlier in the day were scattered throughout the car.


Almost immediately, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and held for the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Two days later, Oswald was shot and killed on live television while being transferred from police headquarters to the county jail.


Ninety-nine minutes after the president’s death, Vice President Johnson took the oath of office with a brave Jackie Kennedy by his side on Air Force One. The conversations that took place after the Kennedy assassination among various individuals in Washington, DC, Air Force One pilots, and officials on board the flight from Dallas to Andrews Air Force Base were recorded. These audio tape recordings are available at GPO and the National Archives. One conversation is that of President Lyndon B. Johnson being connected to President Kennedy’s mother, Rose, to offer his condolences. Listen to the recordings on govinfo by clicking on the MP3 links below.


One week after JFK’s death, as the nation – and the world – mourned the loss of President Kennedy and remained stunned by the senseless tragedy, President Johnson appointed the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. Led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, it became known as the Warren Commission. The commission's purpose was to evaluate matters relating to the assassination and the subsequent killing of the alleged assassin and to report its findings and conclusions to President Johnson. The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) produced the report and 26 hearing volumes in 1964. GPO's work for the Commission resulted in nearly 235,000 copies of the report and nearly 5,600 sets of the hearings. Read the full report on govinfo by clicking on the links below.

(Source: JFK Library )


See also: the National Archives' President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection including the 2018 additional documents release.


Post JFK Assassination Audio Tape Recordings

Audio tape recordings of conversations that took place after the Kennedy assassination are available at GPO and the National Archives.

November 22, 1963 is the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The audio tape recordings are of conversations between various individuals in Washington, DC, Air Force One pilots, and officials on board the flight from Dallas to Andrews Air Force Base following the assassination of President Kennedy. One conversation is of President Lyndon B. Johnson being connected to Rose Kennedy to offer his condolences.

Air Force One Flight Deck Recording (Side 1)

Air Force One Flight Deck Recording (Side 2)


Warren Commission Report

The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, commonly known as the Warren Commission, was created by President Lyndon Johnson and chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren to investigate President Kennedy's assassination. The Commission presented their findings in a report to President Johnson on September 24, 1964.

GPO produced the Warren Commission Report and 26 hearing volumes in 1964. Altogether, GPO's work for the Commission resulted in nearly 235,000 copies of the report and nearly 5,600 sets of the hearings.

Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (Warren Commission Report) - September 24, 1964


Warren Commission Hearings

Since the assassination, pop culture has birthed many conspiracy theories about the death of JFK. Read all the available evidence on govinfo. The Warren Commission released 26 hearing volumes on November 23, 1964, comprised of testimonies from 550 witnesses and evidence, all available for public access on GPO’s govinfo. Browse through evidence and testimony from people such as Lee Harvey Oswald’s widow and mother. Click the links below to view these fascinating pieces of history.

Volume I - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Mrs. Marina Oswald, the widow of Lee Harvey Oswald; Mrs. Marguerite Oswald, Oswald's mother; Robert Edward Lee Oswald, Oswald's brother; and James Herbert Martin, who acted for a brief period as Mrs. Marina Oswald's business manager.
PDF Details


Volume II - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: James Herbert Martin, who acted for a brief period as the business manager of Mrs. Marina Oswald; Mark Lane, a New York attorney; William Robert Greer, who was driving the President's car at the time of the assassination; and others.
PDF Details


Volume III - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Ruth Hyde Paine, an acquaintance of Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife; Howard Leslie Brennan, who was present at the assassination scene; Bonnie Ray Williams, Harold Norman, James Jarman, Jr., and others.
PDF Details


Volume IV - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Sebastian F. Latona, a fingerprint expert with the Federal Bureau of Investigation ; Arthur Mandella, a fingerprint expert with the New York City Police Department; Winston G. Lawson, a Secret Service agent who worked on advance preparations for the President's trip to Dallas; Alwyn Cole, a questioned document examiner with the Treasury Department; and John W. Fain, John Lester Quigley, and James Patrick Hosty, Jr., agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who interviewed Oswald, or people connected with him, at various times during the period between Oswald's return from Russia in 1962 and the assassination; and others.
PDF Details


Volume V - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Alan H. Belmont, assistant to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Jack Revill and V. J. Brian of the Dallas police, who testified concerning conversations Revill had with James Patrick Hosty, Jr., a special agent of the FBI; Robert A. Frazier, a firearms expert with the FBI ; Drs. Alfred Olivier, Arthur Dziemian and Frederick W. Light, Jr., wound ballistics experts with the U.S. Army laboratories at Edgewood Arsenal, Md.; J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and others.
PDF Details


Volume VI - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Drs. Charles J. Carrico, Malcolm Oliver Perry, William Kemp Clark, Robert Nelson McClelland, Charles Rufus Baxter, Marion Thomas Jenkins, Ronald Coy Jones, Don Teel Curtis, Fouad A. Bashour, Gene Coleman Akin, Paul Conrad Peters, Adolph Hartung Giesecke, Jr., Jackie Hansen Hunt, Kenneth Everett Salyer, and Martin G. White, who attended President Kennedy at Parkland Hospital; and others.
PDF Details


Volume VII - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Drs. Charles J. Carrico, Malcolm Oliver Perry, William Kemp Clark, Robert Nelson McClelland, Charles Rufus Baxter, Marion Thomas Jenkins, Ronald Coy Jones, Don Teel Curtis, Fouad A. Bashour; and others.
PDF Details


Volume VIII - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Edward Voebel, William E. Wulf, Bennierita Smith, Frederick S. O'Sullivan, Mildred Sawyer, Anne Boudreaux, Viola Peterman, Myrtle Evans, Julian Evans, Philip Eugene Vinson, and Hiram Conway, who were associated with Lee Harvey Oswald in his youth; Lillian Murret, Marilyn Dorothea Murret, Charles Murret, John M. Murret, and Edward John Pic, Jr., who were related to Oswald; and others.
PDF Details


Volume IX - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Paul M. Raigorodsky, Natalie Ray, Thomas M. Ray, Samuel B. Ballen, Lydia Dymitruk, Gary E. Taylor, Ilya A. Mamantov, Dorothy Gravitis, Paul Roderick Gregory, Helen Leslie, George S. De Mohrenschildt, Jeanne De Mohrenschildt and Ruth Hyde Paine, all of whom became acquainted with Lee Harvey Oswald and/or his wife after their return to Texas in 1962 ; and others.
PDF Details


Volume X - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Everett D. Glover, who became acquainted with Lee Harvey Oswald following his return to Texas in 1962; Carlos Bringuier, Francis L. Martello, Charles Hall Steele, Jr., Charles Hall Steele, Sr., Philip Geraci III, Vance Blalock, Vincent T. Lee, Arnold Samuel Johnson, James J. Tormey, Farrell Dobbs, and John J. Abt, who testified concerning Oswald's political activities and associations; and others.
PDF Details


Volume XI - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: John Edward Pic, Lee Harvey Oswald's halfbrother; Edward John Pic, Jr., John Edward Pic's father; Kerry Wendell Thornley, a Marine Corps acquaintance of Oswald George B. Church, Jr., Mrs. George B. Church, Jr., and Billy Joe Lord, who were on the boat Oswald took when he left the United States for Russia; and others.
PDF Details


Volume XII - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Dallas law enforcement officers who were responsible for planning and executing the transfer of Lee Harvey Oswald from the Dallas City Jail to the Dallas County Jail; and Don Ray Archer, Barnard S. Clardy, and Patrick Trevore Dean, who participated in the arrest and questioning of Jack L. Ruby; and others.
PDF Details


Volume XIII - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: L. C. Graves, James Robert Leavelle, L. D. Montgomery. Thomas Donald McMillon, and Forrest V. Sorrels, who participated in the arrest and questioning of Jack L. Ruby; Dr. Fred A. Bieberdorf, Frances Cason, Michael Hardin, and C. E. Hulse, who testified concerning the time at which Lee Harvey Oswald was shot; and others.
PDF Details


Volume XIV - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Curtis LaVerne Crafard, Wilbyrn Waldon (Robert) Litchfield II, Robert Carl Patterson, Alice Reaves Nichols, Ralph Paul, George Senator, Nancy Perrin Rich, Breck Wall (Billy Ray Wilson), Joseph Alexander Peterson, Harry N. Olsen, and Kay Helen Olsen, all of whom were friends, acquaintances, employees, or business associates of Jack L. Ruby; Earl Ruby and Sam Ruby, two of Ruby's brothers, and Mrs. Eva Grant, one of his sisters; Jack L. Ruby; Dr. William Robert Beavers, a psychiatrist who examined Ruby; and Bell P. Herndon, an FBI polygraph expert who administered a polygraph test to Ruby.
PDF Details


Volume XV - Contains testimony of the following witnesses: Hyman Rubenstein, a brother of Jack L. Ruby; Glen D. King, administrative assistant to the chief of the Dallas police; C. Ray Hall, an FBI agent who interviewed Ruby; Charles Batchelor, assistant chief of the Dallas police; Jesse E. Curry, chief of the Dallas police; M. W. Stevenson, deputy chief of the Dallas police; and others. Also includes an index to Volumes I - XV.
PDF Details


Volumes XVI—XXVI - These volumes contain reproductions of exhibits received into evidence by the Commission. The exhibits received in connection with testimony before the Commission are printed first, arranged in numerical order from 1 to 1053. Next are printed exhibits received in connection with depositions or affidavits, arranged alphabetically by name of witness, and then numerically— e.g., Adams Exhibits Nos. 1-, Baker Exhibits Nos. 1-22. Finally are printed other materials relied upon by the Commission, consisting principally of investigative reports by law enforcement agencies, arranged in numerical order beginning with 1054. Each volume begins with a table of contents—a descriptive listing of the exhibits in the volume and the page or pages on which each exhibit is printed.

The numbering of the exhibits received in testimony before the Commission is not completely consecutive; the unused numbers are noted in the table of contents. Also, various systems of designation were used in connection with deposition and affidavit exhibits, so that the designation of some of these exhibits begins either with a letter or a number higher than 1—e.g., Jones Exhibits A-C, Smith Exhibits Nos. 5000-5006.

Almost all of the reproductions contained in the exhibit volumes consist of photographs of the exhibits. The legibility of many documentary exhibits is poor, because some exhibits were copies rather than originals and many others were discolored when tested for fingerprints. In some cases where legibility was particularly bad, the contents of the document have been typed out, and reproduced together with a miniature photograph of the exhibit. A few exhibits of negligible relevance were not reproduced because of their length or for reasons of taste. The omissions are described in the tables of contents. In a very small number of cases, names, dates, or numbers have been deleted from exhibits for security reasons or for the protection of named individuals.

Volume XVI - Exhibits 1 to 391
PDF Details


Volume XVII - Exhibits 329 to 884
PDF Details


Volume XVIII - Exhibits 885 to 1053
PDF Details


Volume XIX - Exhibits Allen to Fuqua
PDF Details


Volume XX - Exhibits Gallagher to Oliver
PDF Details


Volume XXI - Exhibits Paine to Yarborough
PDF Details


Volume XXII - Exhibits 1054 to 1512
PDF Details


Volume XXIII - Exhibits 1513 to 1975
PDF Details


Volume XXIV - Exhibits 1976 to 2189
PDF Details


Volume XXV - Exhibits 2190 to 2651
PDF Details


Volume XXVI - Exhibits 2652 to 3154
PDF Details


Other Related Publications

Read eulogies to the late President John F. Kennedy in the Congressional Record:

109 Cong. Rec. (Bound) - November 25, 1963


Read tributes delivered by Members of the Senate in the Congressional Record:

109 Cong. Rec. (Bound) - Senate: December 11, 1963