John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963 at 12:30 p.m. while travelling in an open top car through the streets of Dallas in a presidential parade with his wife Jacqueline, the Texas Governor and his wife. The Kennedys were waving at the crowd gathered along the parade route, when three rifle shots rang through the air, apparently coming from the sixth floor of the nearby Book Depository building. In the chaos that followed, the presidential limousine sped to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where surgeons tried in vain to save Kennedy’s life. At 1pm local time the 46-year-old President was pronounced dead.
A little later former U.S. Marine Lee Harvey Oswald, who worked at the Texas Book Depository. was arrested because suspected of the murder, but he was in turn shot by nightclub owner Jack Ruby before he could stand trial.
On Monday, November 25 hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of Washington to watch the solemn procession for Kennedy’s state funeral. He was then buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honours on a slope where an eternal flame was lit by his widow to mark the grave forever.
Kennedy’s death marked the fourth (following that of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) and most recent assassination of an American President
Almost immediately, various theories began to emerge. In contrast to the conclusions of the Warren Commission, established by President Johnson a few days after Kennedy’s funeral. the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded in 1979 that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy”, owing to the existence of an additional gunshot. However, Kennedy’s assassination is still the subject of widespread debate and has given rise to numerous conspiracy theories and alternative scenarios.
The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, or the JFK Records Act, is a public law passed by the United States Congress, in order to create the Act’s Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) whose aim was to collect all records relating to that assassination, but not to determine why or by whom the murder was committed.
By ARRB law (of 1998), all existing assassination-related documents will be made public by 2017.
On July 24, 2017, the National Archives began the process of releasing the documents and on October 21 President Donald Trump stated on his Twitter account that he will allow the release of the remaining documents.