Wesley Frazier, a 19-year-old worker at the Texas Book Depository Building in downtown Dallas, picks up Lee Harvey Oswald to take him to work. “What you got there?” he asks, referring to the long brown-paper-wrapped package Oswald is carrying. “Oh, just some curtains,” was the reply.
11:37 a.m. CST
President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy emerge from Air Force One after the presidential plane lands at Love Field in Dallas.
The Kennedys greet well-wishers, then climb into an open limousine (its bubble top is in the trunk).
The motorcade heads for downtown Dallas. The Kennedys are in the back seat; Texas Gov. John Connally and his wife are in the seats just ahead of them. Vice President Lyndon Johnson and his wife are in another car in the motorcade.
About 12:30 p.m.
The president is struck in the upper back by a bullet as he turns to wave. Gov. Connally is hit in the back; the bullet passes through, strikes his wrist and lodges in his thigh. Another shot hits the president's head about ear level, as he bends forward.
Oswald walks seven blocks from the Book Depository and boards a city bus.
Oswald asks for a transfer and leaves the bus but climbs into a cab parked at the Greyhound Bus Depot.
Oswald is dropped off five blocks from his rooming house and walks home. He changes his dark jacket for a light-colored one and heads out again.
About 1 p.m.
At Parkland Hospital, after the doctors cease their vain efforts to save the president, his body is covered with a white sheet. Mrs. Kennedy steps forward and kisses his toe. She then moves to his shoulder and the sheet is pulled back. She holds her husband's hand as the Rev. Oscar L. Huber, pastor at the nearby Holy Trinity Church, administers the last rites. She kisses her husband and takes a ring from her finger and places it on one of his.
While Oswald is walking, Police Officer J.D. Tippit approaches him. The officer is shot and killed.
Malcolm Kilduff, assistant White House press secretary, makes this announcement to the assembled press: “President John F. Kennedy died at approximately 1 p.m. Central Standard Time today here in Dallas. He died of a gunshot wound in the brain.”
Before 2 p.m.
A hearse pulls up to the rear door of Air Force One; four seats in the rear compartment have been removed. Mrs. Kennedy takes a seat nearest the bronze coffin.
Oswald is arrested inside a movie theater, where “War Is Hell” is playing. Four officers are needed to subdue him.
Within an hour
Parafin tests confirm Oswald has recently fired a gun. And a rifle is found behind a stack of books diagonally across from the Book Depository window through which the assassin fired at the president.
Vice President Johnson is sworn in as the 36th president of the United States aboard Air Force One, with the oath administered by U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes. Johnson is flanked by his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, and Mrs. Kennedy. Johnson places his hand on the small, leather-bound Bible that President Kennedy kept in his sleeping compartment on the plane.
Air Force One lifts off the runway at Love Field, bound for Washington, D.C.
During the flight
President Johnson is in the forward compartment, making calls and conferring with advisers and military leaders. Mrs. Kennedy is in the rear, making funeral plans. Her hand rests much of the time on the casket.
At Andrews AFB
Johnson tells those assembled: “I will do my best. That's all I can do. I ask for your help and God's.” Mrs. Kennedy accompanies her husband's body to the U.S. Naval Hospital at Bethesda, Md. His post mortem and embalming occur there. She asks that research begin on the funeral for President Abraham Lincoln.
20 minutes later
The helicopter carrying President Johnson lands on the south lawn of the White House.
The president's casket — he was moved to a mahogany casket because some of the handles and ornaments on the bronze casket were damaged en route from Dallas — arrives at the White House and is placed in the East Room.