March 14, 2014

Jack Ruby
Jack Ruby

This Day in Texas History:

It is Friday March 14, 2014. It is the 73rd day of 2014. There are 292 days left in the year. It was 50 years ago today that Jack Ruby was convicted of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. Less than four months earlier, back on November 24, 1963, Ruby had shot and killed Oswald. Lee Harvey Oswald was the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy. The shooting took place on live national television in the basement of the Dallas City Jail.

I find it amazing that the trial and conviction happened so quickly – less than four months after the crime. Most people don’t know the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Jack Ruby’s conviction. Mr. Ruby was awaiting a retrial when he died in prison in 1967. Ruby always denied he was part of a conspiracy. He stated until his death that he shot Oswald on impulse from grief and outrage over his concern for Jackie and the kids, referring to President Kennedy’s widow.

My Memories:

I was living at 803 Jefferson Avenue in Seguin, Texas when John Kennedy was assassinated. I was a fifth grade student at Jefferson Avenue Elementary School. I saw Ruby shoot Oswalt. It was craziness on television and the world felt out of control to me. My father was in South Vietnam at the time. He was in the United States Air Force. We were proud that Texas Lyndon Johnson was the new president as we had no doubt he could lead the country and protect us from the Soviet Union. Mostly, I remember being sad about the entire assassination.

Photo Credit: Image can be found at Originated from the report of the Warren Commission a US Government report. From WH Vol.18 p.32, detail. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code. See Copyright.

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