Liberty Nation GenZ: News for Kids

News and Current Events Through the Lens of America’s Founding Principles

🔍 Search

New Documents Reveal More About JFK’s Assassination

The U.S. has released thousands of never before seen documents about the assassination of JFK.

By:  |  December 17, 2021  |    719 Words
GettyImages-803231492 President John F Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy (JFK) is still a mystery. Fifty-eight years after he was reportedly shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963, the circumstances of the shooting have inspired the idea that Oswald didn’t act on his own. Theories have been repeated and investigated for the past half-century, but so far nothing has been proven. Now, at least some of the mystery may be solved after President Joe Biden approved the release of documents from that time.

Thousands of records were released to the public on December 15. They include memos and notes about phone calls and other contacts made around the time of the assassination.

Kennedy was a well-loved and charismatic leader. Famous for saying, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” in his inaugural speech, his campaign focused on ending poverty and fighting the Cold War against the communist Soviet Union.

lee harvey oswald GettyImages-515492366

Lee Harvey Oswald being escorted by police.

After World War II ended in 1945, the U.S. and the Soviet Union (Russia) struggled for power and influence on the world stage. This conflict was called the Cold War.

Kennedy sat in the Oval Office during two key events in the Cold War, both in Cuba: the Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis. One of Kennedy’s goals was to overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba, since Castro was allied with the Soviets. Kennedy was also concerned that Russia was giving Cuba nuclear missiles.

Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald was named as Kennedy’s assassin, working alone. Oswald was arrested for the killing, but he denied responsibility, claiming that he was just a “patsy” in a larger plan. Two days later, Oswald was killed by a man named Jack Ruby.

Oswald was a former Marine who had been in trouble most of his life, even being court-martialed and jailed while serving in the military. In October 1959, he defected to the Soviet Union, but later returned to the United States with his wife and two daughters, settling in Dallas, Texas.

A Soviet Connection?

KGB GettyImages-924821296

KGB museum in Moscow (Photo by Wojtek Laski/Getty Images)

According to the released documents, there were suggestions that the Soviet Union could have been involved in Kennedy’s death.

Two days after the president was killed, an official in Australia told the CIA that someone who claimed to be a Polish chauffeur at the Soviet Union embassy had called in to report that the Soviet government had “probably” paid for the assassination. The caller gave details of Oswald’s meeting with a KGB agent at the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City just two months before the assassination.

Another anonymous phone call a year before, on October 15, 1962, reported that the “Iron Curtain Countries” ruled by the Soviet Union planned to pay $100,000 to have the president killed by a Polish chauffeur. These tips were thought to be prank calls at the time.

In one of the released memos, CIA operative Tennent H. Bagley wrote the day after Kennedy’s assassination: “According to an intercepted phone call in Mexico City, Lee Oswald was at the Soviet Embassy there on 23 September 1963 and spoke with Consul Valeriy Vladimirovich.” He added, “Oswald called the Soviet Embassy on 1 October, identifying himself by name and speaking broken Russian, stating the above and asking the guard who answered the phone whether there was ‘anything concerning the telegram to Washington.’”

Releasing the Files

These files were supposed to be released 25 years after Kennedy’s death, but it has taken twice that long to achieve. There are still a lot more that have yet to surface, although some are expected by December 2022. JFK’s nephew, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., said waiting this long for the information is not right. “It’s an outrage,” he said. “It’s an outrage against American democracy. We’re not supposed to have secret governments within the government.”

With more than 50 years of speculation floating around, will these newly released documents answer all the questions? Probably not, an official said, “Because it has taken [the government] so long to get these records out, no matter what comes out, no one is going to believe that that’s it.”

Behind the News

Digging Deeper