Monday, February 24, 2020
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In Dallas, Trump announces release of J.F.K. files

DALLAS (Oct. 25) — The US announced that files related to the assassination of President John F Kennedy on November 22, 1963, will be released on October 26, a little more than a hundred years after Mr Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917.

I had the high privilege Wednesday of being in Dallas, just as President Trump was, and I walked from my hotel to Dealey Plaza, where shots hit Mr Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally on that fateful day. The spots on the road where they were hit are now marked by green crosses, and the Texas School Book Depository has been turned into the Sixth Floor Museum.

Embed from Getty Images

Mr Trump was in Dallas for just a few hours, flying in during the afternoon and departing in the early evening. But while he was here, he was briefed on hurricane relief efforts firsthand and attended a fundraiser.

The timing of the release was more closely tied to a 1992 law than to the Kennedy centennial. That law required the files to be released in 25 years unless their release would, in the opinion of the president, jeopardize national security. The centennial is just a coincidence—a pleasant one to ponder, yes, but just a coincidence.

Additional Photos


Texas School Book Depository building, Oct. 25 (now a museum and national landmark) (Voxitatis)

The Dallas Morning News, above the fold, Saturday, Nov. 23, 1963 (Voxitatis)

On the day Mr Kennedy was assassinated, he was headed to the Dallas Trade Mart to deliver a speech that spoke of moderation in foreign affairs, believing as he did that Americans had to learn to live with the fact that it was unrealistic to exert unlimited control over world affairs. Here is an excerpt from that speech, part of which is engraved into a stone monument located on the grassy knoll in downtown Dallas.

We, in this country, in this generation, are—by destiny rather than by choice—the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of “peace on earth, good will toward men.” That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: “except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen waketh but in vain.”

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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