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The Archives has released nearly 1,500 new documents on JFK's assassination

Brian Naylor

jfk assassination research paper

President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy ride in the car in a motorcade in Dallas. Jim Altgens/AP hide caption

President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy ride in the car in a motorcade in Dallas.

The National Archives has released the latest trove of government documents relating to President John F. Kennedy's assassination just over 58 years ago.

Nearly 1,500 newly released documents are available on the Archive's website here . They contain many memos from FBI and other officials' meetings with informants, mostly of interest to historians and researchers. But no evidence is expected to emerge that would put in doubt the conclusion of the Warren Commission's report that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman in Dallas in November 1963.

They were released under the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, enacted by Congress in 1992, after Oliver Stone's movie JFK raised new interest in Kennedy's killing and launched anew a spate of conspiracy theories that Oswald did not act alone.

New JFK Assassination Documents Delve Into Oswald's Trip To Mexico, Plans To Flee

New JFK Assassination Documents Delve Into Oswald's Trip To Mexico, Plans To Flee

The entire collection of documents were to be opened by 2017, but then-President Donald Trump delayed the release of many, saying that some agencies told him that "certain information should continue to be redacted because of national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns. I have no choice – today – but to accept those redactions rather than allow potentially irreversible harm to our Nation's security."

In October, Biden took similar action, issuing a statement that the Archives should release documents "that agencies have not proposed for continued postponement" this Dec. 15 th , and that the government give agencies another year to review those they wish to continue to hold back. According to the Archives, the pandemic has had a "significant impact" on some agencies' ability to review documents .

It's not clear what national security or other considerations remain nearly six decades after Kennedy's assassination. The archives says some 250,000 records have been made available, constituting 90 percent of its' collection.

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National Archives Releases Thousands of Kennedy Assassination Files

Over 97 percent of documents related to the event are now publicly available

Sarah Kuta

Daily Correspondent

Kennedy speaks in a stadium

Nearly 60 years after President John F. Kennedy ’s assassination, the Biden administration has released thousands of once-classified records related to the tragedy.

The 46-year-old president’s untimely death on  November 22, 1963 —and the events surrounding it—have spawned myriad conspiracy theories ever since, many of them centered around the  1964 Warren Commission ’s conclusion that  Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone .

The National Archives yesterday released more than 13,000 documents —and that’s in addition to the nearly 1,500 once-classified documents the archives made public  last year . Per a statement from the National Archives, over 97 percent of the records on the assassination are now publicly available.

“This has been a commitment of the president,” says Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, as reported by  USA Today ’s Ella Lee, Joey Garrison and Josh Meyer. “President Biden believes all information related to President Kennedy’s assassination should be released to the greatest extent possible, consistent with national security.”

The government is still withholding 515 full documents, as well as parts of 2,545 documents. Officials will review the remaining records in the coming months and determine whether anything else can be released by June 2023, reports the  Hill ’s Zach Schonfeld.

JFK and First Lady at Love Field

In a  memo , Biden writes that the need to keep the records private has “weakened with the passage of time.”

“[The] profound national tragedy of President Kennedy’s assassination continues to resonate in American history and in the memories of so many Americans who were alive on that terrible day,” he adds. “... It is therefore critical to ensure that the United States government maximizes transparency by disclosing all information in records concerning the assassination, except when the strongest possible reasons counsel otherwise.”

A 1992 law required the release of all government records pertaining to the assassination by October 2017, but  Biden and  President Donald Trump pushed that deadline back. 

The nonprofit  Mary Ferrell Foundation , a nonprofit that maintains a large online archive of records related to Kennedy’s death,  sued the president and the National Archives in October and argued that the delay was illegal.

“It’s high time that the government got its act together and obeyed the spirit and the letter of the law,” said Jefferson Morley, the foundation’s vice president, to  NBC News ’ Marc Caputo.

Johnson takes the oath

Some of the newly released documents relate to the CIA’s extensive personality file on  Oswald , who was a veteran of the Marines. Some pertain to the CIA’s surveillance operation during a trip Oswald took to Mexico City several weeks before he shot the president. 

As Paul LeBlanc and Haley Britzky note for  CNN , researchers will need time to analyze the newly released documents in full. But so far, per the  Washington Post ’s Amy B. Wang and Azi Paybarah, the files do not appear to contain any “explosive new evidence of the decades-old assassination and sweeping fallout that followed.” 

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Sarah Kuta

Sarah Kuta | READ MORE

Sarah Kuta is a writer and editor based in Longmont, Colorado. She covers history, science, travel, food and beverage, sustainability, economics and other topics.

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The Biggest Revelations in the Declassified JFK Assassination Files

By: Sarah Pruitt

Updated: October 12, 2023 | Original: October 26, 2017

John and Jacqueline Kennedy ride through Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.

In October 2017, the National Archives released more than 2,800 previously classified records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy . The documents sparked a feeding frenzy among historians and conspiracy theorists alike.

What’s in the Declassified JFK Assassination Documents?

1) Of the documents that were originally set to be released, some 3,100 had never been seen by the public before. Though few experts expected the final batch of files to offer up a “smoking gun” proving Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in killing Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963, the last batch of files were expected to provide more insight into exactly how much U.S. national security agencies knew about Oswald before the assassination, and how much information the CIA and FBI withheld from the official investigation into the assassination, which concluded in 1964.

Among the revelations to emerge from the files were CIA notes on an intercepted telephone call on September 28, 1963, from Lee Harvey Oswald to a KGB agent in Mexico City. There was also evidence that the FBI’s Dallas office received a threat on Oswald’s life on November 23, 1963, the night before Jack Ruby shot him, from a man saying he was a “member of a committee organized to kill Oswald.”

jfk assassination research paper

Watch the three-episode documentary event, Kennedy . Available to stream now.

2) Many of the most anticipated remaining files relate to a trip Oswald took to Mexico City in September 1963, just two months before he shot Kennedy. During his visit, Oswald went to the Cuban embassy and met with officials in his attempt to get a visa to travel to Cuba, and then on to the Soviet Union.

3) Many of the files originally set for release reportedly come from the CIA office in Mexico City, and may reveal whether U.S. operatives there knew of Oswald’s plan to kill Kennedy (which he reportedly talked openly about during his trip) and how much they may have withheld from CIA headquarters in Washington.

What the Experts Say

Gerald Posner, an expert on the Kennedy assassination and author of the book Cold Case , speculated  that the revelations contained in the files might have proven embarrassing to some prominent figures: “There may be people who were informing to the CIA at the time who have moved on to careers in politics and business, and the revelation that they were informing will be embarrassing to them.”

Posner also believes the files may contain intriguing items unrelated to the assassination, including a handwritten letter from Jackie Kennedy about her husband’s funeral and a previously classified letter from J. Edgar Hoover.

The files also contain a transcript of a 1976 interview congressional investigators conducted with James Jesus Angleton, director of counterintelligence for the CIA in 1963. Angleton was the main conduit of information between the agency and the Warren Commission , which investigated the assassination.

Will These Declassified Documents Fuel More Conspiracy Theories? 

Lee Harvey Oswald distributes Hands Off Cuba flyers on the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana. This photograph was used in the Kennedy assassination investigation.

Despite the commission’s official conclusion in 1964 that Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy, many people have held fast to the belief that more than one person had to be involved. (It certainly didn’t help that Oswald never stood trial for the crime, having been shot to death by Jack Ruby two days after Kennedy’s assassination.)

Speculation about Oswald’s activities on his Mexico trip have long fueled one of the most popular JFK-related conspiracy theories, which argues that Cuban dictator Fidel Castro plotted to assassinate Kennedy as revenge for the Bay of Pigs invasion . In the 1970s, revelations that the Kennedy administration made various attempts to assassinate Castro fueled the idea that Castro acted first against Kennedy.

In addition to Castro, potential conspirators have included the CIA , Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson , the Mafia, the KGB or some malicious combination thereof. The success of Oliver Stone’s film JFK , which suggested a vast government conspiracy was behind the assassination, helped motivate the U.S. Congress to enact the Records Collection Act in 1992. By its terms, all material related to the assassination would be housed in a single collection at the National Archives.

The interior of the Presidential limousine after the Kennedy assassination

How Many JFK Assassination Files Have Been Declassified? 

Of the total library of files—which encompasses some 5 million pages—88 percent has been open and available to the public since the late 1990s, according to the National Archives . An additional 11 percent had been released in redacted form, with sensitive portions excised.

Leading up to October 2017, the Archives released a batch of material that July, including a total of 3,810 documents. Some 441 had been withheld in full until that point, and 3,369 previously released in redacted form. Among the released information were 17 audio files of interviews conducted with a KGB officer, Yuri Nosenko. Nosenko, who defected to the United States in early 1964, claimed to have been in charge of a file the KGB kept on Oswald during the time he lived in the Soviet Union (1959-62).

The 1992 law specified that only the president of the United States could choose to block the release of the remaining records past the October deadline. On October 21, 2017, then-President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that he planned to allow their release, reportedly against the advice of some national security agencies. The day before the release, he teased the “long-anticipated” release of the JFK files on Twitter again, calling it “So interesting!”

Gallery: Artifacts of the JFK Assassination

jfk assassination research paper

The records were made public under the 1992 John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, which mandated that all material housed at the National Archives about the assassination be made public by October 26, 2017, which is the 25th anniversary of the act. Last-minute concerns by U.S. national security and intelligence agencies led then-President Donald Trump to block the release of thousands of the remaining files just hours before the deadline.

The bulk of the massive collection has been available to the public—either in full or redacted form—already. But tens of thousands of documents had remained classified, presumably because they contained highly sensitive information that the CIA, FBI or other agencies thought might damage national security.

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HISTORY Vault: JFK Assassination: The Definitive Guide

Leading experts explore the many theories of what happened on November 22, 1963.

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Biden’s ‘Final’ Order on Kennedy Files Leaves Some Still Wanting More

The president has finished a review first mandated by law in 1992, and while a vast majority of papers related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy have been released, some remain redacted.

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President John F. Kennedy riding in the back of a car with Jacqueline Kennedy as a crowd of people looks on.

By Peter Baker

Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent, last wrote about the John F. Kennedy assassination papers during the Trump administration.

On June 22, 1962, an intelligence official drafted a memo summarizing a letter intercepted between Lee Harvey Oswald and his mother. The memo was made public long ago. But for 60 years, the name of the letter opener was kept secret.

Now it can finally be told: According to an unredacted copy of the memo released recently by the government, the official who intercepted Oswald’s mail for the C.I.A. in the months before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated was named Reuben Efron.

And that means — what, exactly? A tantalizing clue to unraveling a complicated conspiracy that the government has sought to cover up for decades? Additional proof that the C.I.A. knew more about Oswald than initially acknowledged? Or a minor detail withheld all this time because of bureaucratic imperatives irrelevant to the question of whether Oswald was the lone gunman on the fateful day?

The mystery of Reuben Efron, who has been dead for three decades, may never be resolved to the satisfaction of some of those dedicated to studying the assassination. Thirty years after Congress ordered that papers related to the killing be made public with limited exceptions, President Biden has declared that he has made his “ final certification ” of files to be released, even though 4,684 documents remain withheld in whole or in part. Going forward, agencies will decide any future disclosures that may be warranted by the passage of time.

The president’s certification, issued at 6:36 p.m. on the Friday before the long Fourth of July holiday weekend, when it would not draw much attention, has frustrated researchers and historians still focused on the most sensational American murder of the 20th century. But they suffered a setback on Friday when a federal judge refused to block Mr. Biden’s order.

Jefferson Morley, the editor of the blog JFK Facts and the author of several books on the C.I.A., said the belated identification of Efron indicated that intelligence agencies still had something to keep from the American public.

“If they hid this guy’s name for 61 years and they’re still hiding other stuff, I would say they’re still hiding sources and methods around Oswald,” Mr. Morley said. “Why else did the name remain secret for 61 years? The C.I.A. is trying to slam the door now, and Biden’s gone along with this.”

From the other side of the spectrum, Gerald Posner, the author of “ Case Closed ,” a 1993 book concluding that Oswald killed Kennedy on his own, said he doubted there was a smoking gun in the remaining files.

“Everyone is focused on the C.I.A. documents still withheld,” he said. “What we have learned from the C.I.A. files released this year is that they either have nothing to do with the assassination, or are only tangentially related.”

While he and Mr. Morley diverge on the historical evidence, Mr. Posner agreed that Mr. Biden’s decision was “an abrogation of responsibility under the 1992 law” mandating release of the documents. Trust in the government being what it is, he said, the public will never accept official reassurances that there is no stunning revelation in the papers.

“I don’t think that’s there,” he said, “but you’ll only know when you have all the files available.”

The intense interest in Kennedy conspiracy theories prompted Congress to pass the 1992 law mandating that documents related to the assassination be released within 25 years except those that could do “identifiable harm” to national security that outweighs the value of disclosure. When the deadline arrived in 2017 , President Donald J. Trump, who has dabbled in conspiracy theories about the assassination himself, bowed to pressure from intelligence agencies to grant more time . After taking office, Mr. Biden signed two memos doing the same.

Of roughly 320,000 documents reviewed since the law passed, 99 percent have been disclosed, according to the National Archives and Records Administration. But 2,140 documents remain fully or partially withheld as a result of Mr. Biden’s action, officials said, while another 2,502 remain withheld for reasons outside the president’s purview, like court-ordered seals, grand jury secrecy rules, tax privacy limits or restrictions imposed by people who donated papers, and 42 for a mix of both.

A vast majority of excluded documents have actually been released but with certain parts redacted, officials said, including names of people still living, addresses, telephone or Social Security numbers, or locations of intelligence facilities. Officials said they were confident that none of the withheld information would change the essential understanding of the assassination.

While Mr. Biden’s June 30 order means he is done, the archives and agencies have set up “transparency plans” so remaining redactions can be lifted in the future, such as upon the death of someone whose identity was protected.

The Mary Ferrell Foundation , an organization already suing the government over the files, sought an injunction against Mr. Biden after his latest order. But Judge Richard Seeborg of the Federal District Court in Northern California rejected it on Friday night and dismissed other parts of the original lawsuit, though he allowed some claims to proceed.

Lawrence Schnapf, a lawyer for the foundation, denounced Mr. Biden’s action. “It is simply unfathomable to me that a man who has a bust of R.F.K. in his office and who voted for the law would cave in to the incredulous claims of the national security bureaucracy that 60-year-old records pose such a risk to national security that they cannot be released,” he said.

The Justice Department declined to comment but maintained in its filings that the government had complied with the law. The C.I.A. did not respond to requests for comment. “This completes the review of records required by Congress and fulfills the president’s commitment to maximizing transparency related to President Kennedy’s assassination,” said Adam Hodge, a spokesman for the White House.

The assassination still has enormous power to arouse suspicion. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has embraced conspiracy theories on vaccines and other matters and is now challenging Mr. Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination, said recently that the government had orchestrated a “60-year cover-up” in his uncle’s killing.

“There’s overwhelming evidence that the C.I.A. was involved in his murder,” he told the radio host John Catsimatidis in May. “I think it’s beyond a reasonable doubt at this point.”

Mr. Trump, for his part, vowed to do in a second term what he did not in his first. “I released a lot, as you know. And I will release everything else,” said in an interview in May with The Messenger , a new online news site.

The final 1,103 documents released days before Mr. Biden’s order and those made public in preceding months offered new information that hardly seemed worth keeping cloaked so long. In April, for instance, a file was released with names of employees in the C.I.A.’s Mexico City station, mostly secretaries and translators. Another document listed 27 previously unreleased C.I.A. staff members’ names; for whatever it is worth, the C.I.A. director John McCone’s secretaries were named Marguerite Beard, Betty Davis and June Irish.

Whether any of the withheld documents would shed more light on Reuben Efron is unknown. His name on the mail intercept memo intrigued Mr. Morley. The memo was sent to Betty Egerter at a C.I.A. unit known as “the office that spied on spies.” On the day of the assassination, Egerter’s boss told the F.B.I. that the C.I.A. had no information on Oswald, who in fact had been monitored when he moved to the Soviet Union. A document released long ago showed that the agency opened Oswald’s correspondence from Nov. 11, 1959, to May 1, 1960, and again from July 1, 1961, to May 25, 1962.

Curiously, Efron was previously listed as being in the room when the Warren Commission interviewed Marina Oswald, his Russian-born widow, in February 1964 — the only one present whose title and role were not explained. Mr. Morley suspects Efron was monitoring the commission’s investigation for James Angleton , the legendary C.I.A. official, essentially his “eyes and ears inside the room.”

Efron was born in Lithuania in 1911 as Ruvelis Effronas and arrived in the United States via Cuba in 1939, according to immigration papers that described him as a 5-foot-3, 135-pound “merchant-salesman.” In addition to English, he spoke Russian, Lithuanian, Hebrew, Yiddish and German, and served in the Air Force during World War II as an interpreter. His obituary said that after the war he was “a specialist on the Soviet Union and consultant on foreign affairs” without saying for whom.

In a harmonic convergence of conspiracy, Efron reported seeing a U.F.O. in 1955. He was traveling with Senator Richard Russell, Democrat of Georgia, and an Army colonel on a train trip through the Soviet Union when all three spotted what a C.I.A. report called two “flying saucers.” Skeptics later suggested they were Soviet aircraft. Russell was among the Warren Commission members in the room for the Marina Oswald interview that Efron attended in 1964.

As it happened, Efron died on Nov. 22, 1993 — the 30th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. His wife has died too, and he had no known children. Efforts to reach other family members were unsuccessful.

“People say there’s nothing significant in these files?” Mr. Morley said. “Bingo! Here’s the guy who was reading Oswald’s mail, a detail they failed to share until now. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to think it’s suspicious.”

Mr. Posner finds it less suspicious but understands why others might. “Many of us have made up our minds,” he said. “Some of us have made up our minds that there was a conspiracy, and some of us have made up our minds that it was Oswald.

“But in the end, we all want to see these files.”

Alain Delaquérière contributed research.

Peter Baker is the chief White House correspondent and has covered the last five presidents for The Times and The Washington Post. He is the author of seven books, most recently “The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021,” with Susan Glasser. More about Peter Baker

Biden’s Mental Acuity Under Scrutiny

Comments about president biden’s age and memory in the special counsel’s report have captured democrats’ fears ahead of the november election and fueled republicans in their efforts to cast the president as weak..

Portrayal of Biden’s Memory: Robert Hur, the special counsel in the case examining President Biden’s handling of classified files, accused the president of “significant” memory problems in his report. The transcript of Hur’s interview  with the president as part of the inquiry offers context to his report .

An Age-Old Question: How old is too old to be president? The report has thrust the issue back into the spotlight  just as America seems poised to elect a commander in chief well past typical retirement age, no matter who wins in November.

Implications for 2024 Election: Why is the age issue hurting Biden  so much more than Donald Trump? Both are over 75, but voters are much less likely to worry that Trump is too old to serve .

Voter Reactions: To Americans in their 70s and 80s, the renewed questions swirling around Biden’s age have resonated in deeply personal ways . Many agree that it’s an issue, while others feel the criticism of Biden is insulting.

The Science of Memory Loss: After the report’s release, medical experts noted that the special counsel’s judgments on Biden’s mental health did not appear to be based on science .

JFK’s Assassination and “Doing Your Own Research”

Revelations about secret government programs after Kennedy’s assassination increased the power of conspiracy theories and the fervor of those who set out to expose them.

President Kennedy in the limousine in Dallas, Texas, on Main Street, minutes before the assassination

It’s become a cliché that conspiracy-minded internet users insist they’ve “done their own research.” As historian Kathryn S. Olmsted writes, that’s something people have been saying since the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy, and officials’ response to it, helped to shatter many Americans’ faith in the government .

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Olmsted writes that, immediately after the assassination , top leaders suspected some kind of conspiracy. Vice President Lyndon Johnson later said he did not believe Oswald acted alone but feared disaster if foreign actors were discovered to be behind the assassination. He convened the Warren Commission to officially put these worries to rest.

And it kind of worked. Between the assassination and the release of the Warren Report in September 1964, the proportion of the public who suspected a conspiracy dropped from 62 percent to 31 percent. But some people remained deeply suspicious. Olmsted describes ordinary women from around the country taking on the job of solving the case. Shirley Martin of Hominy, Oklahoma, packed up her four kids and a dog, traveled to Dallas, and interviewed more than 50 people, including the priest who gave JFK the last rites. In Beverly Hills, Maggie Fields filled her home with file boxes, scrap books, and charts. Lillian Castellano had a map of the Dallas sewer system mailed to her Los Angeles home so she could see whether another gunman might have hidden in a storm drain.

Around the country, regular people like these developed a network to share their findings. As Castellano wrote to a fellow researcher, “there are thousands of little people like you and I—all not satisfied—all wanting the truth.”

In the decade that followed, Olmsted writes, the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal fueled more skepticism . In 1975, Senator Frank Church led a major inquiry into secret government operations, revealing information about the CIA’s plots against Castro, the FBI’s harassment of Martin Luther King Jr., and other nefarious activity . The Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s lent further credence to conspiracy theorists . If top government officials ignored the law, worked with drug smugglers, and sold arms to terrorists, it seemed there was no limit to what they were capable of.

At the turn of the twenty-first century, it was no big stretch for many Americans to buy into the notion that officials had prior knowledge of—or were even behind—the attacks of September 11, 2001 . Like the JFK conspiracy theorists before them, 9-11 truthers conducted their own research and shared their findings. The internet made that easier than ever, just as it facilitated later conspiracies like QAnon .

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Olmsted argues that citizen researchers have performed a service to the country, helping to win the release of documents that reveal secrets about our government. Yet they’ve also played a role in shattering the trust that Americans place in the basic workings of democracy.

“The result is a profoundly weakened polity,” she writes, “With fewer citizens voting and more problems left unaddressed for a future generation that is even more cynical about the possibility of reforms.”

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  • The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection (National Archives) "John F. Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963. Almost 30 years later, Congress enacted the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. The Act mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The resulting Collection consists of more than 5 million pages of assassination-related records, photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings and artifacts (approximately 2,000 cubic feet of records). Most of the records are open for research."
  • Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy Call Number: UCF Main Library U.S. Documents - 1st Floor -- PR 36.8:K 38/R 29 Commonly known as the Warren report
  • Investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; : hearings before the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy Call Number: UCF Main Library U.S. Documents - 1st Floor -- PR 36.8:K 38/H 35/ 26 volumes
  • Investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy : hearings before the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives, Ninety-fifth Congress, second session Call Number: UCF Main Library U.S. Documents - 1st Floor -- Y 4.AS 7:K 38/ 12 volumes v. 1. September 6, 7, and 8, 1978 -- v. 2. September 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15, 1978 -- v. 3. September 18, 19, 20, and 21, 1978 -- v. 4. September 22, 25, and 26, 1978 -- v. 5. September 27, 28, and December 29, 1978 -- v. 6. Photographic evidence. March 1979 -- v. 7. Medical and firearms evidence. March 1979 -- v. 8. Acoustics, polygraph, handwriting, and fingerprint reports. March 1979 -- v. 9. Staff and consultant's reports on organized crime. March 1979 -- v. 10. Anti-Castro activities and organizations. Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans. CIA plots against Castro. Rose Cheramie. March 1979 -- v. 11. The Warren Commission. CIA support to the Warren Commission. The Motorcade. Military investigation of the assasination. March 1979 -- v. 12. Conspiracy witnesses in Dealey Plaza. Oswald-Tippit associates. George de Mohrenschildt. Depositions of Marina Oswald Porter. The defector study. Oswald in the Soviet Union: an investigation of Yuri Nosenko. March 1979
  • Final report of the Assassination Records Review Board Call Number: UCF Main Library U.S. Documents - 1st Floor -- Y 3.2:AS 7/R 29 “All government records concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy should carry a presumption of immediate disclosure.”
  • Assassination & political violence; a report to the National Commission on the Causes & Prevention of Violence Call Number: UCF Main Library U.S. Documents - 1st Floor -- PR 36.8:V 81/AS 7 ch4ck availability Conceptual & structural analysis of assassination -- Deadly attacks upon public office holders in the United States -- Assassination attempts directed at the office of the President of the United States -- Presidential assassination attempts. Andrew Jackson ; Abraham Lincoln ; James A. Garfield ; William McKinley ; Theodore Roosevelt ; Franklin D. Roosevelt ; Harry S. Truman ; John F. Kennedy ; Robert F. Kennedy -- The psychology of presidential assassins -- Political consequences traceable to assassination of Presidents of the United States -- Strategies for the reduction of presidential assassinations -- Cross-national comparative study of assassination -- Political violence in the United States -- Attitudes toward political violence -- Political violence & terror in nineteenth & twentieth century Russia & Eastern Europe -- Assassination & political violence in twentieth century France & Germany -- Political assassinations in China, 1600-1968 -- Assassination in Japan -- Assassination in Latin America -- Assassination in the Middle East -- Assassination & political violence in Canada -- Assassination in Great Britain
  • Kennedy, John F. -- 1917-1963 -- assassination

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Online Sources: John F. Kennedy Assassination

  • Castro Fidel Speeches on JFK Assassination
  • Eyewitness - Lady Bird Johnson more... less... Excerpt from Lady Bird Johnson's diary about the assassination of JFK
  • JFK Assassination Air Force One Flight Deck Recording more... less... "This audio recording was donated by the Raab Collection to the National Archives and Records Administration. It is a recording of the Air Force One in-flight radio traffic following the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. "
  • JFK Assassination Documents

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  • The Assassination Archives and Research Center Library (AARC) more... less... "The Assassination Archives and Research Center is the largest private archives in the world which is dedicated to acquiring, preserving, and disseminating information on political assassinations. It includes more than 35,000 pages of scanned documents. Most of these relate to the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy, and include a mixture of long-published reports and newly declassified transcripts and other documents. Also contained in the Public Library are the reports of the Church Committee and the Rockefeller Commission, which in the 1970s studied abuses of the intelligence agencies. The collection also contains relevant material from federal agencies such as the FBI and CIA. Reports, transcripts, and other documents are constantly being added to the AARC Public Library." Description provided by the Library of Congress https://www.loc.gov/item/2004540211/
  • New Orleans reacts to John F. Kennedy's Assassination more... less... "President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed on November 22, 1963. Moments after the shots were fired, a local reporter went to Canal Street to record interviews with pedestrians. This raw and uncut video footage shows the raw emotion and sense of disbelief from many of the interview subjects."
  • President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection more... less... ... consists of more than 5 million pages of assassination-related records, photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings and artifacts (approximately 2,000 cubic feet of records). Most of the records are open for research. Description from siteSome items have been digitized.
  • Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza more... less... Includes oral histories, the Zapruder film, documents etc.
  • Universal Newsreels, Release 78, September 28, 1964 more... less... "President Johnson receives the Warren Commission's Report on the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy; New scenic trail in Canada; football: Army vs. Boston College."
  • Warren Commission Report more... less... Web version based on Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1964. 1 volume, 888 pages. The formatting of this Web version may differ from the original.Description from site
  • Weisberg Collection on the JFK Assassination more... less... "Harold Weisberg was an Office of Strategic Services officer during World War II, U.S. Senate staff member, an investigator for the Senate Committee on Civil Liberties, a U.S. State Department intelligence analyst, and an investigative reporter. He devoted 40 years of his life to researching and writing about the Kennedy and King assassinations."

Book Sources: John F. Kennedy Assassination

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JFK Research Paper Topics

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This page provides a comprehensive guide to intriguing JFK research paper topics that will captivate your readers and deepen your understanding of John F. Kennedy’s life, presidency, and historical significance. From exploring his leadership style to analyzing his foreign policy decisions, these research paper topics offer a wide range of opportunities for in-depth study. Embark on a journey through JFK’s legacy and uncover unique aspects of his life that shaped American history. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or a student seeking inspiration, this page is your gateway to engaging and thought-provoking JFK research paper topics.

100 JFK Research Paper Topics

John F. Kennedy (JFK) was a prominent figure in American history, known for his charisma, leadership, and enduring legacy. To help students delve into the fascinating world of JFK’s life and presidency, we have compiled a comprehensive list of JFK research paper topics. Spanning various aspects of his personal and political life, these topics offer a wealth of opportunities for exploration and analysis. Let’s dive into the world of JFK and discover the rich tapestry of research paper topics that await.

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  • JFK’s Family Background: Exploring the Kennedy family’s political dynasty and influence.
  • JFK’s Childhood and Upbringing: Investigating the formative years of John F. Kennedy.
  • JFK’s Education and Academic Achievements: Analyzing his educational journey and intellectual pursuits.
  • JFK’s Military Service: Examining his experiences in the Navy during World War II.
  • JFK’s PT-109 Incident: Assessing the events surrounding the sinking of PT-109 and its impact on JFK’s political career.
  • JFK’s Senior Thesis: Exploring the topic and arguments of his undergraduate thesis at Harvard.
  • JFK’s Early Political Career: Investigating his rise in politics and early political accomplishments.
  • JFK’s Senate Years: Analyzing his tenure as a U.S. Senator and the legislative initiatives he championed.
  • JFK’s Profiles in Courage: Evaluating the significance and impact of his Pulitzer Prize-winning book.
  • JFK’s Election to the Presidency: Exploring his presidential campaign and victory in the 1960 election.
  • JFK’s Inaugural Address: Analyzing the themes and rhetoric of his famous inaugural speech.
  • JFK’s New Frontier: Investigating his domestic policy initiatives and their impact on American society.
  • JFK and the Cold War: Examining his approach to foreign policy and his interactions with the Soviet Union.
  • JFK’s Space Program: Assessing his commitment to the Apollo program and the goal of landing a man on the moon.
  • JFK’s Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: Analyzing his efforts to reduce nuclear tensions through the signing of the treaty.
  • JFK and Civil Rights: Investigating his role in advancing civil rights legislation and addressing racial inequality.
  • JFK’s Alliance for Progress: Exploring his initiatives to improve relations with Latin American countries.
  • JFK and the Peace Corps: Analyzing the establishment and impact of the volunteer program.
  • JFK’s Economic Policies: Evaluating his economic agenda and the initiatives aimed at stimulating growth.
  • JFK’s Foreign Policy Crises: Investigating his responses to the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Berlin Wall, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • The JFK Assassination: Analyzing the events, theories, and investigations surrounding his assassination.
  • The Warren Commission Report: Investigating the findings and conclusions of the official investigation.
  • Conspiracy Theories: Assessing the various conspiracy theories surrounding JFK’s assassination.
  • JFK’s Legacy: Exploring his enduring impact on American politics, culture, and society.
  • JFK’s Influence on Future Presidents: Analyzing how his presidency shaped the role of the presidency itself.
  • JFK’s Popularity and Mythology: Investigating the development of the “Camelot” image and public perception of JFK.
  • JFK’s Family Legacy: Assessing the contributions and influence of the Kennedy family in American politics.
  • JFK and the Media: Analyzing his relationship with the press and his skill in utilizing media to shape public opinion.
  • JFK Memorials and Monuments: Exploring the various tributes and memorials dedicated to JFK’s memory.
  • JFK’s Impact on Civil Rights Movement: Investigating how his assassination impacted the civil rights movement.
  • JFK’s Latin American Policy: Analyzing his approach to the region and the impact of the Bay of Pigs invasion.
  • JFK and the Berlin Wall: Investigating his response to the construction of the Berlin Wall and its implications.
  • JFK and the Space Race: Assessing his commitment to the space program and its role in the Cold War.
  • JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis: Analyzing his handling of the crisis and its impact on U.S.-Soviet relations.
  • JFK and Vietnam: Investigating his involvement in the early stages of the Vietnam War.
  • JFK and the Alliance for Progress: Evaluating his efforts to improve relations with Latin American countries.
  • JFK’s Nuclear Policies: Analyzing his approach to nuclear weapons and arms control.
  • JFK and the Bay of Pigs Invasion: Investigating the failed U.S. attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro’s regime in Cuba.
  • JFK and the Test Ban Treaty: Assessing his role in negotiating the treaty and its impact on nuclear disarmament.
  • JFK’s Relationship with World Leaders: Analyzing his interactions with international figures such as Nikita Khrushchev and Charles de Gaulle.
  • JFK’s Civil Rights Speeches: Exploring the significance and impact of his speeches on civil rights issues.
  • JFK and the March on Washington: Investigating his support for the historic civil rights event.
  • JFK’s Civil Rights Legislation: Analyzing his efforts to pass landmark civil rights laws.
  • JFK and the Freedom Rides: Evaluating his response to the civil rights activists challenging racial segregation.
  • JFK and the Birmingham Campaign: Investigating his involvement in the civil rights movement in Birmingham.
  • JFK and Voting Rights: Assessing his stance and actions to protect voting rights for African Americans.
  • JFK’s Relationship with Civil Rights Leaders: Analyzing his interactions with figures such as Martin Luther King Jr.
  • JFK and the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Investigating his role in the passage of the legislation.
  • JFK’s Legacy in the Civil Rights Movement: Evaluating his impact on advancing racial equality in the United States.
  • JFK’s Unfinished Civil Rights Agenda: Assessing the initiatives he planned but could not fulfill due to his assassination.
  • JFK’s Presidential Debates: Analyzing the televised debates between JFK and Richard Nixon in the 1960 election.
  • JFK and the Press: Investigating his relationship with the media and the role of the press in shaping public opinion.
  • JFK and the Kennedy-Nixon Debates: Assessing the impact of the debates on the outcome of the election.
  • JFK and the White House Press Corps: Exploring his interactions and strategies with journalists covering the presidency.
  • JFK’s Use of Television: Analyzing how JFK utilized television as a medium for political communication.
  • JFK’s Press Conferences: Investigating his approach to press conferences and the topics discussed.
  • JFK and Photojournalism: Assessing the iconic photographs that captured key moments of his presidency.
  • JFK and the Kennedy Family Image: Analyzing the role of the media in constructing the image of the Kennedy family.
  • JFK and Public Opinion: Investigating how his media presence and public speeches influenced public perception.
  • JFK and the News Cycle: Evaluating the coverage of JFK’s presidency in the media and its impact on public opinion.
  • JFK’s Tax Policy: Analyzing his proposed tax cuts and their impact on the economy.
  • JFK’s Economic Advisory Team: Investigating the experts and economists who shaped his economic policies.
  • JFK’s Keynesian Approach: Assessing his adoption of Keynesian economics to stimulate economic growth.
  • JFK’s Trade Policies: Exploring his stance on international trade and its impact on the U.S. economy.
  • JFK and the Steel Crisis: Analyzing his response to the steel industry’s price increase and its economic implications.
  • JFK’s Investment in Infrastructure: Investigating his initiatives to improve the nation’s infrastructure.
  • JFK’s Consumer Protection Policies: Assessing his efforts to protect consumer rights and promote fair competition.
  • JFK’s Economic Legacy: Exploring the long-term impact of his economic policies on the U.S. economy.
  • JFK and the Federal Reserve: Analyzing his relationship with the Federal Reserve and monetary policy decisions.
  • JFK and the Stock Market: Investigating the performance of the stock market during his presidency and its economic significance.
  • JFK and Popular Culture: Analyzing his influence on music, film, fashion, and popular trends of the 1960s.
  • JFK’s Youth Appeal: Investigating his ability to connect with younger generations and inspire political engagement.
  • JFK and the Peace Corps: Assessing the cultural significance and impact of his establishment of the volunteer program.
  • JFK and the Arts: Exploring his support for the arts and his relationship with artists and intellectuals.
  • JFK and the Space Program in Popular Culture: Analyzing the representation of JFK and the space program in films, literature, and other media.
  • JFK and the Civil Rights Movement in Popular Culture: Investigating the portrayal of JFK’s involvement in the civil rights movement in movies and TV shows.
  • JFK and the Kennedy Mystique: Assessing the enduring fascination and mythology surrounding JFK’s life and presidency.
  • JFK and American Identity: Exploring how JFK’s presidency shaped the American identity and national pride.
  • JFK and Political Symbolism: Analyzing the use of JFK as a symbol of political ideals and aspirations.
  • JFK’s Assassination in Popular Culture: Investigating the representation of JFK’s assassination in literature, film, and other artistic mediums.
  • JFK and the Cold War: Analyzing his approach to the Cold War and his interactions with the Soviet Union.
  • JFK’s Nuclear Weapons Policy: Investigating his stance on nuclear arms control and disarmament.
  • JFK and the Space Race: Assessing his efforts to advance American space exploration and competition with the Soviet Union.
  • JFK’s Peace Corps and Global Engagement: Investigating his efforts to promote peace and development around the world.
  • JFK’s Approach to International Diplomacy: Assessing his diplomatic strategies and negotiations with world leaders.
  • JFK’s Foreign Aid Policies: Exploring his programs and policies aimed at providing economic and military assistance to other nations.
  • JFK’s Role in the Bay of Pigs Invasion: Analyzing his involvement in the failed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro’s regime in Cuba.
  • JFK’s Impact on U.S. Foreign Relations: Evaluating the long-term consequences of his foreign policy decisions and actions.
  • JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy: Analyzing their relationship and the role of Jacqueline Kennedy as First Lady.
  • JFK’s Health and Medical History: Investigating his medical conditions and their impact on his presidency.
  • JFK and the Kennedy Family: Assessing the dynamics and influence of the Kennedy family on JFK’s life and career.
  • JFK’s Assassination: Analyzing the events, investigations, and conspiracy theories surrounding his assassination.
  • JFK’s Funeral and Legacy: Exploring the national mourning and the enduring legacy of JFK’s presidency.
  • JFK and Civil Rights: Investigating his stance and actions on civil rights issues throughout his life.
  • JFK and the Press: Analyzing his relationship with the media and the role of the press in shaping his public image.
  • JFK’s Personal Interests: Exploring his hobbies, interests, and personal pursuits outside of politics.
  • JFK’s Intellectual Influences: Investigating the thinkers, writers, and ideas that shaped JFK’s worldview.
  • JFK’s Historical Significance: Assessing the lasting impact and historical evaluation of JFK’s presidency.

These comprehensive lists of JFK research paper topics provide a wide array of opportunities for students to delve into the life, presidency, and legacy of John F. Kennedy. From his domestic and foreign policies to his personal life and cultural impact, JFK’s story offers a rich tapestry of themes and subjects for exploration. Students can select a topic that aligns with their interests and embark on an engaging journey of research, analysis, and critical thinking. Let the captivating world of JFK’s history inspire your research paper and unlock new insights into this influential figure in American history.

JFK: Exploring the Range of Research Paper Topics

John F. Kennedy, commonly known as JFK, was a charismatic and influential figure in American history. As the 35th President of the United States, he left an indelible mark on the nation through his policies, speeches, and tragic assassination. The study of JFK and his era offers a fascinating and vast array of research paper topics that allow students to delve into various aspects of his life, presidency, and the broader historical context. By exploring these topics, students can gain a deeper understanding of JFK’s impact on American society and the significant events that shaped his presidency.

One area of exploration within JFK research paper topics is his early life and political journey. Students can analyze the influences of JFK’s upbringing on his political career and the role his family played in shaping his ambitions. They can investigate his naval service during World War II and its impact on his leadership style. Furthermore, students can explore JFK’s years in Congress, assessing his achievements, challenges, and the lessons he learned during this period. The road to the presidency is also a compelling topic, where students can study the strategies and key moments that contributed to his election as President. Additionally, analyzing JFK’s inaugural address provides valuable insights into his vision and leadership style.

Another captivating avenue of research is JFK’s role in the civil rights movement. Students can examine his stance on civil rights, including his actions, policies, and the impact they had on advancing racial equality. Investigating JFK’s support for key events such as the March on Washington, his interactions with civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., and his contributions to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers a deeper understanding of his legacy in promoting social justice.

JFK’s foreign policy is another rich area for exploration. Students can analyze his approach to the Cold War, his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and his initiatives such as the Peace Corps and the Alliance for Progress. They can investigate his efforts in nuclear arms control, his commitment to the space program, and his diplomatic strategies with world leaders. Understanding JFK’s foreign policy decisions and their implications provides valuable insights into the global challenges he faced during his presidency.

The assassination of JFK remains a topic of great interest and intrigue. Students can delve into the events, investigations, and controversies surrounding his assassination. They can explore the findings and criticisms of the Warren Commission, as well as alternative conspiracy theories that challenge the official explanation. Analyzing the impact of JFK’s assassination on public perception, national security, and the media offers valuable insights into its historical significance.

Moreover, students can examine JFK’s enduring legacy and its representation in popular culture. The influence of his presidency on subsequent leaders, his contributions to space exploration, and his impact on the arts provide ample avenues for research. Furthermore, investigating JFK’s connection to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, his relationship with artists and intellectuals, and his portrayal in literature and film deepen our understanding of his cultural significance.

When choosing a research paper topic on JFK, students should consider their interests, available resources, and the potential for contributing to existing scholarship. Conducting thorough preliminary research is essential to identify a unique and engaging research question. It is also important to narrow down the scope of the topic and establish a clear thesis statement that will guide the research and analysis.

To ensure a successful research paper, students should utilize a variety of primary and secondary sources. Primary sources can include JFK’s speeches, official documents, personal correspondence, and archival materials. Secondary sources, such as books, scholarly articles, and documentaries, provide analysis and historical context. It is crucial to critically evaluate and analyze the sources to present a well-rounded and balanced argument.

Organizing the research paper effectively is key to presenting a coherent and persuasive argument. A logical structure, clear subheadings, and a strong introduction and conclusion are essential. Students should also pay attention to proper citation and formatting styles, such as APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, or Harvard, depending on their instructor’s requirements.

In conclusion, exploring JFK research paper topics offers students a unique opportunity to delve into the life, presidency, and historical context of one of America’s most iconic figures. Whether examining JFK’s early life, civil rights contributions, foreign policy decisions, or his enduring legacy, each topic provides a fascinating lens through which to understand the complexities of his era. By engaging in thorough research, critically analyzing sources, and presenting a well-structured argument, students can contribute to the ongoing scholarship and deepen our understanding of JFK’s significance in American history.

How to Choose JFK Research Paper Topics

Choosing the right research paper topic on JFK is crucial to ensure an engaging and insightful project. With such a vast array of possibilities, students may feel overwhelmed by the options available. However, by following a systematic approach and considering key factors, students can select a JFK research paper topic that aligns with their interests, meets academic requirements, and contributes to the existing scholarship. Here are ten tips to guide students in choosing compelling JFK research paper topics:

  • Identify your interests : Start by reflecting on your personal interests and areas of curiosity within JFK’s life, presidency, or the historical context of his era. Consider the aspects that captivate your attention, whether it’s his early life, political career, civil rights involvement, or foreign policy decisions.
  • Conduct preliminary research : Familiarize yourself with the existing literature on JFK to gain an overview of the available topics and identify gaps in the scholarship. Explore books, scholarly articles, documentaries, and reputable online sources to deepen your understanding and discover potential research avenues.
  • Narrow down the scope : JFK’s life and presidency spanned a broad range of topics. To ensure a focused and manageable research paper, narrow down your topic by choosing a specific aspect or event to explore. For example, you might focus on JFK’s response to the Cuban Missile Crisis, his civil rights initiatives, or his space exploration policies.
  • Consider available resources : Assess the availability of primary and secondary sources related to your chosen topic. Ensure that you can access sufficient materials, such as speeches, documents, archival materials, and scholarly works, to support your research.
  • Evaluate research potential : Evaluate the research potential of your chosen topic. Ask yourself whether it provides an opportunity to contribute new insights, challenge existing interpretations, or explore lesser-known aspects of JFK’s life or presidency. Aim to select a topic that offers intellectual value and engages with ongoing debates or gaps in the literature.
  • Formulate a research question : Once you have narrowed down your topic, formulate a clear and concise research question. This question will guide your investigation and provide a specific focus for your research paper. Make sure the question is answerable within the scope of your research and allows for analysis and critical evaluation.
  • Consider interdisciplinary approaches : JFK’s presidency intersects with various fields, such as politics, civil rights, foreign policy, and culture. Consider adopting an interdisciplinary approach to your research by incorporating perspectives from history, political science, sociology, or other relevant disciplines. This can enrich your analysis and provide a broader understanding of JFK’s impact.
  • Consult with your instructor or advisor : Seek guidance from your instructor or research advisor. Discuss your topic ideas, research question, and potential sources to receive feedback and ensure that your chosen topic aligns with the requirements of the assignment or academic program.
  • Balance familiarity and novelty : Strive for a balance between a topic that interests you and one that contributes to the existing scholarship. While it is essential to choose a topic that ignites your passion, also consider the significance of your research within the broader academic community.
  • Stay flexible : Finally, remain open to adjustments and refinements throughout the research process. As you delve deeper into your topic, you may discover new angles, primary sources, or areas of focus that can enhance the quality and impact of your research paper.

By following these tips, students can navigate the process of choosing a compelling JFK research paper topic with confidence. Remember to be thorough in your research, critically analyze sources, and maintain a clear focus throughout the writing process. With careful selection and dedicated exploration, your JFK research paper has the potential to shed new light on the life, presidency, and historical significance of this iconic figure.

How to Write a JFK Research Paper

Writing a research paper on JFK requires a thoughtful and systematic approach to ensure a comprehensive and well-structured analysis. From conducting in-depth research to crafting a compelling argument, here are ten tips to guide students in writing an outstanding JFK research paper:

  • Define your research objective : Start by clearly defining the objective of your research paper. Are you aiming to analyze JFK’s presidency, delve into a specific event, or examine his policy decisions? Establishing a clear focus will help you structure your paper and guide your research.
  • Conduct thorough research : Begin by gathering a wide range of primary and secondary sources relevant to your research topic. Explore scholarly articles, books, archival documents, speeches, interviews, and reputable online sources. Take meticulous notes, ensuring you attribute sources properly for future reference.
  • Develop a strong thesis statement : Craft a concise and focused thesis statement that encapsulates the main argument or claim of your research paper. Your thesis should be specific, arguable, and supported by evidence from your research. It will serve as the foundation for your entire paper.
  • Organize your research : Organize your research materials and notes systematically to facilitate efficient referencing and easy retrieval of information. Create an annotated bibliography or utilize digital tools to manage your sources effectively.
  • Outline your paper : Create a detailed outline that outlines the structure of your research paper. Include sections such as introduction, background/context, literature review, methodology, analysis, findings, and conclusion. This framework will provide a roadmap for your writing process.
  • Craft a compelling introduction : Begin your paper with an engaging introduction that provides background information on JFK and establishes the significance of your research topic. Hook the reader’s attention with an intriguing anecdote, quote, or historical context that sets the stage for your analysis.
  • Analyze primary and secondary sources : Use a combination of primary and secondary sources to support your argument. Analyze JFK’s speeches, letters, policy documents, and other primary materials, along with scholarly works and historical analyses. Critically evaluate the sources, assess their reliability, and identify any biases or limitations.
  • Structure your argument : Organize your paper around a coherent argument that supports your thesis statement. Present evidence from your research to support each point, providing clear and logical connections between ideas. Use proper citations and adhere to academic writing conventions.
  • Engage with historiography : Situate your research within the existing historiography of JFK and related topics. Engage with scholarly debates, conflicting interpretations, and varying perspectives to demonstrate your understanding of the broader academic discourse.
  • Craft a compelling conclusion : Summarize your main findings, restate your thesis statement, and offer a concise synthesis of your research. Reflect on the significance of your research in the context of JFK’s legacy, and suggest potential avenues for future research.

Throughout the writing process, revise and edit your work to enhance clarity, coherence, and readability. Proofread for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Seek feedback from your instructor, peers, or writing center to gain valuable insights and improve your paper.

Writing a JFK research paper allows you to explore the life, presidency, and historical significance of this influential figure. By conducting rigorous research, developing a strong argument, and presenting your findings effectively, you can contribute to the ongoing scholarship on JFK and deepen our understanding of this pivotal period in American history.

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Take the first step towards academic success by entrusting your JFK research paper to iResearchNet. Our team of skilled writers, commitment to excellence, and dedication to your satisfaction set us apart as the leading provider of JFK writing services. Let us help you uncover the captivating world of JFK’s legacy and make your mark in the realm of American history.

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NEWEST EVIDENCE CONFIRMS AND CORROBORATES THE JFK ACOUSTICS … AGAIN

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When President Kennedy was shot to death on the streets of Dallas, a motorcycle in the police escort had its radio microphone open and captured the sounds of the assassination gunfire over the police recording system. For his recent book, Last Second in Dallas , author Josiah Thompson arranged for a sound-processing expert named Richard Mullen to provide measurements on a set of audio artifacts that occur at places on the same Dallas Police recording. The results are counter to the misrepresentations about the artifacts used by the National Research Council as a pretext to declare the acoustical analysis invalid. The results likewise discredits the study by Sonalysts, the firm engaged by Larry Sabato for his otherwise inconsequential book on John F. Kennedy. The NRC panel and Sonalysts exploited these artifacts in a cynical effort to obfuscate the scientific evidence of a gunshot from the grassy knoll. What the new measurements tell us about the artifacts is explained herein. Clarification: the NRC panel claimed that the acoustical evidence was invalid on the grounds that the putative “gunshots” were not synchronous with the time of the assassination. The claim was spurious as it was contrary to the evidence then available. The new evidence contradicts the NRC claim and corroborates the acoustics. Similarly, Sonalysts asserted falsely that the motorcycle with the open microphone was not in Dealey Plaza (Fig. 1) at the time of the assassination, an assertion that was contrary to the evidence then available. The new evidence further contradicts Sonalysts claims and adds another layer of corroboration to the acoustical identification of gunfire.

   *    *    *    *

AARC Board Member

jfk assassination research paper

Dr. Thomas is the author or co-author of more than one hundred scientific journal articles, book chapters and books. His 2001 article in the journal Science & Justice, The Acoustical Evidence in the Kennedy Assassination Revisited led to publication of Hear no Evil , a book which places the acoustical evidence in a larger context. He currently resides in Texas with his family.

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10 Conspiracy Theories About the JFK Assassination

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jfk assassination research paper

On Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was gunned down as he rode in a motorcade through Dallas. That killing, and the subsequent murder of his alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald while in police custody, traumatized a nation so intensely that the feeling has never quite faded.

The Warren Commission, a board of inquest appointed by JFK's successor Lyndon B. Johnson, produced a voluminous report to substantiate the official conclusion that Oswald had indeed killed Kennedy and acted alone.

Yet many people found that story difficult to accept.

How could someone who displayed abysmal marksmanship skills in his brief Marine Corps career, manage to hit a distant, moving target with two of the three shots that he fired from a sixth-floor window? What if Oswald was telling the truth when, after his arrest, he said, "I'm just a patsy"? And wasn't it a bit too convenient that Jack Ruby, a nightclub owner with conspicuous organized crime connections, got close enough to Oswald to kill him, before he could talk further?

It didn't help when, in 1979, a Congressional committee that reopened the case concluded that the original investigation had been less than complete, and raised the possibility that JFK had been killed by a conspiracy [source: National Archives ].

Yet, to this day, there is no hard evidence of one, despite all the theories and names tossed out over the years. "The reason is, there is [no conspiracy] to leak out," Vincent Bugliosi, attorney and author of "Reclaiming History: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy" told the Dallas Morning News in 2013.

Still, skeptics continue to peruse grainy home movies of the event and study arcane documentation from the investigation, looking for the proverbial smoking gun that will crack the case. Here are 10 theories that offer conspiratorial explanations for what happened, some more believable than others.

  • Jimmy Hoffa Got the Mafia to Do It
  • Fidel Castro Retaliated
  • Anti-Castro Cubans Were Angry at Failed Coup
  • Right-wing Extremists
  • Oswald Was a Soviet Agent
  • The Military-Industrial Complex
  • LBJ Orchestrated the Assassination
  • The CIA Gave Oswald LSD
  • The Federal Reserve Did It
  • Part of the Government's UFO Cover-Up

10: Jimmy Hoffa Got the Mafia to Do It

jfk assassination research paper

There have been persistent rumors over the years of links between JFK and the Mafia . A purported presidential mistress, Judith Campbell Exner, once claimed she had arranged a meeting at JFK's behest with Chicago crime boss Sam Gianciana, so that JFK could seek Gianciana's help during the 1960 presidential race [source: Associated Press ]. It's also well-documented that the CIA sought mobsters' help in its plots to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro [source: Kessler ].

But the Mafia eventually came to view JFK and his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, as bitter adversaries because of the latter's efforts to eradicate mob influence over the Teamsters union [source: Krauss ]. Frank Ragano, an attorney who represented Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa, wrote a 1994 book in which he alleged that Hoffa asked mob bosses Santos Trafficante and Carlos Marcello to arrange JFK's assassination. (Of course, Hoffa mysteriously disappeared in 1975 and was declared legally dead in 1982.) Ragano also claimed that, in 1987, a dying Trafficante confessed to having a role in the president's killing and expressed his regrets, saying, "We should have killed Bobby" instead [source: Noble ].

The mob hit is probably the conspiracy theory that comes the closest to being plausible — even House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) counsel G. Robert Blakey said in 1979,"I think the mob did it" [source: Bugliosi ].But with the possible suspects and their associates long dead, the chances of turning up solid proof seem increasingly remote.

9: Fidel Castro Retaliated

jfk assassination research paper

As a congressional inquiry discovered in 1975, the CIA hatched numerous plots to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro during Kennedy's presidency, including an attempt to poison his food [source: Kessler ]. Did Castro decide to return the favor? Lyndon B. Johnson harbored such suspicions. In a 1967 phone call to acting Attorney General Ramsey Clark that was secretly recorded, LBJ even described a rumor he'd heard about how Castro had captured plotters against him and tortured them into revealing that they were working for the CIA .

"So he [Castro] said, 'Okay. We'll just take care of that,'" LBJ said. "So then he called Oswald and a group in, and told them to ... go set it up and get the job done" [source: Holland ].

Oswald was involved with pro-Castro activism and even tried to obtain a visa to visit Cuba in the summer before JFK's death. But clear-cut proof of a Cuban role in the assassination has yet to emerge, and in a 1977 interview, Castro himself said that killing Kennedy would have been "absolute insanity," because the U.S. might have attacked Cuba in retaliation [source: Volkman ].

8: Anti-Castro Cubans Were Angry at Failed Coup

jfk assassination research paper

During the CIA-orchestrated invasion of Cuba by anti-Castro exiles in April 1961, the president made a last-minute decision to keep U.S. bomber aircraft on the ground. Apparently, JFK was concerned that U.S. fingerprints on the operation might be too obvious [source: Lawrence ].

With the lack of airpower, the coup failed, and many in the exile community blamed Kennedy. Even though he continued a clandestine CIA effort to eliminate Castro, it wasn't enough to satisfy the scores of armed militants who were eager to try another invasion. They grew even angrier after federal authorities shut down many of their training camps and confiscated weaponry in the spring of 1963.

In October, just seven weeks before JFK's killing, one anti-Castro militant warned, "We're going to give him the works when he gets in Dallas," according to a tape of the meeting in Dallas. In the wake of the assassination, an informant told the FBI that on the day before JFK was shot, another anti-Castro activist who was seeking to buy arms illegally boasted that his wealthy backers would put up the money "as soon as we take care of Kennedy" [source: HSCA ].

Nevertheless, the Congressional probers who reopened the investigation of JFK's assassination concluded that the anti-Castro militants were more vociferous than menacing, and probably hadn't been involved [source: HSCA ].

7: Right-wing Extremists

jfk assassination research paper

If you think that American society is politically polarized to a scary extreme today, here's a news flash: Things were bitterly partisan back in 1963, too. Dallas, in particular, was a seething hotbed of right-wing extremists, who tended to view JFK as a Communist sympathizer or worse.

On Nov. 22, The Dallas Morning News greeted JFK with a full-page advertisement, placed by the local branch of the far-right John Birch Society and paid for by Texas oilmen, that accused him of abandoning the Monroe Doctrine in favor of "the spirit of Moscow" [source: Parks ]. It's no wonder, then, that many suspect that Dallas right-wingers had something to do with JFK's murder, even though Oswald was a self-proclaimed Marxist.

To muddle things even further, in 1967 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison accused local businessman Clay Shaw of being involved in a conspiracy with a shadowy group of right-wingers to assassinate JFK (a premise that helped to inspire the 1991 movie of the same name). Shaw's acquittal after just one hour of jury deliberation didn't kill this meme [source: Times Picayune ].

6: Oswald Was a Soviet Agent

jfk assassination research paper

After obtaining a discharge from the Marine Corps in 1959, Oswald promptly defected to the Soviet Union, where he lived for 32 months before he grew disillusioned and returned to the U.S. with his Russian wife Marina. But even back home, Oswald continued to dabble in pro-communist activism, and in September 1963 took a bus to Mexico City, where he visited the Soviet and Cuban embassies, in an effort to obtain travel visas [source: Associated Press].

Or was it for other reasons? Oswald's curious history has led some to speculate that he was an operative recruited by the Soviets to kill Kennedy. According to investigative journalist Edward J. Epstein, Oswald's final phone call in Mexico City was to an official who was a secret agent in the espionage and assassination branch of the KGB, the Soviet equivalent of the CIA [source: Time ].

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the KGB's files on Oswald — turned over to President Bill Clinton by then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and translated into English — actually revealed that the Soviet spy agency had decided against recruiting Oswald. As it turned out, the Soviets saw Oswald as mentally unstable and unreliable, and even harbored suspicions that he might be a CIA spy [source: Schorr ]. Of course, the truly conspiracy-minded might question whether the Russians turned over all their documents.

5: The Military-Industrial Complex

jfk assassination research paper

This is a scenario that's resonated among conspiracy buffs since 1991, after director Oliver Stone made it the premise of his box-office smash "JFK" [source: Canby ].We like to think of the slain president as a noble, wise leader, one who would have realized that the burgeoning American involvement in Vietnam's civil war was a potential disaster in the making, and who would have decided to cut his losses early.

Such a decision likely would have irked the dreaded military-industrial complex , the alliance of Pentagon officials and defense contractors that Kennedy's predecessor Dwight Eisenhower had warned Americans about in his farewell speech in 1961. Eisenhower felt that these contractors were gaining enormous influence over what the armed forces spent on weaponry [source: NPR ].

So, is it possible that forces inside the military-industrial complex could have arranged the murder of an uncooperative commander in chief? One big problem with the theory is that there's no conclusive proof that JFK actually contemplated preempting the Vietnam War. To the contrary, in a 1964 oral history interview, then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy — who himself would be assassinated in 1968 — said that his brother was convinced the U.S. had to remain in Vietnam to challenge the spread of communism [source: Grier ].

4: LBJ Orchestrated the Assassination

jfk assassination research paper

It's no secret that smooth, dashing Massachusetts blueblood JFK and his gruff Southern good-old-boy vice president had a political marriage of convenience, and weren't particularly fond of one another. Indeed, according to a 1964 oral history interview with Jacqueline Kennedy , Kennedy was so worried about what Lyndon Johnson would do if he succeeded him that he'd begun to have private conversations with political movers about preempting the Texan's expected presidential candidacy in 1968 [source: Klein ].

Some conspiracy theorists have argued that LBJ may have decided to beat Kennedy to the punch, and preempt his reelection by arranging for him to be murdered when he visited Johnson's home state of Texas. In a 2011 book, author Joseph Farrell suggested that Johnson acted at the behest of, or perhaps in concert with, powerful Texas oilmen who feared that JFK would end the oil depletion allowance, their lucrative tax break [source: Farrell] .

Another writer even claimed that LBJ tried to get his friend, then-Texas Gov. John Connally, and his wife to switch seats with another political couple in the Dallas motorcade on Nov. 22, presumably to keep Connally out of the line of fire [source: Smith ]. The theory has a certain appeal, from the "who stands to gain" perspective. But it falls considerably short in terms of actual documentation. Indeed, author Robert Caro, who in 2012 released No. 4 of a planned five-volume work on Johnson says that he has found absolutely no evidence that Johnson was involved in JFK's murder [source: Italie ].

3: The CIA Gave Oswald LSD

jfk assassination research paper

In 1983, Rolling Stone magazine published an article recounting how New Orleans Assistant District Attorney Edward Gillin had been visited unexpectedly in 1963 by a young man who told him about a wondrous drug called LSD , which he believed would change the course of human civilization. The young man asked Gillin if the drug was legal, and whether he could import it from overseas. Gillin was puzzled and concluded that the young man was crazy. A few months later, when Gillin saw Lee Harvey Oswald on TV news reports about JFK's assassination, he realized that was the young man who had talked to him about LSD.

The article went on to lay out a speculative scenario. While Oswald was serving as a Marine Corps radar operator in Atsugi, Japan, he was recruited by the CIA to go to the Soviet Union as a fake defector in a "deep cover" operation. He was then given LSD as part of his training, by researchers who were studying whether it had value as a "truth serum" drug, and feared that the Soviets might already be using it for interrogations or to brainwash subjects. But after the CIA and JFK had a falling out over the Bay of Pigs and his policy of détente with the Soviet Union, Oswald was reactivated as a "Manchurian Candidate" to off the uncooperative president [source: Lee, Ranftel, and Cohen].

Granted, that probably sounds farfetched, unless you happen to be tripping on LSD when you read it, in which case it's utterly cosmic.

2: The Federal Reserve Did It

jfk assassination research paper

A lot of people are deeply suspicious of the Federal Reserve system, which tinkers with interest rates and the availability of money to lend stability to the U.S. economy. Or at least, that's what the Trilateral Commission, the Knights Templar and the Masonic elders want us to think. (Before they put out a hit on us, we should emphasize that we're just kidding).

So it's not too surprising that conspiracy theorists would posit that the Fed had a role in JFK's murder, as well. Some have suggested JFK ran afoul of the central bankers by issuing Executive Order 11110 in June 1963, which would have taken away the Fed's power to allow the U.S. Treasury to bypass it and issue paper currency backed by silver. This supposedly would have eliminated the demand for federal notes but vastly reduced the U.S.'s national debt [source: Rense.com ].

Or maybe not. For one thing, silver certificates, as such paper currency was called, already existed. For another, JFK actually wanted to get rid of silver certificates, and had just signed a bill passed by Congress that allowed the government to melt down its silver reserves and use the metal to make coins. To ease the transition, JFK issued the executive order in question, which allowed the government to keep printing the certificates for a while longer [source: Associated Press ]. Finally, none of this really had anything to do with the Fed.

1: Part of the Government's UFO Cover-Up

jfk assassination research paper

It was perhaps inevitable that the continuing torrent of JFK assassination conspiracy theories would converge with another irrepressible conspiracy meme, the belief that the U.S. government has long been engaged in a massive cover-up operation to prevent the public from learning about v isits to Earth by extraterrestrial beings .

Adding impetus to this theory are early November 1963 memorandums, unearthed by author William Lester through the Freedom of Information Act, in which JFK asked for a review of all intelligence files related to UFOs . The information was sought as part of the preparations for a joint U.S.-Soviet space effort that JFK hoped to initiate, and Lester believed that Kennedy was concerned about the Soviets mistaking UFOs that flew over their country for U.S. spy aircraft [source: Daily Mail ].

But in the feverish minds of conspiracy buffs, it's not hard to imagine a cabal of generals or CIA officials dispatching a team of Men in Black to make sure that the president didn't find out about those alien autopsies being conducted at Area 51, or about the clandestine effort to breed a super-race of human-alien hybrids. Oh wait—that's an old "X-Files" episode that we're thinking of. Never mind!

Lots More Information

Author's note: 10 conspiracy theories about the jfk assassination.

I remember the afternoon of Nov. 22, 1963 very vividly — the nuns herded me and my first-grade classmates upstairs to church and began leading us in seemingly endless, teary rounds of the rosary, without explaining why. I was convinced that the world was about to end. It wasn't until I got home that I learned from my mom that the president had been killed in Dallas.

Two days later, I remember sitting in front of our black-and-white TV and watching replay after replay of Jack Ruby gunning down the suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Even to my youthful mind, the official explanation of events didn't seem to ring true. Years later, as a newspaper reporter in California, I had the occasion to actually meet and interview a man who had served in the Marine Corps with Oswald. He described the alleged assassin's wretched marksmanship skills—of how Oswald frequently scored a "Maggie's drawers," a white flag waved when a shooter missed the target. That put further doubts in my mind about the official story. Unfortunately, as the event fades further and further into history, I doubt that we'll ever know the full truth about what happened.

Related Articles

  • How Conspiracy Theories Work
  • Who Killed JFK?
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  • Associated Press. "Kennedy Signs Silver Bill." Spokane Daily Chronicle. June 6, 1963. (Nov. 13, 2013) http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=60BYAAAAIBAJ&sjid=d_cDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4270,1590553
  • Associated Press. "New Kennedy Silver Policy." Southwest Missourian. Nov. 28, 1961. (Nov. 13, 2013) http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=-q8fAAAAIBAJ&sjid=LdcEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2964,4612588
  • Associated Press. "Woman Says President Kennedy Used Her as a Conduit to Mobster." The New York Times. Feb. 22, 1988. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://www.nytimes.com/1988/02/22/us/woman-says-president-kennedy-used-her-as-a-conduit-to-mobster.html
  • Associated Press. "Who was Lee Harvey Oswald? Many questions linger." Las Vegas Sun. Nov. 12, 2013. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/nov/12/us-jfk-oswald-qa/
  • Bugliosi, Vincent. "Reclaiming History: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy." W.W. Norton and Co. 2007. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://books.google.com/books?id=7jrKTKDhvfkC&pg=PA377&lpg=PA377&dq=blakey+%22I+think+the+mob+did+it%22&source=bl&ots=WltLbEL2jw&sig=puQoYo6gL6k1BwAbnPwjBcHm-po&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6RWDUpviLcjJ2wXry4DgBw&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=blakey%20%22I%20think%20the%20mob%20did%20it%22&f=false
  • Canby, Vincent. "J.F.K.; When Everything Amounts to Nothing." The New York Times. Dec. 20, 1991. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9D0CE5DC1230F933A15751C1A967958260
  • Cedric X. "President Kennedy, The Fed and Executive Order 11110." Rense.com. Nov. 20, 2003. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://www.rense.com/general44/exec.htm
  • Daily Mail. "Was JFK Killed Because of Interest in Aliens?" April 19, 2011. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1378284/Secret-memo-shows-JFK-demanded-UFO-files-10-days-assassination.html
  • Farrell, Joseph P. "LBJ and the Conspiracy to Kill Kennedy: A Coalescence of Interests." Adventures Unlimited Press. 2011. (Nov. 12, 2013)http://books.google.com/books?id=NSPAcPLadMYC&pg=PT39&lpg=PT39&dq=lbj+killed+kennedy+oil+depletion+allowance&source=bl&ots=qO-CU5bF2T&sig=H4B4YGnsikdlFOYmgVEMQOgO9Uo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=v32CUtXqL6rc2gXFl4D4BA&ved=0CGAQ6AEwBjgK#v=onepage&q=lbj%20killed%20kennedy%20oil%20depletion%20allowance&f=false
  • Grier, Peter. "Would John F. Kennedy Have Pulled the U.S. Out of Vietnam?" Christian Science Monitor. Nov. 6, 2013. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/1106/Would-John-F.-Kennedy-have-pulled-US-out-of-Vietnam
  • Holland, Max. "The Assassination Tapes." The Atlantic. June 2004. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/06/the-assassination-tapes/302964/
  • House Select Committee on Assassinations. "Final Report." Aarclibrary.org. 1979. (Nov. 13, 2013) http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/hsca/report/html/HSCA_Report_0082a.htm
  • Italie, Hillel. "Robert Caro on his New Lyndon Johnson Book: Passage to Power." Huffington Post. April 30, 2012. (Nov. 18, 2013). http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/30/passage-of-power-robert-caro_n_1464067.html
  • Jackson, Peter. "Author says LBJ had JFK assassinated." Atlantic City Press. Nov. 7 2013. (Nov. 11, 2013) http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/life/author-says-lbj-had-jfk-assassinated/article_7eafcb3e-700c-56e2-a972-85d4a6a45384.html
  • Kessler, Glenn. "Trying to Kill Castro." Washington Post. June 27, 2007. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/26/AR2007062601467.html
  • Klein, Rick. "Jacqueline Kennedy Reveals That JFK Feared an LBJ Presidency." ABC News. Sept. 8, 2011. (Nov. 11, 2013) http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Jacqueline_Kennedy/jacqueline-kennedy-reveals-jfk-feared-lbj-presidency/story?id=14477930
  • Korte, Gregory. "Conspiracy theories over JFK's assassination thrive." USA Today. Sept. 26, 2010. (Nov. 11, 2013) http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-09-26-jfk-assassination-conspiracy-theories_N.htm
  • Lawrence, David. "Withholding Air Support for Cuban Rebels." Spokane Daily Chronicle. Sept. 27, 1962. (Nov. 13 2013) http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1338&dat=19620927&id=f61YAAAAIBAJ&sjid=RvcDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3483,6507640
  • Lee, Martin; Ranftel, Robert; and Cohen, Jeff. "Did Lee Harvey Oswald Drop Acid?" Rolling Stone. March 1983. (Nov. 13, 2013) http://cliffordshack-article-archive-storage.blogspot.com/2012/01/cia-lsd-lho.html
  • McGill, Jefferey Trent. "White Darkness: The Financial Apocalypse." Author House. 2005. (Nov. 13, 2013) http://books.google.com/books?id=ZoIrAN7iqB4C&pg=PA18&dq=jfk+fed+executive+order+11110&hl=en&sa=X&ei=COKDUs_AJOew2gXNhoGwAg&ved=0CDwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=executive%20order%2011110&f=false
  • National Archives. "Report of the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives." Archives.gov. 1979. (Nov. 11, 2013) http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/select-committee-report/
  • Noble, Holcomb. "Frank Ragano, 75, Lawyer for Mob and Hoffa." The New York Times. May 18, 1998. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://www.nytimes.com/1998/05/18/us/frank-ragano-75-lawyer-for-mob-and-hoffa.html
  • NPR Staff. "Ike's Warning Of Military Expansion, 50 Years Later." NPR. Jan. 17, 2011. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://www.npr.org/2011/01/17/132942244/ikes-warning-of-military-expansion-50-years-later
  • Parks, Scott. "Extremists in Dallas created volatile atmosphere before JFK's 1963 visit." Dallas Morning News. Oct. 13, 2013. (Nov. 13, 2013) http://www.dallasnews.com/news/jfk50/reflect/20131012-extremists-in-dallas-created-volatile-atmosphere-before-jfks-1963-visit.ece
  • Schorr, Daniel. "From the KGB's Oswald Files." Christian Science Monitor. Aug. 24, 2001. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/0824/p11s1-cods.html
  • Smith, Matthew. "Was Kennedy murdered by his own vice president?" Express. Aug. 25, 2013. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/424506/Was-Kennedy-murdered-by-his-own-vice-president
  • Southern Methodist University. "Dallas: City in Crisis." Smu.edu. Undated. (Nov. 13, 2013) http://smu.edu/smunews/jfk/dallas.asp
  • Time. "Nation: Was Lee Harvey Oswald a Soviet Spy?" Time. Feb. 27, 1978. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,919345,00.html
  • Times Picayune. "1968: The Clay Shaw trial on JFK conspiracy charges." Nola.com. Dec. 11, 2011. (Nov. 13, 2013) http://www.nola.com/175years/index.ssf/2011/12/1968_the_clay_shaw_trial_in_jf.html
  • Volkman, Ernest. "Cuban Exiles Waging a War." Tuscaloosa News. June 7, 1977. (Nov. 12, 2013) http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1817&dat=19770607&id=WggdAAAAIBAJ&sjid=_Z0EAAAAIBAJ&pg=5336,1709756

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Articles on JFK

Displaying 1 - 20 of 33 articles.

jfk assassination research paper

The unfinished business of John F. Kennedy’s vision for world peace

Philip A. Goduti, Jr. , Quinnipiac University

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Did Biden really steal the election? Students learn how to debunk conspiracy theories in this course

David Cason , University of North Dakota

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JFK’s death 60 years on: what Australian condolence letters reveal about us

Jennifer Clark , University of Adelaide

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JFK assassination 60 years on: seven experts on what to watch, see and read to understand the event and its consequences

Mark White , Queen Mary University of London ; Adam Koper , Cardiff University ; Emma Long , University of East Anglia ; Kaeten Mistry , University of East Anglia ; Oliver Gruner , University of Portsmouth ; Peter Ling , University of Nottingham , and Robert Cook , University of Sussex

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JFK 60 years on: his leadership style and the reality behind the myths

Leo McCann , University of York and Simon Mollan , University of York

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Good profits from bad news: How the Kennedy assassination helped make network TV news wealthy

Michael J. Socolow , University of Maine

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The luck of the Irish might surface on St. Patrick’s Day, but it evades the Kennedy family, America’s best-known Irish dynasty

Mary Burke , University of Connecticut

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JFK conspiracy theory is debunked in Mexico 57 years after Kennedy assassination

Gonzalo Soltero , Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

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The great movie scenes: in JFK’s opening montage, Oliver Stone gets creative with history

Bruce Isaacs , University of Sydney

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Don’t blame social media for conspiracy theories – they would still flourish without it

Joseph E Uscinski , University of Miami and Adam M Enders , University of Louisville

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How the US government sold the Peace Corps to the American public

Wendy Melillo , American University School of Communication

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Five films that explore what it feels like to truly grieve

Jimmy Hay , University of Bristol

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Bob Dylan brings links between JFK assassination and coronavirus into stark relief

Aniko Bodroghkozy , University of Virginia

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Consumer rights are worthless without enforcement

Anne Fleming , Georgetown University

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Why women still earn a lot less than men

Michele Gilman , University of Baltimore

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Invoking noble coal miners is a mainstay of American politics

Lou Martin , Chatham University

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What better forensic science can reveal about the JFK assassination

Clifford Spiegelman , Texas A&M University

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Can withering public trust in government be traced back to the JFK assassination?

Ryan Kellus Turner , St. Edward's University

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Final JFK assassination files due for release – it will be a bumper year for conspiracy theorists

Ken Drinkwater , Manchester Metropolitan University and Neil Dagnall , Manchester Metropolitan University

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How an economic theory helped mire the United States in Vietnam

Peter Hilsenrath , University of the Pacific

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National Archives Unveils New Mass Digitization Center in College Park Press Release · Friday, April 12, 2024

Washington, DC

A new state-of-the-art digitization center at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in College Park, Maryland, is allowing the agency to provide greater public access to the country’s most important historical federal government records faster than ever before. Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen, Representative Steny Hoyer, and Representative Glenn Ivey joined Archivist of the United States Dr. Colleen Shogan today for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally celebrate the center’s launch.

The new center’s equipment fleet includes high-speed scanners and overhead camera systems that can handle a variety of record types and formats. Thanks to this equipment, the National Archives will be able to digitize up to 10 times as many records per year. This will provide Americans with access to millions of additional records each year. With more than 13 billion paper records in its holdings, being able to speed up digitization is critical to the agency’s mission of providing access to federal records.

refer to caption

From left; Representative Steny Hoyer, Archivist of the United States Dr. Colleen Shogan, Senator Chris Van Hollen, and Representative Glenn Ivey cut the ribbon at a ceremony to celebrate the launch of the new digitization center at Archives II in College Park, Maryland, today.

“With new high-speed scanners and a dedicated team of digitization staff, this new Center is a game changer for the National Archives,” Shogan said. “It provides us a ten-fold increase in our in-house scanning capacity and will help us make millions of original records accessible online for Americans everywhere."

“Our mission at the National Archives is to preserve, protect, and share our nation’s records,” she added. “And this will actually help us achieve all three of those goals.”

Senator Van Hollen underscored the importance of digitizing records to provide access for future generations of Americans. 

“Preserving—and learning from—our history plays a key role in our democracy. NARA is critical in this effort—archiving our nation’s treasured documents to ensure they’re accessible for generations to come. That’s why I worked to secure funding to support NARA’s new digitization center. Through this center and their expanded digitization efforts, Americans will be able to quickly and conveniently gain online access to more of the deep history that NARA holds.” 

Representative Hoyer, who was instrumental in getting funding for the construction of the National Archives at College Park, which opened in 1994 and is home to the new digitization center, spoke during the ceremony.

“This is the best archival institution in the world,” said Hoyer. “It is the best, most stable archival institution in the entire world. It is the largest and also one of the best. And this digitization capacity will make it even better.”

Representative Ivey spoke to National Archives employees gathered for the ceremony. He shared his own story of researching his family history as an example of the impact of their work  on millions of people around the world. 

"The record is there… It's critical that people like you and an institution like this are making sure we track that [U.S.] history because this is a history that's going to make a difference. It already does. It inspires people around the world,” said Ivey. “So thank you for the work that you do. Keep it going, keep it up."

Employees began working in the 18,000-square-foot center when renovation of the space was completed in October 2023. The center’s opening is the first phase of a multiyear renovation project to support the mass digitization of enormous volumes of textual, photographic, and microfilm archival records and allow the agency to better meet its  goal of providing access to its holdings digitally online . 

“By far, the biggest change in our digitization capacity is the addition of three high-speed conveyor belt scanners that will enable the National Archives to safely scan fully prepared archival materials on a much larger scale than we have been able to do in the past,” Digitization Division Director Denise Henderson said. “As part of our digitization strategy, we are developing our in-house digitization expertise and expanding our digitization capabilities. The digitization center is expected to digitize thousands of cubic feet per year, producing millions of new digital images per year of archival records that are currently only available for viewing in person at National Archives facilities.”

The digitization center is tasked with priority digitization projects and supporting partner and donor projects. Current projects include the Alaska Digitization Project, which covers a wide range of records relating to Alaska; the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection; and the City Survey Files, textual records associated with the racially discriminatory practice of redlining maps. 

Staff also digitize accessioned microfilm and microfilm publications in the digitization center, like the more than 41,000 microfilm rolls of the 1960 Census. Initial  work has begun  on that collection and will be accelerating in preparation for the 2032 release. The next phase of the evolution of the digitization center is already underway and will include constructing new, modern labs for digitizing motion picture and audio-visual archival records. This phase is expected to be completed by September 2024. 

Future plans for the center include additional records storage space and cold storage space for the agency’s most fragile records.

The National Archives will continue to post new digital images to the online  National Archives Catalog , where they will be available to the public for free viewing from any location. The latest additions are regularly updated on  What’s New in the Catalog  on the  National Archives website . The Catalog currently offers more than 270 million digital records. 

“We are committed to expanding free, online public access to our holdings through the National Archives Catalog,” Shogan said. “This new digitization center will help us meet our strategic goal to digitize and make available 500 million pages of records by September 30, 2026, and even larger numbers after that.”

For media inquiries, please contact: National Archives Public and Media Communications at (202) 357-5300 or via email at [email protected].

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This page was last reviewed on April 15, 2024. Contact us with questions or comments .

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