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JFK assassination: 50 years ago today

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Script from Michelle Macaluso
FOX News

Friday marks 50 years since an assassin's bullet took the life of President John F. Kennedy.

The rainy Dallas morning gave way to sunshine by the time Air Force One touched down at Love Field, prompting Kennedy to request the top of his presidential limousine be removed so he could be closer to the people he served as the motorcade wound through the streets of Dallas.

Riding in the parade route, Texas Governor John Connelly and his wife. Part of the motorcade route included a sharp turn at the corner of Houston and Elm in Dealey Plaza. The turn was necessary to make the on ramp a few hundred yards away to the Dallas Trade Mart where Kennedy was to deliver a speech.

But three shots in rapid success changed the course of history.

Chaos ensued as people dove to the ground. Parents covering their children. The presidential motorcade sped off for Parkland Hospital. A stunned first lady cradled her mortally wounded husband in her arms.

Connelly was shot in the upper left chest. The first unconfirmed reports said the president was hit in the head.

As crowds gathered outside the hospital, rumors spread on the condition of the president. An hour later, it was official.

"From Dallas, Texas, the flash apparently official: President Kennedy died at 1:00 p.m. central standard time, two o'clock eastern standard time, some 38 minutes ago," said CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite.

Kennedy's body was loaded on Air Force One. Vice President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in before take off.

"This is a sad time for all people," said Johnson. We have suffered a loss that cannot be weighed."

The assassination of America's 35th president marked a turning point in the country's history. The first president to be killed in the age of television. Many Americans felt a personal connection to the young Democrat from Massachusetts and felt a deeply personal loss at his tragic end.

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