24
Nov
08

On This Day, 11-24-2008: Jack Ruby

November 24, 1963

Jack Ruby kills Lee Harvey Oswald

At 12:20 p.m., in the basement of the Dallas police station, Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, is shot to death by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner.

On November 22, President Kennedy was fatally shot while riding in an open-car motorcade through the streets of downtown Dallas. Less than an hour after the shooting, Lee Harvey Oswald killed a policeman who questioned him on the street. Thirty minutes after that, he was arrested in a movie theater by police. Oswald was formally arraigned on November 23 for the murders of President Kennedy and Officer J.D. Tippit.

On November 24, Oswald was brought to the basement of the Dallas police headquarters on his way to a more secure county jail. A crowd of police and press with live television cameras rolling gathered to witness his departure. As Oswald came into the room, Jack Ruby emerged from the crowd and fatally wounded him with a single shot from a concealed .38 revolver. Ruby, who was immediately detained, claimed that rage at Kennedy’s murder was the motive for his action. Some called him a hero, but he was nonetheless charged with first-degree murder.

Jack Ruby, originally known as Jacob Rubenstein, operated strip joints and dance halls in Dallas and had minor connections to organized crime. He also had a relationship with a number of Dallas policemen, which amounted to various favors in exchange for leniency in their monitoring of his establishments. He features prominently in Kennedy-assassination theories, and many believe he killed Oswald to keep him from revealing a larger conspiracy. In his trial, Ruby denied the allegation and pleaded innocent on the grounds that his great grief over Kennedy’s murder had caused him to suffer “psychomotor epilepsy” and shoot Oswald unconsciously. The jury found him guilty of the “murder with malice” of Oswald and sentenced him to die.

In October 1966, the Texas Court of Appeals reversed the decision on the grounds of improper admission of testimony and the fact that Ruby could not have received a fair trial in Dallas at the time. In January 1967, while awaiting a new trial, to be held in Wichita Falls, Ruby died of lung cancer in a Dallas hospital.

The official Warren Commission report of 1964 concluded that neither Oswald nor Ruby were part of a larger conspiracy, either domestic or international, to assassinate President Kennedy. Despite its seemingly firm conclusions, the report failed to silence conspiracy theories surrounding the event, and in 1978 the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in a preliminary report that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy” that may have involved multiple shooters and organized crime. The committee’s findings, as with those of the Warren Commission, continue to be widely disputed.

“Jack Ruby kills Lee Harvey Oswald.” 2008. The History Channel website. 24 Nov 2008, 01:02 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5546.

Oswald Has Been Shot!

by,

Ike Pappas WNEW Radio News Coverage

On This Day

1615 – French King Louis XIII married Ann of Austria. They were both 14 years old.

1863 – During the Civil War, the battle for Lookout Mountain began in Tennessee.

1871 – The National Rifle Association was incorporated in the U.S.

1940 – Nazis closed off the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, Poland. Over the next three years the population dropped from 350,000 to 70,000 due to starvation, disease and deportations to concentration camps.

1944 – During World War II, the first raid against the Japanese capital of Tokyo was made by land-based U.S. bombers.

1971 – Hijacker Dan Cooper, known as D.B. Cooper, parachuted from a Northwest Airlines 727 over Washington state with $200,000 in ransom.

1987 – The U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to scrap short- and medium-range missiles. It was the first superpower treaty to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons.

1993 – The U.S. Congress gave its final approval to the Brady handgun control bill.

November 24, 1859

Origin of Species is published

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, a groundbreaking scientific work by British naturalist Charles Darwin, is published in England. Darwin’s theory argued that organisms gradually evolve through a process he called “natural selection.” In natural selection, organisms with genetic variations that suit their environment tend to propagate more descendants than organisms of the same species that lack the variation, thus influencing the overall genetic makeup of the species.

“Origin of Species is published.” 2008. The History Channel website. 24 Nov 2008, 12:59 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=7091.

November 24, 1947

“Hollywood 10” cited for contempt of Congress

The House of Representatives votes 346 to 17 to approve citations of contempt against 10 Hollywood writers, directors, and producers. These men had refused to cooperate at hearings dealing with communism in the movie industry held by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). The “Hollywood 10,” as the men were known, are sentenced to one year in jail. The Supreme Court later upheld the contempt charges.

The impact of the charges against the Hollywood 10 was immediate and long-lasting. Hollywood quickly established the so-called “blacklist,” a collection of names of Hollywood personalities suspected of having communist ties. Those on the list rarely found work in the movies. The contempt charges also created a chilling effect on the Hollywood film industry, and producers, directors, and writers shied away from subject matter that might be considered the least bit controversial or open them up to charges of being soft on communism. The blacklist was not completely broken until the 1960s.

“”Hollywood 10″ cited for contempt of Congress.” 2008. The History Channel website. 24 Nov 2008, 01:00 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2494.

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