It’s been 55 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX. Revisit the memory in this curated photo tour.

55 years ago, on November 22, 1963, the world watched as John F. Kennedy, the sitting President of the United States, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Today, the specter of that moment lingers in our collective memory. We remember the terror, uncertainty, and loss of a nation through images: frame 313 of the 8mm Abraham Zapruder film, Elliott Erwitt’s photograph of Jacqueline  Kennedy at the funeral, the Stan Stearns portrait of John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father’s coffin. Let’s take a look back at just eight of the pivotal events that occurred on that sunny November day, forever changing the course of history.


8:45 AM: Hotel Texas

Remembering the JFK Assassination in Photos — Hotel Texas
President John F. Kennedy, front, right, exits the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, at 8:45 a.m. He is on his way to greet crowds and make a speech. At right holding hat and wearing raincoat is Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

In the morning hours of the 22nd, President Kennedy gave two speeches: one outside in the parking lot of the Hotel Texas and one indoors at a Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce breakfast. The first one took place at around 8:45 AM, as thousands of citizens stood outside in the rain to see the president. Kennedy arrived at the second speech about 25 minutes later.

Remembering the JFK Assassination in Photos — Hotel Texas
President John F. Kennedy is greeted by an enthusiastic crowd in front of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, 22 November 1963. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

Over the course of the two speeches, he addressed American defense, space travel prospects, and the economy. “I am confident, as I look to the future, that our chances for security, our chances for peace, are better than they have been in the past,” he stated. “And the reason is because we are stronger.”

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination — JFK and Johnson at Breakfast
President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson chat at the Fort Worth, Tx., Chamber of Commerce breakfast, 22 November 1963. Photo by Ferd Kaufman/AP/Shutterstock.

11:30 AM-11:45 AM: Arrival at Love Field and the beginning of the motorcade

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination - JFK and Jackie at Dallas Airport
President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy upon their arrival at Dallas Airport, in Dallas, shortly before President Kennedy was assassinated. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

After a thirteen-minute plane journey from Fort Worth, the President and First Lady greeted a group of people waiting at Love Field in Dallas. “He had the warmest welcome of his trip from a great crowd at the airport,” Alistair Cooke wrote for The Guardian shortly thereafter. “The cries and pleas for a personal touch were so engaging that Mrs. Kennedy took the lead and walked from the ramp of the presidential plane to a fence that held the crowd in. She was followed quickly by the President and they both seized hands and forearms and smiled broadly at the people.” Someone gave Jacqueline a bouquet of red roses.

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination - JFK greeted at Dallas Airport
Hands reach out to greet President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy upon their arrival at Dallas Love Field. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.
55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination - JFK and Connally in Limo
John F. Kennedy motorcade, Dallas, Texas, USA, 22 November 1963. Close-up view of President and Mrs. Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally and his wife. Photo by Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Shutterstock

At Love Field, the Kennedys joined the Texas Governor John Connally and his wife Nellie in a convertible before making their way downtown. Despite the political tensions of the time, the crowd continued to receive the President enthusiastically. At one point, the First Lady told her husband, “You can’t say Dallas wasn’t friendly to you.”

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination - JFK and Jackie in Limo
President John F. Kennedy riding in motorcade with first lady Jacqueline Kennedy before he was shot in Dallas, Texas. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

12:30 PM: Shots fired

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination - JFK and Jackie in Limo - Shots Fired
Seen through the limousine’s windshield as it proceeds along Elm Street past the Texas School Book Depository, President John F. Kennedy appears to raise his hand toward his head within seconds of being fatally shot in Dallas. Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy holds the President’s forearm in an effort to aid him. Gov. John Connally of Texas, who was in the front seat, was also shot. Photo by Altgens/AP/Shutterstock.

As the motorcade moved through Dealey Plaza, three shots rang out. At first, they sounded like fireworks; some bystanders assumed the motorcade had backfired. In a moment, everything changed, turning “gayety into horror,” as Edward T. Folliard wrote that day for The Washington Post. President Kennedy and Governor Connally were hit, though the latter survived his injuries. Kennedy was struck down while waving at the crowd; Mrs. Kennedy let out the words, “Oh, no” as he fell into her lap. The shots came from the School Book Depository, where Lee Harvey Oswald worked.

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination- JFK slumps in limo
President John F. Kennedy slumps down in the back seat of the Presidential limousine as it speeds along Elm Street toward the Stemmons Freeway overpass after being fatally shot in Dallas. Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy leans over the president as Secret Service agent Clinton Hill rides on the back of the car. Photo by JAMES W. IKE ALTGENS/AP/Shutterstock.
55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination- JFK slumps in limo - Clinton Hill on limo
The limousine carrying mortally wounded President John F. Kennedy races toward the hospital seconds after he was shot in Dallas, Tx. With secret service agent Clinton Hill riding on the back of the car, Mrs. John Connally, wife of the Texas governor, bends over her wounded husband, and Mrs. Kennedy leans over the president. Photo by JUSTIN NEWMAN/AP/Shutterstock.

As chaos erupted nearby, people scrambled; an unidentified man picked up a child in hopes of getting her to safety. President Kennedy’s car immediately sped off towards Parkland Hospital. As reported by The New York Times the next day, a secret service agent could be seen pounding his fist on the trunk deck in an expression of “frustration and anguish.”

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination — Rifle
An unidentified plainclothes police officer carries the rifle used in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on 22 November 1963. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

1:00 PM: Death of a president

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination - Crying witnesses
Two unidentified women burst into tears outside Parkland Hospital on hearing that President John F. Kennedy died from the bullet fired by an assassin while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. Gov. John Connally of Texas was also shot and in serious condition. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

At Park­land Hospital, a team of doctors struggled to keep Kennedy alive. According to reports, he survived for approximately forty minutes. His time of death was listed as 1:00, when two priests finished his final rites, though the exact time of death is unknown. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the brain. The president was forty-six years old.

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination — Passersby Wait
Passersby stand outside a television studio in Washington, D.C., as they receive news of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on 22 November 1963. Photo by BYRON ROLLINS/AP/Shutterstock.

As the priests performed the rites, Jacqueline Kennedy bent down to kiss her husband’s cheek. “She didn’t say anything,” Dr. Robert N. McClelland, who was part of the effort to save Kennedy’s life, later told ABC News. “She just stood there a moment and exchanged rings from her finger to the president’s finger.” Assistant White House Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff announced the death at about 1:36 PM.

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination — Dallas Bureau
The Dallas bureau during the Kennedy tragedy. This picture was taken Nov.22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas, the night of Kennedy assassination. At left is James W. Mangan, Texas bureau assistant, filing the “A” wire. He did it continually for 13 hours after the slaying. At right is State Editor Robert E. Ford, who had telephoned from Parkland Hospital the first report that Kennedy was dead, and had returned to the office. Standing at center is Texas Chief of Bureau Bob Johnson, who wrote the first bulletin that the President been shot. Far left is Clayton Dorris and far right is Joe Bortnick. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

1:45 PM: Arrest

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination - Lee Harvey Oswald arrested
Lee Harvey Oswald, suspected assassin of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, holds up his manacled hands at police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, where he is held for questioning. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.
55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination - Marina Oswald and child
Marina Oswald and her mother-in-law, Marguerite Claverie Oswald, are seen through a window at the Dallas police station where her husband, Lee Harvey Oswald is being held in the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Marina is holding her 5-week-old daughter, Rachel, 22 November 1963. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

After sneaking into a movie theater in Oak Cliff, a 24-year-old Lee H. Os­wald was arrested. Later, he would be questioned about the Kennedy killing as well as the murder of Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit, who was shot shortly after the assassination. “He put up a wild fight in the theater,” The Los Angeles Times reported on November 23rd. “Police officer M.N. McDonald, who was cut across the face in the scuffle, quoted Oswald as saying after he was subdued, ‘Well, it’s all over now.’”

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination - Marina and Marguerite Oswald
Marina Oswald, second left, stands with her mother-in-law, Marguerite Claverie Oswald, in the police station in Dallas where her husband, Lee Harvey Oswald is being held, accused in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

2:39 PM: Swearing-in

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination - Lyndon Johnson sworn in
Swearing-in of Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) as 36th President of the United States, 22 November 1963. The ceremony took place on Air Force One, Love Field, Dallas, Texas. At his side is Jackie Kennedy, widow of the assassinated president, John F. Kennedy. LBJ Library, photo by Cecil Stoughton. Photo by Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Shutterstock.

Kennedy’s Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson, standing between Jacqueline Kennedy and his wife Lady Bird, took the oath of office aboard Air Force One at Love Field. 99 minutes had elapsed since the shooting. Only about twenty-five to thirty people were present for the ceremony. By 2:46 PM, they were wheels-up, headed for Washington with the body of JFK.


6:05 PM: Andrews Air Force Base

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination - Jackie and RFK
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, her dress stained with blood, stands with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, holding her hand, as they watch the casket of her slain husband, President John F. Kennedy, placed in an ambulance at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., near Washington. At right are Evelyn Lincoln, glasses, and Kenneth O’Donnell of the White House staff. Mrs. Lincoln was the late president’s personal secretary. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

When asked if she wanted to change her bloodied clothing, Mrs. Kennedy demurred, stating firmly, “Let them see what they have done.” She repeated the same words when asked about allowing the press at Andrews Air Force Base. When she arrived with her husband’s casket, she joined hands with Robert Kennedy, who had been there waiting for the plane to land. He told her, “Hi, Jackie. I’m here.” JFK’s body was then taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital. The First Lady’s suit and stockings were never cleaned; today, they’re held in a vault in the National Archives. The family has required that it not be shown publicly until 2103.

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination — JFK Casket
The casket containing the body of slain U.S. President John F. Kennedy is moved to a Navy ambulance from the Presidential plane, which arrived from Dallas, Tx, where Kennedy was assassinated, to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy is behind on the elevator. Attorney General Robert Kennedy, his brother, is beside her. Lawrence O’Brien of the White House staff is at the right. Secret Service men are directly behind the casket. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.
55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination - Jacqueline Kennedy
Her stockings and dress soiled, widowed first lady Jacqueline Kennedy reaches for the door of the ambulance carrying the body of her slain husband at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. The late President’s brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, accompanies her at right. The first lady had just arrived from Dallas with her husband’s body aboard a presidential jet. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

11:28 PM: Charged

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination - Oswald fingerprint
Lt. J.C. Day of the Dallas, Texas, police crime lab holds a fingerprint record of Lee Harvey Oswald, who is formally charged with the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, on 22 November 1963. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

As November 22nd drew to a close, Oswald was formally charged with the murder of John F. Kennedy. He denied the charges; as Dan Rather of CBS News put it at the time, “Oswald has admitted nothing.” Two days later, Jack Ruby, the owner of a local nightclub, shot Oswald as police transported the accused assassin to the county jail. He died in the emergency room at Parkland Hospital.

55 Years Later: A Photo Tour Remembering the JFK Assassination - Oswald charged
Lee Harvey Oswald, charged with murder in the assassination of President Kennedy, faces a battery of cameras and microphones in the assembly room of the Dallas police station. Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

Looking for more photo tours of noteworthy events? Check these out.