Friday, November 29, 2013


November 29, 2013


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy was established 50 years ago today, November 29, 1963 just one week after the death of the 35th president.

The commission, appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, included the following members...

Chief Justice Earl Warren
Richard Russell, Jr. 
John Sherman Cooper 
Hale Boggs 
Gerald R. Ford
Allen Dulles 
John J. McCloy

The final report included 469 pages with 410 pages of appendices.  It was presented to LBJ on September 24, 1964 and made public 3 days later.

Earl Warren Gives Report to LBJ
                September 24, 1964
       Photo by Cecil Stoughton
             LBJ Library Image

The Warren Report was also accompanied by 26 volumes of supplementary documents.

552 witnesses were called to testify before the Commission.  All were given the opportunity to be interviewed in open session but only one chose to do so.

Witnesses were free to share their testimony with anyone outside the Commission hearings.

The Warren Commission determined that the shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald and added...

"On the basis of the evidence before the Commission, it is concluded  that Oswald acted alone."

While more than 60% of American's surveyed do not agree with the basic conclusion of the Commission, Larry J. Sabato, director of the Center For Politics at the University of Virginia, says...

"Despite everything, a large part of the Commission's basic conclusion turns out to be true."

Sabato, however, does agree that...

"The investigation...was inadequate, rushed and manipulated..."

More than 98% of the Commission's records have been released and on October 26, 2017 the remainder will be made public. 

As Larry Sabato writes...

"The right time came long ago for complete disclosure.  Transparency cannot bring President Kennedy back but at long last it can help bring America to terms fully with November 22, 1963."


"Is there more to JFK's assassination?," by Larry J. Sabato, November 21, 2013, CNN Opinion,


Knoxville (JFK+50) 150 years ago today, November 29, 1863, the Battle of Fort Sanders was fought between Confederate and Union forces here in Knoxville, Tennessee.

This East Tennessee city, a part of the Confederacy, had come into Union control on the 1st day of September.  General Ambrose Burnside had made his headquarters downtown on Gay Street.

In November, CSA General Braxton Bragg had dispatched a force under General James Longstreet to march to north to Knoxville from Chattanooga and attempt to recapture the city.

The main Union defense would be Fort Sanders, namesake of General William Sanders who was killed in the early fighting.

November 29th would actually be the 12th day of the Rebel siege.  Longstreet made the decision that he would launch an assault on the Yankee fort.

Yanks, which included the 79th New York Highlanders and the 36th Massachusetts Volunteers, held their fire until they sighted Rebs at 50 yards.

As the Confederates who survived the gunfire and shelling approached the sides of the fort, they found themselves going down into a ditch 7 feet wide and 7 feet deep "lined with mud, ice and standing water."

To add to their misery, they were at the bottom of a steep wall of dirt that rose as high as 20 feet.

Longstreet, who misjudged the depth of the ditch, had no choice but to call retreat.  After only about 20 minutes of fighting, the Battle of Fort Sanders was over as was the Confederate hope of retaking the city of Knoxville.


"The Battle of Fort Sanders," by Matt Lakin, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, November 24, 2013.