In 1963, President John F. Kennedy, along with his wife, Jacqueline, complete a successful visit of the city of Dallas, continuing Kennedy's tour of the southern States in the run-up to his re-election campaign in 1964. Incident Along Motorcade Route by Gerry Shannon
Speaking later that day before the Dallas Trade Mart, Kennedy would draw attention to America's future role in both economic and world affairs:
"Our adversaries have not abandoned their ambitions, our dangers have not diminished, our vigilance cannot be relaxed.
But now we have the military, the scientific, and the economic strength to do whatever must be done for the preservation and promotion of freedom".
Meanwhile, in a bizarre sidebar to the Kennedy visit, Dallas police officials are alerted to an apparent suicide by a male employee at the Texas School Book Depository - which occured moments after Kennedy's motorcade left Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas for the Trade Mart. (When asked by a reporter later, Kennedy admitted he thought he heard " what sounded like a firecracker" when heading to the Trade Mart, before then expressing his condolences to the man's family).
The body was quickly identified of that of Lee Oswald, a former Marine, who recently defected to Russia and had returned to the States. Oswald had sought employment at the Depository, after being recommended there by a friend.
Speaking to Hugh Aynesworth of The Dallas Morning News, Depository manager Roy Truly, clearly shaken, said: "He [Oswald] seemed to be the only one not interested in the President's motorcade... I thought he seemed more distant then usual. That was Lee, he tended to keep to himself. But you sure as hell don't expect him to then go blow his head off".
Dallas police officials said Oswald apparently shot himself through the head with a 6.5 mm caliber Carcano rifle, Oswald's ownership of which they were still trying to determine.
It is thought Oswald's suicide came about after a recent dispute with his estranged Russian wife, Marina. In what is seen by many as a result of the goodwill of the President's visit, donations to the widow and her two children pour in all over the city of Dallas; most notably from a local club owner (who wished to remain anonymous) who donates the weekend profits of his club, The Carousel.