In 1963, on this day nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of President Richard M. Nixon, inside a Dallas police station.
Oswald murdered in Dallas
An article by Eric LippsPresident Nixon, who had won office in 1960 after successfully contesting the presidential election results in Illinois and Texas, had apparently been targeted in response to his having authorized the U.S. military to support anti-Communist Cuban exiles in an invasion of their home island aimed at overthrowing its left-wing president, Fidel Castro, who himself had seized power in 1959 after overthrowing the regime of Gen. Fulgencio Batista.
Investigators would subsequently identify Oswald as the head (and apparently sole member) of the "Fair Play for Cuba Committee," loudly opposed to the continuing U.S. occupation of the island in support of the returned Batista. Nixon had been in Dallas on a political tour aimed at strengthening his political support there in anticipation of the 1964 election, in which favorite son Lyndon Johnson was widely expected to be the Democratic nominee; Nixon had
believed that Johnson would attempt to stoke resentment over the ballot challenge which had resulted in his home state's electors being awarded to the Republican candidate.
President Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., who had been sworn into office aboard Air Force One shortly after Nixon's assassination on November 22, responded to the news of Oswald's murder by vowing to "get to the bottom of this, no matter what it takes". Privately, the new president is furious with the Dallas police and the FBI for allowing Oswald to be shot in custody, foreclosing all chance of interrogating him and learning whether, as Lodge fears, Castro or the Soviets masterminded Nixon's murder.