2012-01-22 15:09:50 UTC
Vice-President Lyndon Johnson and John B. Connally Jr. The Governor of
Texas on JUNE 5, 1963, at the Cortez Hotel in El Paso, Texas.
Dallas Before the Visit
" The two Dallas newspapers provided their readers with a steady
stream of information and speculation about the trip, beginning on
September 13, when the Times-Herald announced in a front page article
that President Kennedy was planning a brief 1-day tour of four cities-
Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Houston. Both Dallas papers cited
White House sources on September 26 as confirming the President's
intention to visit Texas on November 21 and 22, with Dallas scheduled
as one of the stops. (p. 40 WR )
Even though an APRIL article (CE 1972) was the first public
announcement for a fall visit, explicit details were not resolved. The
Commission believed that it would be unreasonable to believe that the
eventual events of Nov. 22 could have been planned as early as April
since the location of the luncheon was not decided until Nov. 14. It
would have been impossible for Oswald, or any other conspirators to
plan the ambush on Dealey Plaza. The Commission concluded that Lee's
job at the TSBD was a coincidence and his recent employment (Oct 16 )
in the building had nothing to do with the assassination.
The Secret Service examined three potential sights for the
luncheon:One building, Market Hall was not available for Nov. 22; the
second, the Woman's Building, at the State Fair Grounds was not
selected because it lacked food handling facilities and had
otherdisadvantages. The Trade Mart was decided on and the parade route
was selected and agreed on November 14.
The luncheon site was not an issue in the final results because the
Trade Mart and Market Hall were in the same section of Dallas. The
motorcade route would not have changed if Market Hall had been the
On NOV. 8, the decision was made to allot 45 minutes to the parade
from Love Field to the luncheon site. The route selected measured 10
miles and could be covered in the 45 minutes. From the Trade Mart,
back to the airport, was only four miles, by the most direct route.
The route selected impressed the agents as a natural and desirable
one. Franklin Roosevelt had used almost the same route in 1936. It had
wide streets and guaranteed that the largest crowds would be afforded
the opportunity to see the President." WR
There were charges that the route was changed to take the President
past the TSBD . This is absurd. Anyone living in Dallas knows that the
only direct access to the Trade Mart or Market Hall was via Houston
Street from Main Street.
Guaranteed, if the luncheon was going to be held on the runway of
Love Field, there would have been a parade down Main Street and in
front of the TSBD at 12;30 pm on November 22, 1963.
Even the final authority on the assassination, Gerald Posner, got it
all wrong. He said that " While Oswald was on a twenty hour bus ride
that consumed all of September 26, a White House spokesman made the
FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT that President Kennedy would make a brief trip to
Texas in November..."
(P. 172 )
Posner did have the assassination date right in his tome. but not
The "changed motorcade route" is a factoid ! And the selection of the
Trade Mart for the luncheon would have been known long before November
of 1963 and before LHO was planted in the Texas School Book
Depository. There were only two possible choices in addition to the
Trade Mart: Market Hall, which is across the street from the Trade
Mart and the Women’s Building at the State Fair Grounds.
The Market Hall was ideal insofar as security measures were concerned,
in that there were only three outside entrances, and it was a huge
hall, 107,000 square feet, with no columns, and you could seat about
20,000 people in there. But there was another function going to be
there at that time—the American Bottling Association was going to have
an exhibit there. So that part was out.
DNC advance man Jerry Bruno wrote: “If Kennedy was going [to the
Women’s Building, instead of the Trade Mart, he would have been
traveling two blocks farther away from the School Book Depository—and
at a much faster rate of speed. At that speed and distance, it would
have been almost impossible for a sniper to hit him from the
Depository.”90 The author would also add that a shot from the knoll
would have been more difficult, as well.
" We then went to Fair Park, where we made a survey of the Women’s
Building. It is a place where they have exhibits during the fair of
all kinds of handiwork and things like that. That building had about
45,000 square feet in it, and you could seat about 5,000 people in it.
Security wise it wasn't bad at all, because there were two end
openings to the building, and there was actually an area where you
could drive a car in there. But the building was not satisfactory for
that type of function—the President of the United States coming there—
because the ceilings were quite low, the air-conditioning equipment
and everything was all exposed, there were many steel suspension
supports throughout the area. I then returned to my office and
telephoned to Mr. Ben [on November 4, 1963] and informed him of my
findings and told him that security wise the Women's Building appeared
to be preferable, but that it wasn't a very nice place to take the
President.” [Emphasis added.] In effect, Sorrels was swaying the early
decision toward the Trade Mart by this comment, despite the fact that
the Trade Mart had many more entrances, requiring a lot more manpower,
and several cat-walks, excellent perches for potential snipers."
---- --- The Trade Mart and the motorcade route CHAPTER 4
It never happened. Evidence was wrenched out of context, and
misinterpreted. Ironically, anyone who had read the Warren Commission
Report would have known the truth. That volume discussed the parade
route extensively. It made it clear that you have to turn on Houston
and then Elm to get from Dallas' Main Street to the Stemmons Freeway.
If you try driving down Main, you can get to the Stemmons only by
driving over a concrete divider strip. That would be illegal, absurdly
undignified for the presidential limo, and impossible for the press
busses that were a part of the motorcade.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt had visited Dallas in 1936 and
traversed the same route in a motorcade (although in the opposite
President Kennedy's visit to Texas in November 1963 had been under
consideration for almost a year before it occurred and everyone agreed
that, if there was sufficient time, a motorcade through downtown
Dallas would be the best way for the people to see their
President. . . . According to Kenneth] O'Donnell, "we had a motorcade
wherever we went," particularly in large cities where the purpose was
to let the President be seen by as many people as possible. In his
experience, "it would be automatic" for the Secret Service to arrange
a route which would, within the time allotted, bring the President
"through an area which exposes him to the greatest number of people."
The motorcade route made absolutely no sense from a security
standpoint. The president had been driving past block after block
after block of sidewalks packed with onlookers. Why would those in
charge have violated so many of our established pre-cautionary
measures just to get him closer to a few dozen more people?”
For his part, Governor John Connally stated that he was never informed
about the exact route to be used on November 22, 1963.
Governor Connally testified that Main Street had been the usual route
for ceremonial occasions.
HSCA attorney Belford Lawson wanted to know the “reasons for the
selection of a route that was conspicuously less secure than other
simpler routes that were under consideration.”
“George L. Lumpkin, assistant police chief in Dallas in 1963, was
consulted by the Secret Service about the motorcade aspect of security
planning. Lumpkin explained that the alternative route, continuing
straight on Main through and beyond Dealey Plaza and thereby reaching
the Trade Mart on Industrial Boulevard, was rejected because the
neighborhood surrounding Industrial Boulevard was ‘filled with winos
and broken pavement’. Additionally, Lumpkin stated that Kennedy wanted
exposure and that there would have been no crowd on Industrial
The Dallas Police indicated that they would police any route the
Secret Service selected. In addition, Agent Paul Landis even wrote
about such “adverse” conditions encountered during the motorcade route
that was used in Dallas: “The outskirts seemed to consist mostly of
used car lots, junk dealers, auto parts stores, and this typical type