PSC404, Spring 2001
Assignment 2, due Monday 5 February 2001
Overview; The deed
Warren Commission Report Foreword (ix–xv), Chapter I (1–27), and Chapter II (pp. 28–60).
1. Give at least three reasons why President Lyndon B. Johnson formed the Warren Commission. Why did he ask Chief Justice Warren to head it?
2. Which federal agency provided the most information to the Commission? What types of information?
3. What were the professions of the commissioners and the staff of the Warren Commission? How might this distribution of professions have influenced the orientation or the conduct of the Commission’s work?
4. Briefly recap Lee Harvey Oswald’s movements after the shooting. Do these movements point toward his guilt, toward his innocence, or toward neither?
5. Summarize the major conclusions of the Warren Commission and the types of evidence it used to reach each of them.
6. Describe the presidential motorcade’s route through Dealey Plaza and why a dog-leg onto Elm Street was needed. What was the motorcade’s next stop to be?
7. Give the dates when: (a) the trip to Texas was decided; (b) the trip was first publicized in the Dallas area; (c) the Secret Service was notified of the trip; and (d) the full route of the motorcade was first announced in the Dallas papers. Compare these dates with the dates when Lee Harvey Oswald: (a) first heard of the job available in the Texas School Book Depository; (b) interviewed for the job; and (c) started to work there. What is the point of this question?
8. Compare how the various occupants of the presidential car recalled the sequence of major events at the moment of the assassination (shots, hits, and reactions of passengers). Were there any significant differences? Do the same for the Secret Service agents.
9. Who conducted the autopsy of JFK? Where? Why there? What were its major findings?
10. Describe the president’s large head wound as reported by the autopsy doctors. How would you summarize in nonmedical terms where the wound was?
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