JFK's Last Words On That Fateful Day

America was shocked to its core on November 22, 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. For a long time, rumors swirled that Kennedy's last shocked words were, “My God, I’ve been hit.”

Doctors have disputed these accounts, claiming that given the nature of the injuries, there is no way that Kennedy could have said anything after the fatal shot to the head. Historians have now verified Kennedy's actual last words.

Kennedy and his wife, Jackie Kennedy, were visiting Dallas, Texas, and were in a motorcade that included Texas Governor John Connally and his wife, Nellie. The cars were slowly making their way through Dealy Plaza, with the president, governor and first ladies waving to the crowds. In those days, security wasn't nearly as tight as it is now, and Kennedy had a love of convertibles.

They had no idea that Lee Harvey Oswald, an unstable ex-Marine and avowed communist who once defected to Russia, was perched in a sixth floor window overlooking downtown Dallas. Oswald fired his gun twice, and Kennedy immediately fell over.

Just seconds before Kennedy was shot, he was engaged in chit-chat with his car companions. Governor Connelly had just asked Kennedy, “You certainly can’t say that the people of Dallas haven’t given you a nice welcome.”

Kennedy then uttered the last words he would ever speak. "No, you certainly can’t."

A split second later, a bullet struck Kennedy in the head. As all hell broke loose, he was rushed to the hospital.

Mrs. Kennedy recalled in her testimony regarding the incident, “I just remember falling on him and saying, "Oh, no, no, no," I mean, "Oh, my God, they have shot my husband." And "I love you, Jack," I remember I was shouting. And just being down in the car with his head in my lap. And it just seemed an eternity."

Later, at the hospital, Kennedy was pronounced dead without reportedly uttering another word.

“No, you certainly can’t,” are not exactly inspiring famous last words, but JFK certainly gave the world more than one person’s fair share of inspirational quotes.

He once addressed the U.N. General Assembly and said, "Mankind must put an end to war -- or war will put an end to mankind."

The statement can give you chills if you think about it.

Kennedy always reminded people that the solutions are up to us. "Our problems are manmade -- therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants," he once said.

Of course, no one can get Kennedy's inauguration address, possibly the most inspiring address in American history. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country," Kennedy said. "My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

JFK and Jackie have certainly had their issues in their marriage, but these final moments they spent together are both heartbreaking and touching. The loss to his family was great, but perhaps the loss to the country was even greater—we can speculate, but we may never know what path the U.S. might have taken had Kennedy lived. Perhaps this constant nagging of ‘what might have been’ is what makes the story of JFK’s tragic death continue to be so fascinating.

Source: AOL
Photos: Public Domain

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