If there was a conspiracy in the death of President John F. Kennedy, could conspirators have known soon enough about Kennedy’s trip to Dallas to plant Oswald there? Yes.
On April 23, 1963, while in Dallas, LBJ told the Dallas Times Herald, as well as KRLD TV and radio that he could see Kennedy coming to Dallas in the near future 1. Oswald, the next day, leaves for New Orleans because he quote, can’t find any
On June 5, 1963, John F. Kennedy, in El Paso, confirms to Johnson and Governor John Connally that he will be coming to Texas 2. Oswald, on June 24, applies for a new passport, and gets it (the next day), despite listing Russia as one of his intended places to visit 3.
Of course, Oswald had already defected to Russia once, in 1959, and beyond that,
had offered to give them military secrets! He himself had been in Marines, and in
particular, had been stationed at the base where top secret, U-
September 13, 1963, the Dallas Times Herald reports that Kennedy is planning a whirlwind tour of Texas, including coming to Dallas 4. The Dallas Morning News says the next day that they can’t confirm this. However, on September 26, both papers confirm that he definitely is coming to Dallas 5 6.
Oswald, in the meantime, goes to the Mexican consulate, in New Orleans, and applies for a tourist card. This is September 17, 1963, and he gets it, with no problems. On the 25, Oswald left for Mexico City. He arrived there by bus, two days later 7.
While the press didn’t confirm Kennedy’s visit until the 26, the Dallas Morning News reported that the Kennedy White House knew it was coming on the 24 8: One day before Oswald left for Mexico City.
Arriving back in the states (Texas) on October 3, 1963, Oswald would attain, on October 15, a job at the Texas School Book Depository 9 10. The Depository lined the north side of Elm Street, in downtown Dallas, as it flowed west through a park known as Dealey Plaza.
The planning of the President’s motorcade was still thirty days away, but the decision to have one had already been made that September 11.
November 8, Secret Service Special Agent
Winston Lawson (a member of the White House detail) was briefed of the President’s itinerary. November 12, he came to Dallas, in preparation of it 12.
Since the President was to speak at a luncheon, three possible locations were considered.
One was the Women’s Building, at the State Fair Grounds. While this building, with
limited access, would have been the easiest to secure, its single-
Another was Market Hall, but it wasn’t available for the President’s visit. However, next door to it was the newly built Trade Mart, which had both the looks and the accommodations that the President’s party was looking for, so that is where they decided to have the luncheon 13.
Although the location of the luncheon would not be finalized until the next day, Lawson, along with Secret Service Agent Forrest Sorrels, had begun, on November 14, to map out the motorcade 14. In fact, the route that they took that day was the same one that the President took, eight days later 15.
Sorrels was the one in charge of the Dallas office of the Secret Service.
The total length of the motorcade, from Love Field to the Trade Mart, was 10 miles. The trip back to Love Field, from the Trade Mart, was 4 miles.
The route taken was Love Field to Mockingbird. Mockingbird was then taken to Lemmon Avenue, Lemmon Avenue was taken to Turtle Creek, Turtle Creek was taken to Cedar Springs, and Cedar Springs was taken to Harwood. Harwood was then taken to Main Street.
This route, thus far, was the normal route, according to the Warren Commission. The only exception was Harwood, since normally motorcades would enter Central Expressway, for a short jaunt, instead of Harwood. Harwood, however, was chosen because of the type of vehicles involved (in the motorcade), and because of the want of exposure 16.
Sorrels testified to the Warren Commission that the parade route down Main Street was a Dallas tradition (just like the route from the airport to Main Street). It was an obvious favorite because of the tall buildings giving people more access to it 17.
While Main Street, westbound, meets up with Elm Street, westbound, at the junction of the triple underpass, you cannot enter Stemmons Freeway from it because of the triple underpass, and a divider that’s both before it and beyond it 18 19.
So, while the plans for the motorcade would not be confirmed until the 18, the route taken was a long standing, Dallas tradition. It was such a tradition, that conspirators, in placing Oswald, only had to take an educated guess as to what route the President would take (with the odds being greatly in their favor).
While questions have been raised about those who led Oswald to apply for work (at the Texas School Book Depository), the broader picture is this: Getting him a job anywhere along the downtown part of the motorcade route is all that was important. Main Street itself was surrounded by a whole slew of nice, tall, noise deflecting buildings.