Almanac of the day: November 22, 1963, Kennedy murder. And the mystery of the Italian weapon

Florence, November 22, 2021 – Solo a month before the attack, also in Dallas, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson, had been attacked with spit. It is no mystery that Dallas was considered a hotbed of extremists. The same Kennedy, before leaving, he said to Jackie, “We’re going to a country of fools.” Hence the terrible label of ‘City Of Hate’ (the city of hatred) that they put on it after November 22, 1963, and that everyone in Texas wants to get rid of.

A collective repression which, however, can never erase the past. Even today, 58 years later, everything has remained more or less the same as it was then: only the street lamps have been renovated and the surrounding lawn has been tidied up, where that day, with flags in hand, the crowd celebrated the passage of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the man who in the words of Barack Obama “embodied America and the character of the people he led: resolute, fearless, ready for impossible challenges, determined to renew the world“. An atmosphere of celebration and light-heartedness that marked not only a presidency that opened a new era of change, but a decade full of hope and confidence in the future. A magical atmosphere broken and swept away forever at 12.30 local, from the hiss of bullets that shattered the skull of the 35th president of the United States. Killed al alongside his wife Jacqueline, riddled with shots in a convertible Limousine, as he waved to the crowd along Dealey Plaza.

After the first shot “I saw him bring your hands to his throat and lean to his left – Agent Clint Hill told CNN, who was in the car immediately following that of the president -. I jumped out right away and ran to the car. I heard a second shot. And immediately after, the third shot, which hit the president in the head. I arrived too late “. Hill, Blaine and the other Secret Service men on duty that day continued to experience that memory as a drama. Meanwhile, in Dallas, the sidewalk has also been redone where a local fabric merchant, Abraham Zapruder, toured the most terrifying home movie of history americana, immortalizing in a few frames the story that was passing by. Images that for 58 years have been seen, reviewed, studied and analyzed, always with the same dismay, in all corners of the planet. A few hours after the murder, opposing theories already animated the debate of contemporaries: who killed John Kennedy, who according to the polls still remains the most loved president today? A lone killer or it was the work of one team of experienced shooters, part of the most disturbing conspiracy of the last century? The diatribe has been going on for almost 60 years.

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Impossible to rely on an ‘official’ reconstruction: in 1964 the Warren Commission, formed to investigate the crime, came to the conclusion that Kennedy had been killed by one killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, arrested that same day: a 24-year-old boy with a past in the Marines and a desertion in the USSR, which ended with his return to the United States in the summer of 1962, accompanied by his wife and daughter. But in 1976 another committee was formed, the House Selected Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), to shed light not only on the Kennedy crime, but also on the murders of Martin Luther King (April 1968) and the president’s brother, Robert F. Kennedy. (June ’68). The committee concluded that they were in action at Dealey Plaza that November 22, 1963 at least two shooters. The HSCA, in its 1979 report, harshly criticized the FBI, CIA and the Warren Commission itself for the “sometimes disturbing superficiality” with which the investigation had been conducted.

Then there is another mystery, relating the rifle Carcano 91/38 with which Oswald shot President Kennedy, kept in the USA. And it’s about the finding of a similar weapon, a few years ago in a shed of the former SMI (Italian Metallurgical Society) ammunition factory in Campo Tizzoro, on the Pistoia mountains. Discovery that has opened a case if not a mystery. Why on earth that gun, deactivated and rusty, was wrapped in an SMI envelope with a card that reads C. Warren, or the name of the first commission that investigated the Kennedy crime, along with some documents? Everything was in a metal cabinet, purchased – like the rest of the material in the SMI defense archive – at auction for 5 thousand euros, after the related business unit had been sold to the public. But how did that weapon end up in that closet? Some believed that it was a rifle left in Campo Tizzoro by the Warren commission for ballistic tests. A visit that was known, since, at that time, the SMI was the main ammunition company in the NATO sphere. In fact, in 1966 CIA investigators arrived for some checks, as two of the three bullets exploded by Hoswald, as well as a magazine, had been produced in Campo Tizzoro. Others speculated that it could be the second rifle that fired at Kennedy. Certainly we know that Oswald he ordered his weapon in the mail, and that in 1968 one was approved law that forever prohibited this type of sales.

Born today

George Eliot, born November 22, 1819, Nuneaton, United Kingdom. She was a British writer, one of the most important of the Victorian age. Mary Anne Evans used a male pseudonym from her earliest fictional work, as was common for female writers at the time. He said: “We keep what is worth keeping and then, with the breath of kindness, we blow the rest away.”