The Warren Commission was a committee that investigated the alleged murder of John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald while Kennedy was campaigning for reelection. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed the commission so that there was only one committee investigating the murder, and he wanted the American public to be sure of what had happened. If he did not appoint a specific committee, there could have been one committee from the House of Representatives and one from the Senate, and they could have had conflicting findings.
He felt that if there was no decisive conclusion, he would be questioned as a leader. Chief Justice Earl Warren headed the seven-man committee. It also included democratic Senator Richard B. Russell, republican Senator John Sherman, democratic Senator Hale Boggs, republican Senator Gerald R. Ford, Allen W. Dulles, former director of the CIA, and John J.
McCloy, former U. S. high commissioner for Germany. The committee looked at all of the evidence and took the testimony of 552 witnesses to the murder and related events. They concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin of President Kennedy, and that there was no widespread conspiracy. They also recommended revisions of the Secret Service and legislation that dealt with the assassination of high ranking government officials.
Even though the committee found that there was no conspiracy, some private citizens still believe that there was a conspiracy. Also, in 1979, a committee of the U. S. House of Representatives concluded that there was probably two gunmen and a conspiracy was likely. The commissions report marked the end of Kennedys era, a presidency that was not perfect, but Kennedy had captured a place in Americans hearts with his powerful speaking abilities. It also marked the start of many scandals and indecision in the government.
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2 The History of the United States. Di Bacco, Mason, and Apply. 1991 by Houghton Mifflin Company, pp. 698-9.
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