U.S. Senator Yarborough from Texas gives an eyewitness account of the assassination of President Kennedy

    [Kennedy Assassination]. Ralph Yarborough Typed Letter Signed. Two pages, 8" x 10.5", Washington, D.C., July 13, 1964, on United States Senate letterhead. Replying to a request from Herman Herst Jr. for information on "the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, in Dallas," the senator types, "I was in the second car behind President and Mrs. Kennedy at the time of the assassination, with then Vice-President and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson. . . . I distinctly heard three shots, and believed and so told the press then before the weapons and the assassin were found, that they were rifle shots. . . . I took them to be rifle shots. I felt that I knew they were rifle shots and so proved to be. In my opinion three shots and three shots only were fired. I think the speculation that additional shots were fired from the front from the railroad overpass were fantastic. I distinctly heard the three rifle shots with loud blasts and knew that they were to the rifle rear of the car in which I was riding. Since much of the speculation hinges on the contention that shots were fired from the front, I feel that this definitely did not happen, and I know something about firearms."

    Ralph Yarborough served as a Democratic U.S. Senator from Texas from 1957 through 1971. He was in President Kennedy's Dallas motorcade at the time of the president's assassination in November 1963. The senator stresses in this letter that he heard three shots during the assassination, rather than the conspiratorial four shots proposed by the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1979.

    Herman Herst (1909-1999) was a philatelic writer and expert who lived in Shrub Oak, New York. The letter is lightly toned with smoothed folds. The original transmittal envelope is included.

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    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
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