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11/12/2013

Rare JFK tape: "I don't know why we do anything for Dallas"

So this is eerie. Not in the 'Hey, JFK conspiracy theorists, gather-round' sense. Yet strange enough it just seems wrong not to share.

While researching another project on John F. Kennedy, we stumbled upon a startling bit of JFK audio.

Date: Nov. 7, 1962.

Setting: Kennedy is in the Oval Office, chatting on the phone with newly elected Texas Gov. John Connally, a fellow Democrat. They are reflecting on the Texas electorate, and in particular the weakness of Democratic support in the city of Dallas.

Where it gets surreal: At the 33-second mark, as he contemplates the numbers, Kennedy gripes, "I don't know why we do anything for Dallas."

Where it gets even weirder: Connally responds, saying, "I'm telling you, they just murdered all of us."

The strangeness of this exchange becomes somewhat exponential when you remember that Connally was in the jump-seat alongside JFK a year later in Dallas, suffering multiple injuries in the same burst of fire that killed the president.

But don't take our word for it. Have a listen:

 

Connally survived wounds to his chest, wrist and thigh on Nov. 22, 1963 and lived a full life, active in politics to the end. He died in 1993. The blood-stained suit Connally wore in the motorcade is now on display for the first time in 50 years at the Texas state archives in Austin.

H/T to the Miller Centre -- www.millercenter.org -- for making these old Kennedy dictaphone recordings available.

Where were you when you found out about JFK's death? Let us know by clicking here

Mitch Potter is the Toronto Star's Washington Bureau Chief, his third foreign posting after previous assignments to London and Jerusalem. Twitter: @MPwrites

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The last words President Kennedy heard was Mrs. Connally saying "you can't say Dallas doesn't love you Mr. President".

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