The collections on this page represent a portion of our holdings related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
For ten years, John Armstrong conducted research for his book Harvey & Lee [Arlington, Tex.: Quasar, c2003]. His travels took him all over the country and to several foreign countries gathering materials and conducting interviews. His research resulted in 100,000+ pages of documents, dozens of reels of microfilm, many books and hundreds of photographs. He arranged his materials into dozens of oversize notebooks which were divided into topics and subtopics. These notebooks were digitized by the Riley Center and make up all the material BCPM has of Armstrong's research.
Loretta Dunbar was a 32-year old housewife and resident of Dallas, Texas in November 1963. She watched President John F. Kennedy’s arrival on television as well as his subsequent assassination. Dunbar documented her experience concerning the assassination of President Kennedy in her journal.
In the 1950's, both Dunbar and her husband, Dr. Robert B. Brunken, worked at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas. Dunbar worked as the secretary to the Director of Nursing as well as secretary to the Professor of Surgery. Dunbar and her husband were friends with Dr. Pepper Jenkins, the anesthesiologist who pronounced President John F. Kennedy dead. The essay from Dunbar's journal expresses the significant grief she experienced at Kennedy's death and how she and the people around her responded to such a devastating tragedy.
The Loretta J. Dunbar papers consist of one personal essay describing the diary entry of Loretta J. Dunbar on November 23, 1963, the day after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Her 4-page essay, entitled "The Unthinkable," describes her personal thoughts and feelings after watching the assassination.
Box 1. Folder 1. Essay on Personal Memory of the Assassination of JFK, 1963
The collection consists of 1 folder.
Donald Hugh Grisham was born on July 26, 1960, in Waco, Texas. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Tarleton State University and worked as a filing clerk at the Attorney General's Office in Austin, Texas. Grisham’s interest in the John F. Kennedy assassination stems from a memory in which he and his father watched as Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963. Grisham has had a strong interest in the JFK assassination but is not a self-ascribed researcher on the subject. The materials in this collection were accumulated by Grisham in 1982, during his time in the state Attorney General's office. The office offered transfer of three copies of the materials to the Texas State Archive who declined because they already possessed copies. Grisham later gifted these copies to the Poage Legislative Library in 2007.
The materials in the Don Grisham collection have an inclusive date range of 1947-1964, with the bulk spanning 1963-1964, in the days and months following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The items in this collection are significant, because they contain information collected in the aftermath of the assassination of President Kennedy including transcriptions of police radio transmissions from the day of the assassination and first-person statements from each officer involved in the hunt for Oswald as compiled by Dallas Police Sheriff J.E. Bill Decker. Content also includes information about Lee Harvey Oswald and court cases his family were involved in prior to the JFK assassination. Originally bound in notebooks and binders, the collection consists of photocopies of material held in the Texas State Archives. As such, the materials are in excellent condition.
The collection consists of 2 document boxes.
Dick Russell was born on August 19, 1947, in Boston, Massachusetts. Upon graduating in 1969 from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in Humanities, he pursued a career as a writer and journalist. He briefly wrote for Sports Illustrated (1969-1970) before joining the staff of the TV Guide in their Hollywood Bureau (1977-1979).
Russell became strongly interested in studying the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; after 17 years of research, Russell published The Man Who Knew Too Muchin 1992. The book argued that an anti-Castro group financed the assassination of President Kennedy; the conspirators hoped that by setting up Lee Harvey Oswald, a known supporter of Castro, they could provoke a full-scale war with Cuba. Russell followed this successful book with the publication of On the Trail of the JFK Assassins in 2008.
In addition to his Kennedy assassination writings, Russell also wrote a wide variety of free-lance articles, which appeared in newspapers as diverse as Family Health, Village Voice, The Nation, and Parenting. A large number of these articles dealt with environmental issues, which led to Russell’s involvement as the Contributing Editor of OnEarth (formerly Amicus Journal) from 1986 to 2004. As an active member of both the Society of Environmental Journalists and PEN USADLas well as an avid sport fisherman, Russell spent three years lobbying for regulations to protect Atlantic striped bass. In recognition of his efforts, Russell received the National Coalition for Marine Conservation’s Golden Swordfish Award (1984) and the Chevron Conservation Award (1988).
Dick Russell supplemented his environmental endeavors and assassination research with a prolific writing career, authoring 13 books, including Black Genius and the American Experience (1998), Eye of the Whale (2001), Striper Wars: An American Fish Story (2005), and Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The Men Who Are Destroying Life on Earth ― And What It Means for Our Children (2017). Russell also co-authored Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me (2008) with Jesse Ventura. He appeared as a guest on national television and radio programs, including NBC Nightly News and Good Morning America, and has guest lectured at numerous institutions, including Harvard, the National Arts Club, and the University of California.
Dick Russell is married and has one child. Though he has traveled widely in Europe, Africa, North America, and Asia, he currently resides in Los Angeles and Boston.
This collection consists of manuscripts, research materials, and articles collected by Dick Russell, most of which pertain to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Although Russell had a long and successful career as an environmental journalist, the materials in the Dick Russell papers focus on his Kennedy assassination research. The content ranges from exclusive interviews and copious notes to collections of speculative articles. The records in the collection are from 1924-2011 with the bulk of the material spanning the years 1959-2011.
The large The Man Who Knew Too Much (TMWKTM) series contains years of extensive research files and drafts for Russell’s popular history of the John F. Kennedy assassination, published in 1992. The research files are arranged alphabetically with the draft manuscripts separated by year from the rest of the series. The small set of files for the Coalition on Political Assassinations includes financial reports and conference information from 1994-1995. Additional JFK Research materials are located under the short JFK Research series; most of this information was compiled in the 1990s or early 2000s, after the publication of TMWKTM.
The bulk of the material is located in the aforementioned TMWKTM series and in the Subject Files series, which is arranged alphabetically and contains research that pertains tangentially to the Kennedy assassination in addition to disparate historical topics ranging from Early American History to Watergate. Most subjects deal with scandal, assassinations, or times of turmoil, usually in the context of government or politics. The last portion of the collection is contained in the Unpublished Book Projects series, which includes drafts of two unfinished book projects entitled “The Assassination Records Review Board” and “Closing In.”
The collection consists of 56 document boxes measuring 23.35 linear feet.
Gus Russo, investigative journalist, author, and musician, was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Mount St. Joseph High School. Although known for his research of the Kennedy assassination, music was his first passion. Russo explains, "I love to read, but I never thought I'd be a writer. But when you think about it, writing is very much like music: it's all about the rhythm, the dynamics, the feeling - it's all about flow. I spent my whole life as a musician. I guess that translates." Russo keeps up both interests, boasting a successful writing career in which he published 6 nonfiction books, and as professional musician/producer.
As a young man he was active politically, opposing the Vietnam War and working for Robert Kennedy in the 1968 Presidential Campaign. His interest in the Kennedy assassination began at an early age. Russo describes his memories of the assassination: "I was in the hallway before 8th period, Mr. Hall's biology class. Just going down the hall and there was a whisper, 'Did you hear? Kennedy's been shot.' We went to our homeroom and then the announcement came that he was dead. A room full of boys and half of them were crying." Thirty years later, Russo was one of two leading reporters on the documentary Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald? The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) project aired in 1993 and was an unforgettable experience for Russo. He recalls, "With a huge research budget, we divided into four teams. All of us were given great latitude. I was allowed to follow up on every lead (conspiratorial and otherwise) I had always wanted to test. We went everywhere Oswald went, from Minsk, Russia to Atsugi, Japan. I crisscrossed the US for eighteen months." That same year, Dan Rather selected Russo to appear on his TV special Who Shot JFK? Russo also found work with ABC News and Peter Jennings for the piece, "Dangerous World, The Kennedy Years."
In 1998, Russo published Live by the Sword: The Secret War Against Castro and the Death of JFK, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. In 2008, Brothers In Arms: The Kennedys, Castros, and the Politics of Murder was released and awarded the 2008 History Prize by the New York Book Festival. In 2011, Russo looked introspectively and published his autobiography, Boomer Days.
As the 50th anniversary of the assassination approached, Russo's friend and 60 Minutes Producer, Harry Moses, reached out to him. They partnered with Tom Brokaw and NBC and devised an idea for a documentary. Where Were You? features the stories of everyday Americans and their recollections of November 22, 1963. With only four weeks to prepare, Russo explained, "It's really tough to do something like this in a very short period of time. With any of these [documentary] shows, you film people for an hour and you use about eight seconds. It's frustrating having an hour of great material whittled down to a few seconds, especially something as emotional as this." To do the project justice, a companion guide to feature the full interviews would be published. The program aired on NBC on November 22, 2013.
The Gus Russo papers range from 1932-2006, with dates representing both primary and secondary source documents which make up Russo's research. Materials are related to his 1998 publication of Live by the Sword: The Secret War Against Castro and the Death of JFK. These are organized topically or by name, and include newspaper clippings, government documents, publications, and other research material related to the Kennedy assassination. Additionally, most of the folders in Boxes 33-35 are testimonials before the House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations.
The collection consists of 43 document boxes measuring 17.94 linear ft.
Gordon Schendel, a native of Minnesota, graduated from the University of Minnesota and began a career in writing and journalism starting in 1946. While working in New York City, he met a magazine artist named Margaret Waltz. The couple married and had 5 children: Cynthia, William, Eric, Amy, and Jenny.
After living on the east coast for several years, the Schendel family moved to Mexico where they remained for 11 years. During that time, Gordon worked for “The Medical Tribune” and “The Medical World News.” It was during their stay in Mexico that the Schendels became engrossed with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Gordon and Margaret, who often served as a fellow researcher and editor for her husband, accumulated clippings and books on the Kennedy assassination, the bulk of which now shapes the collection here at Poage Library. Despite his intentions, Gordon was never able to use his research and complete a book on the topic.
Gordon Schendel did, however, write several books during his career including “Jungle Wife,” — which recounted the life of an Estonian jaguar hunter and his American wife during their stay in Brazil; “The Higher They Go,” — a biography of former New York City mayor William O’Dwyer; and “Medicine in Mexico: From Aztec Herbs to Betatrons.”
In 1965, the Schendels moved to McAllen, Texas, where Gordon joined the editorial staff of the local newspaper, the “Valley Evening Monitor.” After the passing of her parents, the Schendels’ daughter, Cynthia, donated the collection in August 2013.
The Gordon Schendel papers range in chronology from 1964 to 1990 with several undated documents. The bulk of the materials date from the late 1960's since they concern the assassination of President John F. Kennedy which took place on November 22, 1963.
Most of the materials are notes, both typed and handwritten, produced by Gordon Schendel in connection to the investigation of John F. Kennedy's assassination. The Notes series is arranged alphabetically by topic and addresses several of the major characters surrounding the case including Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, and the Warren Commission.
In addition to Schendel's research notes, there are also three folders of clippings that contain more information on John F. Kennedy, an article written by Gordon Schendel on his experiences living in Mexico, and an article written about Gordon Schendel when he joined the staff of McAllen, Texas's newspaper, the "Valley Evening Monitor." Overall, the materials in the collection range from average to good condition.
This collection is comprised of one box of papers and bulk materials.
The Theresa Seay Papers combine over thirty years of research in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The result of which included a master's thesis, a Ph.D dissertation, a newsletter run, and speaking engagements. Her research is rooted in the volumes of the Warren Commission, the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and numerous documents released by the FBI, CIA and other federal agencies since 1963.
The materials in this collection include slides and photographs from White's personal collection. The slide carousels contain images - and, in some cases, scripts - of presentations White gave to various audiences on his work analyzing photographs of the assassination and its major players. Additional slides that contain sensitive material (such as photographs taken during postmortems for both President Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald as well as stills from the Zapruder Film) have been omitted from this digital archive.