A day in 1963

1963 was a few years beforJohn Kennedye I was born. I had absolutely no recollection of where I was at that point of time.

I had heard it was a cool nice sunny day on November 22, 1963. It turned out to be one of the darkest days in the history of USA. President John F Kennedy was assassinated on that day in Dallas, Texas. The resulting investigation resulted in conspiracy theories, many books and movies. The official version of the incident was that a lone assassin gave one surgically precise shot to the head of the late president.

Little did people know that Dr. Don T Curtis was among the first two doctors who tended to President Kennedy after he was shot in the head in his convertible. Dr. Curtis was a trainee oral and maxillofacial surgeon at that time, heading off for lunch before starting his busy afternoon operating schedule. On his way to lunch, a frantic policeman asked for his help at the hospital and little did Dr. Curtis know, he was being roped in with another surgeon right there and then to operate on the wounded president of the United States.

The President was lying on his back, gasping for air and the two young doctors decide to help him to get more air by opening up his airway through creating an artificial airway in the front of his neck, a tracheostomy, which many dental surgeons are trained to do. The tracheostomy was a successful one. Well, as we all know, the end of the story was that the American President did not survive the massive head wound.  One of the doctors there described the head wound as being ‘incompatible with life.’

As usual, everyone has a different view of what have happened that day. Had other surgeons tended to the President, would the outcome have been different? Would he have survived if he was treated at a different hospital? Was there more than one assassin? Those questions may be moot points. One thing for sure though, it will be a few years before the six million (yes, 6,000,000) pages of classified information about the assassination will be unclassified. Maybe by then the world would have more ideas about what happened that day and who knows, we may be even more confused.

Stay tuned.

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