This Day In History: A Jack Ruby Playlist

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was shot down by Lee Harvey Oswald as he was being driven through the streets of Dallas. Two days later, Oswald himself was killed at the hands of nightclub operator Jack Ruby as he was being transferred to a county jail.

There have been dozens of reasons put forth as to why Ruby suddenly decided to kill Oswald. Conspiracy theorists propose the idea that it was all part of a plot to kill Oswald before a more far-reaching plot could be uncovered. Ruby himself stated that he had done it to redeem Dallas and to spare the Kennedy family the pain of returning for a trial.

This was probably a legal ploy. The whole thing may honestly have just been a sudden, violent whim for a man with a history of mental illness and with phenmetrazine running through his system.

Whatever the cause, Ruby was convicted of Oswald's murder on March 14, 1964, and sentenced to die for the crime. He later appealed for a new trial, but succumbed to lung cancer before it could take place. He left behind him a murky, nebulous chapter of American history, and that influence stretches to the realm of song. Our playlist this week is dedicated to him.

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner