The Warren Commission Report on John F. Kennedy’s assassination hit President Lyndon B. Johnson’s desk on Sept. 24, 1964, hot off the presses of the Government Printing Office.
Now, nearly 50 years after the shooting in Dallas, Americans can revisit the often-contested facts presented in the nearly 900-page document via the agency’s Federal Digital System at gpo.gov/fdsys.
With a click of the mouse, curious souls can download a PDF of the copy held by Georgetown University’s Lauinger Library and devour it from cover to cover. The pages provide an up-close look at Lee Harvey Oswald’s visa application, medical reports from the doctors at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas and two grisly illustrations of the president’s head wounds.
“The publication and dissemination of the Warren Commission Report is an example of how GPO has adapted to technological changes during the last half century,” said Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks. “GPO’s presses first printed the report in 1964. Through partnerships with the Library of Congress and the Lauinger Library, GPO is now able to make the report available digitally on the anniversary of this tragic event.”
The report is backed up by 26 volumes of hearings conducted under the leadership of commission chairman and Chief Justice Earl Warren, which the GPO also printed. Some of those volumes remained classified until the mid-1990s, others are still withheld. Accessing Kennedy’s autopsy records, for instance, requires membership in a presidential or congressional commission or permission from the family. Altogether, the GPO’s work for the commission produced nearly 235,000 copies of the report and nearly 5,600 sets of the hearings.
In an effort to shed more light on the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination, the GPO is also highlighting recordings of conversations that day between officials in Washington, Air Force One pilots, and people on board the flight from Dallas to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Visitors, for instance, can hear Johnson being connected to JFK’s mother, Rose Kennedy, to offer his condolences.