Five Days In November-Clint Hill with Lisa McCubbin

five-daysThe Zapruder film remains one of the most important motion pictures in American history for it is the visual recording of the murder of a President.  During the film, towards the end, a Secret Service agent can be seen jumping on to the back of the motorcade as it sped towards the trip underpass.  The agent Clint Hill, now 84 years of age, had reacted to the rifle shots and was attempting to reach the motorcade, fearing the more shots would be fired at the First Lady and Mr. and Mrs. John Connally.  For five days, he remained at the side of the first couple  as they traveled to Texas and then late as John F. Kennedy was laid to rest.

Revisiting he past, Hill recounts those five days with crisp detail, showing the heightened concern that consumed agents as the President made his way through the state of Texas.  Beginning with their arrival in San Antonio, the visit starts out on a positive note with thousands of Texans coming out to see Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy.  The public’s embrace of the first couple caused constant anxiety among the Secret Service detail, but as Hill shows us, Kennedy was truly a President of the people.  As we continue with Hill as the party prepares for Dallas, the excitement and dark feelings surrounding the President’s visit begin to manifest as the motorcade makes it was into Dealey Plaza.  And it is at this point, that history was changed and Clint Hill’s life changed forever.  Kennedy’s murder, the transport of his body, autopsy and funeral produced memories and images that continue to haunt the United States each November when we look back in time to those five days in November, 1963.

Behind the funeral procession, there were many things occurring to ensure the proper burial of the President and the transition of power in Washington.  Hill takes us behind the scenes pointing out facts about how and why certain decisions were made at the time.  He also reveals other miscellaneous facts, some of which show how much hope laid with Kennedy’s administration. Those who are looking for a smoking gun about JFK’s murder won’t find it here, Hill sticks to the official story and does not give into any conspiracy theories.  Clearly haunted by the events of that day, he painfully ask himself over and over again what if he had gotten there sooner?  It’s a question no one can answer and many believe that fate made that day inevitable and that Dallas was the only place it could have occurred.  While this book isn’t a smoking gun, is a poignant memoir by a dedicated and tormented former Secret Service agent.

 

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