As the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy fast approaches, it's a good time to remind everyone that the majority of Americans still think the official story is bullshit.
According to a new poll from Gallup, 61% of Americans think that other individuals were involved in the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy. Put another way, 6 out of 10 Americans identify themselves as JFK assassination conspiracy theorists.
That means that the majority of Americans still aren't buying the findings of the official government inquiry, the Warren Commission, who concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in carrying out the assassination.
Although 61% may seem like a high percentage - it actually represents a marked decline in conspiracy believers over the past few decades. In 2001, for instance, a whopping 81% of Americans believed that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone or that other men were involved in a conspiracy. That number has been steadily declining since.
As Gallup's chart shows, the "lone gunman" theory failed to fly with most Americans even in the years following the killing of Kennedy.
While a majority of Americans feel that the official story leaves much to be desired, many of them of hard pressed to decide on who the other conspirators actually were. In fact, 40% of Americans could not name a single person or group that they felt were part of a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy.
Among those who could, the Mafia and the Federal Government (unspecific) were the top vote getters with 13% each. Other names that topped the list of possible conspirators were the CIA, Fidel Castro, KKK, Russia, Communists, J.Edgar Hoover, Teamsters, and Big Business (unspecific).
"It is possible that new evidence in the Kennedy assassination will never materialize. The JFK Assassination Records Collection Act, enacted in 1992, declassified 98% of the unreleased documents in the Warren Commission's investigation, with other unreleased assassination documents scheduled for release in 2017. Thus far, public documents not originally released in or part of the Warren Commission's report from 1964 have not demonstrated that there was any kind of conspiracy, yet clearly most Americans disagree with the official findings. Speculating about who was really responsible for Kennedy's death will likely remain a topic of fascination for the American public for many years to come," says Gallup.
And there's the rub. As with many famous historical events, the public perception is at odds with what the government officially puts out there. And though the JFK "conspiracy theorists" are waning, at least according to this poll, there's no doubt that the assassination of Kennedy will remain one of the most hotly-debated events in American history for quite some time.
Image via Wikimedia Commons