50 years ago, 1963: President John F. Kennedy, thirty-sixth president of the United States, was shot to death by a hidden assassin armed with a high-powered rifle. Kennedy, 46, lived about an hour after a sniper cut him down as his limousine left downtown Dallas. Automatically, the mantle of the presidency fell to Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, a native Texan who had been riding two cars behind the chief executive. Also wounded was Gov. John Connally of Texas, who was cut down by the same sniper that ended the life of the youngest man ever elected to the presidency.