On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, the focus will understandably be on the death of the 35th president of the United States, allegedly at the hands of Lee Harvey Oswald. But there was another victim that day. His name is James Tague, and he is the only man -- other than JFK and Texas Gov. John Connally -- who was wounded at Dealey Plaza in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
At the time, Tague was a 27-year-old car salesman who was driving to a lunch date when traffic stopped in front of him due to the presidential motorcade. He got out of his car and stood by the triple underpass at the south end of Main Street in Dealey Plaza.
"I'm standing there maybe four or five seconds, and somebody throws a firecracker," Tague said. "And I'm thinking, 'What kind of idiot would be throwing a firecracker with the president going by?' Of course, that was the first shot. Then the crack, crack, quick shots in a row, and something stings me in the face."
According to FOX 4, Tague’s wound was so superficial that he didn’t even realize he had been hit. He and a deputy sheriff nearby were trying to figure out what had just happened.
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"We walked across the street just in time to hear this man sobbing, 'His head exploded. His head exploded,'" Tague said. "And the policeman said, 'Whose head?' And he said, 'The president's.'"
As FOX 4 reports, the deputy sheriff was the first person to notice the wound on Tague’s cheek.
"[The deputy sheriff] says, ‘You have blood on your face,'" said Tague. "And that's when I remembered something had stung me in the face. And I reached up, and there was three or four drops of blood on my hand."
It was eventually determined that James Tague had been wounded from the ricochet of a bullet that missed JFK’s limousine and struck the curb nearby.
"That evening, I set down and wrote in a spiral notebook everything I could remember about that day," Tague said. "And I've kept it all these years."
According to FOX 4, Tague’s wound didn’t make national headlines until six months after the JFK assassination, when the Associated Press picked up the story. Until then, investigators believed three shots had hit either Kennedy or Connally.
Tague was eventually called to testify before the Warren Commission, which concluded that the first shot missed the presidential limousine and struck the curb, wounding Tague. The second bullet, according to the Warren Commission, wounded both JFK and Connally, and the third was the head shot that killed JFK.
"They had to go back and rewrite the Warren Commission," Tague said. "That's where the magic bullet came from. That's the only thing they could come up with. That's the only thing they could come up with. That one bullet went through two people."
According to the Daily Mail, Tague, who is now 77, has been researching the JFK assassination for more than three decades. He now believes JFK was killed as a result of a conspiracy spearheaded by then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson.
"Finding this was no big deal. It's like a crossword puzzle — you just got to start putting the pieces together," Tague told TimesDispatch.com. "Kennedy's assassination was not a conspiracy; it was a coup."
Tague is now retired and living outside of Bonham, Texas, according to FOX 4.