Lee Harvey Oswald

Oswald's Travels

Lee Harvey Oswald dropped out of high school seven years before he was arrested for the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. In the intervening years, he spent time in Japan, the Soviet Union, Mexico, and the southern and western United States. Here is a closer look at some of his travels.

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Fort Worth, Texas

July 1956

Enrolls at Arlington Heights High School but drops out after less than a month.

San Diego, California

October 1956

Enlists in the U.S. Marine Corps and begins basic training.

El Toro, California

July 1957

Prepares to ship off to Japan as a member of the 4th Replacement Battalion at the Marine Corps Air Station.

Atsugi, Japan

September 1957

Accidentally shoots himself in the arm a month after arriving and is court-martialed twice -- first for illegal possession of a firearm and then for assaulting a superior. He spends time with his unit in the South China Sea and Taiwan.

El Toro, California

December 1958

After a 30-day leave, returns to the Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, California.

New Orleans, Louisiana

September 1959

Sails for Europe after release from active duty.

Moscow, USSR

October 1959

Tries to defect but is rejected by Soviet authorities. Attempts suicide and later hands in his American passport at the U.S. Embassy.

Minsk, USSR

January 1960

Sent to Minsk, where he meets Marina Prusakova in 1961. They marry soon after and have their first child in 1962.

Fort Worth, Texas

June 1962

Arrives with Marina in the United States after securing a visa for her. They move in temporarily with Oswald's brother, Robert.

Dallas, Texas

October 1962

Begins work as a trainee at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall Co., a graphic arts company, but is fired half a year later. In April, 1963, he allegedly attempts to assassinate General Edwin Walker.

New Orleans, Louisiana

October 1962

Works at Reilly Coffee Company and also advocates for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a group that supports the Cuban Revolution.

Mexico City, Mexico

September 1963

Spends three days trying, unsuccessfully, to secure Russian and Cuban visas.

Dallas, Texas

October 1963

Hired to work at Texas School Book Depository. John F. Kennedy is assassinated on November 22 and Oswald is arrested soon after. Investigators say Oswald shot Kennedy from a sixth-floor window in the Texas School Book Depository building.


John McAdams, Marquette University; Warren Commission Report

Produced by Jan Rádl

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