Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Karen Fratti
October 26, 2017 12:14 pm

Two major things are supposed to happen today: Taylor Swift is expected to release another video and the Trump administration is releasing the JFK Files. We all know why T. Swift’s video drop is important, but what are the JFK Files, anyway? The John F. Kennedy assassination files consist of all the documents surrounding his shooting. They’ve been slowly released to the public over the course of the past two decades after the government ordered the National Archives to make all the documents public within 25 years back in 1992.

The latest document drop will include about 3,000 files, but those files could have hundreds of pages each and are said to include notes from law enforcement about Lee Harvey Oswald — aka the man who shot JFK — and his early life, and other notes from the Warren Commission, which investigated the shooting in 1964. There is also reportedly less controversial files in the batch, like notes from Jackie Kennedy to her staff about funeral arrangements.

And the JFK Files are sure to be pretty fascinating for history buffs and non-buffs alike.

And for conspiracy theorists. Since the Warren Commission found that Oswald acted alone, there have been many theories about that day in Dallas when the president was shot. It’s these conspiracy theories that actually drove Congress to pass a law about releasing government files.

Rolls Press/Popperfoto / Contributor/Getty Images

More specifically, it was Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie JFK that prompted Congress to order the National Archives to eventually release all the information to the public, so that Americans didn’t go wild with hypothesizing about events the government actually had the facts to explain. The law says that the government has to release archives unless it’s deemed by the president that they put Americans in danger.

Trump is all about the JFK Files, even going so far as to call them “so interesting!” in a tweet this week. However, some people close to Trump advocated to delay the release. His friend and advisor Roger Stone and CIA Director Mike Pompeo specifically recommended not releasing more documents, claiming they could reflect badly on intelligence services of the time.

So whatever’s in those documents will now be available to the public, and Americans will finally know what really went down over half a century ago.

You May Like