Tahlequah, Oklahoma (JFKASSASSINATION) Recently we received an email from Norma Boren, the wife of the late Dr. James H. Boren* who served as Chief of Staff to Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough** who was in the motorcade in Dallas when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Mrs. Boren was kind enough to share some of her recollections about her husband's experiences during those days. She said that her husband was in Washington, D.C. on November 22, 1963 and that he met the Senator upon his arrival back from Dallas.
Senator Yarborough shared with Dr. Boren the account of that terrible day. Mrs. Boren says that the Senator ALWAYS believed that there was more than one shooter, but was never asked to testify by the Warren Commission. He was, however, permitted to submit a written affidavit.
In this document, available online, RY writes that he heard "a loud blast" which came from close by, followed by two more shots. He indicates that the first two shots were closer together than the third. All the shots, he adds, seemed to come from the area of the railroad tracks.
Senator Yarborough also wrote that he "was amazed by the lack of instantaneous response by the Secret Service." This affidavit is dated July 10,
Mrs. Boren accompanied her husband to visit Ralph Yarborough when he was in his 90s. She says that at that time he still did not agree with the Warren Report.
The Senator was riding in the back seat of an open car with Vice-President and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson at the time of the shooting. Interestingly, RY told the Borens that when the shots rang out LBJ "stared straight ahead....never turning to look in the direction of the shots."
Mrs. Boren also told us that the Senator believed organized crime and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover were behind the assassination and that LBJ was "complicit" in the deed.
Senator Yarborough described his witnessing the assassination of JFK on November 22, 1963 as "the most tragic event of my life."
*Dr. James H. Boren (1925-2010) was born in Tahleguah, OK. He joined the US Navy at the age of 17 and his ship, the USS William C. Cole, was involved in the Battle of Okinawa. He was injured in a Kamikaze attack on his ship on May 25, 1945.
After WWII, JHB graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. He taught high school in Oxnard, CA and earned a MS at the University of Southern California and later the PhD at the University of Texas.
He taught at UT in 1954 and 3 years later became statewide campaign manager for Ralph Yarborough. JHB served as Senator Yarborough's Administrative Assistant for 4 years.
In 1960, Dr. Boren was actively involved in JFK's presidential campaign and afterward was appointed deputy director of the United States Economic Mission to Peru. His Partners of the Alliance brought together private sectors of the U.S. & Latin American in a grass roots, people-oriented program. JHB directed this program for 7 years and received the Honor Medal for his work.
In 1991, Dr. Boren became a scholar-in-residence at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK where he met and married Norma Williams, a teacher at Tahlequah High School.
Dr. Boren passed away at age 84 on April 24, 2010 and is buried in the Fort Gibson National Cemetery located in Muskogee County, OK.
**Ralph Webster Yarborough (1903-1996) served as US Senator from 1957-1971 and led the liberal wing of the Texas Democratic Party. He was the only Southern Senator to vote for every civil rights bill proposed between 1957 and 1970.
RWY graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1927 and became State Attorney General. He served in the US Army in WWII.
Mrs. James H. "Norma" Boren