The Waco siege began in Texas after agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided the Branch Davidian church.

The Branch Davidians originated in the late 1950s as a sub-group of the Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Under the leadership of Benjamin Roden they took control of the Mount Carmel religious settlement 10 miles outside the Texan town of Waco, where they prepared for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

The mid-1980s saw a power struggle from which Vernon Howell, who later renamed himself David Koresh, emerged as the new leader of the group. Shortly after this Howell announced that God had told him that he should take multiple wives, with reports stating that some of these were as young as 11 years old.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had already been watching the Mount Carmel compound due to concerns that Koresh and his followers were stockpiling illegal weapons. They began making plans to raid the compound in late February but were prompted to action after the Waco Tribune-Herald newspaper began to publish a series of articles that included allegations of child abuse within the cult.

More than 70 agents raided the property on the morning of 28 February, but Koresh had already received a tip-off and had made preparations. Gunfire consequently broke out, although it is still unclear who fired first. The fighting lasted for almost two hours and resulted in the deaths of four agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as well as a similar number of Davidians. The resulting siege lasted until 19 April when it was ended by the FBI in a raid that saw the compound destroyed by fire.

At 12.30pm on Friday November 22nd 1963, President John F. Kennedy of the United States of America was fatally shot as his motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Having been rushed to the nearby Parkland Hospital, the 46 year old President was declared dead half an hour later. Although forensic, ballistic, and eyewitness evidence overwhelmingly points to Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunman, the assassination has since become the focus for numerous conspiracy theories regarding the identity of the killer.

Kennedy’s trip to Dallas was part of a wider 2-day tour of Texas through which he hoped to bring feuding Democrats in the state together. Having arranged to attend and speak at a luncheon, Kennedy’s team arranged to take a meandering 10-mile route in order to secure maximum exposure before the Dallas crowds. This route was released to the press a number of days beforehand so that the public had ample time to plan their viewing location.

The 22nd November began wet, but by the time the journey began the rain had cleared so the roof was left off the presidential limousine. Barely five minutes away from its destination, the motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza and gunshots rang out as it passed the Texas School Book Depository. Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired three shots from the sixth floor of the building. A rifle was later recovered from the scene and bullets from the limousine were ballistically matched to that gun.

Oswald was later found and charged with murder, which he denied.  He was himself fatally shot two days later by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.