JFK50GT - A Day In Dallas
John F Kennedy GeoTrail

JFK50GT #11: Neely House

JFK GeoTrail - A Day in Dallas


Discharge from the Marines

Lee Harvey Oswald was given a need-based honorable discharge from the U.S. Marines in October 1959. To obtain this discharge, Oswald dishonestly told the Marines that his mother had become ill and needed his assistance. It was later changed to a "Section 8" discharge when he immediately defected to the Soviet Union and attempted to become a Soviet citizen. A Section 8 discharge, which is no longer used by the U.S. military, was given to those soldiers who were mentally unfit for service. It also deprived them of veterans' benefits. This designation represented an undesirable discharge, and included a wide variety of medical and psychological diagnoses, as well as those who were deemed mentally unfit or had personality disorders that were detrimental to their units.

In the Soviet Union, Oswald threatened to renounce his U.S. citizenship and obtain Soviet citizenship. Even with the promise of disclosing military secrets, which he was privy to as a radar operator with classified security clearance, the Soviets denied his request. The day before his visa was to expire requiring him to leave the country, he slashed his left wrist in his bathtub, just before his intourist escort came to take him to the airport to leave Russia. He later said that he did this to shock his overbearing mother, whose rearing of Oswald affected him tremendously throughout his life. After hospitalization and psychiatric monitoring, he was given a job and allowed to stay longer in Russia.

Moving to Oak Cliff

Oswald met and married Marina, a Russian student at the time, and they soon had a daughter together. In June 1962, they approached the U.S. Embassy and borrowed more than $400 so that Oswald could return to the U.S. with his new family. Upon their return, the couple and their daughter settled into a home on Neely Street in Oak Cliff. It was in the back yard of this house where Marina made the famous photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald proudly displaying his new rifle and a handful of Cuban communist literature, with his handgun on his hip.

Lee Harvey Oswald poses with the mail order rifle he later used to assassinate President John F. Kennedy.

Oswald's camera that documented his possession of the Presidential murder weapon months before the event.

After just a few months at the Neely Street house, they moved around the corner to a 10-unit apartment complex at 604 Elsbeth Street. They lived in apartment #2 on Elsbeth from November 1962 until March 1963. This apartment complex was recently torn down.

You are looking for a small container that is in clear view of the yellow Neely house where Oswald settled for several months upon his return from the Soviet Union. Some stealth may be required here, depending on the time of your visit.