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Former Dallas Police Department Detective Jim Leavelle was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. Leavelle donated the handcuffs and suit he was wearing that day to the Sixth Floor Museum.

Former Dallas Police Department Detective Jim Leavelle was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. Leavelle donated the handcuffs and suit he was wearing that day to the Sixth Floor Museum. (TNS)

Former Dallas Police Department Detective Jim Leavelle was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. Leavelle donated the handcuffs and suit he was wearing that day to the Sixth Floor Museum.

Former Dallas Police Department Detective Jim Leavelle was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. Leavelle donated the handcuffs and suit he was wearing that day to the Sixth Floor Museum. (TNS)

Former Dallas Police Department Detective Jim Leavelle was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. Leavelle donated the handcuffs and suit he was wearing that day to the Sixth Floor Museum.

Former Dallas Police Department Detective Jim Leavelle was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. Leavelle donated the handcuffs and suit he was wearing that day to the Sixth Floor Museum. (TNS)

In a 2003 file photo, former Dallas Police Department Detective Jim Leavelle poses next to the famous photo of himself with Lee Harvey Oswald at the moment when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby.

In a 2003 file photo, former Dallas Police Department Detective Jim Leavelle poses next to the famous photo of himself with Lee Harvey Oswald at the moment when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. (Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

Jack Ruby approaches and shoots Lee Harvey Oswald as he is escorted to the Dallas city jail via the underground garage of the Dallas police headquarters, Texas, on November 24, 1963. Oswald is escorted by detectives Jim Leavelle, left, and L.C. Graves, right.

Jack Ruby approaches and shoots Lee Harvey Oswald as he is escorted to the Dallas city jail via the underground garage of the Dallas police headquarters, Texas, on November 24, 1963. Oswald is escorted by detectives Jim Leavelle, left, and L.C. Graves, right. (Jack Beers/Dallas Morning News)

WASHINGTON — Jim Leavelle found himself at the center of two of the events that changed America.

On December 7, 1941, he was a sailor on the USS Whitney in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when the Japanese launched the attack that started World War II.

On November 22, 1963, he was a homicide detective in Dallas, Texas, when Lee Harvey Oswald was brought in for questioning after the killings of President John F. Kennedy and police officer J.D. Tippitt. Two days later, Leavelle was handcuffed to Oswald when Jack Ruby shot the alleged assassin.

Last weekend, Leavelle was among the participants in the 18th annual American Veterans Center annual conference. During a panel discussion featuring World War II veterans, he talked about the events of November, 1963, and his experience at Pearl Harbor.

As always, the AVC sessions included several noteworthy veterans who passed along their stories to and met with the next generation of military leaders. In other videos:

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