Here's a very general time line (in paragraph form) of what happened that weekend in Dallas.
On Friday, November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy arrived in Dallas at 11:40 a.m. Central Standard time. He embarked on a motorcade to the Dallas Business and Trade Mart where he was scheduled to make a speech at a luncheon. At 12:30 the motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas, with the president riding in an open limousine. He was shot in the head and rushed to nearby Parkland Hospital. By 2:00 p.m. a tearful Walter Cronkite told the country by television broadcast that the president was dead. Vice President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as president later that afternoon aboard Air Force One as it departed for Washington.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who worked in a building on the plaza, was initially arrested in a dark movie theater and charged with the shooting murder of Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit. Before long he became the prime suspect in the assassination investigation.
On Sunday, November 24, Oswald was led into the basement of the Dallas Police Department building in order to be transferred from the city jail to the county jail. Before he could be loaded into a vehicle for the transfer a local businessman (he ran lounges and strip clubs) named Jack Ruby stepped from the crowd and fatally shot Oswald in front of a live, worldwide television audience. That's the photograph on the cover of the book.
At the time the world was a tense place. Just two and a half years earlier President Kennedy had ordered an invasion of Cuba, a staunch ally of the Soviet Union. The invasion ended in disaster but greatly heightened tensions between America and the Soviet Union. Two years later, just a year before the assassination, the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war when the Soviets began building launch sites for nuclear missiles in Cuba, just ninety miles off the Florida coast. In part to calm the American people and assure them that the situation was in hand, President Johnson established the Warren Commission to investigate and report on the assassination.
Ruby was tried and convicted of murdering Oswald in February and March of 1964. The sentence was death. He languished in prison during the appeal process and died of cancer while still imprisoned on January 3, 1967. He spent his last three years, including hours of testimony before the Warren Commission, begging to be taken to a place of safety where he could tell his story.