The film opens with newsreel footage, including the Eisenhower's farewell address in 1961 of outgoing President Dwight D. Eisenhower, warning about the build-up of the "military-industrial complex". This is followed by a summary of John F. Kennedy's years as president, emphasizing the events that, in Stone's thesis, would lead to his assassination. This builds to a reconstruction of the assassination on November 22, 1963. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison subsequently learns about potential links to the assassination in New Orleans. Garrison and his team investigate several possible conspirators, including private pilot David Ferrie, but are forced to let them go after their investigation is publicly rebuked by the federal government. Kennedy's suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald is killed by Jack Ruby, and Garrison closes the investigation.