An Inventory of the Ruth Hyde Paine
Marina Oswald Papers, 1963-1968

(2 boxes; 1 linear ft.)

RG 5/109

© Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College.  
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081-1399 U.S.A.  

Seal of Swarthmore College
Table of contents
Ruth Hyde Paine (b. 1932), a Quaker who was living in Texas in 1963, befriended Marina Oswald. Marina was living at Ruth Paine's home at the time that her husband, Lee Oswald, assassinated President John F. Kennedy. This collection consists primarily of correspondence of Ruth Hyde Paine documenting her friendship with Marina Oswald, then the wife of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Background note:
1932, 1951-1957 Ruth Hyde, daughter of William and Carol E. Hyde, was born in New York in Sept. 1932, but was brought up in Columbus, Ohio. In 1951 she formally joined the Religious Society of Friends. She graduated from Antioch College in Ohio and then went to Philadelphia to become playground director and teacher of folk-dancing at Germantown Friends School. While there she met Michael R. Paine, whose family was from the Philadelphia area, and they were married under the care of Providence Monthly Meeting, Media, in 1957.
1959, 1961-Feb. 1963 After their marriage, Ruth and Michael moved to Irving, Texas. They had two children, Lynn born Nov. 1959, and Christopher born Feb. 1961. Ruth H. Paine, who had separated from her husband in September 1962, first met Lee and Marina Oswald in February of 1963.
Feb. 1963-May 1963 She was immediately attracted to Marina Oswald as another young mother and also as someone with whom she could speak Russian, and they quickly became friends. They never spoke about politics, but about their homes and families. Ruth learned that Marina was expecting another child in October and had no friends. Her husband refused to speak English with her, so she was having great difficulty in learning to communicate in English. Lee Oswald was also trying to get Marina to return to the Soviet Union, but she liked America and wanted to remain. As an alternative to returning to Russia, Ruth suggested that Marina and her daughter stay with her while Lee found a job in New Orleans. They came to live with Ruth and her children on April 24, 1963. Lee called on May 9th to say that he had found a job, and Ruth drove Marina the next day.
Sept 1963-Oct 1963 Marina returned to Irving towards the end of September 1963 to again stay with Ruth Paine. Some time later Lee Oswald also returned to Texas where he took a room in a boarding house under an assumed name. He visited Marina at Ruth's home on the weekends. Marina's second daughter was born in Oct. 20, 1963.
mid-October 1963-March 1964 In the middle of October, Lee Oswald got a job at School Book Depository. On Thursday, Nov. 21st, Lee arrived unexpectedly, and after supper went to Ruth's garage, where the Oswalds had stored some of their belongings, including Lee's high-powered rifle, wrapped in an old blanket. Later that morning Ruth and Marina were watching the Kennedy procession on television when the shooting was announced. Soon after, the Paine house was searched by police. Marina left Ruth's home the same morning with the intention of seeing Lee at the Dallas County Jail. She went in company with her two children, her mother-in-law, Marguerite Oswald, a newsman from Life Magazine, and a translator employed by Life. She elected not to return that evening, and the next day, after her husband had been shot by Jack Ruby, was provided protection by the Secret Service until she testified before the Warren Commission in March, 1964.
1963-1964 Ruth did not see Marina again until March 1964, after Marina had been to testify before the Warren Commission, and before Ruth gave her own testimony. Few people knew how to reach Marina, so many tried to contact her through Ruth Paine, who replied and passed the letters on to Marina through the Secret Service. She was besieged by reporters, offers of magazine stories, questioned by the FBI, and subpoenaed to testify before the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, also known as the Warren Commission. The letters she and Marina had written to each other in Russian were translated into English by Ruth and given to the Commission as exhibits.
1970, 1971-1981 Ruth and Michael Paine were divorced in 1970, and Ruth moved to Philadelphia with her children in 1971, and took a job as Principal of Greene Street Friends School. In 1981 she became a school psychologist for the Franklin County Public Schools in the Florida.
Scope and content
SCOPE AND CONTENT This collection consists primarily of correspondence of Ruth Hyde Paine documenting her friendship with Marina Oswald, then the wife of Lee Harvey Oswald, along with related material.

Arrangement The collection is divided into six series:

Added entries

  • Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 -- Assassination
  • Quakers - Controversies
  • Quakers - Texas
  • United States. Warren Commission
Additional Authors and Contributors
  • Oswald, Lee Harvey
  • Oswald, Marina, 1941-
  • Paine, Ruth Hyde
Processed by: Finding Aid Prepared by FHL staff
Date: 1985
Restrictions: Use Restrictions Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.
Sponsor: Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries


Note to Researchers: To request materials, please note both the location and box numbers shown below:

Ser. 1. Correspondence, 1963-1966

Letters of concern for Marina Oswald and her two small daughters, sent to Ruth Paine
Some also expressed concern for Mrs. Paine, and some included donations of money for Mrs. Oswald.
11/24/1963 to 11/22/1964 Box 1

Letters of Ruth Paine and Marina Oswald
translated from Russian.
Spring 1963 Box 2

Letters about checks sent to Marina Dec. 1963 and Jun. 1964 Box 2

Letters to Ruth from her mother, Carol Hyde Dec. 1963 to Feb. 1964 Box 2

Letter from Texas Employment Commission Jan. 1964 Box 2

Letters from Civil Liberties Union Jan. 1964 Box 2

Letters 1965-1966 Box 2

Letters concerning Kennedy memorabilia collection 1965-1966 Box 2

Ser. 2. President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

Correspondence with J. Lee Rankin, General Counsel
Concerning the testimony of Ruth and Michael Paine before the Commission in March, 1964, and about the exhibits submitted by them to the Commission.
Box 2

Lists of numbered exhibits, including copies of the letters in Russian exchanged by Ruth Paine and Marina Oswald during 1963, and Ruth's translations of these letters into English. Box 2

Original letter written by Lee Harvey Oswald, and transcription by Ruth Paine Box 2

Ruth Paine's address book and date calendar for 1963 Box 2

Ser. 3. Grand Jury Investigation, New Orleans, 1968.

One folder, with reference to an article written by a Philadelphia lawyer on the investigation. 1968 Box 2

Ser. 4. Writings: Newspaper and magazine articles, with correspondence, 1963-1964

Article and letters by David Andrews, of Baltimore 1963-1964 Box 2

References to story in The World-Telegram, by Lee Townsend Nov., Dec. 1963. Box 2

Articles in New York Journal-American, by Guy Richards Dec. 1963, Jan. 1964 Box 2

Letters about article in The Houston Post by Lonny Hudkins
On interview with Mrs. Marguerite Oswald, Lee Harvey Oswald's mother, 12/30/1963.
Box 2

Manuscript and correspondence with George Harris, editor of Look magazine, and also Norman Cousins of Saturday Review, concerning a proposed article for Look written by Ruth Paine in Dec. 1963, but never published. Box 2

Letters from William Manchester, author of The Death of a President, setting up interviews with Ruth Paine Jun. 1964, published 1967 Box 2

Correspondence with Jessamyn West
About West's article published in Redbook magazine, July 1964, titled "Prelude to Tragedy: The woman who sheltered Lee Oswald's family tells her story."
Feb. to Sept. 1964 Box 2

Articles and correspondence with Helen Yenne concerning New York Herald Tribune articles published by Yenne in May and Sept. 1964. Box 2

Correspondence with Priscilla (Johnson) Mc Millan,
McMillan was the author of author of "Marina and Lee," which was not published by Harper until 1977.
Aug. 1964-Apr. 1965 Box 2

Photocopies of newspaper articles Nov. 1963-Oct. 1964, and n.d. Box 2

Transcript of CBS News Extra, "Nov. 22nd and the Warren Report", broadcast with Walker Cronkite and Dan Rather. 9/27/1964 Box 2

5. Audio-visual materials, 1964, n.d.

Filmed interview (16 mm.) of Ruth Paine by Jessamyn West, filed with moving picture films. (Reel 87) Box 2

Taped interview for Canadian TV with Ruth Paine (Tape 143) Jun. 1964 Box 2

Taped documentary on the assassination, hour-long (Tape 142) Box 2

Taped interview with Ruth Paine for NBC and ABC television. (Tape 141) Box 2

Taped interview with Shirley Martin (Tapes 143-4) Box 2

6. Memorabilia, 1963, n.d.

Petition for divorce 11/13/1963 Box 2

Loose papers Box 2