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This week, the last one percent of JFK assassination files that have been hidden from the public will finally be released. But what time will these files be publicly available? Unfortunately, the National Archives has not revealed an exact time for the documents’ release, but you can set up ways to be notified of exactly when the files are added. Since 1992, we have known that the deadline for the JFK files to be released was Thursday, October 26. A small selection of files were released early, in late July. But one percent of all the JFK assassination documents (and a remaining 11 percent that had previously been redacted) have still been waiting in the wings. And it looks like the National Archives is waiting until the last day to release them.
The National Archives has not announced the exact time that the remaining JFK documents will be released, although they have indicated on their home page that it will be on October 26. So you can expect the files to be released after midnight on October 26 and before 11:59 p.m. The last time the National Archives released a set of JFK documents was on July 24. On that day, they released them shortly after 7 a.m. Eastern.
An official with the National Security Council told The Washington Post that some agencies were asking Trump not to allow the release of all the remaining documents, but to continue holding some of the documents back. But from Trump’s most recent tweets haven’t indicated that he plans to hold anything back. The National Archives hasn’t given an official reason for not giving a specific time for the release. Questions sent to the National Archives on Twitter only elicited a response to email their public affairs department and “we will try to respond.”
If you want to know exactly when the JFK documents are available, there are a few tricks you can try. They’re not guarantee to work, but they’re your best bets. First, follow the National Archives on Twitter and choose to receive mobile notifications whenever they tweet. The last time they released JFK documents in July, they tweeted at the time the documents were posted, shortly after 7 a.m. Eastern:
Once released, the documents will likely be added to the JFK Assassination Records 2017 webpage here. Scroll down for links to an October 2017 release (all the links currently on the page are for July 2017.) You can also look in the upper right hand corner on that page or the homepage, under “What’s New,” to see if any new October documents have been added yet.
If you want to get a little more technical, you can automatically monitor both of those National Archives webpages to see when any changes are made to them. VisualPing is one app you can use to keep tabs on changes to those two webpages. The Chrome extension can monitor a page every minute or second and notify you about changes (if you have Chrome open.) The website version can check every hour and email you when changes are made.