Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 next 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.
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.
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.
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.
The collection is divided into six series:
- Correspondence, 1963-1966
- Material concerning the Warren Commission
- Grand Jury investigation, New Orleans, 1968
- Articles and related papers
- Audio-visual (interviews)
- Miscellaneous memorabilia.
Donor: Ruth Hyde Paine, 1985
The following material, originally part of the collection, has been recatalogued:
- Tapes filed with other reel-to-reel tapes.
- Film in Series 3 stored with FHL motion picture collection.
- Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Finding Aid Author
- FHL staff
- Finding Aid Date
- Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries
- Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce items in this collection beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-RUU/1.0/.
Some also expressed concern for Mrs. Paine, and some included donations of money for Mrs. Oswald.
translated from Russian.
Concerning the testimony of Ruth and Michael Paine before the Commission in March, 1964, and about the exhibits submitted by them to the Commission.
On interview with Mrs. Marguerite Oswald, Lee Harvey Oswald's mother, 12/30/1963.
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."
McMillan was the author of author of "Marina and Lee," which was not published by Harper until 1977.