The US is marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of former president John F Kennedy, remembering one of the darkest points in American history.

A series of official events have been scheduled in the city of Dallas, Texas, where the president was shot dead by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Mayor Mike Rawlings will address a gathering and military jets will fly over the city to commemorate the event. The ceremonies will begin at 11:30 am (17:30 GMT) in Dealey Plaza where Kennedy's open-topped car passed through the streets exactly 50 years back this day.

Kennedy, one of America's most charismatic presidents, is largely remembered for his leadership during the Cuban Missile Crisis, his cold war speech in Berlin and for ordering the failed Bay of Pigs invasion into communist Cuba.

"Today and in the decades to come, let us carry his [Kennedy's] legacy forward. Let us face today's tests by beckoning the spirit he embodied -- that fearless, resilient, uniquely American character that has always driven our Nation to defy the odds, write our own destiny, and make the world anew," said President Barack Obama.

Kennedy's voice filled with youthful vigour continues to strike a chord with scores of Americans.

Here are 50 historic images of Kennedy while the US marks the anniversary of his assassination.