It has been more than 50 years since that fateful day in November, 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in downtown Dallas, yet it continues to be a source of perpetual fascination. Dallas has worked tirelessly to preserve the legacy of not just the president, but also the landmarks that provided a pivotal role in his death and the days immediately following.
The centrepiece of the JFK attractions is The Sixth Floor Museum of the Texas School Book Depository, the location from which Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot and killed the President. A variety of exhibits are on display, including historic photographs and films, as well as the famous camera owned by Abraham Zapruder, the man who filmed the only known footage of the entire assassination.
Just outside the museum is Dealey Plaza, a designated National Historic Landmark, which includes Dealey Plaza Park and the infamous grass knoll, the triple underpass and its bridge, a few surrounding buildings and a section of nearby rail yards. The museum offers self-guided tours via mobile phone, but many people simply walk the park and take photos at the “X” on Elm Street that marks the exact spot of his shooting.
In 1969, Phillip Johnson built the John F. Kennedy Memorial, a 50-square-foot, open-roof, concrete monument designed to the specifications of Jackie O.
In the nearby Oak Cliff section of Dallas, the Texas Theatre has been re-opened and is once again showing movies. The theatre is an important piece of the assassination puzzle because it’s the location where Oswald was captured hours after the shooting.
Those who are most fascinated by the events and wish to have a truly in-depth experience may wish to hire DFW Historical Tours. One of the guides is a member of the Dealey family himself. He or his fellow guide offer in-depth tours of the sites, some up to six hours in length, including transportation to trace the entire journey of the President and First Lady from the moment they arrived in Dallas.
Though the presidential assassination is a tragic part of American history, Dallas has done a remarkable job of preserving and advancing the study of the places, events, and people forever tied to November 22, 1963.
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Written by Steven Lindsey