News / USA

Dallas Museum Honors President Kennedy’s Legacy

Dallas Museum Honors President Kennedy’s Legacyi
X
November 20, 2013 4:19 PM
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, put the Texas School Book Depository building on the map of history. Despite several efforts to tear down the notorious structure over the decades, the old warehouse is now both a museum about the tragedy, and a memorial to President Kennedy. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh explores the museum’s unique role in helping people understand the Kennedy assassination.]]
Kane Farabaugh
— The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, put the Texas School Book Depository building on the map of history.  Despite several efforts to tear down the notorious structure over the decades, the old warehouse is now both a museum about the tragedy, and a memorial to the slain president.

The shots that rang out over Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, lasted just under six seconds. It brought an end to Kennedy’s  life, but marked the beginning of a decades-long struggle for a city to come to terms with its role in one of the most infamous moments in American history.

“That really cast a shadow on it," said Dallas deputy sheriff Gene Boone,  who was one of the first law enforcement officers to react to the shooting.  The city lost more than just a president that day, Boone said.

“We were almost afraid to go outside the community and let anybody know we were from Dallas.”

City leaders have long struggled to balance the reality of the assassination with the way it negatively - and unfairly - reflected on the city, said Southern Methodist University History Professor Jeffrey Engel.

“The event was really a source of great shame for Dallas, which I think Dallas is still dealing with 50 years later. For most Dallas residents of this time, they’ve essentially been trying to get out from under that shadow and tell the rest of the world, 'this is not who we are, this is not how we want to be remembered, and this is frankly not the image we want to present to the world,'” Engel said.

Helping to put the stigma on Dallas in perspective is the Sixth Floor Museum, located on the 6th floor of the former Texas School Book Depository. According to police, this is where Lee Harvey Oswald fired at the president’s motorcade.

Now it is a museum filled with exhibits which executive director Nicola Longford said is meant to objectively explain what happened.

“Part of the role of the Sixth Floor Museum is to create a neutral territory in the original space to help people understand what went on in 1963 and why this still has lasting impact today," Longford said.

The Sixth Floor Museum opened in 1989 and is now a top tourist destination in North Texas, attracting over 350,000 people a year.

“All generations, people from all over the world," she said. "And so we feel that we’re still trying to stay relevant and helping to put into context why this subject is so fascinating to so many people.”

Jim Tague was the only bystander in Dealey Plaza who was wounded in the shooting.  He still believes there was a conspiracy to kill Kennedy.

“It’s a good history of Kennedy, but it doesn’t go into the assassination," Tague said.
"I find fault with that.”

Despite Tague's belief that Oswald did not act alone, Longford said the museum is a place where all aspects of the assassination are explored.

“Many of the conspiracies can be debunked very easily, but there are a lot of unanswered questions that will always make this fascinating for generations to come.”

Fifty years later, Gene Boone now proudly tells people he was born and raised in Dallas, thanks in part to the efforts of the Sixth Floor Museum.

“If you come here and see it and hear the story, you can really fully come to realize that it could happen anywhere, at anytime," Boone said.

But fortunately a presidential assassination is not an event that has happened since, making a visit to the 6th Floor Museum a truly unique experience.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
November 22, 2013 1:21 PM
I don't believe that Dallas will ever live down that shame - as well as it still lives bright in those of us alive at that time and very knowledgeable about that tragic time in their city. This was just too close to everyone's heart - he was the People's President

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid