News / USA

Dallas Set to Observe 50th Anniversary of Kennedy Assassination

Questions About JFK Assassination Persist 50 Years Lateri
X
Greg Flakus
November 22, 2013 3:36 AM
As Dallas commemorates the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago Friday, doubts about the official version of the assassination persist. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Dallas, the anniversary has drawn many skeptics and conspiracy theorists to the site.

Questions About JFK Assassination Persist 50 Years Later

Greg Flakus
— A solemn ceremony will take place at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas on Friday, near the street where an assassin's bullet took the life of President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago. The commemoration has drawn people from around the world.
 
Standing at the corner of the former Texas School Book Depository Building, a TV reporter from Portugal notes that the plaque there refers to Lee Harvey Oswald as the alleged assassin of President Kennedy.
 
For many of the reporters who have come here from around the world, it is both Kennedy's legacy and continuing doubts about the official version of his assassination that hold interest. Nonetheless, the ceremony prepared by the city of Dallas will focus on the President’s legacy, not the conspiracy theories.
 
There will be church bells ringing, a moment of silence and readings of excerpts from the slain president's speeches by historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough.
 
For many years, Dallas was stigmatized by the Kennedy assassination, partly because of news reports at the time about right-wing groups that condemned the president's proposed civil rights legislation and other policy positions. Richie Gilbride, a writer affiliated with the Coalition of Political Assassinations, believes extremism may have played a role in what he says was a conspiracy to kill Kennedy.
 
"Dallas was a putrefying pile of hate in 1963. It was the perfect place to pull off a fundamentally evil, evil act," said Gilbride.
 
However, films and photos from the time of Kennedy's visit show huge crowds of people enthusiastically cheering the president as his limousine passed slowly through the streets. Bob Jackson was a photographer for a Dallas newspaper at the time, riding in the motorcade just a few cars behind Kennedy. He said that the national media gave Dallas a bad rap by claiming the city was engulfed in an ugly atmosphere promoted by extremists.
 
"The ugly atmosphere was a small group of people. [As for] the majority of people, all you had to do was ride in the motorcade coming downtown and see all the cheering people, not a bunch of protesters with signs and all that kind of stuff," remembered Jackson.
 
Kennedy is remembered in Dallas today with the Sixth-Floor Museum, situated in the building from which the assassin fired his rifle, and by the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza, a few blocks away. The city has grown and changed dramatically since 1963. For many citizens who were born in the decades after the assassination, the event does not hold the same emotional significance that it does for those who lived through those dark days a half-century ago.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
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 US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
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.

AppleAndroid