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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid