News / USA

Dallas Honors Kennedy Legacy on 50th Anniversary of Assassination

Dallas Honors Kennedy Legacy on 50th Anniversary of Assassinationi
X
November 23, 2013 2:45 AM
On November 22, 1963 in Dallas, an assassin's bullets killed President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. On the 50th anniversary of his death, the city that is linked to the tragedy hosted a ceremony honoring the president's life and legacy. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more from Dallas and the Sixth Floor Museum, formerly the Texas School Book Depository from where Lee Harvey Oswald fired his deadly shots.
Dallas Honors Kennedy Legacy on 50th Anniversary of Assassination
Kane Farabaugh
On November 22, 1963 in Dallas, an assassin's bullets killed President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. On the 50th anniversary of his death, the city that is linked to the tragedy hosted a ceremony honoring the president's life and legacy. The Sixth Floor Museum, formerly the Texas School Book Depository, is where Lee Harvey Oswald fired his deadly shots.

Though she was a young girl, November 22nd, 1963 has always been a dark moment for Carol Chazdon. “For years after the assassination, whenever I would see the numbers 22 even together and see the words Dallas, it all jumped out at me in red in some way and invoked a lot of scary images, and for a long time I thought I would never come here.”

That kind of reaction prompted city leaders, in the past, to avoid the anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, says Sixth Floor  Museum Associate Curator Stephen Fagin.

“I call it this journey from assassination to commemoration because it's about the city stepping away from this fear and anger and frustration, and embracing this as a defining moment in American history, which affected not only Dallas but the nation and the world,” said Fagin.

Also See: VOA Special Report  John F. Kennedy, a Legacy Remembered

The mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings, completed that journey in a speech to the thousands gathered in cold and wet Dealey Plaza to mark the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death.

“While the past is never in the past, this was a lifetime ago. Now, today, we the people of Dallas, honor the life, leadership and legacy of the man,” said Rawlings.

Planners were careful to craft the ceremony as a tribute to the president, which appealed to Dallas resident Miguel Andrews. “I came here to commemorate the good things JFK did for society.”

Andrews was a young boy living in Mexico City when President Kennedy came to visit in 1962. He showed photos of his father standing next to the president. Andrews said that experience, and Kennedy’s call to land a man on the moon, were inspiring.

“To amass the will of the people to do something for a common cause, which they labeled it as the Space Race, but what we got from that was immeasurable,” said Andrews.

“I think his legacy is that much stronger because it was cut so short, and he was never ever able to see what he set in motion,” said Chazdon.

Despite Chazdon’s lifelong dread of Dallas, she said the commemoration has done much to change her feelings. “I think it's been very thoughtfully planned. I think it was very just and appropriate and I didn’t want to go anywhere else, I wanted to be here, I really wanted to be a part of this.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, would you join me in a moment of silence to honor the memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy,” said Rawlings.

Long after the bells stop ringing in Dallas, people will continue to visit the place where Kennedy died, a place that was the site of chaos and confusion 50 years ago, now a place for reflection and remembrance of a young president’s life cut short.  

Photo Gallery

  • President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy are greeted by an enthusiastic crowd upon their arrival at Dallas Love Field, Texas, Nov. 22, 1963.
  • The presidential limousine carrying President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy is followed by secret servicemen on running boards, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 22, 1963.
  • Seen through the limousine's windshield as it proceeds along Elm Street past the Texas School Book Depository, President John F. Kennedy appears to raise his hand toward his head within seconds of being fatally shot in Dallas, Nov 22, 1963.
  • President John F. Kennedy's limousine speeds along Elm Street toward the Stemmons Freeway overpass moments after he was shot at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 22, 1963.
  • Two unidentified women burst into tears outside Parkland Hospital on hearing that President John F. Kennedy died from the bullet fired by an assassin while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Nov. 22, 1963.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald sits in police custody shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 22, 1963.
  • Members of the White House staff file past the body of John F. Kennedy, lying in repose in a closed, flag-draped coffin in the historic East Room of the Executive Mansion in Washington, Nov. 23, 1963.
  • Mourners, waiting to view the flag-draped casket of the late President John F. Kennedy in the Capitol rotunda, line the sidewalk as night falls, Nov. 24, 1963.
  • A tearful woman is comforted by a companion as the horse-drawn caisson bearing the body of President John F. Kennedy passes on way to the Capitol, Washington, Nov. 24, 1963.
  • Jacqueline Kennedy, her children Caroline and John Jr., and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy arrive at the Capitol in Washington, Nov. 24, 1963.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, is placed on a stretcher after being shot in the stomach in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 24, 1963.
  • Representatives of all branches of the military act as pall bearers during the funeral of President John F. Kennedy as they leave following funeral services at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, Nov. 25, 1963.
  • Three-year-old John F. Kennedy Jr. salutes his father's casket in Washington on Nov. 25, 1963.
  • Former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy walks toward the grave of slain President John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, Nov. 28, 1963.

Interactive Timeline
Error rendering Timeline.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: Douglass INSIDER from: D.C.
November 22, 2013 11:34 AM
Historical truth is essential to our understanding, but equally important is Douglass’ dissection of the actions of those in power during the 1950’s and ’60’s in both domestic and international politics. Kennedy, he posits, began as a Cold Warrior committed to Pax Americana secured through superior nuclear military might. But the near cataclysmic disaster of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the isolation Kennedy experienced from his own military advisers forced him to reach out for help both publicly and in secret back-channel memos to his greatest enemy: Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

Kennedy had what some leaders might call a conversion. He turned toward peace. When the enemy is seen as human, everything changes. This conversion locked Kennedy into a death spiral with the military industrial complex and the CIA. They now considered JFK a traitor because he reached out to Khrushchev in peace, and because the CIA and the military industrial complex were fanatically committed to what General Curtis E. LeMay described as, “Pax Atomica,” the annihilation of America’s enemies through nuclear war.

Kennedy showcased his new vision in June 1963 during a speech at American University in Washington, D.C., by advocating the absolute necessity for nations to choose peace. “What kind of peace do I mean?” asked Kennedy. “Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living …” He spoke of his intentions to establish a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and he acknowledged the Russian people wanted peace as much as the American people.

It was this speech, Mr. Douglass says, that prompted “The Unspeakable” in the form of people within the U.S. inttelligence and the military industrial complex to act. Mr. Douglass tells us that Kennedy was well aware of his enemies and he was well aware of the dangers facing him. He tells the story that, until now, I don’t think America was ready to hear. It’s an old story of “prophets, kings and consequences”. It’s a story of how President Kennedy nearly started a nuclear war then turned toward peace with the enemy who almost started it with him It’s our story it desperately needs to be remembered and never forgotten.

In Response

by: Stan Chaz
November 23, 2013 2:48 AM
We are all battered by the brutal storms of life.
Some hide and moan, and whimper in fear.
But some ....some respond with courage
-- and with strengthened determination and resolve.
President Kennedy quoted George Bernard Shaw when he said:
Some look at things that are, and ask “why?”.
I dream of things that never were and ask “why not?”.
Hope and the human spirit persevere and live on,
and cannot be killed.
That is the eternal flame in each of us.


by: dan from: Vancouver
November 22, 2013 11:25 AM
Kennedy was shot by the front end of McCarthyite zeitgeist who found him too soft on communist infiltration and global Commintern.

Oswald was a Herbert Philbrick wannabe, who donned the latter's Marxist-style Halloween costume and went trick or treating to any American audience who would listen, but became strangely indifferent to ideology in his Russian days, digs and lifestyle.

Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid