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

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to the Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20 billion In India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high profile visit 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid