How could we visit Dallas without honoring the memory of President John F. Kennedy?
This photo welcomes you to the Sixth Floor Museum, located at the former Texas Book Depository. Photos are not permitted once you enter.
The museum is filled with news clips, timeline photographs, artifacts and audio recordings related to the JFK assassination. The actual spot where Lee Harvey Oswald targeted the President has been preserved. A surgical gown worn by one of the doctors who tended to JFK can be viewed.
Most Americans can remember where they were or what they were doing the moment President Kennedy's assassination was made known to them. I was in biology lab when the loudspeaker at school announced that JFK had been shot. Some students cried, while others couldn't believe their ears. It was a dark day for America.
The museum is open daily from 9 am-6 pm except on Christmas Day. Admission is $10 for adults; $9 for seniors; $9 for students/children ages 6-18; and free for under age 6.
The Texas Book Depository is where Lee Harvey Oswald waited for President Kennedy's caravan to pass. If you count up six floors, the window on the far right corner is where the scene of the crime is located.
This area is glassed off in the museum, but arranged as it was found on the day of the tragedy.
So many years have passed since this event, yet visiting the museum was like reliving the day it happened.
Hearing the broadcasts again, reading the headlines of the newspapers and seeing film clips of President and Mrs. Kennedy from the start of their Dallas visit to the end result brought a wave of sadness. I had always hoped to visit the site someday, but I did not expect to feel this way so many decades later.
The exact spot where the tragedy occurred is marked on the street--somewhat macabre, but specific. This street passes in front of the Texas Book Depository on Elm Street and to the side of Dealey Plaza.
It's fairly easy to see this mark close up when the traffic is halted by a red light on the corner. Recently, when we revisited the area the "x" was not as clearly marked as before. I think it has to be highlighted every so often.
UPDATE: In fact, there were two "x's". One showing where the first shot was fired; the second illustrating where the fatal shot occurred.
Several witnesses testifying before the Warren Commission, set up to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, stated they heard shots coming from the grassy knoll.
A photo at the museum seems to show a puff of smoke emanating from that area. To this day, there is controversy surrounding this theory. The grassy knoll is located northwest of Dealey Plaza.
It felt so odd actually being in the area of the grassy knoll. For years I've seen this site highlighted in documentaries related to JFK's assassination, but until I visited it was just a vague place of intrigue.
Dealey Plaza has always seemed a part of the JFK tragedy. However, the surrounding monuments originally were placed here to honor famous residents of Dallas. Its connection to President Kennedy came many years later.
The park is named after a former publisher of The Dallas Morning News, George Bannerman Dealey and was completed in 1940. Mr. Dealey was involved in local politics and did much to bring about the renewal of this area. (This information is borrowed from Wikipedia.com)
The park is well-kept and visited by many tourists following the JFK route. It was mild and sunny in Dallas, so it made for the perfect day to absorb everything related to this historic area.
Dealey Plaza is located near the main sites of the JFK assassination. The former Texas Book Depository is located nearby on Elm Street and stretches upward for seven floors. This is the building where Lee Harvey Oswald perched at the window in order to target the President.
The grassy knoll is close by, as well as the street up which Kennedy's caravan progressed. When we toured the area, an "x" marked the spot on the road where the incident occured.
I wasn't going to visit or take a picture of the Texas School Book Depository of infamy, but we were driving by, and I DID at least take a picture looking up at the building (although we didn't visit). There's also a picture of the museum entrance. The third picture is the corner of the building at street level. I personally think a detail or the view from the Reunion Tower is more interesting then the pictures of the whole building from the street which make it look like a big brick block.
Anyway here is the information, should you desire to go to the museum.
Admission is to the entire Museum which includes two exhibits, the permanent exhibit on the sixth floor and the Temporary exhibit on the seventh floor.
Adult $10.00 US
Senior (ages 65+) $9.00 US
Student/Child (ages 6-18) $9.00 US
Children under 6 FREE
ADMISSION WITH AUDIO TOUR
Adult $13.00 US
Senior (ages 65+) $12.00 US
Student/Child (ages 6-18) $12.00 US
Children under 6 $3.00 US
Lisa Simpson the Marketing Coordinator wrote VT an email complaining that I had the wrong hours and the wrong admission prices.
Prices as of Feb 2012 have risen to:
Adult — $13.50 U.S.
Senior (Ages 65+) — $12.50 = U.S.
Youth (Ages 6-18) = — $12.50 U.S.
Children = (Ages 0-5) — Free or
$3.50 U.S. with audio = guide
Our hours are Monday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m = to 6 p.m. Last ticket sold at 5:15 p.m. For an optimal experience, we = recommend 90 minutes for your visit.
So be sure to check before you go for the current hours and prices.
A fairly imposing structure, this monument was erected in 1970 to honour the memory of President J.F. Kennedy.
It stands 30ft high and 50ft square. Its location is interestingly enough, right opposite the Conspiracy Museum.
The monument is an open air structure and therefore accessible 24 hours a day. At night it is lit up.
The cheerful yellow flowers belie the fact that a National tragedy occurred here. I was very glad that it wasn't a gray, somber day.
Dealey Plaza has been restored to appear as it did on November 23, 1963. Landscaping has been moved or replaced and various other changes made. A plaque reads that it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993.
It's become a place of reflection, from which all of the JFK sites can be viewed. Each time we've visited, the atmosphere is solemn and respectful.
Although you would not want to stop at Parkland Hospital, where JFK was taken after he was shot, you might just see if from the highway as you leave Dallas.
Look to the right, nestled in the center of tall buildings you'll just make out the name of the hospital on the face of the edifice.(please click to enlarge). My husband was traveling at 65 miles an hour when I snapped this photo! I was quite surprised to see that it turned out as clear as it did.
This is the infamous Book Depository where they say kenedy was shot from. This is now a museum dedicated to John Fitzgerald Kennedy. You can walk around and even see the Grassy Nole. There is an X spray painted on the exact spot of the assasination. It's interesting to see where it all happened. Just about evey American has seen the video footage and now here is your chance to check it out for yourself. Who knows maybe you will dicover what actually happened that notorious day.
When I was first in Dallas at a convention in 1997, the city tour went by Dealey Plaza and the School Book Depository where I took the inset picture from the bus. It is inset into the photo I took from the car in 2004 at the same place. (Note - I'm higher up in the bus)
The actual history of Dealey Plaza is far more interesting (to me) than all the endless speculation and alternative theories about JFK's assassination.
In December 1910, the Dallas Morning News and publisher George Dealey began to advocate for a union station, to replace the six railroad stations and downtown maze of tracks in Dallas. In 1912, the 8 railroad companies agreed to form the Dallas Union Terminal Company. The nearby flood-prone Trinity River was dredged, its course altered by a mile, and 19 miles of approach track were laid.
The city acquired the Plaza for construction of the Triple Underpass, which opened in 1936. The open park setting was named in honor of George Bannerman Dealey (1859-1946). A WPA project resulted in new landscaping, including the planting of Texas Oaks and construction of Art Deco concrete peristyles atop each slope that funnelled westward toward the Underpass.
The southeast of the Plaza contains the "Old Red" Courthouse, built on a plot Byran donated. Completed in 1892, "Old Red," along with the Texas School Book Depository and 501 Elm, are all that remain of Old Dallas in Dealey Plaza.
On the same block as "Old Red" is the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial, built in 1970 by the city of Dallas; the white-stone cenotaph is meant to symbolize an open tomb.
On November 22, 1993, Dealey Plaza — including all surrounding buildings, the Triple Underpass and parts of the North Yard — was dedicated as a National Historic Landmark District. At the ceremony, a National Park Service bronze plaque mounted on Texas pink granite was unveiled.
Traffic continues to funnel beneath the Triple Underpass. By luck and chance, Dealey Plaza appears much as it did when the shooting took place.
The Sixth Floor Museum is located on the sixth floor of the former Texas School Book Depository in Downtown Dallas, where Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired the shots that killed President John F. Kennedy as he passed the building in a motorcade. The museum briefly walks you through the years leading up to his presidency, the events that happened during his presidency, the day of the assassination, what happened to Lee Harvey Oswald until he too is killed, and investigations into JFK’s death. It also covers a few conspiracy theories. The combination of story, photos, video, and audio really brings the entire exhibit to life and makes you feel like you are there when all the events are unfolding. Since JFK was killed before I was born, I never understood why he became so legendary to so many Americans of the generation before me but now I grieved for him too. I also learned that the Governor of Texas rode in JFK’s car and was wounded twice. Lee Harvey Oswald also allegedly killed a Dallas police officer that day. The museum recreated two corners sixth floor as they were on the day JFK was killed. The first corner was the window where Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly perched to fire the shots at JFK’s motorcade. The second corner was where Oswald’s gun was found. From the windows, you can see two white x’s on Houston Street that mark where the shots hit JFK. The museum is a little eerie (maybe because I went in the evening) but very informative. I feel like I shared in a piece of American history. Admission is $10 for adults and parking is $6. There is a small gift shop on the ground floor.
If you are interested in JFK, or at least the assassination conspiracy, then this is the place to visit! This is a great museum set up on the sixth floor of the school book depository, where the alleged shooter was located. In fact, you can look out the same window and get the view from where Oswald supposedly stood. There is a lot of information about Kennedy and the assassination. There are TV screens located throughout the tour that play different clips of things, and there is also a short film. You have the option of getting a guided audio tour (a headset and tape) for $3 extra. The audio tours are offered in 7 different languages. But, as with most audio tours, it is not absolutely necessary.
Daily from 9a-6p (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)
$10 adults / $9 seniors and children (6-18) / Free for children under 6
Unless you are a hardcore conspiracy theorist, this is a quick yet essential side trip that can bee accomplished in about an hour or so. Do a quick drive through Dealy Plaza, and notice the X painted on the road which marks the location of the car at the time of the assasination and take a peek at the "Grassy Knoll." Find a garage or a lot to park in and do a quick run through the museum. The guides in the museum are open, funny, and don't shirk discussions about conspiracy.
If you want to make it a JFK day, you can then head over to Campisi's Egyptian Lounge (an Italian Restaurant regardless of the name) off Mockingbird Lane and Greenville Ave, where Jack Ruby was a regular customer. The owner, Joe Campisi, was also the first person to visit Ruby after he was arrested. Joe later testified before the Warren Commission due to his relationship with Ruby. The restaurant is still family owned and, heck, you might even run into Amber, Joe's grand daughter, and former Playboy centerfold who still works there occassionally.