On this day in history in downtown Dallas, an assassination shook the world.
The day was 22 Nov 1963, and the place was Texas School Book Depository Building. This was building that was used to store textbooks for distribution to schools in Texas.
The Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald, an employee at the depository, shot and mortally wounded President John F. Kennedy, 35th President of United States of America, from a sixth floor window on the building’s southeastern corner as his motorcade past the building along the highway.
The motorcade was supposed to be driving slowing from Houston St and turned into Elm St. Three shots were heard when the JFK’s open top limousine reached the fateful spot on Elm Street. The Warren Commission concluded that it was a single shot that killed JFK and wounded Texas Governor John Connally. The “Single Bullet Theory” is one of the many controversies that arose from the Warren Commission.
In 1993 the three-acre park within Dealey Plaza, the buildings facing it, the overpass, and a portion of the adjacent railyard – including the railroad switching tower – were incorporated into the Dealey Plaza Historic District by the National Park Service. Much of the area is accessible by visitors, including the park and grassy knoll. Elm Street is still an active thoroughfare; an X painted in the road marks the approximate spot at which the shots struck Kennedy and Connally.
The Texas School Book Depository and its Sixth Floor Museum draw over 325,000 visitors annually, and contains a re-creation of the area from which Oswald fired. The Sixth Floor Museum also manages the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial located one block east of Dealey Plaza
From the 6th floor, you can also see the Dallas Arch, and the from the JFK Memorial you can see the Reunion Tower. Reunion Tower is a 561 ft (171 m) observation tower and one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks, with a lighted sphere at the top and a Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant.
The 1892 Dallas County Courthouse, lovingly known as Old Red, is scheduled to return to is original civic use. It will become the new home of the Texas Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Once again, court proceedings and the work of overseeing justice will fill the rooms of Old Red. Renovations should begin in early 2022, and then the Court will relocate from the George Allen Courthouse.
The event left an indelible impression for people of that generation, just like 9/11 would for mine. The question, “Where were you when JFK died?” was a common topic of discussion. Many mourned, not because he was the President, but a life cut short at such a young age. Many imagined how his term would turn out if he did not die. Many believe the world would be a better place if he was alive. Such was the optimism of that generation.
Visited in May 2018
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