Friday, November 1, 2013

Totally Texas -- Countdown to a tragedy remembered

Well, here it is, the last month before the 50th anniversary of the “permanent black scar” on Dallas history, as agent/editor David Hale Smith wrote in his introduction to the crime anthology, Dallas Noir. Following is a selection of events and exhibitions commemorating the November 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, 411 Elm St., is the ground zero of events. Today, November 1, it presents two programs from the Ochberg Society for Trauma Journalism, “Images that Shape History,” from noon to 1:30 p.m.; and “Why Storytelling Matters,” from 2-3:30 p.m. Admission is $10 per program or $15 for both. When I checked the site half an hour before this posting, approximately 150 tickets were still available for each program.  To buy tickets for either or both programs, see

Tickets are also almost sold out for the Sixth Floor Museum’s November 9 Living History program with the Newman family, the closest civilian witnesses to JKF at the time of the fatal shot. The program begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10, or included with purchase of a museum admission. I was not able to get on the website to confirm ticket availability the morning of this posting.

The museum is also sponsoring two documentaries. Both are free, but seating is limited. “JFK: One PM Central Standard Time,” screens November 10 at 1 p.m. at the museum.  Tickets are available online through the museum's website,

“Capturing Oswald,” premieres November 11, at 7 p.m. at Texas Theater (where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested), 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., Dallas. Tickets are available at

The Sixth Floor Museum will open Friday, November 22, from 3 - 8 p.m., following the City of Dallas’ official anniversary observance. For additional information about the museum, extended hours during November and additional events, see

The Dallas Public Library’s central branch, 1515 Young Street, exhibits “JFK - 50 Years Later,” memorabilia related to President Kennedy’s visit to Dallas, including news coverage and courtroom drawings of the trial of Jack Ruby (Oswald’s killer). Exhibits are on the library’s first and seventh floors. For hours and information see

The City of Dallas holds its official remembrance, “The 50th: Honoring the Memory of President John F. Kennedy,” in Dealey Plaza, November 22, beginning at 12:30 p.m., and lasting approximately one hour. Due to the small space, attendance is limited to existing ticket holders. However, video screens will be set up at three other downtown locations--AT&T Plaza at American Airlines Center, Olive Street at North Houston; Annette Strauss Square, adjacent to the AT&T Performing Arts Center, 2403 Flora Street; and JFK Memorial Plaza, 646 Main Street, the site of the Philip Johnson-designed Kennedy cenotaph). At this point, I’m assuming traffic will be rerouted around Dealey Plaza for the remembrance. The Sixth Floor Museum asks for visitors to allow time for the crowd to clear before trying to enter the museum that day.

On November 23, Dallas holds #JFKDay, a citywide day of service for community charitable organizations. For a list of projects and registration as volunteers, go to

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