Friday, November 22, 2013

Totally Texas -- Dallas remembers JFK 50 years later

The miserable weather on this fiftieth anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination reminds me how often destiny depends on such vagaries as Texas weather. If Dallas skies had been cold and rainy fifty years ago, if there had been no open convertible parading slowly through downtown. . . .

But November 22, 1963, was a beautiful day in Dallas until a shot rang out. And whether you plan to attend today’s commemorative ceremony, here’s what you need to know if you’ll be in downtown Dallas today.

Streets around Dealey Plaza have already been closed or rerouted for the ceremony, scheduled to open with music by members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at 11:30 a.m., and ending at approximately 1 p.m. with a scheduled “missing man” flyover salute, which I’m not optimistic about, given the low visibility in this morning’s skies. The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza will delay opening until 3 p.m., remaining open until 8 p.m. Today only, audio guides will not be included with tickets for the museum. Especially today, I recommend buying advance museum tickets at

The 5,000 tickets for the official ceremony in Dealey Plaza have already been awarded, but the events will be broadcast live at three sites in downtown: JFK Memorial Plaza, one block east of Dealey; AT&T Plaza at Victory Park; and Annette Strauss Square, 2403 Flora Street, next to the Winspear Opera House.

Most local TV stations will air live or slightly delayed coverage of the commemoration. Live stream coverage will also take place at several websites, including www.jfk50thevents/.

Downtown bus routes will be rerouted until 4 p.m., when all streets are expected to be reopened to traffic. DART’s Red and Blue lines will be closed between Union Station and West End Stations only between 12:10 p.m. and 1:10 p.m., with shuttle bus service during that time. Orange and Green line trains will continue their regular schedules, but it’s reasonable to expect delays due to the closure of the other two lines. DART will provide free transportation to JFK-related sites downtown and in Oak Cliff on its D-link shuttles. For additional information about DART schedules and services, see

Street closure information is available at several sites. The most easily readable map I’ve found is at

All Dallas County government buildings will be closed today for the commemoration. For additional related events, see

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