Dealey Plaza and museum, a must-see for Dallas visitors

Just a few blocks away from the 2024 ED EXPO in downtown Dallas, visit Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum for a fascinating historical review of the 1963 assassination of JFK, and the assassination of his assassinator, a Texas burlesque club owner.

(NOTE: This story appears in the May 2024 issue of ED Magazine.)

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f you’re an American history buff, or just a citizen who lived through one of the most high-profile assassinations in U.S. history, you’re well aware — on November 22, 1963, the Kennedys, having just arrived on Air Force One from Fort Worth, began the day with a motorcade through the sunny city of Dallas, Texas for an unofficial campaign trip. According to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza website, the presidential limousine drove through downtown Dallas, with President Kennedy, his wife and the Governor of Texas waving and smiling from their fashionable Ford Lincoln convertible, which had its top down to enjoy the weather.

At 12:30 p.m., an assassination attempt was made as the presidential motorcade was passing through Dealey Plaza, with gunshots striking President Kennedy and Governor Connally. According to the Museum’s timeline, the presidential limousine immediately transferred the fatally wounded President and seriously wounded Texas governor to the Parkland Hospital.

Governor Connally suffered major injuries, but after four hours of surgery, recovered; the beloved President, however, was pronounced dead that day. Who would then become President Lyndon B. Johnson appeared on television at 1:51p.m. to proclaim a national day of mourning in honor of “John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States…taken from us by an act which outrages decent men everywhere…”

Meanwhile, efforts in tracking the primary suspect were occurring rapidly. The police broadcast a description at 12:45p.m. for “an unknown white male…armed with what is thought to be a 30-30 rifle.”

A rifle with that description was soon discovered nearby at the Texas School Book Depository and linked to the man who was charged with the murder of the President, Lee Harvey Oswald…who was then shot two days later — and, gravely wounded, taken to the same Parkland Hospital to be treated by some of the same doctors who treated his victim — and pronounced dead. The murderer’s murderer, Jack Ruby, was charged guilty of murder with malice.

Ruby, a club owner, who owned the iconic burlesque joint, Carousel Club, in downtown Dallas, and the Vegas Club, in the city’s Oak Lawn district, was assessed for punishment by death — while 250,000 mourners gathered to view the President’s casket, in a line reported to be three miles long.

It’s a story of unlikely humanity, national pride and criminal justice, followed by conspiracists and nationalists nationwide, and the Museum adjacent to where the assassination of JFK took place tells it best. The Dealey Museum, located within the former Texas School Book Depository building where Oswald’s shots were fired from, chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy with precision. Photos of the event are laid out across the museum with schematics, maps and timelines.

“I can’t recommend Dealey Plaza and the museum highly enough,” says ED’s Publisher, Dave Manack, who has visited the Museum twice already. “Whether you just walk over from the Hyatt to view Dealey Plaza or go to the museum, it would be a shame to be so close to such a historic moment in US history and not visit.”

The permanent main exhibit, “John F. Kennedy and the Memory of a Nation,” can be found on the sixth floor for a self-guided experience and DIY walking tour. Special exhibits, educational events and public programs are presented on the seventh floor.

General Admission tickets are $23 for adults and $21 for seniors (including convenience fees) online, or $25 for adults and $23 for seniors on-site. Rolling luggage and any bag over 14 x 22 x 9” can be checked for $5 per item, but must be picked up before leaving the Museum.

Enjoy all that the historical city has to offer during the 2024 ED EXPO in Dallas, beginning with the Dealey Museum, just a few blocks from the hotel where the convention takes place. The John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza, a ‘simple’ cenotaph, symbolizing the freedom of President Kennedy’s spirit, is just one block farther.

For those who lived through the 1963 assassination of JFK, those gunshots still reverberate. See where they landed at the Dealey Museum in Downtown Dallas (jfk.org).

Get your 2024 ED Expo badge HERE now while they’re on sale!
See you in Dallas!

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