Dan and I spent a wonderful 10 days in the Dallas area visiting with my sister LuAnn, husband John and her soon to be “adult” daughter Alicia. The weather was great, and the company excellent, despite what Makena had to say in her lost blog post! Today we drove about 200 miles north, to Oklahoma City. But I have several more things to post about our stay in Dallas.
If you have any interest at all in history and presidents, you must stop and visit The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. The museum is more commonly referred to as the Texas School Book Depository, the site of the assassination of President John F Kennedy. While LuAnn was busy taking Alicia for her driver’s license exam (she passed!), Dan, John and I headed to downtown Dallas to visit the museum, as well as the nearby Reunion Tower.
The sixth and seventh floor of the building have now been turned into a museum, and the window that Lee Harvey Oswald fired from has been preserved. The original floor, windows and lights are enclosed behind a glass wall, and replica boxes remain stacked just as the Dallas Police found them in that area. (no photography is permitted on the sixth floor.) When you enter the museum, you receive an audio recorder, similar in size to a cell phone, that plays recordings on dozens of displays set up on the sixth floor. You go through a chronological order of events on that fateful day, as well as the shooting of Oswald by Jack Ruby, and the many hearings that took place on the shooting.
For the conspiracy theorists, they do spend some time covering all the “what ifs” and “who else was involved.” It’s a very thorough display, but it will take a good 90 minutes to get through just listening to all the audio and the videos they have on display. We enjoyed it, but I did see some folks looking a bit exhausted by the end of the tour.
They do allow you to take photos from the seventh floor window, so here is a photo one floor above the window that Oswald shot Kennedy from. The Reunion Tower is in the upper left.
I marked up another photo that I took from the seventh floor window. (if you double-click on the photo, you can make it larger). The two red circles mark the spots where Kennedy was shot. The city has painted “X” on each spot. The farther spot, in between the two cars, is where Kennedy was fatally wounded. The trees have grown since 1963, so the view back then would be much clearer to the street.
Here is a view of the same area, from the sidewalk just in front of the building. Again, the red lines are where he was struck, and the green “X” to the right is the infamous “grassy knoll area,” popular among the conspiracy theorists that believe a second gunman was there. The “X” is also the spot where Abraham Zapruder was standing when he shot the 8mm film of the assassination. His film was the only film of the shooting.
I was always open to the possibility of a second shooter, until I physically visited this area and was struck by how small, and close to the street, the grassy knoll is. Here is a view of the grassy knoll from the sidewalk.
To put things in perspective, here is a view looking back towards the sixth floor window. Dan and John are in the ‘purple square’ mark. The blue circle is the spot of the fatal shot. The Grassy Knoll is not a big area. Everything is much closer in person, in comparison to how they show it on television.
There is now a web-cam hidden in the boxes stacked up on the sixth floor window. Now had that web cam been in place on November 22, 1963……!!
After visiting the museum, we walked over to the Reunion Tower, to view the city of Dallas from 470 feet above.And of course, I took another view of the museum.
Here are a few more photos from the tower.
This is the Dallas jail and courthouse complex.
Dan and John enjoying the view from the Geo-Deck.
If you are going to Dallas, be sure to check out the City-Pass, as it gives you a discounted pass to four attractions.
Quote for the Day: “Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” – Earl Nightingale