Back at the end of October, a few friends and I flew to Dallas. We went with one purpose in mind: to see the site of the John F. Kennedy Assasination.I was seventeen on November 22, 1963, a senior in high school. Over the years, I’d read several books about the assasination and seen countless TV shows and debates about the truth of what happened. My mental images were strictly from photos and TV. I’d often thought I would like to see the actual place where this terrible history was made. Click on the photos for closeups.
Texas School Book Depository. The name of the building has since changed, but everyone still calls it by the old name. The Plaza is smaller than it looks on TV, but it looks remarkably like the way it looked in 1963. This years marks the 50th anniversary of the assasination, so there were quite a few tourists. The window Oswald shot from is on the right corner of the building, second from the top. If you look closely at the closeup photo, you can see a box in the window, replicating the “sniper perch” Oswald used.
Houston and Elm Streets, the most infamous location in Dallas. Lunchtime crowds turn out that sunny afternoon to see the President’s motorcade. One of the people in the crowd was Abraham Zapruder. He had a movie camera to film the historic event. This is what he saw, standing on the same spot:
The “Zapruder Film” as his 8mm movie would be ultimately called, became the most watched historical video of all time.
Another view was from the sixth floor of the Book Depository. This was the view Lee Harvey Oswald had. The sixth floor of the School Book Depository is now a musuem, and the “snipers nest” in the corner is encased in glass. This view is actually from the seventh floor, directly above that window.
Suddenly, shots rang out. The President was shot. There were three or possibly four shots, depending on different reports. In just a few short seconds, President Kennedy was fatally wounded. Today the locations where the bullets struck are marked by X’s on the street:
This is the view from behind the fence on the Grassy Knoll. We were told the original boards from the fence have been replaced many times, as they are frequently taken as souveniers.
This is the view from the railroad overpass next to the Grassy Knoll, looking back toward Dealey Plaza
Lee Harvey Oswald worked at the School Book Depository. This is the boarding house where he lived:Oswald later shot and killed Dallas Police officer J.D. Tippitt. Oswald was captured inside the Texas Theater:
Two days later, Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby, after Ruby walked through this door and down a ramp into the Dallas Jail:
Bill Lewis, Jan Guiney, Ed Golat at Dealey Plaza.