Pondering a Murder in Dallas


I was in Dallas on business last week. One afternoon I wandered over to Dealy Plaza where President John F. Kennedy was murdered 51 years ago. The last time I was there was in 1983 close to the 20th anniversary of the assassination. Even then it seemed like old history. Not much has changed since then. The Texas School Book Depository is now a museum.


You can see where the shooter set up on the sixth floor. I didn’t visit the museum. It wasn’t open when I was there but I wouldn’t have visited it anyway.


And last year a new memorial was set up with an excerpt from a speech Kennedy was going to give later in the day.


And somebody has taped a couple X’s near where the shots hit.


Tourists dash out there to get pics of themselves with the X’s and run off before the Dallas traffic runs by.


A block or so away one of the most banal memorials I have ever seen, a cenotaph that honors President Kennedy. It was designed by Philip Johnson and was originally supposed to be marble but somebody made the decision to use precast concrete instead. I didn’t like the memorial last time I visited and I still don’t like it. 


I remember the day he was murdered. I was just an elementary school student in Price, Utah and I didn’t understand why it happened but I sensed that the whole world had changed. I’m getting pretty old now and I still don’t understand why he was killed and I still feel that somehow the world changed that day. 

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9 thoughts on “Pondering a Murder in Dallas

  1. Sylvia K

    I was there that day. I had come over from Denton where I was in college to go to my dentist. I’ll never forget it or the feeling of horror. I still get chills just looking at your pics.

  2. Leedslass

    Kennedy is a bit of a mystery, because he died so young, no one will ever really know his potential. Dying young always seems to keep that person “alive. Think James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana – I wonder what we’d have thought of them in their 80s? Not as much as we do now I bet.

  3. Leedslass

    Thanks for the photographs Yogi – always interesting to see how someone commemorates something. I absolutely agree with you re. the memorial – I thought it was a couple of storage containers on first glance.

  4. Lois

    I was in elementary school on that day too and remember feeling so sad and scared. About 5 years after it happened, my family was visiting Dallas. We were standing there on the corner across the street from the Texas School Book Depository when a truck passed by and intentionally backfired. The driver yelled “gotcha” at us and drove away laughing. I have often wondered how many times he did that and why he thought it was funny. I agree with you about that memorial. It is hideous.

  5. Beth @ "E." Lizard Breath Speaks

    neat memories. sounds like a cool place to visit. i love to hear my parents talk of the memories. i have asked about Elvis, Dr. MLK, Kennedy. it was a tough time. lots of folks have things to say or recall. nice to listen. ( :

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