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Tourists Converge on Kennedy Assassination Site in Dallas

President John F. Kennedy the day he was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963
Photo by Victor Hugo King,_Dallas_crop.png
President John F. Kennedy the day he was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963

Today marks the 48th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in downtown Dallas. As always on this date, Dealey Plaza draws more tourists than usual. Some who were alive in 1963 come to visit the place they’ve heard about for decades.

Others, like 21 year-old Australian Gene Mudry, learned about  the assassination in school and says the event reverberates for him, because it was so big.

“The further it gets away the less powerful it becomes in people’s minds,” Mundry said. “But I don’t think it’ll ever lose significance in history. I just don’t think that’ll happen, so long as it’s being taught in schools.”

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza doesn’t hold special events on November 22nd. Executive director Nicola Longford says the museum honors Kennedy’s birthday instead.

But in two years, for the 50th anniversary of the assassination, she expects huge crowds and is working to raise $2.2 million to renovate Dealey Plaza.

“Dealey isn’t in a condition now that reflects well on the city,” she said. “It is somewhat neglected so it’s important that there’s a collective effort in the community and with the city to restore it to its original grandeur.”

Longford says about $1 million has been raised so far. She says the 50th anniversary will offer Dallasites and visitors the chance to share and experience strong sentiments tied to the assassination that they may never have faced, even after so long. 

background:white">Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at Dallas NPR station KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues. He’s won numerous awards over the years, with top honors from the Dallas Press Club, Texas Medical Association, the Dallas and Texas Bar Associations, the American Diabetes Association and a national health reporting grant from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Zeeble was born in Philadelphia, Pa. and grew up in the nearby suburb of Cherry Hill, NJ, where he became an accomplished timpanist and drummer. Heading to college near Chicago on a scholarship, he fell in love with public radio, working at the college classical/NPR station, and he has pursued public radio ever since.