On my quest to do all things that tourists should do while in Dallas, a friend and I made a trip to the Sixth Floor Museum of the Book Depository. This is where Lee Harvey Oswald was stationed when he took the shot that fatally wounded President Kennedy.
It wasn’t a museum until 1989, which is twenty-six years after President Kennedy died.
I wasn’t born when this tragedy shook our country, but I have had friends tell me what they remember from that time. One of my friends was even there watching the motorcade/parade as it passed.
The museum was busy, with a large group listening to a lecture in one area of the 5th floor. The displays are arranged in such a way in that the museum guides you through the experience. By the time the shooting unfolds, a bit like the climax of a movie, the visitor feels like they know JFK. It is tough not to cry…I wasn’t successful and probably looked like a nut to others there.
The museum starts by setting the stage, introducing the visitor to the Kennedy family, Jack and then Jackie, the presidency, what America was like in those days. And then the photos and videos lead you to the corner of the museum. The glass enclosed area shows how the boxes were stacked to hide Lee Harvey Oswald. At the time, Oswald was an employee of the book depository.
Like any good museum there are artifacts and memorabilia, videos and photos, and background and final analysis. It covers a bit about the conspiracy theories that continue to exist.
The last item a guest passes on their way out of the fifth floor is a guest book that allows visitors to write memories or thoughts. My friend wrote what she remembers about that day and time.
If planning a trip, you will want to allow plenty of time to read and watch. The exhibits are so well done that you will want to stop and engage with each one. Be sure to pack a tissue, just in case!
I can’t believe that I am just now visiting the museum. Camelot has always intrigued me, in particular, Jackie, her clothes and her artistic flair!