Photo credit to www.hbo.com
November 22, 1963:
50 years later
10 months after the United States 35th president John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, an in depth investigation known as the Warren report was released. The Warren commission spearheaded by Chief Justice Earl Warren was an investigation launched by President Lyndon Banes Johnson to investigate the former president's death. The Warren report (the findings of the investigation) was published stating that the assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in killing the president.
People have been interested in the president's death throughout the years for many reasons: curiosity, intuition, and lack of belief.
Droves of people visited Dealey plaza and the famous "grassy knoll" on Saturday November 23d this year to experience the history that had taken place there years earlier.
Something has changed though, it seems that as the years pass there are less and less gawkers and history buffs that come to Dealey Plaza. "Nobody noticed the 49th," Jeffrey Engel, director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University, said of the JFK anniversary. "I'll bet you have twice as many people for the 51st as you had for the 49th. But for 52, the plaza may be empty."
It seems that as history has marched on Dealey Plaza and Dallas have become more and more associated with JFK's legacy instead of the tragedy that happened there so many years before. Dallas is home to Center for Presidential History, The Sixth Floor Museum, and The John F. Kennedy Memorial building. These things are also major draws to the city of Dallas. Phillip Jones, president and chief executive of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau said of the 50th anniversary "Certainly with all the press attention of the last year, there are a lot of history buffs who are going to be drawn to that aspect, and they'll want to see Dealey Plaza for themselves."
John Crawford, president and chief executive of the nonprofit Downtown Dallas said about the continuation of JFK's legacy in Dallas, "The result is that people, especially the young, will associate the city with the more positive images of the commemoration rather than the assassination. Now, it's become about the history of John F. Kennedy. It's less about how he died."
John McCall a Houston resident was in attendance for the ceremony. He plans to return for the years to come and has been a frequent visitor himself over the years. He worries that his kids may not follow in his footsteps though. McCall puts the historical legacy in context. "We'll see how it is with my kids," he said. "Images die, things get cold. Time takes its toll on everything."
Only time will tell if the 100th anniversary will be as important as the recent 50th.