Every day, tourists from around the world look up with wonder at windows above Dealey Plaza. This was the site of John F. Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963. Those windows have become a symbol of a mourning nation and one of the most notable controversies in America’s history.
Visiting the Sixth Floor Museum is one of the most popular things to do in Dallas, Texas. The museum explores every angle imaginable surrounding the death of Kennedy and the events leading up to and after it. Endless expert interviews, diagrams, in-depth exhibits, and interactive displays tell the story and allow guests to determine their own opinions.
The building was once the infamous Texas School Book Depository where Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot through an open window on the sixth floor. Visitors take an elevator to that floor where they can explore the museum and see, walled off, where Oswald is said to have been hiding behind boxes of books.
While you can’t actually look out the same window as Oswald, an identical setup is available one floor up to see what his vantage point would have been. Down below, you’re almost certain to see tourists (tacky, in my opinion) posing for photos where the shots are said to have landed. The spots are marked on the pavement, though the museum and city of Dallas are quick to point out they do not place them there and advise against standing in the middle of the busy road.
Consumer movie cameras were still a relatively new invention in 1963 but more than a handful of Dallas residents, some as young as 13 years old, captured portions of the motorcade passing through downtown. The Sixth Floor Museum shares those visuals and the personal stories from many of those now historic filmmakers. Visitors can view the famous Zapruter film, the most complete film of the assassination, and learn of all the many conspiracies surrounding it.
You’ll also run into a few odd characters on the sidewalk offering to sell collectible newspapers and sharing their own theories about the assassination.
The museum’s website has a calendar of public events that feature guest speakers and discussions about President Kennedy and his legacy, as well as the assassination. A recent guest, Ruth Paine, spoke to visitors about her ties to Lee Harvey Oswald. The rifle that Oswald used was stashed in the garage at Paine’s home. Other speakers include historians and local news broadcasters that covered the events on the ground that day.
If you’re looking for hotels in Dallas near the Sixth Floor Museum, downtown is definitely the best option, especially if you don’t have access to a car.
The Sixth Floor Museum is open 7 days a week with shortened hours on Monday. Tickets are $18.00 for adults and $14.00 for youth under 18 years old. Each ticket is timed admission every 30 minutes. Visitors are encouraged to plan for at least 90 minutes to explore all of the exhibits in the museum.
To learn more about the Sixth Floor Museum you can visit their website: www.jfk.org