Since 1963, the Texas School Book Depository has been the center of attention and controversy. The sixth floor window marks the designated spot from which Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy during his motorcade ride through Dealey Plaza in Dallas.
In 1989, this infamous landmark became The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza where over six million people have visited since. Located on the sixth and seventh floor of the former book depository, the museum offers information through museum exhibits and collections, about the life of President Kennedy including his assassination.
There are two areas within the museum exhibit that remain as they were found on November 22, 1963: the sniper’s ‘perch’ or square corner window on the sixth floor and the stairwell area where the sniper made their exit and left behind the alleged rifle used in the Presidential assassination.
The collections on display at The Sixth Floor Museum contain over 35,000 items including artifacts plus audio and visual information. Notable items include the film of the Presidential motorcade before and after the shooting as shown in the Abraham Zapruder Collection; the Phil Willis Collection of amateur photographs; KDFW, KTVT, and WFAA Media Collections; as well as the John F. Kennedy Funeral Ephemera Collection.
The gallery at The Sixth Floor Museum offers a permanent exhibit entitled John F. Kennedy and The Memory of a Nation. Through photos, artifacts, and documentary film, the exhibit provides a glimpse into the political atmosphere of the early 1960’s as well the Presidential assassination and the consequences the nation faced afterward.
A variety of special exhibits have been housed at The Sixth Floor Museum throughout the years. The current exhibit on display until October 17, 2010, is A Photographer’s Story: Bob Jackson and the Kennedy Assassination which features the talented journalistic photographs by award-winning artist Bob Jackson.
Besides exploring the museum itself, visitors are invited to use their cell phones to take a guided walking tour of Dealey Plaza and other nearby sites like the controversial grassy knoll. With over twelve stops in total, the Dealey Plaza Cell Phone Walking Tour takes about an hour to complete, however, you can follow it at your leisure.
The Sixth Floor Museum also offers a store and cafe plus its location in the West End Historic District provides great shopping and nightlife. The museum is open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) and visitors should take note that both photography and videotaping are strictly prohibited.
Flickr.com Photo Credit: LAHS Dallas Reunion 2007 by Vlasta2