Arts & Culture

First Timer's Guide to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Understanding the enduring legacy of JFK.

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Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
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David C Justin
Posted on Nov 18, 2021

On November 22, 1963, the world was shocked when news agencies around the world began reporting about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Since that fateful day, JFK and Dallas have been forever linked, as truth and conspiracy weave together in one of the most compelling mysteries in history.

To set the facts apart from fantasy, as well as understand JFK's enduring legacy, the sixth floor of the infamous Texas School Book Depository was transformed into the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in 1989.

The museum boasts one-of-a-kind multimedia displays and timeless artifacts, films and photographs that explore the life, assassination and legacy of JFK in history and culture.

 

Featured exhibits include:

A Time for Greatness: The 1960 Kennedy Campaign.

With the first televised presidential debates, the 1960 presidential campaign between Kennedy and Richard Nixon was one of the most tightly contested elections in American history. This exhibit displays campaign promotional items, including postcards, pins and posters.

Civil Rights

With a wide variety of materials related to the civil rights struggle both nationally and locally, this exhibit explores JFK's impact on equality and the men who continued the fight in the years after his assassination. 

Cold War, Communism and Cuban Missile Crisis

The tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union almost resulted in nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. From the threat of Communism to the creation of fallout shelters, see the impact of the Cold War on Kennedy and America. 

Lee Harvey Oswald

One of the most infamous men in American history, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and charged with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Unfortunately, he was murdered by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby just two days after JFK's death. Learn more about the man who allegedly assassinated the 35th American president.

Parkland Memorial Hospital

After President Kennedy was shot, he was rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital. See the original administrative reports, doctor summaries and correspondence files related to the unsuccessful attempt to save him.

Mourning a President

Just three days after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the world united in sorrow as the fallen president was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. The funeral and mourning rites left impressions on those who attended or watched on television which still exist today.

 

Just outside the museum, the lingering effect of that terrible day can still be seen and felt.

  • On Elm Street, a white "X" on the street permanently marks the spot where JFK was fatally shot.
  • The Grassy Knoll, the small sloping hill next to the museum, is the site where many conspiracy theorists believe a second gunman fired on the president.
  • Dealey Plaza, the birthplace of Dallas, is where the motorcade passed through as JFK was shot and where modern conspiracy theorists still gather to tell stories and speculate on who really killed JFK.
  • The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial, located just past the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture, is a somber reminder of what was lost on that tragic November day.

 

The Sixth Floor Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults (19-64), $16 for seniors (65+), $14 for children (6-18). Children age 5 and under are admitted free. The museum currently follows timed entries and encourages you to plan for your self-guided tour to take approximately 90 minutes. Click here to purchase tickets.

 

Additionally, the Sixth Floor Museum is part of the Dallas CityPASS. For more information on this program, click here.