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The Sixth Floor recalls fateful November day.

IT IS AN UNSETTLING PLACE. The brick warehouse is not like Ford's Theatre or the Tower of London or other shrines to historic crimes. It lacks the safe distance of tragedy long past; it retains the power to wound. After all, most people who come here will remember where they were and what they were doing when the building earned its notoriety.

That is why, if you're in Dallas, you'll probably feel compelled to visit. Not for pleasure, exactly, but to see where American life irrevocably changed. Today the brick warehouse is called the Dallas County Administration Building. You probably remember it as the Texas School Book Depository. You remember that on November 22, 1963, at 12:30 P.M.--so all official, though still debated, accounts maintain--Lee Harvey Oswald stood at a sixth-floor window and with a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle assassinated President John F. Kennedy.


In the assassination's aftermath, many Dallasites would have liked the depository and the memories it carried erased from their skyline. But visitors from around the world thronged to the site, and in 1989, Dallas County acceded to their wishes, turning the building's sixth floor into a $3.5-million museum documenting JFK's death and legacy.

Because most actual assassination evidence remains in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., The Sixth Floor exhibition depends on photographs, documentary films, and recreated displays to trace Kennedy's presidency and his fateful Texas trip.

Next to a Teletype machine is the bulletin sent over the UPI wire at 12:34 P.M.: "Three shots were fired at President Kennedy's motorcade today in downtown Dallas." On a video screen, a shaken Walter Cronkite announces, "From Dallas, Texas--the flash apparently official--President Kennedy died at 1 P.M."

The exhibit isn't designed to answer every objection of conspiracy buffs. But it does present alternative theories about the shooting. You can see the infamous landmarks for yourself: look out the windows and there are Dealey Plaza and the grassy knoll.

The Dallas County Administration Building is at Elm and Houston streets. Hours are 10 to 6 Sundays through Fridays, 10 to 7 Saturdays. Admission costs $4, $2 for students 6 through 18, free for ages under 6. For more details, write or call The Sixth Floor, 411 Elm St., Dallas 75202; (214) 653-6666.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Dallas, Texas museum dedicated to John F. Kennedy
Author:Fish, Peter
Date:Nov 1, 1992
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