There are many more places to visit in Dallas than we had time for, such as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, so named because of a generous $50 million donation from the adult children of Ross and Margot Perot. For some reason the building reminds me of the forts kids build, complete with a piece of artillery sticking out the front. It is worth at least a drive-by. The next time I'm in Dallas, I'm going here just to see if the inside is as intriguing as the outside:
The museum has dozens of exhibits about the 1960s, Kennedy's presidency, Lee Harvey Oswald's life, the timeline of the assassination, the Abraham Zapruder film of the shooting, the Warren Commission investigation, Jack Ruby's murder of Oswald, various conspiracy theories, and so on. If I have one complaint, it's that there isn't a logical path through it all. Headsets are part of the admission fee, but I couldn't always find the display that matched the sequenced narration. There was a so much information--photography, videos, newspaper clippings, clothing, and random artifacts. There was also a re-creation of the corner of the six floor from which Oswald fired the fatal shots. Tourist photography was not allowed in the main part of the museum, so I can't remember all the exhibits, but trust me, they were extensive.
However, cameras were allowed on the basically empty third floor, and the view from the windows was really interesting. The Presidential motorcade came towards the building on Houston Street, seen in the photo below:
At 12:30 p.m. it made the hairpin turn at this corner onto Elm Street and started heading towards the right of the picture:
Oswald was on the sixth floor in the far right corner of the Texas School Book Depository Building:
Of course, there are those who would disagree with this version of events. I noticed that someone highlighted the word "allegedly" on the placard that told the history of the building:
A morbid "X" is painted on the street where the limo was when JFK was struck by the first bullet.
Every now and then I have had a chance to stand right in the middle of history--but decades too late. What would (or could) I do if I could go back to that day in Dallas? Stephen King wrote a book that answers that question, at least for one of his characters. 11/22/63 is about a high school English teacher who travels back in time to 1958 with the express purpose of stopping the assassination. I haven't read it, but it's on my list.
Before 1963, before the motorcade, this part of Dallas was famous.