Kennedy Assassination Anniversary – Kennedy Assassination occurred on, Nov. 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m. local time. This year marks the 48th anniversary.
Dallas officials and the Sixth Floor Museum — located in the former Texas School Book Depository where Lee Harvey Oswald fired upon the President — have announced plans for a large 50th anniversary event in 2013, and are raising $2.2 million in public and private money to restore Dealey Plaza.
Although some conspiracy theorists fear they will be excluded, and traditionalists worry about change, many locals praise the effort, saying it’s time they shed their collective guilt as “the city that killed Kennedy.”
“Dallas is still scarred and wounded,” said Nicola Longford, executive director of the Sixth Floor Museum, which last year drew 330,000 visitors from 133 countries. “For Dallas, this is an opportunity to look back and not ignore it, to move through it and be inspired.”
In the past, city officials said they were honoring requests by the Kennedy family not to observe the anniversary in Dallas.
Those organizing the 50th anniversary event — many of whom, like Longford, are not from Dallas or were born after 1963 — say they are not capitalizing on memories of Camelot.
Instead, they want to show the world how far “Big D,” the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country, has come from its days as a conservative outpost of big-haired socialites, oil tycoons and cowboys.
“People arrive and expect to see people walking down the street in cowboy hats,” said Phillip Jones, head of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Instead, they find a city with the sixth-largest gay and lesbian population in the country, where 40% of the population is Hispanic and more than 20% is African American.”
Many residents walking the city’s streets this weekend said Dallas should embrace the anniversary. They included suburbanites, painters in the downtown arts district and hipsters in the Deep Ellum neighborhood.