Dallas, TX – Today marks the 48th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination in downtown Dallas. As always on this date, Dealey Plaza draws more tourists than usual. KERA's Bill Zeeble talked to some of them, and also has more on plans for the 50th anniversary.
On any day, the site of President Kennedy's assassination draws people from all over the world. Some who were alive in 1963 come to visit the place they've heard about for decades. Others, like 21 year-old Australian Gene Mudry, learned about the assassination in school and says the event reverberates for him, because it was so big.
Mudry: I mean it, it massive. Um and frankly, yes, i mean, it may be a ripple effect, the further it gets away the less powerful it becomes in people's minds. But I don't think it'll ever lose significance in history. I just don't think that'll happen, :41 so long as its being taught in schools.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza doesn't hold special events on November 22nd. Rather, Executive Director Nicola Longford says the museum honors Kennedy's birthday. But in two years, for the 50th anniversary of the assassination, she expects huge crowds and is working to raise $2.2 million to renovate Dealey Plaza.
Longford: Dealey isn't in a condition now that reflects well on the city. It is somewhat neglected so it's important that there's a collective effort in the community and with the city to restore it to its original grandeur.
Longford says about a million dollars have been raised so far. She says the 50th anniversary will offer Dallasites and visitors the chance to share and experience strong sentiments tied to the assassination that they may never have faced, even after so long.