JFK | KERA News

JFK

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas audiences heard two music premieres over the weekend, both commissioned to celebrate the legacy of  John F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of the president's assassination. Listeners of the symphonic work and chamber piece found the music moving and effective, whether they lived through trauma half a century ago or not. 

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

It was 37 degrees and a canopy of dense, gray clouds hung low over Dealey Plaza. Still, most of the 5,000 ticketed guests showed up, some covering their dark suits with clear plastic ponchos that ceremony organizers handed out.

Dane Walters / KERA News

The KERA News team was at Dealey Plaza and around downtown Dallas, capturing the sights and sounds of the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination. A ceremony was held at midday featuring prayers, patriotic music and remarks from Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and historian David McCullough. Although the ceremony is over, we'll provide updates throughout the afternoon on this live blog. (Tonight at 9, KERA 90.1 FM will air a re-broadcast of the midday ceremony.)

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Earlier this month, hundreds of people gathered to discuss the impact of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on Dallas. "Understanding Tragedy" brought together writers, politicians, journalists, religious leaders, scholars and others. C-SPAN3 is airing a portion of the symposium at 2:15 p.m. Saturday.

Dane Walters / KERA News

Fifty years ago today an assassin’s bullet ended the life of President John F. Kennedy as his limousine passed admiring crowds in Dallas.

For the first time, Dallas officially marked that moment today with a midday ceremony at Dealey Plaza.

But what was the commemoration meant to achieve?

Dane Walters / KERA News

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings' office has released the text of the speech he gave early this afternoon at Dealey Plaza at the ceremony that marked the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination:

A new era dawned and another waned a half century ago when hope and hatred collided right here in Dallas.

We watched the nightmarish reality that in our front yard our President had been taken from us, taken from his family, taken from the world.

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North Texans reflect on where they were 50 years ago when President Kennedy was assassinated in downtown Dallas.

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: A special JFK edition. Today, both Dallas and Fort Worth honor President John F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his assassination. Boston will, too.

BJ Austin / KERA News

Doctors Robert McClelland and Charles Baxter were part of the Parkland Hospital team that tried to save President John Kennedy. Earlier this year, McClelland talked at a conference about how the two witnessed the president’s last rites.

The two doctors were with the body in Trauma Room 1 when a priest arrived.  The position of the gurney made it impossible to leave without disturbing the priest. So, McClelland says, they stood "frozen" by the wall.

AXS

On Nov. 22, 1963, Dan Rather was far down the journalism totem pole, but he was in Dallas for President Kennedy’s visit. He was near Dealey Plaza when the president’s motorcade arrived. KERA recently talked with the legendary Texas newsman to get his impressions of what happened 50 years ago. He’s taking a look back at the assassination in a special on the AXS cable channel on Friday night.

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