JFK | KERA News

JFK

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Roads are already being closed in preparation for Friday’s Dealey Plaza ceremony that marks the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination.

Both Dallas police and city officials remain tight-lipped about security plans. Expect a heavy police presence before, during and after Friday’s ceremony.

Here’s what you need to know:

Tom Orr was just a kid when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. After witnessing Jack Ruby gun down Lee Harvey Oswald on television, Orr was surprised at how the assassination came to affect him.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Crowds have filled Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas throughout the day. They include media members, conspiracy theorists and tourists. Spotted in the crowd: a man playing bagpipes.

And Elvis has entered the plaza. A man impersonating Elvis Presley is playing his guitar -- and taking donations.

The plaza will be shut down soon as organizers prepare for Friday's midday ceremony that commemorates the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination.

Eighth graders at Kennedy-Curry Middle School in Dallas entered an essay contest about the legacy of John F. Kennedy. The winners were announced Wednesday. Here's the winning essay, written by Teriana Ward:

The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture

Larry Allums was a freshman at Auburn University in Alabama when he heard the news of President Kennedy's assassination. Coming from the Deep South, Allums has had to come to terms with the tumultuous social climate as well as the traditionalist views of his parents in a time where neutrality wasn't an option.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra premieres its composition in memory of John F. Kennedy on Thursday night. When the orchestra decided to commission an original piece for this 50th anniversary weekend, it didn’t turn to one of the graybeard composers with memories of that fateful day. It chose 19-year-old Conrad Tao, who was born three decades after the assassination.

Pete Souza/The White House via Twitter

Honoring the legacy of John F. Kennedy, President Barack Obama laid a wreath at the assassinated president's gravesite as a nation remembers that terrible day in Dallas a half-century ago Friday.

Obama also recognized a group of distinguished Americans - including Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey - with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award created by Kennedy.

YouTube

For years, the widow of Lee Harvey Oswald has avoided cameras while she tries to live a quiet life in Rockwall, northeast of Dallas. But earlier this month, the Daily Mirror, the British tabloid, published pictures and video of the widow, now Marina Oswald Porter, as she walked out of a Walmart.

LBJ Library

John F. Kennedy, the young President from Massachusetts, had a complicated relationship with his vice president, Texas dealmaker Lyndon Johnson.

But historian Mark Updegrove, director of the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, believes the two men had developed mutual respect by the time they visited Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Throughout November, KERA will mark the 50th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination by taking a closer look at that fateful day, what it meant to the country, how it changed Dallas, and more.

Today, we take a look at hate letters sent to Dallas following the assassination.

After John F. Kennedy was shot 50 years ago, hundreds of folks mailed letters to Dallas, many of them furious at the city.

The letters wound up at Southern Methodist University.

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