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Visit the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

A Fateful Day in Dallas and a Moment We’ll Never Forget

Few landmarks in our country are more embedded in our collective memory than Dealey Plaza, where the youthful, inspiring, and recently-elected President, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated on the tragic afternoon of November 22nd, 1963. Those Americans who were alive at the time remember exactly where they were when the unbelievable news broke, with stunned families gathered across America around their TVs and radios in disbelief. 

After the initial shock gave way to a full-bore investigation for the assassin, clues pointed to an unassuming red brick building on the corner of Dealey Plaza, where shots rang out from the sixth floor. That same very building, which was the Texas School Book Depository in the 1960s, has now been transformed into the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Hardcore presidential history buffs and those learning about the JFK assassination for the first time will be fascinated by the interactive exhibits, extensive collections of artifacts from the time, and a museum experience paying equal homage to JFK’s shocking death and lasting legacy.

JFK Limo shortly before the shooting.

Engaging and Educational Exhibits, Bringing History to Life

When you visit the museum, you’ll learn about the timeline of events on that fateful day in late November while also getting an in-depth perspective of the political climate of the early 60s. One of the 90,000 items in their incredible collection is the editorial page from the Dallas Morning News on that day, welcoming the president to Dallas, an urban center whose population had grown from 650,000 to a million in the time between the end of WWII and 1960. Although right-leaning as a city, it was a homecoming of sorts, as Vice President Lyndon Johnson was a tried and true Texan, coming up through the ranks of state politics. JFK and Johnson campaigned throughout Texas during the 1960 election amidst a nationwide reckoning with civil rights, the beginnings of our involvement in the Vietnam War, and widespread social change and upheaval.

Every part of the museum presents a unique angle on this chapter of American history, including an exhibit called “Photographs and the Evidence,” which shows the real cameras used by different journalists on that day next to the photographs they took with them. Another exhibit features a built-to-scale FBI model of Dealey Plaza, with the exact locations of the presidential vehicles and the bullets’ trajectory. You’ll also learn how much JFK accomplished in his less than two years in office while diving into the events following the assassination, including Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, and other possible conspiratorial connections.

Planning Your Day at the Museum and Recommended Sightseeing Nearby

View of Dealey Plaza from Reunion Tower
Dealey Plazza Memorial

The museum walkthrough culminates with a trip through the sixth floor, where you’ll see the rifle Oswald used and his perch by the window hidden amongst boxes of textbooks, making that moment of our nation’s history feel more palpable and emotional than any history book ever has.

Before your museum day, browse their vast online collection, including the eerie black-and-white photos taken by Nat Pinkston, an FBI agent credited with tracing the rifle to Oswald. Other sections of their online database feature photos and memorabilia from JFK’s political campaigns, family life, funeral, and much more.

After your museum visit, do a self-guided walking tour of the surrounding area to see the different viewpoints of what transpired that day. Elm St, Main St, and Commerce St converge at Dealey Plaza, known as the “front door of Dallas,” where thousands of spectators gathered to see JFK’s parade through the city. On the opposite side of Elm St (an “X” marks the exact spot where the bullets struck JFK) is the infamous grassy knoll, where you can stand behind the original fence captured in the iconic video footage from that afternoon. Wrap up the day a couple of blocks over at the JFK Memorial Plaza, where a beautifully designed white concrete sculpture commemorates the spirit of JFK – an “open tomb” is framed by the sky, with the sun shining a light on a dark moment in our past.

When you stay at our Dallas bed and breakfast, you’ll be less than 3 miles away from the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, just a 10-minute drive or a leisurely ride on DART to the West End Station. The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but is open from 10 am – 5 pm every other day, with a timed entry for your visit. You can purchase tickets in person, but you will have to take whatever timed-entry slot they have available – it’s best to book online through their website and have your choice of times.

Stay with us at our Dallas bed and breakfast, where history awaits around every city block, and the spirit of JFK lives on.

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The Gaston is one of the most unique and comfortable places you'll ever stay! With its sleek and elegant features, there is no touch forgotten. Modern meets old in this refurbished and renovated early 20th century home the near downtown