The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza will observe what would have been President John F. Kennedy’s 96th birthday on Wednesday, May 29, with a special program that looks back at the extensive work that went into the creation of The Sixth Floor. “Assassination and Commemoration: A Conversation with Stephen Fagin, Conover Hunt and Lindalyn Adams,” will bring the museum’s two key founders — historian Conover Hunt and preservation activist Lindalyn Adams — together at the museum for the first time to discuss the decade they spent making the exhibition a reality while helping a community confront its darkest tragedy. Stephen Fagin, the museum’s associate curator and author of a new book that recounts the community’s efforts, will lead the conversation. The program starts at 2 p.m. and is free but tickets are required. Seating is limited and advanced tickets are recommended. Reservations can be made online through May 28 at www.jfk.org and at the door on May 29 if available.
The program signals the launch of Fagin’s book, ASSASSINATION AND COMMEMORATION: JFK, Dallas, and The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, published by University of Oklahoma Press. The shots that killed President John F. Kennedy in November 1963 were fired from the sixth floor of a nondescript warehouse at the edge of Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas. That floor in the former Texas School Book Depository became a museum exhibit in 1989 and was designated part of a National Historic Landmark District in 1993. Like the museum itself, Fagin’s book both carefully studies a community’s confrontation with tragedy and explores the ways we preserve the past.
Fagin begins ASSASSINATION AND COMMEMORATION by retracing the events that culminated in Lee Harvey Oswald’s shots at the presidential motorcade. He vividly describes the volatile political climate of midcentury Dallas, as well as the shame that haunted the city for decades after the assassination. Fagin narrates the painstaking day-to-day work of cultivating the support of influential citizens and convincing boards and committees of the importance of preservation and interpretation.
Today, The Sixth Floor Museum helps visitors interpret the Depository and Dealey Plaza as sacred ground and a monument to an unforgettable American tragedy. One of the most popular historic sites in Texas, it is a place of quiet reflection, of edification for older Americans who remember the Kennedy years, and of education for the large and growing number of younger visitors unfamiliar with the events the museum commemorates.
ASSASSINATION AND COMMEMORATION is currently available exclusively at The Sixth Floor Museum until its nationwide release in July 2013. Fagin, Hunt and Adams will be available for a book signing at the conclusion of the program.
The Sixth Floor Museum is located at 411 Elm Street in Dallas’ West End District. For more information, go to www.jfk.org or call 214.747.6660.
About the Presenters
Stephen Fagin is associate curator and oral historian at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Since joining the staff in 2000, he has managed the institution’s ongoing Oral History Project and contributed to collections, exhibitions, education and programming initiatives. The author of Assassination and Commemoration (2013) and an American History magazine biography of Lee Harvey Oswald, Fagin holds degrees from Southern Methodist University and the University of Oklahoma.
Historian Conover Hunt has served as a consultant and project manager for cultural nonprofits, government agencies and service institutions for four decades. As its project director and chief curator, she guided The Sixth Floor exhibition through a decade of development. The author of eight books, including JFK for a New Generation (1996), Hunt holds degrees from Tulane University and the University of Delaware.
An award-winning preservation activist, Lindalyn Adams has served on and chaired numerous community boards over the past four decades, including the Crystal Charity Ball, Junior League of Dallas Ball, Dallas Historical Society, Old Red Museum and Dallas County Historical Commission. Currently Chairman Emerita of the Dallas County Historical Foundation, Adams devoted 13 years to making The Sixth Floor exhibit a reality.
About The Sixth Floor Museum
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; interprets the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza; and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history. Located at 411 Elm Street in downtown Dallas, the Museum is open Monday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Audio guides for the permanent exhibit are included with admission and available in English, Spanish and a Family version (English only). For more information, visit www.jfk.org or call 214.747.6660.