The 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy assassination has passed, but the stories of the assassination and other historic events of the early 1960s continue to resonate. The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza will continue its popular Living History Series throughout 2014, presenting additional firsthand accounts from reporters, law enforcement officials, musicians, government officials and everyday citizens who witnessed or, in some cases, made history.
Presenters in the monthly 2014 Living History Series include:
Maurice “Mickey” Carroll – Fri., January 10; 11:30 a.m. & Sat., January 11; 2 p.m.
A reporter for the New York Herald Tribune in 1963, Carroll covered the scene at Dallas police headquarters and witnessed the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. He co-wrote attorney Melvin Belli’s Dallas Justice (1964).
Eddie Griffin – Sat., February 8; 2 p.m.
A Fort Worth native, Griffin was outside the Hotel Texas when the Kennedys arrived on November 21, 1963. At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Griffin traveled across the country and became active with the Black Panthers.
Rio Sam Pierce – Sat., March 1; 2 p.m.
A Dallas police officer for 27 years, Pierce was in charge of basement security on the day of Lee Harvey Oswald’s scheduled transfer to the Dallas County Jail. Pierce drove his vehicle up the Main Street ramp at the same time that many believe Jack Ruby gained access to the basement.
Julian Read – Sat., April 5; 2 p.m.
As press aide to Governor John Connally in 1963, Read was traveling with the presidential party in Dallas. He was with Connally and his wife, Nellie, throughout the ordeal and later wrote about his experiences in JFK’s Final Hours in Texas (2013).
Kari-Mette Pigmans – Sat., March 29; 3 p.m.
Pigmans was a Pan Am stewardess aboard the White House press plane in the early 1960s and had met President Kennedy several times. She was at Dallas Love Field at the time of the assassination.
J. Walter Coughlin – Sat., May 3; 2 p.m.
A U.S. Secret Service agent from 1961 to 1977, Coughlin served on the details of President Kennedy, President Johnson and Vice President Hubert Humphrey. He was part of the advance team for San Antonio on President Kennedy’s trip to Texas.
J. Elke Ertle – Fri, June 6; 11:30 a.m. & Sat., June 7; 2 p.m.
A native of Germany, Ertle was an eyewitness to President Kennedy’s historic speech in West Berlin on June 26, 1963. She later moved to the United States and wrote a book about her early life, Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, in 2013.
Keith Shelton – Sat., July 12; 2 p.m.
A longtime political reporter for the Dallas Times Herald, Shelton traveled with the presidential party during the November 1963 trip to Texas and later covered the Jack Ruby trial.
Christine Lavin – Fri., Aug 8; 11:30 a.m. & Sat., Aug. 9; 2 p.m.
An award-winning folksinger and songwriter based in New York, Lavin has recorded more than 20 solo albums since 1981. After visiting the Museum in the 1990s, she was inspired to write and record the song, “The Sixth Floor.”
Nancy Myers – Sat., September 6; 2 p.m.
Myers was a headlining stripper under the stage name “Tammi True” at Jack Ruby’s Carousel Club at the time of the assassination. Myers knew Ruby for several years, having gone to Ruby’s Vegas Club as a teenager before working at the Carousel.
Pierce Allman – Sat., October 4; 2 p.m.
As WFAA-Radio program director, Allman was one of the first media reporters inside the Texas School Depository after the assassination. He is believed to have encountered Lee Harvey Oswald leaving the building. He currently narrates the Museum’s audio guide.
Eugene Boone – Sat., November 8; 2 p.m.
A Dallas County deputy sheriff in 1963, Boone discovered the rifle on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Prior to joining the Sheriff’s Department, he worked at the Dallas Times Herald and had contact with Jack Ruby.
Trini Lopez – Fri., December 5; 11:30 a.m. & Sat., December 6; 2 pm.
An internationally recognized singer and guitarist, Lopez scored his first hit single in 1963. A Dallas native, he briefly worked at Jack Ruby’s Vegas Club in the 1950s and went on to become acquainted with Kennedy family members, Frank Sinatra, and other notable figures.
All Living History programs will be presented on the Museum’s seventh floor and moderated by associate curator Stephen Fagin. Admission is $10 for the program only or $5 when combined with Museum admission. Advance tickets are suggested as events can sell out. Tickets are available online at www.jfk.org.
Each of the presenters has contributed to The Sixth Floor Museum’s ongoing Oral History Project. The collection includes more than 1,200 candid, informal interviews that recount the life and death of President John F. Kennedy, the history and culture of Dallas, and the 1960s. Anyone with vivid memories of President Kennedy, the assassination or other historic events of the era are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to contribute to the collection.
The Sixth Floor Museum is located at 411 Elm Street in Dallas’ Historic West End. For more information, go to www.jfk.org or call 214.747.6660.
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 a variety of languages. For more information, visit www.jfk.org or call 214.747.6660.