I'm in Dallas this week at my annual Sysadmin Meeting. I don't do a lot of touristy things, but the meeting venue is an easy walk from Dealey Plaza and the Texas School Book Depository Building, from where Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
Well, that's how I would describe it. But more on that in a bit.
Since then, the building has been renamed the "Dallas County Administration Building". But the sixth floor became a museum. And if your first reaction is: Isn't that kind of ghoulish?, my response is: Yeah, I think so too.
What I noticed first, however, was the oddball language in the descriptions I read. Here's one:
This is a permanent exhibition of the tragic events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Opened in 1989, the museum is located in the Texas School Book Depository building, where Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot the late President.Note the "allegedly"? Isn't that kind of unusually mealy-mouthed?
It turns out that the museum doesn't seem to want to take a stand on exactly what Oswald did or didn't do up there on that day. From their FAQ:
Q: Why is it called The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza?Oh.
Because the sixth floor of this building, the site of the Museum, is where a sniper's nest and rifle were found after the assassination of President Kennedy.
There's even a museum store, where ghoulishness is married to commercial bad taste. You can get a t-shirt with the building's image on it. (Just the thing to wear the next time the next time the president visits your town.) You can get replicas of newspapers' November 22/23 front pages.
The DVD for Oliver Stone's JFK is prominently displayed. And, generally, conspiracy books are interwoven on the sale shelves with conspiracy-debunking books. To be fair, there's a lot of plain old Kennedy memorabilia and straight history, the kind of stuff I would imagine you can get at the Kennedy Library. But the whole vibe of the place was kind of creepy.
The museum itself? It cost $13.50 to go in. I told the nice lady at the desk I would pass. I suppose I can be a little ghoulish, but I'm not gonna spend $13.50 for the privilege.