Dealey Plaza is today synonymous with the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. However, the history of the plaza dates to 1935 when it was dedicated. Named for longtime Dallas Morning News publisher George Bannerman Dealey, the plaza was completed in 1940. Construction of the 15-acre plaza was made possible after the Trinity River was rerouted to prevent flooding in the area. Home to some of the first settlements, Dealey Plaza is sometimes known as the “birthplace of Dallas.”
According to VisitDallas.com, “Phillip Johnson, a Kennedy family friend, constructed this stark and simple memorial to the late president.” The memorial is located in the Dallas County Historical Plaza and near Dealey Plaza, where President John F. Kennedy was killed on Nov. 22, 1963.
The Ruth Paine House Museum opened on November 6, 2013. The city of Irving purchased Ruth Paine’s small suburban home in 2009 to preserve the home’s history surrounding the tragedy. Half a century later, the historic home was restored to its 1963 look and transformed into a multimedia museum to interpret what happened in November 1963. On November 21, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald went to the house for an overnight visit with his wife and kids, who had been living with Paine. This was unusual as Oswald usually visited on the weekends. Video images projected onto glass panes depict actors re-creating certain moments, such as when Paine was shocked to hear Marina tell a police officer that her husband owned a gun. Paine lived in the house until 1966 and now resides in California.
Originally opened in 1989, the museum, tells not only the story of Kennedy’s assassination and the aftermath of his death, but puts into context Kennedy’s visit to Dallas, which was in essence the first stop of his 1964 re-election campaign. The most powerful scene in the museum is arguably the reconstructed sniper’s perch. According to the Warren Commission, Oswald organized boxes containing schoolbooks into the perch; the museum based its reconstruction on photographs taken on Nov. 22, 1963.