News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
JFK
President John F. Kennedy's assassination is an unforgettable part of Dallas' history.Nearly 54 years later, scholars and enthusiasts alike are still processing details from that fateful drive through Dealey Plaza now that the remaining investigation files have been unsealed. For the 50th anniversary in 2013, KERA produced special stories and reports from the commemoration:The 50th: Remembering John F. Kennedy was KERA's live, two-hour special covering the official commemoration event at Dealey Plaza in Dallas on Nov. 22, 2013. Hosted by Krys Boyd and Shelley Kofler, the special includes reports from KERA reporters before the ceremony begins. Listen to the special here.Bells tolled across the city, and the event featured historian David McCullough, who read from Kennedy’s presidential speeches; Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings; religious leaders; the U.S. Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club; and a moment of silence. Read highlights from the event from KERA's live blog from that day.Throughout the month, KERA posted an online series called 22 Days In November, which takes a closer look at that fateful day, what it meant to the country and how it affected Dallas.We shared stories and memories in a series called “JFK Voices.” Explore our archives below.

JFK Voices: A Televised Murder Shakes A Child

img_3208___copy.jpg
Dallas artist Tom Orr remembered watching Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald on television.

Tom Orr was just a kid when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. After witnessing Jack Ruby gun down Lee Harvey Oswald on television, Orr was surprised at how the assassination came to affect him.

Interview Highlights:

On the magnitude of Kennedy's assassination: 

I think kids nowadays have seen so much stuff I don’t know if it really affects them, but back then, you know, you weren’t supposed to cry or get upset and you were supposed to be tough. But there was… nothing had ever happened, you know? It was the weirdest thing.

On dealing with strangers' perceptions of Dallas:

I went to an arts school – Rhode Island School of Design – and this is seven years later...I was at a party and some guy comes up and says “hey, you’re from Texas, right?” and I was like “yeah.” He goes “where” and I say “Dallas” and he said “Dallas?! Well you guys killed Kennedy.” And I went “are you kidding me, man?” I said, “no we didn’t.”

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and KERANews.org. She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.