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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: Choosing Sides In The Tumultuous 1960s

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The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture
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Larry Allums is Executive Director of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.

Larry Allums was a freshman at Auburn University in Alabama when he heard the news of President Kennedy's assassination. Coming from the Deep South, Allums has had to come to terms with the tumultuous social climate as well as the traditionalist views of his parents in a time where neutrality wasn't an option.

Interview Highlights: 

On the charged atmosphere coming from Alabama:

"I was from Mobile, [Ala.], and in 1963 it was a very critical year for the Deep South, especially in Birmingham. We were torn. There were many people who were against Kennedy. The 60s was a time if you were of an age, like I was, you kind of had to take sides. It was hard, hard to be neutral."

On coming to terms with differing viewpoints:

"My parents were very traditional. They grew up Protestant. My father had a deep sense of right and wrong, but he was not at all certain that [racial] integration was a good thing. Do I blame him? No…I don’t, because he really was a person of his age and I could see him struggling with those things."