History of the Sixth Floor Museum
Once a school book depository in downtown Dallas, Texas, the Sixth Floor Museum was opened on February 20, 1989. According to four government investigators, it is the exact location Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President John F. Kennedy in November of 1963.
The Sixth Floor Museum Today
Take an intimate look into the life and times of Kennedy during your two and a half hour, self-guided tour at the Sixth Floor Museum. Exhibits are greatly supported through the Museum’s collections and programs and preserve the legacy of America’s 35th President of the United States through encouraging conversation, creating an understanding and increasing awareness.
Over 40,000 items related to life, times, death and legacy of President John F. Kennedy can be found in the Sixth Floor Museum bringing the John F. Kennedy and the Memory of the Nation exhibit to life.
1960 Presidential Campaign
One of the most tightly contested American presidential elections, many attributed Kennedy’s 1960 presidential win to his fine rhetoric and on-screen confidence. From campaign buttons to oral histories, this collection includes a number of items related to the 1960 presidential campaign.
1964 Investigation in Dallas
There were many questions behind the Kennedy assassination. In 1964, the FBI and Warren Commission came to Dallas to find out exactly what happened on November 22, 1963. Discover images and documents including the Warren Commission’s colored reenactment of the assassination in Dealey Plaza and decide for yourself what really happened on that November day.
Bernadine Stetzel Paintings
Bernadine Stetzel, an artist from Ohio reacted to the Kennedy assassination by creating 71 paintings of the president from birth until death. This unique collection of paintings is reflective of the impact Kennedy’s assassination had on individuals throughout the world. Admire Stetzel’s work dating from 1968 to 1985.
Bill Winfrey Collection
The Sixth Floor Museum came into the possession of Billy Winfrey’s collection of over 800 images, documents and artifacts in 2004 and 2007. A photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News, Winfrey not only captured significant moments during the aftermath of Kennedy’s assassination, but also photos leading up to the death of President Kennedy.
Dallas Love Field
Listen to oral histories and see photographs, video footage and artifacts contained in the Dallas Love Field Collection. Donated by the thousands of individuals who turned up to greet President Kennedy at the Dallas Love Field Airport, these photos, videos and recollections were captured just hours before Kennedy’s death.
Dallas Times Herald
Thousands of black and white negatives taken over the weekend of the assassination by the Dallas Times Herald were donated to the Sixth Floor Museum. Unique photos will provide you with a powerful visual record of moments like President Kennedy’s last hours and the outrage and devastation that ensued over the following days.
Tom Dillard Collection
200 original negatives of photographs make up the Tom Dillard Collection. Taken and collected by chief photographer of the Dallas Morning News mostly over the weekend after the Kennedy assassination and following year, Tom Dillard captured shots of the Kennedys at Dallas Love Field Airport, a photo of a bullet mark on the curb of Main Street, photos of Lee Harvey Oswald in police custody and images taken in 1964 of Oswald’s wife and two children.
From the 1960 presidential campaign to footage of his funeral in 1963, see how personal films can capture history on an individual level. The Home Movies Collection includes silent, colored films and historical footage of Kennedy throughout the early 60s.
Learn about the man who murdered Lee Harvey Oswald. The Jack Ruby Collection includes original television footage of Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald as well as Ruby’s background history from those who knew and worked with him. Images, artifacts and oral histories of Jack Ruby’s incarnation and last days in Parkland Hospital also reside in the Jack Ruby Collection.
Reflect on the impact that Kennedy’s assassination had both locally and globally. Lectures, panel discussions, interviews and other oral histories can be found in the Oral History Collection. They provide various insights into the Kennedy assassination and keep Kennedy’s legacy relevant to future generations.
Parkland Memorial Hospital
Study photocopies of President Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally’s medical reports from Parkland Hospital, where the president and Texas governor were taken to for care immediately after the November 22 shooting. Extensive reports and employee recollections are also contained in the Parkland Memorial Hospital Collection.
The Kennedy family had a great influence on American culture long before Kennedy’s assassination, setting trends, inspiring imitative items and more. When Kennedy was assassinated it spawned items for those who were fascinated with the event. Postcards from Dealey Plaza and items in remembrance of John F. Kennedy are some of the items in the Museum’s Pop Culture Collection.
John F. Kennedy and the Memory of the Nation Exhibit
The Museum’s main exhibit occupies the sixth floor of the old Texas School Book Depository. Supported by collections and research, discover the highlights of the social and political context of the early 60s. See what happened during the time leading up to November 22, 1963, the world’s shock, grief and outrage after Kennedy’s assassination and the lasting impact JFK has had on America and its culture.
The Early 60s
To understand the Kennedys, one must first understand the 60s. See photographs, artifacts and watch a short film that serves as an introduction to John F. Kennedy and the Memory of the Nation exhibit.
The Trip to Texas
Highlighting Kennedy’s visit to Texas in 1963, this section of the exhibit explores JFK’s political visits to San Antonio, Houston, Fort Worth, and Dallas and also examines the atmosphere in Dallas during the time of Kennedy’s assassination.
The Corner Window
Be part of the investigation of the Kennedy assassination. A re-creation of what was left by the southeast window in the Texas School Book Depository building can be found in this section of the exhibit. See enlarged photos and radio-teletype documentations of the first news of the Kennedy assassination as well as clear views of the Dealey Plaza and the motorcade route followed by Kennedy just minutes before he was assassinated.
The Corner Staircase
See the second evidential area, the corner staircase. Here the sniper that was thought to have shot Kennedy was allegedly found by investigators.
The Crisis Hours and Nation & World Response
See the immediate aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassination including media coverage that closely followed the story and the arrest and death of Lee Harvey Oswald. Handcuffs worn by Oswald during his arrest, a chronological timeline explaining the events as they unfolded and a video with highlights from President Kennedy’s funeral can all be seen in this section of the exhibit.
Learn about the conclusions the Warren Commission came to after an extensive investigation into the death of President John. F. Kennedy and the criticisms the Warren Commission’s conclusion faces to this day. Video footage, displays, forensic and ballistics tests and other materials are placed in the historical sequence in which the investigation took place.
The Legacy is a 10-minute film that can be seen in the exhibition’s second seated theater. Presented by Walter Cronkite, learn about the long-term consequences of Kennedy’s assassination.
The Seventh Floor
Don’t forget to venture to the seventh floor. Here the original sign that once hung over the Texas School Book Depository can be found.
The Museum Bookstore
A number of books, media, replica jewelry and educational gifts for all ages can be found in the Sixth Floor Museum’s Bookstore. Situated in the Sixth Floor Museum building, find the perfect gift for a loved one, or take home something special for yourself to remember that significant November day.