Dealey Plaza & Sixth Floor Museum
Curator Gary Mack
Location Downtown
Status Open
Hours of Operation Sun-Thurs, 10am-10pm; Fri & Sat, 10am-Midnight. Open every day except Thanksgiving & Christmas.


"History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future." — Pres. John F. Kennedy

"If anyone is crazy enough to want to kill a president of the United States, he can do it. All he must be prepared to do is give his life for the president's." — Pres. John F. Kennedy


Plaza Description

Named for George B. Dealey, the Plaza was known as the Gateway to Dallas from the west. Dealey Plaza's beautiful lawns are divided into three basically triangular areas by city streets. Live oaks stand in small clumps, or line the roads, providing shade from the harsh Texas sun. A small, grassy knoll to the north was made famous by JFK Assassination conspiracy theorists, and still stands much as it was then, at one end of white marble colonnades built in the 1930s during Roosevelt's "New Deal" public works program.

Tall buildings now surround Dealey Plaza on three sides, with the fourth a triple overpass from which some people watched the Presidential motorcade on that fateful day. There are flowers beneath the oaks, and it was declared a National Historical Landmark District in 1993. Even today, thousands of people flock to Dealey Plaza on the anniversary of the assassination to pay their respects to Pres. Kennedy. Most of the time, however, the Plaza is almost eerily quiet with only the sound of traffic to disturb the silence.


Dealey Plaza is a significant part of Dallas history. The site marks the birthplace of the city, originally founded by John Neely Bryan in the 1840s. Almost a century later, during Pres. Franklin Roosevelt's “New Deal,” the familiar concrete colonnades and triple underpass were constructed, making this vehicular park an example of successful city planning. These projects were spearheaded by civic leader George Bannerman Dealey. After G.B. Dealey died in 1946, a bronze statue to honor him was installed in the park that already bore his name. Hailed as "The Front Door of Dallas," Dealey Plaza served as the major gateway to the city from the west and, equally important, as a symbol of civic pride.

In November 1963, Dealey Plaza’s image changed when Pres. Kennedy was assassinated in the heart of the plaza. Instantly, the cradle of Dallas history became known as an internationally recognized murder site. Grief-stricken citizens brought flowers and mementos to Dealey Plaza the day after the assassination. These were the first acts in the transformation of the area into an unofficial memorial site to honor the slain president. In October 1993, three decades after that tragic event, the Secretary of the Interior designated Dealey Plaza a National Historical Landmark District. This status acknowledges the spot where JFK died is a place of importance in U.S. history. Today, thousands of tourists flock to the Plaza each year, many of them wanting to see the “grassy knoll” so prevalent in JFK Assassination conspiracy theories.


6th Floor Description

Located in the Dallas County Administration Building, the 6th Floor Museum opened on President's Day in 1989 and is dedicated to the life, legacy and death of America's 35th president, John F. Kennedy. Extensive restoration was needed on the former Texas State School Book depository from which alleged "lone assassin" Lee Harvey Oswald fired the fatal shots. The floor is divided into sections, each one documenting a specific aspect of the tragic event. From the elevator, visitors step into a foyer where "Memory Books" are located. To the left is a display of the rifle allegedly used by Oswald. Other sections have movies and TV video interviews with on-scene reporters and witnesses to the terrible event. There's even a copy of the (in)famous Zapruder film which graphically depicts the fatal head shot.

Farther into the museum are sections showing how the Nation and the World responded to Kennedy's death. Newspaper photographs, network television newscasts and even personal photos and home movies are on display. The opposing side also gets its say in hard to find documents denouncing Kennedy as a "traitor," and "Hands Off Cuba" handbills allegedly passed out by Oswald in New Orleans. Information on Oswald, Jack Ruby (who killed Oswald on national TV) and other persons of interest fill other displays. Windows on the south wall let guests look down on the street below. In the southeastern corner, the window from which the fatal shots were fired has been restored to how it appeared 1963. Known as the "Sniper's Nest," it is the most popular exhibit in the museum. Directions are given to the Gift Shop & Cafe at nearby 501 Elm St.

7th Floor Description

Unlike the floor below, the 7th Floor is virtually empty. It is reserved for large gatherings, educational programs and guest speakers. Several free-standing walls house collections of hard-to-find photographs, articles and eye-witness accounts. The museum has the single largest library of JFK Assassination-related books, periodicals and documents in the world. Notice is required to use the "Reading Room," but researchers find the quality and quantity of information amazing. Museum Curator, Mr. Gary Mack, is well-versed in the legend, myth and conspiracy theories surrounding the JFK's death, and sometimes gives lucky visitors his own account of the event.

The 7th Floor houses a diverse, actively growing collection of over 35,000 items, some of which have never been seen before. This collection is one of the world's most important sources for visual, audio documentary and artifactual documentation of the Kennedy assassination. The Oral History Collection includes personal memories about the life, death and legacy of Pres. Kennedy, and provides insight into the history and culture of Dallas in the 60s. More than 600 interviews with a variety of participants have been recorded since 1989. The collections on the 7th Floor reinforce the museum's mission through identification, acquisition and preservation of documentary, photographic and artifactual records of the event and its continuing impact. The museum actively strives to continue collecting related research materials for study and interpretation in order to provide a foundation for its educational and public programming, as well as its exhibitions.


The site of the Texas School Book Depository at the corner of Houston and Elm Streets was originally owned by John Neely Bryan. During the 1880s, Maxime Guillot operated a wagon shop on the property In 1984, the Rock Island Plow Company bought the land, and four years later constructed a five story buildong for the Southern Rock Island Plow Company. In 1901, the building was hit by lightning and nearly burned to the ground. It was rebuilt in 1903 in the Commercial Romanesque Revival Style, and expanded to the seven stories it is today. The land was bought in 1937 by D. H. Byrd, who by 1963 had leased it to the Texas School Book Depository.

By the early-60s, the red brick building was in use as a multi-floor warehouse for the storage of school textbooks and related materials, and an order fulfillment center by a private business of the same name. On November 22, 1963, the Depository became the focus of shock, grief and outrage as a 24-year old temporary employee, Lee Harvey Oswald, allegedly fired rifle shots from the sixth floor into the motorcade of (then) President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. The mortally wounded President was rushed to nearby Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The overall conclusion by law enforcement of the time, including the FBI and the Presidentially appointed Warren Commission, was that Oswald acted alone. A second major government sponsored investigation — the House Select Committee on Assassinations — nearly 30 years later concluded there was a probability of conspiracy in the murder of the 35th President of the United States on 11.22.63 in Dallas.

After the Texas School Book Depository Company moved out in 1970, the seven story building remained a painful reminder of what happened in 1963. The building was sold at auction to Aubrey Mayhew, a Nashville, TN music producer and collector of Kennedy memorabilia. In 1972, ownership reverted to D. H. Byrd, and the building was subsequently purchased in 1977 by the government of Dallas County. After extensive renovation on the lower five floors, the Dallas County Administration Building was dedicated on 29 March 1981.

The two top floors of the former Depository — including the (in)famous sixth floor, remained empty. On President's Day in 1989, the "6th Floor Museum" opened as a response to the many visitors who came to Dealey Plaza to learn more about the assassination. The historical exhibition highlights the impact of Kennedy's death on the nation and world. Two key evidential areas on the sixth floor have been restored to their 1963 appearance, including the window from which Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired the fatal shots. Again, thirteen years later, on President's Day 2002, the museum opened a "Seventh Floor Gallery," which provides additional space for assassination-related exhibits, special events and other public programming. It also houses the museum's extensive library with over 4,000 books, photographs and documents pertaining to the events of November 1963.

In 1992, the former Texas School Book Depository was used in the filming of Oliver Stone's film, "JFK." Since its opening in 1989, the museum has been visited by over six-million guests, and provided many never seen before artifacts relating to the Kenney Assassination. It has become a tourist destination for visitors from around the world who want a glimpse at events which took place 42 years ago in Dallas.


Employee Position Notes
Gary Mack (NPC) Curator One of the world's leading experts on the Kennedy Assassination. Mack was an eye-witness to the events of 11.22.63.
Mia Nakamura Deputy Curator Mia is widely respected for her expertise on the JFK Assassination. She is also very knowledgeable on the many conspiracy theories which have sprung up around the event.
Nicola Longford (NPC) Exec. Director Ms. Longford has been with the museum since its inception, and oversees the daily operation of the museum.



Row Number Subject Location Notes
Top One Hist. Marker Depository The historical marker, exterior of former Texas School Book Depository.
Top Two Display Museum Sixth Floor Museum's "Grassy Knoll" display.
Top Three Curator Museum Portrait of Gary Mack, Curator of the Sixth Floor Museum.
Top Four Book Depository Dealey Plaza Exterior view of the Texas School Book Depository c. 1963.
Top Five Floor Plan Museum Blueprint of the Sixth & Seventh Floor Museum.
Top Six Portrait Museum Official portrait of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy.
Bottom Seven Sign Museum Sixth Floor Museum sign in lobby of the Dallas County Administration Building.
Bottom Eight Display 6th Floor The "Sniper's Nest." Probably the most popular display in the entire museum.
Bottom Nine FBI Photo Museum Texas School Book Depository in 1963, An arrow depicting the trajectory of Oswald's alleged rifle shots is superimposed in red by the FBI.
Bottom Ten Colonnades Dealey Plaza Marble colonnades built by Roosevelt's WPA plan.
Bottom Eleven Marker Dealey Plaza Marker denoting Dealey Plaza as an historically important location.
Bottom Twelve Book Depository Dealey Plaza Aerial photograph of Dealey Plaza.

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