If you are coming to Dallas, you OWE YOURSELF a tour of the Assasination sites!

Please link to my Dallas TOUR INFORMATION SITE)

( If your interest is the JFK Assassination, my main slant on the event is Dallas and Dealey Plaza HISTORY! You can check out excerpts from my book on the subject at: D in the Heart of Texas)

Torch.gif - 0.0 K JFK Information and Assassination Area

Kennedy3.jpg - 0.0 KJohn Fitzgerald Kennedy

My interest in the JFK Assassination began in a very rude way...by being beaten up!! I was born in the city of Dallas, as a remote relative to the George Bannerman Dealey that "Dealey Plaza" was named in honor of. However, I moved to Denver, Colorado, with my mother and stepfamily during July of 1963, and was attending the beginning of 3rd grade at the time of the assassination. Being from Dallas, and being named Dealey, was apparently all the excuse that ferocious 4th and 5th graders required to beat up on a 3rd grader, so I spent the next couple of months fighting on a weekly basis.

I have always been interested in the Assassination, and started gathering anything I could find on it after moving back to Dallas in 1983. I am not what you would consider a major researcher, and have not spent a small fortune gathering assassination books and materials. I have attended a number of November 22 ceremonies at Dealey Plaza, and have attended at least five multi-day conference with many of the genuine researchers. But I do stay in contact with some of the research groups, and even offer to play host and show city sites to some of them from time to time.

As I got in contact with the bonafide research groups, it was because my interest was triggered by the existence and history of Dealey Plaza. As such, my area of interest is more about the history of Dallas, George B. Dealey's part in it, and Dealey Plaza itself. Below is an overhead shot of Dealey Plaza taken in late 1963:

For those of you who have never been to Dallas, and especially Dealey Plaza, a tour of it is online at My Online trip to Dallas, by Henry May

I have been with many people when they have first seen Dealey Plaza, and universally they mention one thing:

"It looks so much smaller than I thought it would!"

It is about 2 small city blocks wide, by 2 small city blocks long. (Counting to where it goes under the triple underpass.) If you look closely at the cars, you can determine that you could only park about 20 of them along Main street (center), and even less along Houston street (by the buildings on the top). With this in mind, it is quite easy to understand how a person in any of the buildings with a high-powered rifle, could turn this little area into a "kill zone". This is even more acute when you consider that only the North side of Dealey Plaza (to your left) was even involved. (Unless you count some of the wilder theories.)

Dealey Plaza is also very much on a hill. Houston street is the top of the hill, but it is level with the train tracks on the Triple Overpass. The entire Plaza was originally level with this, but was 'dug out' to create the Triple Underpass. This means all 3 roads go downhill so that they can pass under the overpass, within the span of the 400 feet or so of the plaza. The sides of the plaza are also very sloped, with the walkway of the curved pergolas being about 10-12 feet above the road surfaces closest to them. The areas behind the curved pergolas are another 3-4 feet above this, with steps going up behind the pergolas. The picket fence (where the other shooter(s) is alleged to be) is level with the train tracks, on this 3-4 feet higher area. The grassy area leading to the pergolas and especially up the side of the road next to the picket fence is the famous 'grassy knoll' that everyone talks about. The buildings, the hills on both sides, and the embankment of the triple underpass itself create a kind of amphitheater, where the echoes of rifle shots could easily get very confusing.

I can give you a little history of Dealey Plaza. To help out with some of the details, some of the areas are marked out on this version of the picture:

1. DalTex Building (some theories have a shooter on the roof)
2. Old Red Courthouse (the oldest and most impressive building)
3. George B. Dealey statue (in the center of curved archway above number)
4. Triple Underpass (railroad tracks cross the 3 streets)
5. Picket Fence Area (above these parked cars - below curved archway)
6. Mary Mormon (a witness that took a famed photograph)
7. (in)famous Texas School Book Depository

The RED line is the route. (Forgive my unsteady hand...but the jagged part is about where the hits occurred, with the fatal head shot(s?) in between Mary Mormon and the corner of the picket fence.)

The street running up and down the middle is Main St., with the curved street on the left being Elm St. and the one on the right being Commerce St. The street across the top of the Plaza is Houston St. Elm, Main and Commerce streets are one-way streets, with both Elm and Main heading toward the Triple Underpass. Stemmons Freeway (Interstate 35) is just below the triple underpass, out of view, and Elm hits the access ramp to go north on the freeway. In November of 1963, Main St. was a two-way street, although the street was cordoned off for the motorcade that day.

Between Elm St. and Main St. is a concrete curb that runs past to the Stemmons Freeway entrance (out of sight below the triple underpass), and a sign prohibiting a turn to Stemmons. Many people question why the motorcade took such a radical turn on Houston, to get over onto Elm St., instead of just continuing on Main St.

freeway.jpg - 37KThey say it was so they could take the detour to 'the kill zone'. However, it is almost impossible to turn from Main St. to Stemmons Freeway (you would have to run over the sign, jump the curb and other things a long limousine does not do easily). It is only logical to take Elm St. (Now the entire trip to Dealey Plaza may have been, in itself, a detour to the Kill Zone, as it is quite logical to travel straight from Love Field to the Trade Mart. Unless you are campaigning for re-election, and WANT the opportunity for the downtown citizens of Dallas to see you in a parade!)

Dealey Plaza has not always looked like this. Before Dealey Plaza was built (1936), the area contained 3 city blocks, full of buildings and businesses. Another street, named Broadway, ran north-south (left-right from this view) through the middle of it. West of Broadway was the railroad tracks. All three streets were straight prior to the Plaza being built. Where the Triple Overpass is was once the banks of the Trinity River, until the Trinity River Levee project in the 1920's moved the Trinity about 1/2 a mile further west. The train tracks were right beside the river, and most of this area was severely flooded in the Trinity flood of 1908.

Covering some of the other buildings around Dealey Plaza: The most famous of which is the Texas School Book Depository, which was built in 1901 as the "Southern Rock Island Plow Co." building. It used to have these words around the top of the building, just below the roof decorations. I do not know when it changed hands and started being used to store textbooks.

Going clockwise from there, you have the DalTex building sitting directly across Houston St. from the TSBD. Many assassination theories have snipers on the roof, 2nd or 3rd floor of this building. Some theorize that this was done to get into a crossfire, which was the reason for delaying until Kennedy had turned onto Elm St.

Continuing around, you have the two-part Criminal Courts Building. Part of this building houses some holding cells for the criminals waiting to appear in court. On the day of the shooting some of the people in the courthouse reported seeing a man with a rifle in the TSBD, but could not get the guard's attention in time.

The red Courthouse is the oldest building here (completed in 1893), and used to have a bell tower on the top of the center of it (there is still a flat area in the center where a taller bell tower used to be). The bell tower was torn down shortly after World War I, due to the fear of structural damage from the loud toll of the bell. At least one witness took a film from a window in the curved part of this building, which has recently surfaced.

The other buildings, on the side of Dealey Plaza away from the TSBD had no real major involvement in the event as, even though they had some witnesses who saw smoke from the grassy knoll, they were too far away to discern anything of detail. The big white one across from the Old Red Courthouse is the Dallas County Courthouse, which was under construction in November 63. The white building on the extreme right was, at that time, the Terminal Annex for the US Postal Service. Some witnesses and Postal Inspectors were here, and both Oswald and Ruby had PO Boxes here at the time of the assassination.

Just as a point of interest, behind the Criminal Courts Building, is the County Records Building (you can see its roof). Just beyond that street which runs behind the County Records Building and the Old Red Courthouse in this view (Record St.), is a block of scenic open space. On the County Records side of that scenic open space, is the original log cabin of John Neely Bryan, who founded Dallas on his claim of 640 acres, back in 1842. The original location of his cabin was on the north (left) side of Commerce St. (the curved one to the right), between Houston St. and the Trinity River (where the Triple Underpass is now). This puts the first house of Dallas right in the middle of what is now Dealey Plaza.

On the block beyond the Old Red Courthouse is a memorial to John F. Kennedy (you can see cars parked on that block in this picture, but the memorial was built after this picture was taken). On November 22, 1993, on the 30th anniversary of the event, at a ceremony I attended, they put a plaque on the grassy knoll closest to where he got the fatal head wound. They have also modified the arch area at the left top of this view to talk about the Assassination.

Although Dealey Plaza is mainly only remembered for that dreary day in November, 1963, it is the initial site of Dallas, and remains one of the most historic sites in the area. (More on the history of Dallas and George Bannerman Dealey can be found on my Dallas page.)

Like everyone else who has followed the Assassination, I also have an opinion. It is a wimpy opinion, and certainly not one I can call my own, but I still have it.

Below are a number of links for information about JFK and the events of November 22, 1963. I 'borrowed' most of these links from a JFK interested friend of mine named Cheryl Overfield, so be sure to check out her JFK Resources Online page. She has a lot more there than just these links...worth checking out.

JFK sites

I had checked to make sure all of these links existed as of Aug 3, 2001.

* * *

JFK Resources Online (Cheryl's site)

JFK Assassination -- ATD BBS
JFK Lancer
John F. Kennedy Assassination
Dealey Plaza UK
The Last Hurrah Bookshop
The Kennedy Assassination
Michael Griffith's JFK Page
JFK Place
Jack White, JFK educational research
Stretcher Bullet Photos
JFK Link
Noel Twyman - Bloody Treason
 Bob Vernon's JFK site
 JFK/Deep Politics Quarterly
Kennedy Presidential Library
JFK Assassination Book Review
Robert Morningstar
The Paper Trail
JFK Memorial Page
Robert Groden site
Rich DellaRosa Research Photos
JFK Files - "With Malice"
Nov. 22...The Worse Crime...
JFK Assassination Page
Feature articles on JFK Assassination
Secrets of a Homicide
35th Anniversary

ARRB 1995 Annual Report
The Men on the Sixth Floor
The Truth is Redacted
Larry's JFK Page
Col. L. Fletcher Prouty Reference Site
My Online trip to Dallas; Henry May
 Les Duffy's Homepage
The 6th Floor Museum
Oswald - A brother's burden
Grolier -- The American Presidency
John F. Kennedy Miscellany
John F. Kennedy
JFK, 35th President...Lucidcafe
Dave Perry's JFK Assassination Page
Time and Again - JFK
Probable Cause
The Bay of Pigs
JFK Scholars -- Art Kevin
JFK: Murder in the Streets
Ian Craney's JFK Page
Palamara WebPages
Zapruder Film Chronology
Texas Monthly; Dealey Plaza revisited
JFK and Lincoln; similarities
 Life Magazine - Jack & Jackie
The Kennedys
Presidential Limousines
Real Answers
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Auction
The Assassination of RFK
Kennedy Collection of Robert L. White
Oswald's Tax Records
RFK Memorial site

Vaughn Meader
The Warren Report
Real History Archives
Feature articles on JFK Assassination
Secrets of a Homicide
The Sniper's Perspective

G. Winslow - Cuban Information Archives

 The Cuban Missile Crisis
 John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President
 The History Place -- President Kennedy Photo Gallery

* * *

Q: "What is the most outlandish theory you have ever heard about the assassination?"
A: "The one put forward by the Warren Commission in 1964."
Q: "I'm trying to ask you a serious question!"
A: "Yes, and I'm trying to give you a serious answer!"
(Exchange between Fort Worth Star-Telegram senior reporter Barry Schlacter and Kennedy researcher Ian Griggs -- Dealey Plaza, November 22, 1994.)

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Last edited March 30, 2005

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