The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza

sixth floor museum building cover

One of the most tragic events to take place in Dallas was the assassination of President John F Kennedy. The Sixth Floor Museum, the former Texas School Book Depository, is dedicated to capturing the events leading up to and around that grim moment in American history.

sixth floor museum displays
The museum displays are well structured, but the flow of people can get congested.

After a long line on the first-floor reception to purchase tickets and audio guide, we finally made it up the elevator to the 6th floor.

sixth floor museum family
Geared up and ready to go through the entrance to the 6th floor.

John F Kennedy and the Memory of the Nation

Throughout the museum are large numbered displays that share the history of John F Kennedy’s political career and the geopolitical landscape of the era. The presidential race, Cuban Missle Crisis, and Martin Luther King Jr are just a few key points presented.

sixth floor museum audio
The audio equipment helped walk us through the museum, moving from numbered displays, aligning to the commentary and videos.

The museum lays out a detailed itinerary and timeline for JFK’s visit to Dallas on that fateful day of November 22nd, 1963.

sixth floor museum jfk
Large pictures and wall displays, clearing presenting the historic timeline of JFK’s last hours.

After walking through the historical events leading up to the welcome parade, with an ominous expectation, we turned the corner into the south-eastern corner of the sixth floor. In front of us was a large plexiglass encasement of stacked boxes. This space is where Lee Harvey Oswald is accused of hiding out, shooting through an open window of the depository, and killing the president. It was a solemn and surreal moment.

sixth floor museum parade route
This is the view from the sixth-floor windows next to Lee Harvey Oswald’s position.

From Oswald’s hide, he had plenty of opportunities to shoot at the motorcade as it approached and slowed for the final turn.

sixth floor museum evidence
Evidence photographed on the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository on November 22nd, 1963.
Glass encased area in the corner of the Sixth Floor Museum believed to be the location where Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK.
sixth floor museum boxes window
Side view of windows and boxes set up, where Oswald perched and shot JFK.

There are two Xs marked on the street that indicate the location of the Presidential vehicle when JFK was hit. With the trees overgrown, only the second mark is visible from the window.

sixth floor museum window view
View of Dealy Plaza out the window of the Sixth Floor Museum.

Inside the Sixth Floor are museum items collected or created for the investigation. Items like cameras, handwritten notes, clothing, and a scale replica of Dealy Plaza and the Texas School Book Depository.

sixth floor museum models
Models created and used to determine theories for the shooting of JFK.

Pictures and items from the funeral, procession, and even the inauguration of President Lyndon B Johnson aboard Air Force One capture the heartwrenching experience of the First Lady Jackie Kennedy and her family during this tragedy.

sixth floor museum jfk funeral
Respectful area honoring JFK’s funeral and memorabilia.
sixth floor museum jfk funeral announcement
President John F Kennedy’s funeral announcement and mass card at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas.

Dealy Plaza

Dealy Plaza “The Front Door of Dallas” is remembered today for the end of the presidential motorcade and assassination site of JFK.

sixth floor museum grassy knoll
Historic photos of the Grassy Knoll at Dealy Plaza the day of JFK’s assassination.

Outside at Dealy Plaza are historical plaques placed throughout the area, making it easy to do a self-guided tour.

dealy plaza film footage post
Abraham Zapruder stood on this pedestal at Dealy Plaza and was the only known photographer to film the entire assassination.

Conspiracy theorists can be found hanging about Dealy Plaza, sharing their stories and showing their evidence. We saw some pretty convincing videos that placed large question marks on the events surrounding the three official investigations.

Conspiracy

There are numerous conspiracy theories around JFK’s assassination, including involvement from different government agencies, the mafia, and other countries. A quick search online will result in plenty of articles for more information.

sixth floor building historic plaque
Doubts are etched into the hearts of the American consciousness, as evidenced on Texas historic landmark plaque.

Inside the Sixth Floor Museum is an area dedicated to conspiracy theories and displays describing the life, arrest, and murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. The Warren Commission concluded Oswald was the only person responsible.

sixth floor museum conspiracy
The many conspiracies surrounding the assassination of JFK.

A wooden stockyard fence behind the grassy knoll is where most conspiracy theorists believe a second gunman stood, arguing a fourth and final shot was taken here.

dealy plaza conspiracy second shooter
The area behind the fence next to Dealy Plaza, where some believe a second shooter was perched.
dealy plaza conspiracy fence
The vantage point from behind the fence where the second shooter would have been positioned.

Even though it was such a sad and tragic event, seeing it first hand, passing down the importance of history, and honoring a fallen President was good to experience as a family. We will never forget the reflective moments in Dealy Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum. In Dallas, this historic landmark was a “must-see” while visiting.

Tips:

  • The museum is included in the Dallas CityPASS (affiliate link)
  • Parking is located next to the museum.
  • Tickets are timed. Purchase online to avoid a long wait.
  • The batteries died in my audio guide before my tour was complete. You can swap out devices near the elevators on the 6th floor.

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