snow
Wednesday February 10th, 2016 5:54AM

Solemn events to mark JFK's assassination

By The Associated Press
(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the sixth in a series of reports this week marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.)

............................................................................................................................................................................


DALLAS (AP) -- Loose gatherings of the curious and conspiracy-minded at Dallas' Dealey Plaza have marked past anniversaries of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, featuring everything from makeshift memorials to marching drummers to discussions about who else might have been in on the killing.

But in the place where the president's motorcade passed through and shots rang out on Nov. 22, 1963, a solemn ceremony on the 50th anniversary of his death designed to avoid such distractions will include brief remarks by the mayor and the tolling of church bells.

It's an approach that will be mirrored Friday in Boston, where the JFK Library and Museum will open a small exhibit of never-before-displayed items from Kennedy's state funeral and host a musical tribute that will be closed to the public, and in Washington, where President Barack Obama will meet privately at the White House with leaders and volunteers from the Kennedy-established Peace Corps program.

"It's 50 years later and it's also a moment to look forward to the future," said Thomas Putnam, executive director of the library, which usually doesn't observe the anniversary. "We want our tone to be respectful and we want it to have a certain reverence, but we also want it to be hopeful and end on this notion of what JFK stood for."

The committee convened by current Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings to plan the city's event wanted to focus "in a positive way more on the legacy of President Kennedy," said Ron Kirk, a former mayor and member of the panel.

About 5,000 tickets were issued for the free ceremony in Dealey Plaza, which is flanked by the Texas School Book Depository building where sniper Lee Harvey Oswald perched on the sixth floor in 1963.

Friday's event will include readings from the president's speeches by author David McCullough. In a nod to Kennedy's military service, the U.S. Naval Academy Men's Glee Club will perform and there will be an Air Force flyover. A moment of silence will be held at 12:30 p.m., when the president was shot.

There was no shortage of events in Dallas this year marking the anniversary, including panels with journalists and others who witnessed the events of the day, special concerts and museum exhibits.

As press aide for Texas Gov. John Connally, Julian Read was in a media bus several vehicles behind the presidential limousine. After the gunshots, he watched as the vehicle carrying the president and wounded governor sped away. Read released a book this year recounting his experience and has attended several of the events, which he called cathartic.

"Even though there are all those melancholy thoughts, the way it's shaping up ... gives me more of a comfort than any time since 1963," said Read, who will return to Dealey Plaza on Friday.

John Judge, executive director of the Coalition on Political Assassinations, first came to Dealey Plaza to mark the fifth anniversary of JFK's death in 1968.

Judge's group, which believes Kennedy's death was part of a conspiracy, usually gathers on the plaza's "grassy knoll" for a moment of silence at 12:30 p.m. Since it'll be blocked off this year, Judge says he's reached a "livable" agreement with the city in which they'll gather a few blocks away and move to the plaza after the official ceremony ends.

The group has made T-shirts for the occasion with the slogan, "50 years in denial is enough" and an image like that of Kennedy on the half-dollar coin, except with a bullet hole in his head and blood.

"It was meant to be shocking because we think that not solving his murder was shocking," Judge said. He added about 10 members of his group will attend the official ceremony.

Other events being held Friday in Dallas include a ceremony at Parkland Memorial Hospital, where Kennedy was declared dead, to lower the U.S. flag to half-staff. In Fort Worth, the city's Chamber of Commerce will host a breakfast at the hotel where Kennedy gave his last speech and spent the last night of his life.

In Boston, the private musical tribute will feature Paul Winter, who performed at the White House with his jazz sextet during Kennedy's presidency, along with a U.S. Navy choir and James Taylor. Other notable guests at the event, which will be streamed on the library's website, include Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who is scheduled to read quotes from Kennedy's speeches.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 2 years ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 2 years ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 2 years ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Feds announce test sites for drone aircraft
The Federal Aviation Administration announced six states on Monday that will develop test sites for drones, a critical next step for the march of the unmanned aircraft into U.S. skies.
2:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Congress letting 55 tax breaks expire at year end
In an almost annual ritual, Congress is letting a package of 55 popular tax breaks expire at the end of the year, creating uncertainty - once again - for millions of individuals and businesses.
2:21PM ( 2 years ago )
Feeling US snub, Saudis strengthen ties elsewhere
Increasingly vocal in its frustration over U.S. policies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia is strengthening ties elsewhere, seeking out an alignment that will bolster its position after it was pushed to the sidelines this year.
4:34PM ( 2 years ago )
Politics
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to help fight the Zika virus
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus and the mosquitoes that spread it here and abroad, but says "there s...
10:40PM ( 1 day ago )
Search for Missouri couple wanted for crimes across the South, including Ga., ends with one suspect dead and the other wounded
A weeklong search for a Missouri couple wanted in a series of robberies and abductions across the South ended with one suspect dead and the other wounded Friday, after authorities say they chased the pair across the highway and through a rural neighborhood and exchanged gunfire with them in Florida's Panhandle.
By The Associated Press
9:57PM ( 4 days ago )
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while, buoying consumers, frustrating oil producers
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while.That reality is wreaking havoc and causing uncertainty for some governments and businesses, while creating financial windfalls for others. Less expensive...
6:18PM ( 1 week ago )
Cruz (R) expected to claim conservative Iowa caucus victory, with Clinton (D) and Sanders (D) deadlocked among liberal vote
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz swept to victory in Iowa's Republican caucuses Monday, overcoming billionaire Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were deadlocked in a tight race.
By The Associated Press
10:55PM ( 1 week ago )
America, its politics in flux as voting begins
On the eve of the first contest on the 2016 presidential election calendar, some voters are pushing for bolder, more uncompromising action, with an intensity that has shaken both the Republican and Democratic establishments.
By The Associated Press
9:00PM ( 1 week ago )