UPDATE: David McCullough To Headline Dallas’ JFK Tribute
BY KERA STAFF
Five stories that have North Texas talking: JFK 50, Walmart walk-offs, Museum Tower shines on and more.
Updated, 2:58 p.m.: Dallas will mark the 50th anniversary next year of one of its darkest moments, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, with a solemn ceremony narrated by historian David McCullough.
Mayor Mike Rawlings unveiled plans for the commemoration, which he described as “understated , serious, with dignity and honor,” at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
McCullough, at age 79 one of the country’s most recognized historians, has been a stalwart voice of public television as the narrator of The Civil War and American Experience.
During the Nov. 22, 2013, ceremony — dubbed The 50th: Honoring the Memory of President John F. Kennedy — the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner will read excerpts from Kennedy’s speeches and share recollections of the slain president. The 45-minute ceremony will include a nationwide moment of silence at 12:30 p.m., music by the U.S. Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club and a concluding military flyover.
Our original post continues: If there’s anything to celebrate here, its the distance from that day. Just ask former Secret Service agent Clint Hill, the last surviving person who rode in the car to Parkland hospital with Kennedy after the shooting. I heard him speak at the Sixth Floor Museum in April. He answered gruesome questions about whose foot was where in the convertible with dutiful grace; it was obvious Hill much preferred to speak about Camelot’s first couple as they were before that day.
When one journalist asked about his hopes for next year’s ceremony in Dallas, here’s what Hill said:
Well I’m sure it’ll be remembered very seriously, but you know, with memories of President and Mrs. Kennedy as they were prior to that moment. They were a wonderful, loving couple; and they were very well-received when they came to Dallas that day. Large crowds. If you ever look at the photographs of downtown Main Street, we could barely get through there with cars, it was so packed. But that’s the way they should be remembered.