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.
Vincent Palamara was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in Sociology.
Although not even born when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Vince brings fresh eyes to an old case. In fact, Vince would go on to study the largely overlooked actions - and inactions - of the United States Secret Service in unprecedented detail, as well as achieving a world's record in the process, having interviewed and corresponded with over 80 former agents (the House Select Committee on Assassinations had the old record of 46 with a 6 million dollar budget and subpoena power from Congress), not to mention many surviving family members, White House aides, and even quite a few Parkland and Bethesda medical witnesses for a corresponding project. The result was Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect President Kennedy.
Vince is also the author of the books JFK: From Parkland To Bethesda, The Not-So-Secret Service, Who's Who in the Secret Service, and Honest Answers about the Murder of President John F. Kennedy: A New Look at the JFK Assassination.
All told, Vince has been favorably mentioned in over 140 JFK and Secret Service related books to date (including two whole chapters in Murder in Dealey Plaza, The Secret Service: The Hidden History Of An Enigmatic Agency by Philip Melanson, and the Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board, among many others), often at length, in the bibliographies, and in the Secret Service - and even medical evidence - areas of these works.
Vince has appeared on the History Channel's THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY (VHS and DVD), C-SPAN, Newsmax TV, A COUP IN CAMELOT (DVD/BLU RAY), KING KILL '63, THE MAN BEHIND THE SUIT (DVD), National Geographic's JFK: THE FINAL HOURS (including on DVD), PCN, BPTV, local cable access television, YouTube, radio, newspapers, print journals, at national conferences, and all over the internet. Also, Vince's original research materials, or copies of said materials, are stored in the National Archives (by request under Deed Of Gift by the ARRB), the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Harvard University, the Assassination Archives and Research Center, and the Dallas Public Library.
Vince Palamara has become known (as he was dubbed by the History Channel in 2003) "the Secret Service expert." As former JFK Secret Service agent Joe Paolella proclaimed: "You seem to know a lot about the Secret Service, maybe even more than I do!" Agent Dan Emmett calls Vince a Secret Service expert in his new book.