John F. Kennedy is perhaps one of the most memorable presidents, due in part to the loss that the entire world felt when he was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. Today, many films and TV shows like 11.22.63 remind us of JFK’s legacy, and continue to inspire thousands of visitors who flock to Dallas each year. Here are a few places in Dallas that revolve around the 35th president of the United States and his assassination.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
Library, Memorial, History Museum
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is a museum on the life and death of President John F. Kennedy | © VisitDallas
On the fateful day of November 22, 1963, 35th President John F. Kennedy was assassinated at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Now, Dealey Plaza has been converted into a memorial for the late president and houses the Sixth Floor Museum, a place to learn all about that historic day, and the life and death of the president. Watch short films, see photographs, hear first-hand testimonies, discover artifacts, and more. The museum also has a full library and reading room for more literature on the subject in addition to information about other Dallas history. Check out the educational, youth, and teaching programs that are available.
The Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff is truly a gem and stands as the location that Lee Harvey Oswald, who allegedly assassinated JFK, sought out for a hiding place after murdering Officer J.D. Tippit. The theater has survived the times and has become a charming and renowned theater for the avid filmgoer. The theater shows independent movies, film festivals, independent screenings, documentaries, old classics, and 35mm films. They also have a full-service bar that serves smaller batch boutique products, offers cheap Texas and Mexican beers, and a slew of homemade cocktails, inspired by films, that you can take into the theater with you.
Hilton Fort Worth
Business Hotel, Chain Hotel
John F. Kennedy stayed at the Texas Hotel, now the Hilton Fort Worth, the night before his assassination | © QuesterMark / Flickr
Originally known as the Texas Hotel, Hilton Fort Worth is part of the National Register of Historic Places, as it was the last place that President John F. Kennedy stayed, and he gave an address to 2,000 attendees in the Crystal Ballroom. The president and first lady stayed in Suite 850, but during renovations, this room was removed. Guests, however, can stay in Suite 1530, a suite that displays memorabilia related to JFK’s legacy. The hotel also remembers JFK with pictures on the 2nd floor that capture those last moments of his life at the hotel, as well as with a bronze outdoor statue of the president. Today, the hotel is a modern space with plenty of conference space and a location in downtown Fort Worth.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial
The JFK Memorial was designed by famed architect Philip Johnson | © Bill Rand / Flickr
The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial is a Dallas monument built to honor the 35th president of the United States. Set in downtown Dallas around the corner from Dealey Plaza, the memorial was designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson, a friend of the Kennedy’s. It’s comprised of eight columns supporting an all-white granite cube structure. In the center of the memorial is a slab of stone with three words carved and painted in gold: John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
Campisi’s is a Dallas Italian favorite, as they were the first to introduce pizza to the city. While they are still beloved for their pizzas, Italian fare, and their historic location in the Egyptian Lounge, they have an interesting history that ties to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was allegedly assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dealey Plaza. Two days later, Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald as the Dallas police were escorting him to a nearby jail. What does this have to do with Campisi’s? Jack Ruby ate at Campisi’s on November 21 and while in jail for the murder of Oswald, Ruby invited Joe Campisi and his wife to visit him in jail, and they did. What they talked about — nobody knows.
Ruth Paine House Museum
Ruth Paine House Museum was renovated to how it looked in 1963 when Oswald stayed there | © Irving Archives
Ruth Paine House Museum is set in a suburban home in Irving, Texas, and is the home that Harvey Lee Oswald, the alleged assassin of JFK, stayed in the night before John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Today, the home has been converted to a museum by the city of Irving and restored to how it looked in 1963, complete with an antique television playing media coverage of JFK’s visit to Dallas. The museum also includes projected vignettes, in which actors replay the events between Ruth and Michael Paine and Lee Harvey Oswald, the night that he stayed in their home.
3Eleven Kitchen & Cocktails
Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
A spud flight at 3Eleven Kitchen & Cocktails | © Bread & Butter PR / 3Eleven Kitchen & Cocktails
If you find yourself in the West End of Downtown Dallas, make your way to 3Eleven Kitchen and Cocktails for great American food. They offer amazing appetizers and main dishes like lamb and chicken in a stylish eatery. However, what makes them unique is a theme and decor that nods to the John F. Kennedy assassination. Visitors can enjoy one of 3Eleven’s JFK-themed cocktails like the “Fitzgerald” or an “Oswald or Was It?” in a lounge filled with JFK paraphernalia next to the bar.