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Free History And Photographs For Your Report
Dealey Plaza, located in Downtown Dallas, Texas, has become famous as the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. However, Dealey Plaza was already a famous Dallas landmark before that fateful day. A public park created by the city in 1940, it was named after George Bannerman Dealey, a publisher of The Dallas Morning News. It is located where the three main streets of Dallas (Main, Elm, and Commerce) all converge onto one street. It is an incorrect rumor that the monuments in the Plaza exist to honor President Kennedy, but the monuments actually pay tribute to several other important figures in the history of the city, all prior to the asssasination. The site that the Plaza now sits was actually first historically significant because it was the site of the the first Masonic Temple in Dallas (one of the monuments in the Plaza notates this).
The Plaza is surrounded by many tall buildings, the most notable of which is a government office complex, formerly known as The Texas School Book Depository. This building is where several investigations concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated the President from, on the sixth floor, using a rifle. The bullets hit President Kennedy in the head while he was riding in his motorcade during a parade ceremony.
Also apart of the Plaza is a grassy slope on a hill, that has become known as the infamous “Grassy Knoll.” The Grassy Knoll is where many of the eye-witnesses to the shooting were located, and where most of the testimonials came from as spectators watched the shots come across from the Book Depository Building and into the President's motorcade riding along Elm Street. Many have also suspected, and still suspect to this day, that a second or third gunman was located behind a wooden fence which sits atop the Knoll. However, official reports claim that Oswald acted alone in the shootings.
Today, many have complained that the government has covered up what exactly happened in Dealey Plaza the day of the assassination. Much like Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. (the site of the first presidential assassination, that of President Lincoln), many believe that the area should remain exactly the same as it was in 1963. To that end, none of the buildings in Dealey Plaza have had significant changes, but changes and re-alignments were made along Elm Street, including the relocation and replacement of light posts, fire hydrants, signs, lampposts, and traffic signals. In 2004, plans were made to restore Elm Street and Dealey Plaza to the exact appearance that it was the day that President Kennedy was assassinated. Thurs far, only $500,000 of the $3,000,000 needed have been approved for the project. The only other significant change to the Plaza has been the purchase of The Texas School Book Depository Building by the US Government. The first five floors are now used for various governmental offices, while the top two floors are a museum, accessible to the public for a fee, called The Sixth Floor Museum, dedicated to the presidential assassination. In 1993, the government declared Dealey Plaza a National Historic Landmark.