Dealey Plaza: 3 Shots Rang Out
Newspapers around the country carried the news that Kennedy had been shot to the American people: "Kennedy Slain," wrote the Boston Globe. "Sniper Kills Kennedy," headlined the Albuquerque Journal. The Dallas Times Herald, which covered the assassination in its own city, included the shooting of Texas’ governor: "President Dead. Connally Shot." Those newspapers can now fetch hundreds of dollars at auction.
Sixteen cars and a dozen motorcycles were part of the presidential motorcade through Dallas, accompany the Kennedys from Love Field, where Air Force One landed, to the Dallas Trade Mart, where the president was to address civic leaders. They scheduled 45 minutes for the 10-mile trip, but huge crowds of spectators slowed the motorcade, which crawled through Dealey Plaza at just 10 mph in the moments before Kennedy was shot.
Dealey Plaza is the civic center of Dallas and was known as the “front door” to the city prior to Kennedy’s arrival in 1963. The presidential motorcade was driving through the crowd-lined plaza when shots were fired; it has since become a National Historic Landmark.
Situated in one corner of Dealey Plaza was a red brick office building that was, at the time, leased to the Texas School Book Depository Company, which distributed text books to high schools. Employee Lee Harvey Oswald stood on the sixth floor of the building and used a rifle to shoot President Kennedy. The floor is now a museum dedicated to Kennedy’s assassination.