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The High Five: Tributes To JFK Across Dallas, Fort Worth And The Country

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: A special JFK edition. Today, both Dallas and Fort Worth honor President John F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his assassination. Boston will, too.

  • In Fort Worth: Fifty years ago this morning, President Kennedy woke up in Fort Worth and gave two speeches. At 6:15 a.m., Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price will place a wreath at the downtown JFK Tribute, an illuminated exhibit with an 8-foot bronze sculpture of Kennedy. This morning, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce marks the 50th anniversary of JFK’s Fort Worth visit with an honorary breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at the Hilton Hotel. Kennedy spent his last night at the Hilton Hotel, then called Hotel Texas, where he delivered one of his final two speeches. Secret Service agent Clint Hill will speak. He was assigned to Jackie Kennedy and was in the presidential motorcade as it moved through downtown Dallas.
  • At Parkland: At 12:38 p.m. on Nov. 22, 1963, President Kennedy entered Trauma Room One at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital, throwing the medical center into the world spotlight. At 8 this morning, Parkland will host a brief observance at the flagpole in front of its entrance. The flag will be lowered to half-staff and a letter issued to Parkland employees soon after the assassination will be read. Parkland has announced that its new hospital will include the President John F. Kennedy Memorial Garden, which it says will “memorialize the president’s life, while offering a place of hope, healing and history for patients and the community.”
  • In Dallas: The 50th: Honoring the Memory of President John F. Kennedy starts at 11:30 a.m. in Dealey Plaza. There will be patriotic music, prayers, a flyover salute and remarks by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and historian David McCullough. Bells will toll throughout Dallas. A moment of silence takes place at 12:30 p.m. About 5,000 people are expected to attend. Tickets were handed out during a lottery – those without tickets won’t be able to get in. KERA 90.1 FM and KERANews.org will air the ceremony live. Several roads in and around Dealey Plaza are closed. The public is invited to watch the ceremony on large television screens at three locations around downtown: AT&T Plaza, Annette Strauss Square and the JFK Memorial plaza.
  • In Boston: The John F. Kennedy Library in Boston is hosting a live webcast of a musical tribute that honors the late president. It starts at 12:30 p.m. Dallas time. A moment of silence will be held at 1 p.m. – the time his death was announced. Performers include James Taylor. In addition, saxophonist Paul Winter and the Paul Winter Sextet will perform – Jackie Kennedy had invited the group to be the first jazz ensemble to perform at the White House. The U.S. Naval Academy Women’s Glee Club will perform two musical selections that were performed at the president’s funeral. Several people will read parts of Kennedy’s most historic speeches, including a girl who attends the same school that the president attended when he was a child.
  • In Dallas: Later, at 6 p.m., the Dallas Police Department and Dallas Police Association will hold a vigil at the Dallas Police Association building, 1412 Griffin St. The vigil will honor Dallas officer J.D. Tippit, who was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald in Oak Cliff at the intersection of 10th and Patton streets. Tippit’s widow, Marie, will speak, as will Dallas police chief David Brown. The ceremony will include the police honor guard and choir, and honor guards from across the state.