For more than a year, organizers with the City of Dallas planned to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy with a solemn and dignified event that reflects upon JFK's life, legacy and leadership.
The event was held on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, in Dealey Plaza, just steps from the former Texas School Book Depository, where the fatal shots are believed to have been fired.
Below is the schedule of events, as released by The 50th Committee. We have embeded video below for several of the sections of the event.
- A pre-show concert was to begin at 11:30 a.m. with musicians from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performing selections during a pre-program to The 50th: Honoring the Memory of President John F. Kennedy event. (This was canceled due to cold weather.)
- The Dallas Police Department Honorary Color Guard and Dallas Metro Police Pipes and Drums opened the remembrance ceremony with the presentation of the color flags.
- Monica Saldivar, a 2012 graduate of Dallas' Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, sang the National Anthem. Saldivar is currently attending Dallas Baptist University and majoring in Music Business & Performance. (Watch below)
- Bishop Kevin J. Farrell, of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, read the Invocation. (Watch below)
- Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, the main speaker of the event, delivered piognant remarks that led to the tolling of the bells and a moment of silence at about the time shots rang out in Dealey Plaza 50 years ago. (Watch below, or click her to read his speech along with the video)
- Tolling of the Bells throughout Dallas.
- A Moment of Silence at 12:30 p.m.
- The United States Naval Academy Men's Glee Club, under the direction of Dr. Aaron Smith, will perform "America the Beautiful."
- Remarks delivered by author and historian David McCullough included readings of Kennedy speeches. (Watch below)
- The United States Naval Academy Men's Glee Club will perform "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."
- Closing Prayer, read by Rev. Zan W. Holmes, Jr., pastor emeritus of the St. Luke's Community United Methodist Church. (Watch below)
- The United States Naval Academy Men's Glee Club will perform "The Navy Hymn."
- "Missing Man" flyover salute by the Commemorative Air Force, Centex Unit (This was canceled due to cold weather.)
- Program ends
The city only allowed 5,000 people to attend the event. Those who wanted to attend but were not granted tickets were invited to watch the event at one of three plazas in Downtown Dallas, including AT&T Plaza at American Airlines Center, Annette Strauss Square and the JFK Memorial at Founders Plaza. Each location was equipped with a large screen LED display, with closed captioning.
In addition to watching some of the segments on this page, they can also be viewed inside our JFK50 iPhone app.