Mae on Andrew Mayhew and the Real History of the TSBD and Sixth Floor Museum
“Use the building to house books, magazine and newspaper articles for a continuing study of what happened that day.” – Andrew Mayhew
[From: Dialogue, a presentation of the Public Affairs and Special Events Department of KLRB News. Gloria Baron. Dialogue: Assassination, with research specialist Mae Brussell. Transcription of Dialogue: Assassination, a presentation of the Public Affairs and Special Events Department of KLRB News.Broadcast of
November 24, 1971]
…And it begins with this quotation of the author, Edmund Berkeley:
"We must begin to recognize history as it is happening to us. We can no longer toy with illusions. Our war adventures in
(and elsewhere) are not related to national security in any rational sense. A
Coup d'etat took place in the
on United States November 22nd, 1963,
when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated."
In fact, apropos of the John Kennedy anniversary of his death, here was an article in the [
Chronicle this Sunday about the Texas Book Depository building…. was
interesting. This is the beginning of the article: San Francisco
"Eight years ago tomorrow a sick, young, self-styled Marxist named Lee Harvey Oswald sneaked up to the six floor of a drab red brick building in downtown
he waited until , when he
fired three rifle shots that rang 'round the world and took the life of
President John F. Kennedy. In the years since that awful moment, there have
been countless controversies about the assassination. Most of them have by now
faded away — all that is, all except one…" Dallas
I'm going to end the quotation there to say, you see, they're hoping the discrepancies have faded away. And I'm quoting articles and magazines that are coming out every day that bring the issue very much to life, that are in the news, but they want you to think it has faded away.
They go on to tell you about the Texas Book Depository. This was the building that Oswald worked in for six weeks before the motorcade went in front of it. It stands at the corner there where the car passed around the curve into the underpass. After the assassination the top floor of the building was closed off — where Oswald was supposed to have been. Nobody can use that floor at the time that the researchers wanted to reconstruct the crimes of the trajectory of the bullets, they couldn't use that floor.
When NBC News made a four hour television series on reconstructing this murder in order to put down Jim Garrison's case, they went to the fifth floor to duplicate the shots of Oswald. But the trajectory from the sixth floor is higher up and straighter down, which would change the course of the bullet because it was to enter in his back, five inches below the neck and exit up-hill through the adam's apple which is against the laws of physics. But they've never been able to duplicate or try this shot either with Oswald's weapon or from the sixth floor, and nobody has been allowed up there; that's been closed off.
But the Book Depository was open for business until about April 1970, when a man from
by the name of Aubrey Mayhew bought the building. He is known as a Kennedy
buff; he researches the murder of John Kennedy. He paid $650,000 for the
building, and the city of Nashville, Tennessee was
glad to have the building sold. They thought this would end the controversy and
that he would tear it down or do something with it. Dallas
But now the citizens are worried about the building, because they had hoped it would be torn down and some thought maybe it would be a museum. But it turns out Aubrey Mayhew has a different intention for the building. What he wants to do is put a collection of 20,000 items of Kennedy items — items pertaining to the assassination that he has collected — into this building. The
very concerned that it will become a tourist trap. They said they have one
memorial to John Kennedy and they don't want people putting another memorial to
him right at the corner where he was shot. Dallas
Across from the Book Depository is a tourist trap which shows movies of the assassination and a shrilling voice which says, "My God! They're going to kill us all!"
I've been in that place across the street, and it's not really a living memorial to John Kennedy. They sell bumper stickers that say, "
LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT" and all the American flags, and ash trays with
Jacqueline's picture on it. It's hardly a fitting description of a memorial. It
is a real tourist trap right across the street from the Book Depository. AMERICA
But what Mr. Mayhew wants to do is use this building to house microfilms and books and newspapers about the assassination, and provide facilities for what he calls, in quotes: "A continuing study of what happened here that day."
In other words, Aubrey Mayhew does not think the case is closed. And if he would house his 22,000 items, like my items in my home (my 28,000 pages of original research just cross-filing the witnesses testimony in the Warren Report, and my 300 books) you can imagine what he has. And if you put [in there] copies of people's research and all the books on the subject, you would begin to understand what happened in
that day. Dallas
Now that isn't pleasing the Dallas people because they want to forget that anything happened at that corner, in spite of the fact that three or four thousand people pass every single day and take pictures of the corner.
And one man wanted to buy Mr. Mayhew out, so he offered him a million dollars for the bricks in the building; the bricks alone. And he turned it down.
And the wax museum offered him one million dollars.You know, money is no problem. You can buy Mr. Mayhew up if he can be had because you want to tear down this living symbol of John Kennedy.
offered him a $100,000 just for the casings from the sixth floor window that
Oswald was supposed to have poked his rifle out. But Mr. Mayhew said, "I
want a continuing study of what happened here that day." Tragedy Museum
Now, the people in
is simply furious. And Senator Mike McKool wants funds to be brought up through
the State Legislature to buy the building back. He is having a fit. He said,
"It has tremendous historical value and it should belong to the people of Dallas ."
And they want to tear down this building. The State Legislature in
is coming up
with millions of dollars trying to get a law to tear the building down. They
say, "The one thing we have to do is to remove this entire building, or
keep it for ourselves because the State of Texas
can come up with money to make a fitting memorial." Texas
Now Mr. Mayhew isn't asking for money, and he doesn't care about that. He wants it as a living memorial to the memory of what happened.
So then the Legislature came up with another suggestion: they suggested that they leave the front of the building up and tear down the whole back of it, and just leave the front standing up. What they said was it can't be remodeled properly and it is in good condition. In quotes: "What you have to do basically is gut the thing and keep the exterior as it is. My personal feeling is the site is important, a national landmark."
This is Raymond Nasher, a
developer and cultural leader. Mr. Mayhew has said that over his dead body will
he let them do it. He said that he did not want them to take that from him. In
quotes: "They'll take it over my dead body. I will fight it with
everything I have and I'll fight it to the Supreme Court." Dallas
When he gets to the Supreme Court he's going to have Mr. Powell and Mr. Reihnquest. So that's another subject. Mr. Powell is being supported by Leon Jaworski — we've mentioned this before — who represented the State of
for the Warren
Commission, who's head of the American Bar Association. And Mr. Powell has a
quotation in the paper, in U.S. News this week, defending the opinion of (Edward
J.) Epstein — who worked defending Oswald's position in the Warren Commission —
who wrote a book called Inquest.
And he refers to Epstein as an authority on the killers of panthers. Instead of
using material that Computers and Automation has used, Mr. Powell is
heavily associated with people who would defend the Warren Report. So try
and take this case to the Supreme Court. Texas
When I look at all the accumulation of Kennedy material that I have in my home, I have to say, "What are the advantages of working at years on one subject?" Like you work in a laboratory to cure a disease. What are the advantages of studying with one thing that long, you know? And I think the main hope that I wanted for this nation was that when they saw truth they would recognize it, and be able to function and get the elective system back into the hands of the people.
People do not yet accept the fact of what happened in
They write about every subject that's wrong with the nation and they have not
yet accepted these facts and the information of the various researchers. Each
person is off on his own trip. And he's not ready yet for the truth of what
happened: that killed John Kennedy, or Robert Kennedy, or Martin Luther King.
That's a pitiful situation, and I don't know the remedy. Dallas
I just keep working and say, "Well, the facts are here if you want them.