Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dallas Civic Committee on JFK Anniversary

                              Dallas City Memorial to JFK, around the corner from Dealey Plaza

Staff Writer

Published: 30 May 2012 10:34 PM

A high-powered committee of Dallas  philanthropists and community leaders has begun the sensitive job of planning events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

Ruth Sharp Altshuler will serve as chairwoman of the committee, which was formed by Mayor Mike Rawlings. The 21-member group held its first meeting at Dallas City Hall on Tuesday.

“We started by introducing ourselves, and many members shared where they were on Nov. 22, 1963, and what it meant to them,” Rawlings said. “There were several moments when there were a lot of tears in the room.”

The committee’s formation means that Rawlings and longtime Dallas civic leaders have rejected the idea of letting the 50th anniversary come and go without official recognition or sanctioned events.

Previous anniversaries have been informal and low key. Tourists gathered at Dealey Plaza, scene of the assassination, usually to observe a moment of silence at 12:30 p.m., the time that shots rang out on Nov. 22, 1963, and forever changed Dallas and American history. News organizations have observed the anniversaries with stories, and the Sixth Floor Museum has unveiled exhibits during some key anniversaries.

In the immediate aftermath of the assassination, much of the world appeared to be looking for a scapegoat. Civic leaders believed the city of Dallas was miscast in the role of villain, considering the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald, the presumed gunman, was from Fort Worth and had lived in Dallas only a short while.

So city leaders historically avoided planning any events around the anniversaries because of the lingering stain on the city.

The committee’s formation indicates that the 50th anniversary, still 18 months away, will be different. Finally, enough distance between the past and present exists that Dallas leaders have become comfortable enough to emerge into the clear light of history.

“This is a part of our history and it will never go away,” said Lindalyn Adams, a committee member and historic preservation advocate who worked to create the Sixth Floor Museum during the 1980s.

Committee members contacted Wednesday by The Dallas Morning News declined to comment on their first meeting. Instead, they agreed to let Rawlings be their spokesman. He said they talked about two things: the objective of the 50th-anniversary commemoration and how to craft the overall tone.

“The objective is to send the simple message to all that are outside the city, throughout the world, that the citizens of Dallas honor the life and legacy of JFK,” Rawlings said. “Tone is very important: serious, respectful, understated. We want it to be very classy.”
A central question is what role Dealey Plaza will play in the commemoration.

The Sixth Floor Museum, which explores JFK’s life and death, has obtained a special activity permit from the city of Dallas that appears to give it control of Dealey Plaza from Monday, Nov. 18, to Sunday, Nov. 24.

JFK assassination researchers — critics call them conspiracy theorists — typically gather at Dealey Plaza to spin their version of events to tourists on anniversaries, and they fear that the museum might use its permit to bar them from the site.

“We feel it’s an important location in the city and we want to make sure it reflects the epitome of respect and solemnity on that day,” Rawlings said. “There will probably be something that happens there on that day, but that is as far as we’ve gotten.”

The committee’s composition suggests that Nov. 22, 2013, will be packed with multi-ethnic events, spiritual observances and artistic presentations.

Tourist and convention bureau strategists work hard to attract visitors to Dallas year-round, attempting to fill hotel rooms and restaurants. But Rawlings said the city will not attempt to promote the commemoration.

“We want to ensure there is zero commercialization of this event,” he said.
AT A GLANCE: The committee

The committee appointed to plan the 50th-anniversary commemoration of the JFK assassination:

Ruth Sharp Altshuler, philanthropist, committee chairwoman
Mayor Mike Rawlings, committee spokesman
Cappy McGarr, businessman and board member of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Lew Blackburn, president of the Dallas ISD board of trustees
Blaine Nelson, chairman of the board of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Zan Holmes, pastor emeritus of St. Luke Community United Methodist Church
Kevin Farrell, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas
Ken Menges, attorney and Sixth Floor Museum board chairman
Deedie Rose, philanthropist
Erle Nye, retired utility executive and civic leader
Anita Martinez, arts patron and former City Council member
Margot Perot, philanthropist and wife of businessman Ross Perot
Linda Custard, philanthropist and women’s health advocate
Bobby Lyle, businessman and philanthropist
Lindalyn Adams, civic leader and historic preservation advocate
Terdema Ussery, president of the Dallas Mavericks
Caren Prothro, civic leader and philanthropist
Linda McFarland, civic leader and philanthropist
Jeanne Phillips, former U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; spokeswoman for businessman Ray Hunt
Rick Ortiz, president of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Adelfa Callejo, attorney and Hispanic civil rights activist

The Coalition on Political Assassinations is a national network of serious researchers into the JFK assassination Our first president was Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, JD MD, who now directs the Cyril H Wecht Institute on Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne University. Other leading ballistics, forensic, medical experts, academics and former official investigators, authors and independent researchers present the best new evidence from scientific analysis, historical perspectives, and newly released documents. We were responsible for the passage and implementation of the JFK Assassination Records Act, which declassified a record 6.5 million pages that rewrote the history of the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missile crisis, the Kennedy administration and the assassination itself. The new files verified the research and legal assertions of New  Orleans D. A. Jim Garrison depicted in Oliver Stone's movie JFK. A local Dallas representative of our organization should be appointed to this committee planning the events.

Early critic and newspaper editor Penn Jones, Jr. from Midlothian, Texas began the tradition of an annual Moment of Silence on the Grassy Knoll in 1964 and COPA has continued it since the time of his death with permits from the City of Dallas. We are not "theorists" or "nuts". Our events have been solemn reminders of the assassination of President Kennedy and our speakers have enlightened the growing numbers of visitors to the Grassy Knoll each year about why Kennedy was killed and the evidence that more than one gunman had to have been involved. We intend to hold our Moment of Silence this year and on the 50th anniversary, at 12:30 pm on November 22.

We celebrate the life of President Kennedy, but we believe his actions led to his assassination by forces well beyond any lone killer. You cannot talk about his life without talking about his death and his as yet unsolved murder. To refuse to investigate until the truth is known is disrespectful to the memory of his life and his legacy as one of the greatest Presidents in our history. We continue to call for full release of the remaining classified documents that have been postponed or concealed to this day regarding his assassination. We invite you to visit our website at www.politicalassassinations.com and to join us on the Grassy Knoll on the 50th anniversary to make a call for truth and for a restoration of hope and democracy in America..

Reply · 3 · Like · Follow Post · June 1, 2012 at 12:11am

My name is Dom Shenher and I am a member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice. I would like to ask you a question about one of your appearances on YouTube in which you commented about civilian casualties in four wars, and also some other statistics that you mentioned. If you have the time could you field a question or two? I would really appreciate it.
Reply · Like · June 9, 2012 at 8:51am

PS I sent you a friend request too.
Reply · Like · June 9, 2012 at 9:03am

The statistics on civilian casualties for modern wars are WW1 4%, WWII 25%, Korea 56%, Vietnam forward 94-96%, so that modern war is objectively genocide. There was a PBS series a few years ago called War which cited some of them. I can be contacted at copa at starpower.net
Reply · Like · June 28, 2012 at 12:18am

Anne Lindsey ·  
Commemorating a tragic incident that plagued Dallas' reputation for decades. What? A Comicon type convention so all the conspiracy nut jobs can put up tents and sell merch. Yeah. Nothing fits the murder of an orthodox Catholic better than a street circus using it to make money because it's the 50th anniversary of his assassination. Rock on Dallas politicians making money off anything, regardless.
Reply · 3 · Like · Follow Post · May 31, 2012 at 12:43am
melaniestephen8799 (signed in using yahoo)
like Ray responded I didnt know that people able to profit $9821 in one month on the internet. did you look at this web link StrongRich.comONLY
Reply · Like · May 31, 2012 at 8:24am

Great! I am glad the Dallas Morning News is now using Facebook Comments.
Reply · Like · Follow Post · July 30, 2012 at 9:41pm

Kelly Qualls ·  
A committee? Goodness. How about street vendors, a parade, and a JFK look-alike contest? I see "three ring circus". Let the poor man rest in peace.
Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · May 31, 2012 at 12:29pm

and the 'classy' part begins at what point?
Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · May 31, 2012 at 12:00pm

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