40 Years Later, JFK Killing Remembered

Forty years after President John F. Kennedy (search) was assassinated on a Dallas street, the city and the nation reflect back on a moment that changed the world.

More crowds and press are in Dallas now than there were four decades ago during Kennedy's tragic drive down Elm Street.

The irony is that Dallas doesn't want all the attention. The city remembers all too well the notoriety it gained after one of the most popular presidents of all time was shot and killed there on Nov. 22, 1963.

The dark day that put Dallas on the map led to the label "city of hate" and the ostracizing of its residents. People from Dallas were often refused service in restaurants around the country, and some long distance operators wouldn't help them when they called for listings.

Even the popular Sixth Floor Museum was resisted when it was first established. People wanted to tear down the old school book depository and erase the memory of JFK's killing after Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shots that killed the president from the building's sixth floor.

"There are a lot of people in Dallas who are still very hurt and very pained about the president's death and what happened to Dallas as a result," said Gary Max, the museum's curator. "There's a lot of resentment."

Max said that is particularly felt at the museum, where visitors learn about what happened on that day 40 years ago.

"We at the Sixth Floor Museum need to talk with people about this subject which is so important," he said. "You realize there are people out there who just don't want to hear about it."

Most of that overt resentment has faded, but the city of Dallas still never does anything official to commemorate the anniversary of Kennedy's assassination. That doesn't stop smaller remembrances from happening around town, though.

The Sixth Floor Museum, for instance, is displaying an exhibit of pictures taken by Jacques Lowe (search), the personal photographer of Kennedy and his brother Robert. Some of them have never before been released.

More than 40,000 of Lowe's negatives were in vaults in the World Trade Center complex in New York and were destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but fortunately he'd saved contact sheets in his Manhattan studio. Lowe died before Sept. 11, so he never knew what happened to his photographs.

"He kept them in what he felt was the safest place, which was in a vault in the Chase Manhattan Bank 5 World Trade Center," Max said. "When the family finally retrieved the vault and opened it, there was just a bit of ash in the bottom."

The contact sheets show everything from Kennedy family barbecues to JFK's candidacy for president while he was still a senator — and even the historic meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Kruschev.

Museums elsewhere in the country are also honoring the anniversary. In Pittsburgh, an Andy Warhol exhibit of Jackie Kennedy portraits will be displayed as part of the museum's newest exhibit about the president's murder.

Many of the day's unintentional participants — from doctors at Parkland Hospital to Abraham Zapruder (search), who shot the home movie of the assassination — are remembering the tragedy in their own ways.

Jack Valenti (search), president of the Motion Picture Association of America, was an aide to Vice President Lyndon Johnson and riding in Kennedy's motorcade that day, six cars behind the president.

Valenti said he still relives the horror of the shooting, and has found a poem capturing some of the sentiment of that day that reads in part "the ceremony of innocence is drowned."

Jim Lovell (search) was a Dallas police detective who was handcuffed to Oswald when he was gunned down in the basement of the Dallas Police Headquarters.

Lovell has appeared in many photographs wearing a beige suit and walking alongside Oswald, just before strip club owner Jack Ruby (search) shot and killed him. It was the first murder ever witnessed on live television.

"As soon as I saw Ruby step out with that pistol, I knew exactly what was happening, and I tried to react accordingly," Lovell remembered. "I had my hand on his belt and I tried to pull him behind me. But he was too close to me for me to move him. All I succeeded in doing was moving his body."

The very next day, Lovell had the task of transporting Ruby, but this time the perpetrator walk happened in secret and no press was there. Ruby hid on all fours in the back of the police cruiser for fear that someone would try to kill him.

"When I asked him why he shot Oswald, he said, 'I just wanted to be a hero. It looks like I messed things up,'" Lovell said.

Fox News' Mike Tobin, Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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