Bush Library, Tower Center commemorate JFK assassination

This news story first appeared on November 30, 2012. For more information click here.

By Basma Raza, SMU Daily Campus; November 30, 2012

The John Goodwin Tower Center and George W. Bush Library announced their partnership with the Sixth Floor Museum to observe and commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The partnership will include a series of programs over the course of the year to remember the tragic event.

The assassination of President Kennedy during a motorcade on Dallas’ Dealey Plaza marked a significant and tragic event in the city’s history. Other programs will be held throughout the year dealing with the legacy of Kennedy’s presidency and its impact on American domestic and foreign policy.

SMU political science professor James Hollifield, director of the Tower Center and chair of the Sixth Floor Museum Board, was instrumental in designing the collaboration.

“SMU next year will be home to the newest Presidential library in the country, and thinking about Presidential history and politics suits the occasion especially when reflecting on the life of President Kennedy,” Hollifield said.

SMU has designated a special committee of distinguished faculty members and guests known as the Tower Center Working Group on Remembrance and Commemoration: The Life and Legacy of JFK. The committee is led by Dennis Simon, an SMU political science professor and Tower Center fellow.

“SMU is looking forward to bringing an academic and scholarly orientation to the observance of this somber anniversary,” Simon said. “The Tower Center has a history of productive partnerships with the National Archives and Records Administration and presidential libraries, as well as with the Sixth Floor Museum. We are excited about the opportunity to re-examine the life and legacy of JFK and to help commemorate this tragic event.”

The Bush library brings with it many prospects for SMU students, as this partnership shows. Through the course of the programs, SMU students will be able to surround themselves with powerful speakers from all around the country with great expertise on various subjects. SMU senior Alex Munoz, an economics major, is eager for the opportunities.

“I think it is a great opportunity for us students, not only will it bring great speakers to our campus but we will get to be part of the conversation on a topic which is so rarely discussed,” Munoz said.

Nicola Longford, executive director at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza described the partnerships as beneficial to the whole Dallas community, not just students and faculty.

“Our collaboration in observance of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination in 2013 will benefit SMU students and the entire Dallas community by raising awareness of Dallas’ world-class archival and scholarly resources on American politics and presidential history,” Longford said.

“We look forward to expanding this partnership to include the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, as well as SMU’s Center for Presidential History.”

Programs begin on Presidents Day, Feb. 19, 2013 with “Politics of Memory” and end a year later on President’s Day, Feb. 17, 2014 with “Coping with Crises: How Presidents Manage National Crises.” Details on additional programs will be announced as planning is finalized.For more information visit smu.edu/tower.