"Well, it was very toxic, very tense. The extreme right wing elements had been active before and there was a lot of work on preparing for the Kennedy visit because people thought something might happen.They were very concerned about that and so there was a terriffic publicity campaign to ensure that he had a good visit . . . " SMU Prof. Emeritus Darwin Payne, who was a newspaper reporter covering the Kennedy visit in 1963, told NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw.
>>> See the television coverage.
From student blogs:
"When I told my grandfather about the class I was taking, he lit up immediately. He recalled the moment he heard about the president’s death: he was driving home, heard the news on the radio, and he had to pull over to pull himself together. My grandpa’s emotional response was startling to me, but it made me realize that what makes President Kennedy’s legacy is his ability to inspire hope in others," SMU student Emily wrote in a blog entry about the class taught by Political Science Professor Dennis Simon and Senior English Lecturer Tom Stone.
>>> Read the students' blog.
John Angle, 23, a senior at Southern Methodist University, who was at the plaza Friday, said the city — though a far different place now — was still seeking redemption.
“I think this is Dallas’s day to try to redeem itself to the world,” Mr. Angle said. “I think the weather is kind of fitting. It’s kind of gray, kind of somber. As someone who studies history, it’s kind of weird to be where history happened, right in the middle of it. It’s almost a little macabre. But I think it’s important that we see where it happened, so we can remember what happened.”
>>> See print/online coverage.