July 10, 2017

Judge Brandon Birmingham and Toby Shook to Present Special Program at the Sixth Floor Museum, The Assassin’s Assassin: A Case Study of the Jack Ruby Trial

DALLAS, TX – July 10, 2017: America watched as Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, was shot point blank by Jack Ruby on November 24, 1963 at the Dallas Police headquarters as he was being transferred to the Dallas County Jail. This was the first murder broadcast live on American television. In the emotional aftermath of the Kennedy assassination, Ruby’s case was rushed to trial. Held just months later, Ruby’s trial was hailed by news media as “the trial of the century.”

Furnished with newly released documents from the original prosecution file, Judge Brandon Birmingham and criminal defense attorney/former Dallas County assistant district attorney Toby Shook will present a case study of this remarkable courtroom drama at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.

The Assassin’s Assassin: A Case Study of the Jack Ruby Trial will include a chronological overview of the case, an analysis of the defense strategy and verdict and a viewing of rarely seen select artifacts from the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office original Ruby collection. This fascinating program offers 1.5 hours of Continuing Legal Education Credits and is open to both attorneys and the general public.

The program will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 27 on the Museum’s seventh floor. Tickets are $20, and advance purchase is recommended at jfk.org.

About Judge Brandon Birmingham
Judge Birmingham graduated from R.L. Turner High School, Baylor University and South Texas College of Law. He was elected Judge of the 292nd Judicial District Court, a felony trial court, in November 2014. He is currently the Presiding Judge of the Criminal District Courts Dallas County. Prior to taking the bench, he was a Chief Felony Prosecutor in the trial division of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. In addition to being the Chief of the Cold Case Unit, he was the lead prosecutor in three death penalty cases. He tried two cases with the Conviction Integrity Division wherein two men were exonerated through DNA evidence, and the two true perpetrators were convicted and sentenced to life in prison by juries. Outside of the courtroom, he has been a national and statewide lecturer in various areas of criminal jurisprudence, from search and seizure to ethics, and evidence to case studies. In total, he has presented over 50 hours of CLE in his career. Additionally, his work has been featured on A&E and the Discovery Channel, and he has been a featured legal commentator for local news stations.

About Toby Shook
Having tried over 300 jury trials, Toby Shook is known as one of Texas’ best criminal defense lawyers. He has been named to D Magazine’s list of Dallas’ Top Criminal Defense Lawyers for the past 10 consecutive years and was selected by his peers as a Texas Monthly Super Lawyer for 12 consecutive years.

Prior to becoming a criminal defense lawyer, Shook served more than 20 years with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, where he rose to the rank of Chief of the Felony Trial Division. He has tried some of Dallas County’s highest profile cases, including the Texas Seven prison escapees, serial killer Charles Albright and the AMC Grand killer. He was assigned the Darlie Routier prosecution and served as one of two special prosecutors for the Kaufman Texas Prosecutor Murders. In 2002, he received the Texas District and County Attorneys’ Association Lone Star Award for best prosecutor in Texas as well as Texas Lawyer Magazine’s Go-To Prosecutor award.

Contact Information
Laurie Ivy | Marketing and Communications Manager
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
lauriei@jfk.org
Direct: 214.389.3046

Judge Brandon Birmingham
Judge – 292nd Judicial District Court
Presiding Judge – Criminal District Courts
brandon.birmingham@dallascounty.org
214.653.5882
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @JudgeBirmingham
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCinr6XfGE9f9vhL1V1L1XpQ

Toby Shook
Shook & Gunter
tobyshook@tobyshooklaw.com
214.850.9229
Twitter @toby_shook

About the Museum
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; interprets the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza; and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history.

Located at 411 Elm Street in downtown Dallas, the Museum is open Monday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Audio guides for the permanent exhibit are included with admission and available in six languages, including ASL. For more information, visit jfk.org or call 214.747.6660.

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June 27, 2017

The Sixth Floor Museum Receives Donation of Bronson Collection Containing Eyewitness Film and Photos of Kennedy Assassination

DALLAS, TX – June 27, 2017: An eyewitness to the November 22, 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Charles L. Bronson was one of only four known home movie photographers to have captured the fatal shot on film. The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is honored to announce the donation of the Charles L. Bronson Collection, which includes an eyewitness 8mm color film, five still photos and documents and correspondence related to the images and film.

“We’re delighted to receive this important donation to the Museum’s permanent collection,” said Nicola Longford, Executive Director of The Sixth Floor Museum. “The Bronson Collection is of both historic significance as well as a subject of investigation and careful study by the assassination research community. Every photographic viewpoint, particularly Mr. Bronson’s unique perspective some distance away, adds to our overall understanding of those tragic moments in Dealey Plaza.”

Standing atop a concrete pedestal at the southwest corner of Main and Houston streets, Bronson took a series of still photographs and home movie film sequences of the moments just before and during the assassination in Dealey Plaza. His still photographs show the presidential limousine approaching Houston Street and then traveling north on Houston towards Elm Street. Another still, taken at the moment he heard the first shot, captures a blurred yet almost panoramic view of Dealey Plaza as the motorcade proceeded down Elm Street, with many key eyewitnesses visible.

Bronson’s home movie includes a sequence filmed approximately six minutes prior to the assassination of an ambulance picking up an epileptic seizure victim in Dealey Plaza, an event that later became part of a conspiracy theory. The Texas School Book Depository is visible in the background. Because there was a possibility of movement in this brief glimpse of the sixth floor window, this film was of particular interest to the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation and later film analyses.

More significantly, Bronson’s film includes two seconds of the assassination—one of only four known home movies to capture the fatal shot on film. Although the Bronson film features the farthest perspective of these four films, it remains relevant more than half a century later as it helps disprove an ongoing theory suggesting that a Secret Service agent in the follow-up car accidentally fired the shot that killed President Kennedy. With this donation, The Sixth Floor Museum now owns the copyright to three of the four films that recorded President Kennedy’s assassination, including also eyewitness films made by Abraham Zapruder and Orville Nix.

Bronson was 45 years old and a chief engineer of Varel Manufacturing in Dallas in 1963. He used a Leica Model III for his still photographs and a Keystone Olympic K-25 for color home movies. Both cameras are on display in the Museum. Bronson passed away in 1995, and his collection had previously been on loan to The Sixth Floor Museum since 1996. The recent donation of the film and photos was made by his four daughters: Barbara Young, Joyce Hall, Alice Bronson and Charlette Laughlin. “It is important to us that our father’s historic materials be preserved for the ages,” they said. “He always had confidence that The Sixth Floor Museum would be a fitting and proper place for their safekeeping and display, and we agree.”

“We are grateful to the Bronson family for recognizing the historic significance of these materials and helping us preserve them for future generations,” added Longford. “Their father documented an important moment in time; and the Bronson family’s gift makes an important contribution to the ongoing research and study of President Kennedy’s assassination.”

Media Note: The Bronson Film and Bronson 3 still image are provided for use by the news media from 11:00 a.m. CST Tuesday, June 27, 2017, until 11:59 p.m. CST Monday, July 3, 2017, ONLY. Any use after July 3, 2017 must be approved in writing by The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (http://www.jfk.org/the-collections/rights-reproductions-request-form/). The film can be found here: https://youtu.be/PWvkgMDWf8s. The Bronson 3 image can be found here: http://www.jfk.org/wp-content/uploads/Bronson-3.jpg. Please credit use of film or still image to: Charles L. Bronson Collection/The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.

 

Contact Information
Judy Ivey | Director of Museum Advancement
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
judyi@jfk.org
Direct: 214.389.3045

About the Museum
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; interprets the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza; and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history.

Located at 411 Elm Street in downtown Dallas, the Museum is open Monday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Audio guides for the permanent exhibit are included with admission and available in six languages, including ASL. For more information, visit jfk.org or call 214.747.6660.

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April 20, 2017

Sixth Floor Museum Honors JFK Centennial with Special Conversation Featuring Stephen Kennedy Smith and Douglas Brinkley

DALLAS, TX – April 19, 2017: In honor of the centennial of the birth of President John F. Kennedy, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is pleased to present an exceptional public program on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. This unique event will feature President Kennedy’s nephew Stephen Kennedy Smith, noted historian Douglas Brinkley, and journalist/author Rena Pederson as moderator.

Kennedy Smith, the eldest son of President Kennedy’s only surviving sibling Jean Kennedy Smith, and Brinkley are making a special trip to Dallas to discuss JFK: A Vision For America, their compilation of John F. Kennedy’s greatest speeches. This comprehensive reflection on President Kennedy’s life and legacy includes the president’s hand-written notes, hundreds of rarely seen photos and commentary by America’s top historians, leading political thinkers and preeminent writers and artists, including the Dalai Lama, Robert Dallek, David McCullough, Senator John McCain, Senator Elizabeth Warren and many others.

Hosted on the Museum’s seventh floor, the two-tiered event begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, 2017 with a mix-and-mingle reception with Kennedy Smith, Brinkley and Pederson. The program will start at 7 p.m., followed by an 8 p.m. book signing. Tickets are $125 for the reception, program and book signing and include a copy of JFK: A Vision For America. Program-only tickets are $40. Tickets are available in advance at jfk.org and at the Museum.

“As the youngest elected president in US history, President Kennedy embodied the qualities of both vigor and vision, and the causes he championed are just as relevant today as in the 1960s,” said Nicola Longford, executive director of The Sixth Floor Museum. “His thoughts and initiatives on civil rights, space exploration, the environment, immigration and relations with Cuba demonstrate his lasting influence as an outstanding American leader and orator, and we’re honored to have Stephen Kennedy Smith and Douglas Brinkley here in Dallas to discuss President Kennedy’s impact on both our nation and the world.”

About Stephen Kennedy Smith

Stephen Kennedy Smith is a lecturer at the Sloan School of Management as well as a fellow at the Connection Science Group at MIT. He received his BA from Harvard University, JD from Columbia University and EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has served on the staff of the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees and is a three-time recipient of the Danforth Award for Excellence in Teaching at Harvard University, where he taught at Harvard Law School. He continues to be active in Democratic politics and lives in New York City.

About Douglas Brinkley

Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University, the CNN Presidential Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Audubon. He is the author of a number of bestselling books, including Cronkite, which won the Sperber Prize for best book in journalism, and The Great Deluge, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He is a member of the Society of American Historians and the Council on Foreign Relations. He lives in Austin, Texas.

About Rena Pederson

Moderator Rena Pederson is a nationally recognized journalist and author who has interviewed Fidel Castro, Margaret Thatcher, Julia Child, Jane Goodall and U.S. presidents from Carter to Clinton to Bush. Texas Monthly once called her “one of the most powerful women in Texas.” She was a member of the prestigious Pulitzer Prize board for nine years and a former speechwriter. She is currently a contributor to The Huffington Post and public radio and lives in Dallas.

 

Contact Information
Laurie Ivy | Marketing and Communications Manager
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
lauriei@jfk.org
Direct: 214.389.3046

About the Museum
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; interprets the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza; and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history.

Located at 411 Elm Street in downtown Dallas, the Museum is open Monday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Audio guides for the permanent exhibit are included with admission and available in six languages, including ASL. For more information, visit jfk.org or call 214.747.6660.

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March 8, 2017

Renowned Forensic Pathologist, Consultant and Author Featured in Program at The Sixth Floor Museum

Warren Commission’s 1964 Investigation: A Case for Conspiracy

DALLAS, TX – March 8, 2017: Recognizing the continued global interest in the Kennedy assassination, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is pleased to explore a wide variety of personal perspectives and present ongoing research and scholarship in an open forum for conversation and engagement. Today, the museum announces a special public program to be held on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 featuring Dr. Cyril H. Wecht.

Dr. Cyril H. Wecht began researching the Kennedy assassination when he was invited to speak on the case before the 1965 meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. More than half a century later—as a renowned forensic pathologist, consultant and author—Wecht continues to lecture and give media interviews on the assassination. As a distinguished elder statesman of the assassination research community, and current chairman of the Citizens Against Political Assassinations organization, Wecht remains an outspoken critic of the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, the Museum will host Dr. Wecht for a program entitled “A Case for Conspiracy.” In this engaging two-part presentation, Stephen Fagin, curator at The Sixth Floor Museum, will lead Dr. Wecht in conversation on his remarkable career and longtime interest in the assassination. Wecht will then deliver a multimedia lecture on key areas of Warren Commission’s 1964 investigation, including President Kennedy’s autopsy and the controversial single bullet theory. Tickets are $15 and available in advance at jfk.org and at the Museum.

“Dr. Cyril Wecht is a prominent forensic pathologist and noted assassination research scholar,” said Nicola Longford, executive director of The Sixth Floor Museum. “We are honored to offer what promises to be an absorbing discussion examining Wecht’s decades-long forensic study of the death of President Kennedy. Dr. Wecht testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and his pursuit of this highly debated topic continues to capture and shape popular imagination and interest. Through the lens of this forensic expert’s examination of the subject, guests will be challenged to understand the historical context in which some of the disputed questions and answers were established and why they continue to remain open sources of debate.”

About Dr. Wecht

Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D. is a certified forensic pathologist, medical-legal and forensic science consultant, author and lecturer. A Fellow of the College of American Pathologists, the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, and the National Association of Medical Examiners, Wecht served as elected Coroner of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, from 1970-80 and 1996-2006. A clinical and adjunct professor at multiple universities, he is chairman of the advisory board of the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law and Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh.

Wecht has conducted seminars in more than fifty countries and personally performed approximately 20,000 autopsies. In addition to his work on the assassinations of President Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Wecht has commented and/or consulted on a number of high-profile cases including those involving O.J. Simpson, JonBenet Ramsey, Elvis Presley, Vincent Foster, Kurt Cobain and many others.

The first civilian ever given access to Kennedy assassination evidence at the National Archives, Wecht later served on the forensic pathology panel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation. In 1991, he was a consultant to filmmaker Oliver Stone during the production of JFK, which was partially filmed at The Sixth Floor Museum.

The Sixth Floor Museum is located at 411 Elm Street in Dallas’ Historic West End. For more information, go to www.jfk.org or call 214.747.6660.

Contact Information:

Judy Ivey
Director of Museum Advancement
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
judyi@jfk.org
Phone: 214.389.3045

About the Museum:

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; interprets the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza; and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history. Located at 411 Elm Street in downtown Dallas, the Museum is open Monday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Audio guides for the permanent exhibit are included with admission and available in a variety of languages. For more information, visit www.jfk.org or call 214.747.6660.

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