25 Things

About the Museum

This year marks The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza’s 25th anniversary. The Museum opened on Presidents Day, February 20, 1989. In observance of this milestone, each month the Museum will share a list of 25 things about its history, interesting tidbits about President Kennedy, and little-known facts related to the assassination. Check back each month for a new list of “25 Things.”
 
To learn more, make an appointment to visit our Reading Room; explore our online collections database; or pick up a copy of Assassination and Commemoration, by associate curator Stephen Fagin, available online and in both Museum stores.

Previous 25 Things lists:

February 2014: 25 Interesting Facts about The Sixth Floor Museum (and the Texas School Book Depository)

March 2014

25 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Weekend of November 22, 1963

1. Prior to the assassination of President Kennedy, top news stories for November 22 included the Coast Guard recovering wreckage from a U2 plane, the AFL-CIO calling for a strike in favor of a proposed 35-hour work week, and the November 21 death of Robert Stroud, the "Birdman of Alcatraz."

2. The Beatles' second studio album, With the Beatles, was released in the United Kingdom on November 22.

3. Noted authors C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) and Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) both died on November 22.

4. Several famous (or soon-to-be famous) individuals observed their birthdays on November 22, including actor Rodney Dangerfield (age 42), actor Robert Vaughn (age 31), director and Monty Python player Terry Gilliam (age 23), and tennis player Billie Jean King (age 20).

Image5. The number one New York Times bestseller for fiction that week was The Group by Mary McCarthy. Ironically, the number one non-fiction bestseller was JFK: The Man and the Myth by Victor Lasky.

6. The top-grossing movie in the United States that week was The Incredible Journey (Walt Disney Productions) with $2.6 million in sales.

7. The November 22 horoscope for Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21 in the Dallas Morning News) warned readers to not "take chances in new and untried channels," yet encouraged them to "have fun tonight."

8. On November 22, the Majestic Theater on Elm Street in Dallas, a few blocks from Dealey Plaza, was showing John Wayne's newest film, McClintock!  Adult admission was $1.25, child admission was 35 cents.  
 
9. Although virtually all network programming was suspended during the weekend of the assassination, the top five network television programs during the fall 1963 season were 1) The Beverly Hillbillies; 2) Bonanza; 3) The Dick Van Dyke Show; 4) Petticoat Junction; and 5) The Andy Griffith Show.

10. Flying over central Florida on November 22, Walt Disney selected the site for what would later become the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando.

11. The American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages concluded their annual convention in Dallas on November 21. Richard Nixon, whose New York law firm represented Pepsi, attended the convention and left Dallas on the morning of November 22, a few hours before the assassination.

12. Following news of the assassination, the New York Stock Exchange closed at 2:10 p.m. EST that day.

13. According to Neilson ratings, 45.4% of American homes with televisions (a total of 51.3 million homes) had their sets turned on at 2:45 p.m. EST on November 22 after White House confirmation of President Kennedy's death.

14. The U.S.-Mexico border was closed for several hours following the assassination. Reopened on Friday evening, officials said that a "close check" would be kept on all arrivals.

15. More than 30 college and professional weekend football games throughout the United States were canceled or postponed on November 22.

16. Dallas's prestigious Crystal Charity Ball was canceled on November 22. Instead, proceeds were given in memory of President Kennedy to Children's Medical Center in Dallas.

17. Almost 66% of American homes with televisions tuned in at 6:15 p.m. EST on November 22 as the new president, Lyndon B. Johnson, addressed the nation following his return to Washington.

18. A devastating fire took place at the Golden Age Nursing Home in Fitchville, Ohio, on the morning of November 23, killing 63 residents. The tragedy was the subject of the 2006 documentary Fireland by Justin Zimmerman. 

Image19. Disneyland in Anaheim, California, closed on November 23, the day after the assassination, in memory of President Kennedy. It was the first unscheduled closing in the park's history and would not occur again until September 11, 2001.

20. The premiere episode of the long-running BBC science fiction series Doctor Who was delayed on November 23 by assassination news coverage.

21. In the midst of the assassination coverage on November 23, a story appeared in the Dallas Morning News marking the tenth anniversary of the CBS television series Lassie, described as "one of the most successful entertainment series on television."  

22. On Sunday, November 24, the Dallas Cowboys played the Browns at Cleveland. Football commissioner Pete Rozelle's controversial decision to not cancel the game was later criticized. The Cowboys lost 17 to 27. 

23. More than 47% of American homes with televisions had their sets on at 12:30 p.m. EST on November 24, moments after Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of Dallas police headquarters.

Image24. The Kennedy funeral procession to Arlington National Cemetery generated the biggest television audience during the days that followed the assassination; 81% of American homes with televisions tuned in at 3 p.m. EST on November 25.

25. On November 26, Roger Staubach, the Navy quarterback, was named 1963 winner of the Heisman Trophy as college football's Player of the Year. Staubach later played with the Dallas Cowboys from 1969 to 1979.