Jack Ruby: "The Man in That Hat"

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Collections Spotlight - Jack Ruby: "The Man in That Hat"

This exhibit is the first in a new series of Collections Spotlights. Collections Spotlights may take the form of exhibits, pages on our website, special programs or other offerings. Whatever their form, they allow the Museum to highlight specific aspects of the Kennedy assassination story by showcasing rarely-seen objects, pictures, footage and oral histories in the Museum's collection.

The Sixth Floor Museum's collections include more than 35,000 artifacts, films, photographs, archival documents and oral histories related to the life, death and legacy of President John F. Kennedy and the history and culture of Dallas and the 1960's. Artifacts provide a tangible link to the people who once owned or used them, inviting Museum visitors to connect to the past on a personal and emotional level. It is The Sixth Floor Museum's goal to make these resources and the history they represent available to the broadest possible audience.

Jack Ruby: "The Man in That Hat"

On November 24, 1963, Jack Ruby fatally shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy. When Ruby shot Oswald, millions of television viewers saw a mysterious figure in a hat step from the shadows. Before people knew Jack Ruby's face or name, he was identified by newsmen as "the man in that hat."

The special exhibit Jack Ruby: "The Man in That Hat" uses artifacts, documents, images and audio-visual recordings to highlight the Museum's collections related to Ruby, whose role in the Kennedy assassination story continues to raise questions about who he was and what may have motivated him. Visitors to the exhibit will see the iconic grey fedora Ruby was wearing when he shot Oswald, a handwritten note from Ruby to his attorneys during his murder trial, and one of Ruby's Carousel Club business cards. The exhibit provides biographical information about Jack Ruby and asks visitors to consider what may have prompted him to shoot Lee Harvey Oswald.

The exhibit also contains a new video, produced by the Museum, featuring local news footage and other images from the Museum's collection, as well as oral histories from people who knew Jack Ruby, including his brother Earl Ruby, one of the dancers from the Carousel Club, and some of Ruby's business colleagues. At the end of the exhibit visitors are invited to explore some of the Museum's resources and to participate in a survey asking what they think of Jack Ruby and what more they would like to learn about him.

What do you think?

What do you think was Jack Ruby's primary motive for shooting Oswald? What else would you like to know about Ruby? Share your thoughts and help us create a future full-scale exhibit informed by your interests and questions by filling out our survey. Click here to being the survey.

Want to learn more?

To learn more about Jack Ruby, check out our Featured Resources. You can also make an appointment to visit our new Reading Room to access all of our library materials on Jack Ruby.