September 10, 2021

Lindalyn Adams | In Memoriam

Andy Jacobsohn, photographer, The Dallas Morning News “Portraits” Collection/The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

The vast majority of the millions of visitors to The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza over the past thirty-two years probably would not recognize Lindalyn Adams. However, few can argue that were it not for this extraordinary champion of historic preservation, today there would probably not be a museum inside the former Texas School Book Depository building at the site of the Kennedy assassination. Anyone who has ever had a meaningful visit to the sixth floor and looked out those arched windows at the landscape of Dealey Plaza owes her a debt of gratitude.

It was with overwhelming sadness that we lost Lindalyn on September 8, 2021, yet we celebrate the remarkable legacy that she leaves behind. Her achievements are too plentiful to list, though they include work with virtually every local historical institution from the Dallas Historical Society to Dallas Heritage Village to the Old Red Courthouse. In 2019, Dallas County officially recognized Lindalyn Adams as “Dallas County’s First Lady of Historic Preservation.”

Lindalyn’s long association with our Museum began with a tour of the empty sixth floor space in March 1977, at a time when the former Depository building was still in danger of being torn down. After Dallas County purchased the structure later that year, Public Works Director Judson Shook asked her to spearhead an effort to create a tasteful historical display about the Kennedy assassination. Little did she know at the time that she would ultimately serve as the project’s driving force, community champion and cheerleader through more than a decade of challenging development. Alongside historian Conover Hunt, Lindalyn began touring prominent individuals through the dusty warehouse to solicit support for the controversial project. Over time, the grassroots team would interface with, as Conover Hunt colorfully recalled, “politicians, community volunteers, original participants in the events of 1963, museum and historic preservation professionals, international media, leaders in government investigations, conspiracy fanatics, Kennedy liberals, anti-Kennedy conservatives, academic historians, sociologists, and a few psychiatrists and psychotics.” Lindalyn was intimately involved in every aspect of the exhibition’s development and proudly led the newly created non-profit Dallas County Historical Foundation during its earliest years. The end result of these herculean efforts was The Sixth Floor exhibit, which opened to the public on February 20, 1989.

As chair emerita of the Dallas County Historical Foundation, Lindalyn Adams has always been—and will forever be—part of our Museum family. She enthusiastically attended numerous programs and exhibit openings over the years as she watched the empty sixth floor that she toured back in 1977 transform into an internationally recognized accredited historical institution. More than just creating The Sixth Floor Museum, however, Lindalyn Adams actively contributed to helping Dallas come to terms with those dark memories from 1963. With her dedicated team, she helped place the Kennedy assassination within the proper context of 20th century American history and culture, and in doing so she aided a wounded community internalize one of the most tragic moments in its modern history. The results of her efforts were seen from the very beginning. In the Memory Books at the conclusion of the exhibit, one of our first visitors wrote that, after the Kennedy assassination, she felt ashamed to live in the community. “Today in ’89 on the 6th Floor,” she wrote over twenty-five years after the tragedy, “I’m proud to be a Dallasite.”

With every public program, educational initiative, exhibit and special event, we will continue to honor the extraordinary legacy of Lindalyn Adams. And we will greatly miss her presence here.

November 16, 2020

The Sixth Floor Museum announces launch of new multimedia digital guide to Dealey Plaza: Dealey Plaza, National Historic Landmark District


Logo for The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Dallas, TX – [November 16, 2020]: The Sixth Floor Museum announces the release of a new digital web-based experience for exploring the history of Dealey Plaza. The Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District interactive guide offers a variety of multimedia features to explore the history of Dealey Plaza and the events that happened there on November 22, 1963.

In addition to a narrated walking tour to help visitors navigate the site of the Kennedy assassination, the guide also includes an interactive map detailing places of historic interest in and around the Plaza and two visual stories that explore the memorialization of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the history of Dealey Plaza beginning with the founding of Dallas. Films, photographs, oral histories and other historical content from the Museum’s collections are featured throughout the guide.

The interactive guide is free to anyone, anywhere at and is available in both English and Spanish. The guide will be live on Monday, November 16, 2020. During the summer months when the Museum was closed as a result of the community-wide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic lockdown, staff began transitioning some of our core storytelling traditionally experienced inside the Museum to a virtual platform. The development of a user-friendly digital guide to the historic sites surrounding the Museum helps fulfill our goal of making historical content more accessible to broader audiences—as well as fulfilling the Museum’s mission to interpret Dealey Plaza.

This digital experience marks the first time that a comprehensive view of the long history of Dealey Plaza—the site where Dallas was founded—is explored in an interactive and digital format and is accessible to anyone in the world at no cost. The information presented in the guide goes as far back in time as 1841 and the founding of Dallas by John Neely Bryan and covers events in the Plaza through this summer’s protests for social and racial justice. The guide complements existing historic markers in the Plaza but offers additional context and access to primary sources such as photographs, films and oral histories.

The guide is designed to be responsive across different device types, adapting to different screen sizes and orientations. Nicola Longford, CEO of The Sixth Floor Museum, says about the digital experience, “The Museum is pleased to bring this project to life for the Dallas community. Whether you have a little bit of time or a lot of time and whether you are in Dealey Plaza in person or taking advantage of this from afar, the guide will enlighten and educate you and your family about the fascinating history of Dealey Plaza and Dallas.” She continued, “The Museum is committed to deeper engagement with our community constituents, and we are proud to share this latest example of our storytelling initiatives. In particular, it is vitally important that this history-based digital work is easily accessible to both English and Spanish speakers. Lastly, this project was developed with input from several community partners, including the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture; the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department; the Dallas Parks Foundation; and Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation and we send them our deepest appreciation. We also gratefully acknowledge the use of archival resources from the Dallas Historical Society, the History and Archives Division of the Dallas Public Library, the Dallas Morning News and University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.”

There are four components to the guide; users can choose from among them or participate in all of them for a more immersive experience:

Friday, November 22, 1963 is a multimedia, narrated walking tour of the final moments of the presidential motorcade as it entered and proceeded through Dealey Plaza. The tour takes users back to the day of the assassination through films, photographs, contemporary news broadcasts and oral history interviews. It includes seven stops in the Plaza, beginning at the corner of Elm and Houston Streets and concluding in front of the 50th anniversary monument in the pergola on the north side of Elm Street. It
takes approximately 20 minutes to complete the walking tour.

Explore the Plaza is an interactive map that offers a self-guided, self-paced exploration of 17 different points of historic interest in and near the Plaza. The stops range from the Kennedy Memorial to the east of the Plaza and Martyrs Park to the west, on the other side of the Triple Underpass. Multiple images and films are provided for each location to provide historical and visual context. Several locations of particular interest are marked for visitors to the Plaza who may be short on time.

The Front Door of Dallas is a visual story tracing the history of the Dealey Plaza site from the founding of Dallas to the present day. It takes  approximately 3 to 5 minutes to experience this slideshow.

Facing Tragedy is a visual story that chronicles the ways Dallas has honored President Kennedy and memorialized the assassination and other tragic moments in the city’s history. The story includes the founding of The Sixth Floor Museum. It takes approximately 3 to 5 minutes to experience this slideshow.

The Museum created the experience with Storycrafter, a cloud-based platform for building digital stories. Storycrafter is a product of Terra Incognita Productions, a studio that produces interactive media projects
for museums, visitor centers and non-profits. The Museum previously collaborated with Terra Incognita on several projects, most recently the interactive motorcade map at

Contact Information
Nicola Longford
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
Direct: 214.389.3001

About the Museum

Mission Statement: 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.

Vision Statement: To be an impartial, multi-generational destination and forum for exploring the memory and effects of the events surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy, through sharing his legacy and its impact on an ever-changing global society.

Located at 411 Elm Street in downtown Dallas, the Museum is open Wednesday – Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, visit or call 214.747.6660.

Admission: $18 Adult, $16 Senior, $14 Youth (children aged 5 and under are free). Entrance to the Museum’s current special exhibition, Art Reframes History, on view through April 4, 2021, is included with Museum admission.

June 11, 2020

President Kennedy’s Report to the American People on Civil Rights, June 11, 1963

Fifty-seven years ago on June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy delivered an impromptu Report to the American People on Civil Rights, broadcast on both radio and television. This speech, while in part a reaction to riots in Birmingham, Alabama, marked the beginning of a dramatic shift in the president’s response to the civil rights movement. For him, no longer was this national issue a passing interest; it had a new focus and presidential commitment to set change in motion. President Kennedy sought much needed help from Martin Luther King Jr., and launched an appeal for national unity as resistance to desegregation fueled social unrest.

On the anniversary of this powerful speech, President Kennedy’s words remain ever more striking as they eerily magnify the unresolved civil rights legacies of that decade with the issues of racial injustice we continue to face today. The current outcry spilling across the nation and world are in reaction to yet another brutal and senseless murder of an African American, and the residual impact of a four-hundred-year-old legacy of systemic racial inequality.

President Kennedy’s words on June 11, 1963, defined equal rights as intrinsic human rights, declaring that it is an individual and collective moral duty to provide equality to African Americans. These words harnessed inspiration and the call for action from his inaugural Ask Not address and contrast with the state of the nation today. While progress has been made over the last six decades, change has been slow and gradual, and there is much left to be done. The last two weeks of peaceful protests across the country and around the world have awakened us, touched raw nerves and revealed unhealed wounds. They have inspired a world-wide movement to listen, engage, and confront the unspoken biases that have kept us apart.

Today, we at The Sixth Floor Museum re-dedicate ourselves to building stronger civic and community engagement for Dallas, and our fellow citizens. We pledge to hear, to listen to you and to our community. We pledge to offer a safe and open forum for discussion and examination of our shared and unshared history and the legacies of civil rights and social injustices today.

The commitment of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is to ensure that every aspect of our internal operational practices, our external forms of educational outreach, and our public programming and community engagement activities, all pave the path for social justice.

This is our commitment to building and maintaining a diverse, equitable, accessible and inclusive museum for one and for all.

Nicola Longford, CEO + Board + Staff

November 12, 2019

Three Hours in Dallas: Film Premiere with Live Musical Score

Logo for The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

DALLAS, TX – November 12, 2019: On Thursday, November 21, on the eve of the 56th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza will premiere “Three Hours in Dallas,” an original musical score set to a new compilation of historic motorcade film footage. Written by award-winning composer, Jesus Martinez, “Three Hours in Dallas” will be performed by the percussion ensemble from Arlington’s Sam Houston High School.

This unique film score links sound effects and synchronized sound to specific scenes that will captivate the audience and create the sensation of personally witnessing the events of November 22, 1963. As President Kennedy himself said, “We must never forget…that art is not a form of propaganda…it is a form of truth.”

Through innovative community-based projects and collaborations, The Sixth Floor Museum brings its vast collections of historic films, photographs, oral histories and artifacts to new generations for learning and discovery. The Museum’s collaboration with thirty-two year-old composer and music educator, Jesus Martinez, has helped link the creative process of music composition and performance with valuable history lessons about local and world events beyond the walls of the traditional classroom—offering new insights for young students to capture their imaginations and connect the past with the present.

This unique evening performance will also include the premiere of “Stars in the Heart,” by Michael Varner, Director of Percussion at the University of Texas at Arlington, and “Metallic Origami” by Robert J. Frank, Associate Professor of Composition and Theory and Director of Electronic Music at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

The featured compositions and performers represent several generations removed from the events of November 1963.

Three Hours in Dallas notes by composer Jesus Martinez

Three Hours in Dallas was commissioned by The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The film is a 16-minute compilation of both familiar and seldom-seen footage and photographs taken during the presidential motorcade on November 22, 1963. President Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy spent exactly three hours and nine minutes in Dallas. The music for the film brings life to this silent compilation with key moments of historical audio exploring President Kennedy’s multigenerational initiatives. The live film score is written for percussion ensemble and solo trumpet. It is intended as a fully immersive sound experience as it takes you through the final three hours of President Kennedy’s life.

Stars in the Heart, notes by composer Dr. Michael Varner

Stars in the Heart is a composition constructed by translating specific letters into numbers using a “indeterminate system” suggested by my friend Nathan Daughtrey in a conversation. The resultant numbers are 5-6-9-2-4. The piece evolves using these numbers in every conceivable way as rhythm, scale pattern, and overall phrasing. Each player has a Temple Gong, Frying Pan, Resonant Wooden Slat, and Drum. The Temple Gongs, Frying Pans, Wooden Slats, and Congas should be graduated with Player 1 having the highest and Player 5 the lowest. Player 1 requires a 5-octave marimba as well as the unique Nigerian Talking drum.

Metallic Origami, notes by composer Dr. Robert Frank

Metallic Origami is a set of five short movements written for (mostly) metal instruments. Inspired by the ancient art of paper folding – origami – and the composer’s imagining of folded metal creations, each movement expresses in “folded sound” a representation of different origami shapes composed of different metals. Each movement is also based loosely on the poetic form of haiku, which have three terse, intense phrases in the pattern of five – seven – five syllables. As the work was being written, the composer wrote haiku to accompany each movement. Like the music in each movement, each verse seeks to see these familiar childhood paper-creations through the character of each of the chosen metals: bright stars of gold; a moving crane of silver, with folding wings and bending neck; the four-pointed “fortuneteller” formed from sheets of hardened steel; many-facetted snowflakes of brittle titanium; and a ferocious dragon cast in iron.


About Jesus Martinez

With a master’s degree in Music Composition from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from University of Texas at Arlington, Jesus Martinez has served as Composer-in-Residence for both the Alabama Orchestra Association and the Irving Symphony Orchestra. While at SMU, he studied primarily with composer Dr. Robert Frank and developed a special interest in film scoring and new music ensembles.

Martinez was commissioned to score the film “Mystery of Birds,” which premiered in Houston in 2011 and was selected to screen at the Los Angeles Black Film Festival. In 2012, the film won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Film by an African Living Abroad. Also in 2011, Martinez presented his 34-minute world premiere of “Threnody for 9/11 for Mixed Chamber Ensemble,” which received accolades in Texas print and broadcast media and a resolution in his name issued by the Texas State Legislature. Martinez scored the 2013 film “Take the Spotlight,” which premiered at four film festivals in Texas, Arkansas and Georgia, winning awards for best film and best director.

Most recently, Martinez composed “The Sixth Floor,” which premiered at the 30th anniversary of The Sixth Floor Museum on February 18, 2019.

The special concert will be held on Thursday, November 21, at 7:00 p.m. A pre-concert reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by the program at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20, and are available for advance purchase at

This program is part of a special four-part series in commemoration of the 56th anniversary of President Kennedy’s death.


Tuesday, November 19

The Last Days of Lee Harvey Oswald: A Conversation with Ruth Paine

Marina Oswald and her young children were staying with her friend, Ruth Paine, in November 1963. Thrust overnight into the center of an international tragedy, Paine still ponders a different outcome if she’d known Lee Harvey Oswald had stashed a rifle in her garage. For the first time ever, she will present a program at the Museum, reflecting on her friendship with Marina Oswald and how it continues to impact her life.

Presented in partnership with the City of Irving/Ruth Paine House Museum.

6:00 p.m. wine reception

7:00 p.m. program


Wednesday, November 20

Toward a Psychological Understanding of Lee Oswald, Assassin

While many over the years have considered Oswald’s motive, clinical psychologist Dr. Gene Riddle took a different tack – analyzing how Oswald became a person capable of assassinating a president. Join us as he shares the results of his six-year study, examining the depth and breadth of Oswald’s psychological makeup and life experiences that led to November 22, 1963.

6:00 p.m. wine reception

7:00 p.m. program


Thursday, November 21

Three Hours in Dallas: World Premiere

Three Hours in Dallas is an original musical composition scored to accompany an all-new compilation of historic motorcade film footage. Written by award-winning composer Jesus Martinez and performed by music students from Arlington’s Sam Houston High School, this unique immersive experience celebrates President Kennedy’s legacy of love for the arts.

6:00 p.m. wine reception

7:00 p.m. program


Friday, November 22

56th Anniversary Program: Living History with Bill Mercer

Reporting live from police headquarters, KRLD broadcaster Bill Mercer was the first to inform Lee Harvey Oswald he had been charged with the murder of President Kennedy. A member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame and co-author of “When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963,” Mercer will interact with classrooms around the world and a live Museum audience. This Distance Learning Spotlight Session will be followed by a moment of silence.

11:30 a.m. program

12:30 p.m. moment of silence

For more information, visit


Contact Information

Nicola Longford
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
Direct: 214.389.3001

About the Museum

Mission Statement: 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.

Vision Statement: To be an impartial, multi-generational destination and forum for exploring the memory and effects of the events surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy, through sharing his legacy and its impact on an ever-changing global society.

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 eight languages, including ASL. For more information, visit or call 214.747.6660.

Admission: $18 Adult, $16 Senior, $14 Youth (children aged 5 and under are free or $5 with audio/ASL).

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