Oral History

All Oral Histories

Mary K. Jackman

A Dallas secretary in 1963, Jackman saw the Kennedy motorcade on Harwood Street. Previously, in the mid-1950s, she worked at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff. Her late stepfather was acquainted with Jack Ruby. Recorded February 24, 2014.

Anne Jackson

Jackson was a secretary in the Dallas bureau of the Associated Press. In addition to her regular duties, she was enlisted to portray Jackie Kennedy in a Secret Service re-enactment of the assassination. Recorded March 2, 2000.

Ms. Jackson passed away on April 5, 2002.

Bob Jackson

In 1963, Jackson was a photographer with the Dallas Times Herald. On November 22, 1963, he covered the president’s arrival at Dallas Love Field and, while riding in the motorcade, spotted a rifle in the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository building. He was also at Parkland Memorial Hospital and Dallas police headquarters that day. On Sunday, Jackson captured an iconic image of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald, which won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize in News Photography. Recorded November 22, 1993, October 23, 2003, February 28, 2007, April 17 and July 22, 2009, September 10 and October 16, 2010, November 10, 2012, November 1 and 20, 2013, November 18, 2014, and September 21, 2016.

Judge Lee F. Jackson

Jackson served in the Texas House of Representatives (1976-86) and was elected four times as Dallas County Judge (1987-2002). As judge, he played a key role in the fundraising for and opening of The Sixth Floor exhibit in 1989. Two years later he vocally opposed director Oliver Stone’s request to film scenes from JFK (1991) inside the Texas School Book Depository building. Recorded January 12, 2001.

Kathy Jackson

Jackson was a fourth grader in Haltom City, Texas, in 1963. Her late mother attended the Fort Worth breakfast at the Hotel Texas on November 22, 1963. Recorded August 24, 2021.

Valerie Jacob

As a seven-year-old in Pennsylvania, Jacob briefly spoke to and shook hands with Sen. John F. Kennedy during a stop on his presidential campaign on October 16, 1960. Recorded January 24, 2017.

Andy Jacobsohn

As a staff photographer with The Dallas Morning News in 2015, Jacobsohn collaborated with The Sixth Floor Museum for the exhibition, “Portraits: History Lived” (2015). A Florida native, Jacobsohn was previously a photojournalist and photo editor with Major League Baseball and Newsday. Recorded November 2, 2015.

Stephen S. Jaffe

Jaffe served as an investigator for New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. Jaffe’s work on the controversial Oswald backyard photographs led to him testifying as a photographic expert before the Rockefeller Commission in 1975. Recorded July 29, 2004.

Degge James

A local musician, James was in the third grade at the time of the assassination. His family, longtime residents of Garland, Texas, was friends with Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade and Dallas County Justice of the Peace Theran Ward. Recorded April 19, 2012.

Dr. Ervin James III

James is an associate professor of history at Paul Quinn College in Dallas. He participated in a Museum panel discussion featuring local civic leaders. Recorded February 4, 2021.

Jami Beth Jameson

Jameson was an employee of Titche-Goettinger department store in downtown Dallas at the time of the assassination. Recorded July 19, 2019.

Bruce Jamieson

Jamieson was the owner of the Jamieson Film Company in Dallas, where three copies of Abraham Zapruder’s film were made on November 22, 1963. Recorded February 23, 2000.

Mr. Jamieson passed away on January 2, 2020.

Dr. Peter Janney

The son of senior CIA official Wistar Janney, Peter Janney actively protested the Vietnam War and later researched the Kennedy assassination and its possible connection to the 1964 murder of Washington socialite Mary Meyer. He wrote the book Mary’s Mosaic(2012). Recorded November 16, 2012.

Richard Janowitz

Janowitz was in the sixth grade in Cleveland, Ohio, at the time of the assassination. In 2002, he donated to the Museum a home movie shot in September 1960 by his late grandfather, John Janowitz, of Sen. John F. Kennedy on the campaign trail in Cleveland. Recorded September 5, 2007.

Mr. Janowitz passed away on March 20, 2016.

Robert Jarboe

An Associated Press wire-photo operator, Jarboe transmitted the photo of President Johnson’s swearing in aboard Air Force One. Recorded May 6, 1998.

Mr. Jarboe passed away on October 9, 2008.

Betty Clo Jarrell

Jarrell was a first-year teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas. She recalled that none of her students missed class to see the presidential parade. Recorded September 4, 2014.

Goldie Jay

A native of Buffalo, New York, Jay was born fourteen years after the 1901 assassination of President William McKinley in her hometown. She saw Sen. John F. Kennedy during the 1960 presidential campaign. Recorded January 13, 2015.

Ms. Jay passed away on May 25, 2017.

George Jefferies

A secretary for Universal Insurance in Dallas, Jefferies captured a color home movie of the Kennedy motorcade–including a stunning view of Jackie Kennedy–on Main Street less than two minutes before the assassination. After his son-in-law donated the film to the Museum in late 2006, Jefferies received international media attention. Recorded March 5, 2007, and June 6, 2008.

Mr. Jefferies passed away on February 15, 2014.

Ron Jefferson

A recognized gay rights activist, Jefferson was a delegate to and onetime local co-chair of the multiracial organization, Men of All Colors Together. His memories were recorded during a public program at The Sixth Floor Museum. Recorded July 12, 2006.

Mr. Jefferson passed away on November 19, 2015.

Juanita Jenkins

An office bookkeeper in 1963, Jenkins was working at the Southland Life building on Olive Street in downtown Dallas when the assassination took place. Recorded February 26, 2019.

Jo Ann Jenkins

A Texas native, Jenkins was living near Oak Cliff in 1963. At the time of the assassination, she was pregnant with her son, future Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. Recorded June 19, 2012.

Ron Jenkins

Working under the name “Ron McAlister,” Jenkins was a reporter for KBOX Radio in 1963. He followed behind the presidential parade and covered the scene at Parkland Memorial Hospital. In 1964, he covered the Jack Ruby trial. Recorded June 30, 2014.

Mr. Jenkins passed away on March 4, 2016.

James E. Jennings

A Dallas police officer for thirteen years, Jennings was at Dallas Love Field and Parkland Memorial Hospital on November 22, 1963. He was later the local announcer for Dallas Cowboys football games for more than two decades. Recorded April 28, 1994.

Mr. Jennings passed away on December 2, 2004.

Peter Jennings

Longtime broadcast journalist and the late anchor of ABC World News Tonight, Jennings worked for Canadian Television in 1963 and flew to Dallas to cover the events of that weekend. He then covered the president’s funeral in Washington, D.C. Recorded January 8, 2004.

Mr. Jennings passed away on August 7, 2005.

Tom Jennings

An award-winning documentarian, Jennings has written, produced, and directed more than 400 hours of programming for television networks including CBS, Discovery Channel, and the History Channel.  He was executive producer of The Lost JFK Tapes: The Assassination (2009) for National Geographic Channel. Recorded November 17, 2009, and August 24, 2015.

Homer Jennings

A Dallas postal worker, Jennings saw the Kennedy motorcade on Main Street. His late brother, William Jennings, was a Dallas police sergeant at the time of the assassination. Recorded January 29, 2018.

Dr. A. Jack Jernigan

Chief psychologist at Dallas Veterans Hospital in 1963, Jernigan filmed the Kennedy motorcade at the exit of Dallas Love Field and later captured rare color scenes of the Trade Mart building and marquee from Stemmons Freeway. He donated his film to the Museum in 1998. Recorded August 16, 2007.

Dr. Jernigan passed away on March 9, 2008.

Dr. Samuel Jernigan

Jernigan was a resident in obstetrics and gynecology at Parkland Memorial Hospital in 1963. His offer to assist with President Kennedy’s treatment in Trauma Room One was declined by Parkland personnel. Recorded October 21, 2015.

Dr. Jernigan passed away on January 1, 2017.

Robert Jett

A reporter for WRR Radio, Jett was near Dealey Plaza in a radio station car and heard the shooting. He then reported live from the studio during that weekend. Recorded August 18, 2000.

Mr. Jett passed away on September 12, 2004.

Eddie Jimmerson Jr.

A native of Kerens, Texas, Jimmerson was part of the first graduating class of his community’s newly integrated high school in 1965. During the final years of the Vietnam War, he was a military policeman in Washington, D.C. Recorded September 28, 2011.

Ann Johnson

A waitress for Jetton’s Catering, Johnson served at the Forth Worth breakfast and was on her way to serve at the planned Austin banquet when the assassination took place. Her husband, the late Peter Johnson, worked at the Dallas Kodak lab and kept slides of the Zapruder film as souvenirs. Johnson was interviewed with her daughter, Jean Johnson Brown. Recorded March 1, 2007.

Ms. Johnson passed away on June 22, 2012.

Linda Johnson

Although not a Kennedy supporter, college student Johnson attended a campus memorial service for the late president shortly after the assassination. Recorded December 15, 2011.

Phil Johnson

A longtime gay rights activist in Dallas, Johnson co-founded the first gay organization in Texas in 1965 and later published the first LGBT newsletter in Dallas. In 1972, he helped organize and led the first gay pride parade in Dallas, which originated at the John F. Kennedy Memorial. Recorded October 17, 2006.

Mr. Johnson passed away on September 23, 2019.

Philip Johnson

An internationally recognized American architect, Johnson was acquainted with the Kennedy family and designed the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Dallas, which was dedicated in 1970. Recorded August 11, 1998.

Mr. Johnson passed away on January 25, 2005.

Sheila Johnson

A Fort Worth secretary in 1963, Johnson made arrangements for her boss to attend the Chamber of Commerce breakfast on November 22, 1963. Decades later her daughter worked with the late Edna Case, a manager with the MacMillan Publishing Company on the third floor of the Texas School Book Depository, who was interviewed by the FBI. Recorded August 12, 2013.

Ms. Johnson passed away on January 2, 2020.

The Rev. Peter Johnson

A native of Louisiana, Johnson was active with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After moving to Dallas in 1969, Johnson organized the southwest premiere of the tribute film, King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis (1970) and became locally involved with civil rights. Recorded February 23, 2006.

Bruce Johnson

Johnson worked for the Internal Revenue Service during the Eisenhower to Clinton administrations. As a member of the U.S. Army Reserves, he marched in the funeral procession for President Kennedy on Monday, November 25, 1963. Recorded February 20 and May 3, 2018, and March 5, 2019.

Dr. Jenny Olivia Johnson

Johnson, an associate professor of music at Wellesley College, has written about the Abraham Zapruder film. She participated in a Museum virtual panel discussion about trauma, tragedy, and the healing power of music. Recorded September 30, 2020.

Richard Johnston

A third grader at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Wharton, New Jersey, Johnston turned ten years old on November 22, 1963. He has had a lifelong fascination with President Kennedy and the assassination. Inspired in part by the late president, Johnston became interested in environmental activism in the early 1970s. Recorded July 8, 2020.

Frank B. Johnston

A thirty-five year photographer with The Washington Post, Johnston was working for the Austin bureau of United Press International in 1963. In the basement of Dallas police headquarters, he captured an image of Lee Harvey Oswald approximately one second before he was fatally shot by Jack Ruby. In 1964, Johnston testified at Ruby’s trial and also covered the event as a UPI photographer. Recorded August 15, 2009.

Luvada Johnston

An ardent Kennedy supporter, Johnston was a secretary in Garland, Texas, at the time of the assassination. In the aftermath, she received approximately 15 angry telephone calls from individuals all over the country blaming Dallas for the shooting. Recorded January 26, 2010.

Joanna Johnston

In 1963, Johnston worked at American Bank and Trust in Oak Cliff. Her late husband, Dallas police officer Joe E. Johnston, was on vacation at the time of the assassination. Recorded August 21, 2018.

Sharon Johnston

Johnston was a fifteen-year-old daughter of conservative parents in San Antonio in 1963. As an adult, she became a community activist and founded a non-profit charity to aid the homeless in Irving, Texas. Recorded September 24, 2019.

Dr. Enid Jones

Jones was a fourteen-year-old native of Kingston, Jamaica, in 1963, and the Kennedy assassination colored her opinion of the United States for many years. She attended graduate school at New York University in 1975 and recalls experiencing racism for the first time. Recorded June 28, 2018.

Lynn Jones

Jones was an insurance clerk in downtown Dallas on November 22, 1963. On her way home to Oak Cliff that afternoon, she witnessed a “road rage” incident between two men. Recorded August 14, 2019.

Laura Jones

As a high school student, Jones observed the Kennedy funeral procession on Monday, November 25, 1963. She later joined the peace movement and protested the Vietnam War outside the White House. She was harassed by the FBI and ultimately arrested after she and her future husband moved to Canada to avoid his draft notice. Jones returned to the United States to participate in the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968. She extensively photographed the Resurrection City encampment in Washington, D.C. Recorded May 13, 2021.

Dr. Ronald C. Jones

Jones was the chief surgery resident in Parkland Memorial Hospital’s emergency room on November 22, 1963. He was among the team of doctors that worked on the resuscitation of President Kennedy in Trauma Room One. Less than 48 hours later, he was part of the surgical team that treated Lee Harvey Oswald. Recorded October 31, 1997, November 21, 2005, September 13 and December 13, 2012, September 24 and November 20, 2013.

Mitchell Jones

A traveling salesman in 1963, Jones saw the Kennedy motorcade on Main Street. In his travels after the assassination, he encountered some hostility because he was from Dallas. Recorded April 22, 2014.

Mr. Jones passed away on July 18, 2015.

Radford W. Jones

A U.S. Secret Service agent assigned to the White House detail during the Kennedy years, Jones guarded the Kennedys at Hyannis Port during the summer of 1963. At the time of the assassination, he was guarding young John F. Kennedy Jr. in Washington, D.C. In 1964, Jones spent several months guarding Jackie Kennedy and her children in New York. Recorded October 15, 2005.

Spaulding Jones

As a regional manager of Macmillan and Company, Jones had an office inside the Texas School Book Depository building in 1963. He believed that he was on the elevator with Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963. Beginning the next morning, Jones took a series of color photographs on and from the sixth floor of the Depository, which are now part of the Museum’s Collection. Recorded April 6, 1995.

Mr. Jones passed away on July 2, 1997.

J. Erik Jonsson

A notable mayor in the years following the assassination (1964-71), Jonsson was a longtime community leader who is credited with helping Dallas through that traumatic period. As president of the Dallas Citizens Council in 1963, he met the presidential party at Dallas Love Field and later announced to the crowd at the Trade Mart that the president had been shot. Recorded June 30, August 17, and November 10, 1992.

Mr. Jonsson passed away on August 31, 1995.

Margaret H. Jordan

The first African American graduate of the Georgetown University School of Nursing, Jordan attended the March on Washington rally on August 28, 1963, and heard Dr. Martin Luther King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. Since moving to Dallas in the 1980s, she has been an active community leader, serving on the boards of institutions such as the Dallas Museum of Art and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Recorded March 29, 2011.

Greg Joseph

Joseph, as a high school freshman, had a brief personal encounter with Sen. John F. Kennedy in Missouri during the 1960 campaign. He recalled that a priest at his Jesuit preparatory school suffered a heart attack after learning of the assassination on November 22, 1963. As a longtime journalist and television critic, Joseph had the opportunity to interview many people over the years connected to the life and legacy of President Kennedy. Recorded October 6, 2021.

Julius Quartet

Comprised of musicians Hyun Jeong Lee, David Do, John Batchelder and Brooke Scholl, the award-winning Julius Quartet was formed in the fall of 2012 in New England and held the Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence at Southern Methodist University (2017-2020). The quartet performed the world premiere of “The Sixth Floor,” a commissioned piece, composed by Jesus Martinez, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in 2019. Recorded January 28 and February 18, 2019.

Martin Jurow

The producer of such films as Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) and The Pink Panther (1963), Jurow was the executive producer of The Sixth Floor Museum’s films and worked with documentary filmmakers Allen and Cynthia Mondell. Recorded May 12, 1993.

Mr. Jurow passed away on February 12, 2004.