Past 2019 Programs
February 18, 2019
The Sixth Floor Museum paid tribute to both the Museum’s thirtieth anniversary and the fifty-fifth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. These special milestones were marked by a newly commissioned work “The Sixth Floor” written by award-winning Texas composer Jesus Martinez and performed by the Julius Quartet. Arranged in three movements, “Sniper’s Perch,” “A Nation in Crisis” and “The Legacy,” Martinez’s composition is a stirring journey from the darkest days of 1963 to a deeper understanding of the enduring legacy of President Kennedy and what lies beyond. View this program on YouTube.
Successful American leaders have always understood, respected -- and sometimes feared -- the power of the media in shaping and shifting public opinions and perceptions. For more than a hundred years, magazine publishers and politicians have had a symbiotic relationship. From Lincoln to Kennedy and beyond, an American president’s appearance on a magazine cover has generated increased sales and readership for the publication and heightened public awareness of the president’s platform and policies. On Monday, March 25, the Museum presented The Power of the Magazine Cover: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow with Dr. Samir Husni. Known as Mr. Magazine™ and regarded as one of the nation’s foremost experts on print journalism, Dr. Husni took us on a journey through the history of American magazines, including the role magazine covers played in cementing the enduring mystique and legacy of President Kennedy. Perhaps the most photographed American president in history, President Kennedy appeared on magazine covers throughout his lifetime and over the past fifty-five years since his death. This special program included admission to the Museum’s temporary exhibit 55 Years, an installation of magazine covers featuring President Kennedy from 1963 to 2018. While President Kennedy’s image and influence have continued to be the focus of magazine articles over the years, 55 Years visually conveys how the symbolic memorialization of the 35th president has evolved over time. View this program on YouTube.
April 22, 2019
Bobbie Wygant joined Texas' first television station, WBAP-TV, in 1948, two weeks before it went on the air. During her remarkable and trailblazing career, spanning seventy years in broadcasting, Wygant interviewed thousands of notable entertainers and celebrities from Bette Davis to Charley Pride to Bradley Cooper. In 1960, she became the first woman in the southwest to host and produce a general interest talk show. Her popular midday program, Dateline, was live on the air when news broke of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963—which was also Wygant's birthday.
This special program included a wine reception, complimentary parking and admission to the Museum’s temporary exhibit 55 Years, an installation of magazine covers featuring President Kennedy from 1963 to 2018. While President Kennedy’s image and influence have continued to be the focus of magazine articles over the years, 55 Years visually conveys how the symbolic memorialization of the 35th president has evolved over time.
October 4, 2019
Born and raised in the South during a time when racial segregation was the norm, former New York Times journalist John N. Herbers witnessed and covered landmark civil rights uprisings that rocked the country, the world and his own conscience. A leading civil rights journalist for more than a decade, Herbers wrote from behind the front lines, risking his own personal safety to bring awareness to the nation of the injustices and violence inflicted on African Americans. On October 4, Herbers’ daughter, Washington journalist Anne Farris Rosen, discussed Deep South Dispatch: Memoir of a Civil Rights Journalist, the book she co-wrote with her father. This memoir provides riveting details about watershed events in the civil rights movement -- the execution of Willie McGee, murder trial of Emmett Till, assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Birmingham church bombing, Freedom Summer murders in Mississippi and Selma riots – as well as Herbers’ encounters with both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Ku Klux Klan. Deep South Dispatch: Memoir of a Civil Rights Journalist was the closing program for the temporary exhibit 55 Years, an installation of magazine covers featuring President Kennedy from 1963 to 2018 that showcased how the memorialization of the President evolved over time.