The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991 Page: 171
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The Sixth Floor: A Personal View
A. C. GREENE*
A PPROACHING THE DALLAS COUNTY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING,
once the notorious Texas Schoolbook Depository in Dallas where
the Sixth Floor exhibit is housed, you may ask yourself, "How can No-
vember 22, 1963, possibly say anything to me now? Too much history
has ripped through the calendar. I'm not the same person who was
tossed about by that history, this is not the same nation; or surely we've
outlived those events."
But then, getting off the elevator, pausing at the entrance to the ex-
hibit, time stops, starts to reel back, and you go with it. That familiar
nasal voice comes through the softly lighted room; the faces, the crowds,
the people of that year, that age, start returning. Within a few steps,
you are back there too. Almost everyone will be transported who is old
enough to remember what he or she was doing "when I heard it," the
word that flashed throughout the world in minutes, the first global dis-
aster alarm spread by television: "United States President John F. Ken-
nedy was felled today in Dallas by an assassin's bullet."
Many calendar leaves, torn off and tossed aside by history, have been
marked in red . .. red for blood, for war, violence, assassination. Why
should this single page, this single day in that year, have become such a
watershed, a spot where everything that happened prior has become
"before that" and everything since "after that"? The day has become a
division point in all our lives, even the lives of some too young, at the
time, to remember personal reaction but who can never forget the re-
action of those around them? Regardless of individual politics, the
enormous changes that have come after JFK have created a world we
would not have recognized, or predicted, in 1963. In 1963 the political
*Author A. C Greene, Texas Critic in Residence and Coordinating Director of the Center
for Texas Studies at the University of North Texas, wrote this piece after visiting the Sixth
Floor exhibit at the site of President Kennedy's assassination
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991, periodical, 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/m1/195/?rotate=270: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.