Parkland Was Certainly Quite Proud of Itself Following the Shootings of Kennedy, Oswald

parkland6.jpg
Via The Sounds of History
Had dinner at the folks' house last night, after which the boy and I went digging through a stack of old Dallas Newses and Times Heralds my dad keeps stashed in a closet, almost completely forgotten. They were my grandfather's and date back to November 22, 1963, and fast-forward through Nixon's resignation, the Bicentennial and a few other historic highlights. My dad later added to the pile the farewell copy of the Herald from December '91. Anyway.

As we were poring over the papers, a crinkled, yellowing slip of paper fell out of the Herald featuring Bob Jackson's iconic, Pulitzer-winning photo of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of DPD HQ. It was the memo C.J. Price, Parkland's administrator, sent to hospital staffers on November 27, 1963, documenting the week the was while pondering the following: "What is it that enables an institution to take in stride such a series of history jolting events?"

My mom worked at Parkland then -- she was the X-ray tech on duty when Kennedy was brought in -- and, till last night, she had no idea she'd even kept the memo. Read it for yourself after the jump. November 27, 1963, Parkland Memo

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32 comments
scottindallas
scottindallas

"What is it that enables an institution to take in stride such a series of history jolting events?"

Kinda silly, what the hell else where they to do?  Sit and cry?  Go home?  I suppose suicide is always an option, but simply forging ahead seems like the easier choice.  Do most people need to be stroked like little children?  Should the doctors have freaked out, or doctored?  what would a nurse do but nurse?  Should we imagine the custodian, clerks and doctors would tell the gov't that they are in a hospital and this is no place for a temporary seat of gov't?  I guess this is a harbinger of the "everyone's a winner" gestalt that pervades our watery headed children's lives. 

I do appreciate your posting this Rob't. I'm not attacking you, just the all too human need for puffery and self-congratulation.

BuffaloBill
BuffaloBill

The author spelled the plural of "Dallas" wrong.  It should be "Dallas's"

Billr426
Billr426

Robert that's quite someting quite rare. What a find! And today's business world is lacking this class with 99 percent of managers . Have you thought about donating it ( loaning it ) to the sixth floor museum after your family has finished looking at it? P1bill

aggie00
aggie00

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that memo, along with other items pertaining to November of '63, has been on display on a bulletin board of sorts in one of the main hallways of Parkland for I don't know how long.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

History Dude, appeared on Roger Ebert's TV program, talk show host, Cool Dad, mussel expert,   . . . damn, can I be you in my second childhood?

ChrisU
ChrisU

like the WWII vets, they didn't realize they were heroes. they were just doing their job. not as much humility to go around these days. Robert your Dallas roots continue to turn up interesting artifacts, glad you're here to post them.

Darin Robinson
Darin Robinson

That's a damn fine piece of writing there. It has resonance. Something sadly missing in business correspondence these days. I suppose email doesn't lend itself to that type of writing. Also, I'm sure it was dictated to someone and within the dictation a conversation took place on how to phrase as well as approach things. Great find. 

just wonderin'
just wonderin'

Robert----That's cool.  And speaking of........ can you tell me the actual (current) location where Oswald got shot?  I've always thought it was the city building next to Main St Gardens (SE corner of Main and Harwood), but others tell me that is not correct, and it's actually the old records building diagonally across from the School Book Depository.  Can you enlighten me?

dallasite
dallasite

I think you are missing the point. And perhaps you weren't alive at the time to realize how these events shook this country at it's very foundation. But yes, when struck with directly dealing with these events, human nature is to grieve and focus on these events, doing whatever you can to support and move through them. Most other aspects of daily life and focus start to melt away when dealing with such a situation.

Life stopped or at least slowed down across America for those hours (days actually), and while life did go on,mAmericans were a little caught up in these events. Yes I'm sure medical procedures continued, fires were fought, criminals were caught, but, especially at the center of there events, it would have been difficult to not be slowed down, distracted and otherwise be caught up in the events taking place - and parkland was a focal location.

Think back to 9/11 and tell me that aspects of going though regular life didn't slow down or become less important for a few days. Especially in NYC, we hunkered down to gather news on our loved ones and if we could play a role in helping, we did, but otherwise most all other responsibilities were set aside as we grieved and emotionally dealt with the events.

Yes, hospital workers and everyone else, are all human in these horrible situations.

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

Five days after the President's death - and you're quibbling about grammar? What a troll ...

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

I would, Bill, but apparently (see above) Parkland already has its own copy. But if Gary Mack would like to borrow it, sure.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Well, I didn't think it was the only copy in existence. But since I seldom get to Parkland ...

smy2k
smy2k

sorry to burst your bubble aggie00, but Wilonsky's bubble can not be burst.

Alexander Flores
Alexander Flores

Indeed, I never noticed Alex Murphy in that photo before either! ;)

scottindallas
scottindallas

we should never over-esteem people, they're only human after all.  I dare say this weekend may be equally cataclysmic, with equally long term ramifications for the country.  But, you're typing here, as if nothing really happened. 

ChrisU
ChrisU

well spoken Dallasite. I was very young. my only memory is 'when is Deputy Dawg coming back on TV?'

minimark
minimark

No - he clearly IS sorry!

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

I'll just take the 1st year in LA

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

and modest too!(intentional ingratiation)

Niceguytx
Niceguytx

You can see the driveway entrance to the basement (same as 1963) on both Main and Commerce...

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