JFK 50th Anniversary Will Be Hell in a Handbasket. Goody.

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JFK assassination 50th anniversary news: City of Dallas releases video showing Dealey Plaza was occupied by Indians long before JFK assassination. Suburban library presents speech by guy who gave Lee Harvey Oswald ride to work. Boston auction announces it will hawk Oswald's wedding ring.

Mind if I slip something else into the narrative? The whole 50th thing is headed for hell-in-a-hand-basket. Just thought I'd mention it.

I've been working on a column about it for next week's paper. No meetings, no compromise, no accommodation whatsoever: That's the news on negotiations between the committee of private citizens running the 50th observations at Dealey Plaza and an array of assassination conspiracy study groups who say they will be banned by police cordon under current arrangements.

John Judge, head of the Coalition on Political Assassinations in Washington, confirmed to me this week that none of his group's requests for a meeting have even been responded to by the private outfit ruling the event with an iron hand. Meanwhile, COPA has its hands on an email stream -- evidence in an unrelated lawsuit -- showing that city officials started out a year ago seeking to banish anybody from the event who believes the assassination is an unsolved mystery.

"Classic content-based suppression of free speech," he calls it.

See also:
Mayor Mike's Plan to Keep "Extremists" from the JFK 50th: Does It Include Him?

I caught the mayor just as he was leaving town on vacation. He told me sponsors of the planned event at Dealey Plaza November 22 are afraid conspiracy theorists will climb trees and shout like monkeys like the pro-life guy at the Obama inauguration. COPA has carried out solemn respectful moments of silence in Dealey Plaza at every 10-year anniversary of the assassination, and Judge told me they'll climb trees if that's the only option the city leaves them.

Meanwhile the ticketing process for the event is a mess. Members of COPA are complaining that the web page where you apply for a ticket is kicking them out, not even letting them complete the application process. I asked Paula Blackmon, the mayor's chief of staff, who was in charge.

First she told me in an email it was the Dallas Police Department. When I told the police department she had told me that, a public information officer on the other end of the line sort of suggested he thought nobody could ever have told me such a thing. A bit stung, I forwarded Blackmon's email to him. Not too much later Blackmon called me and corrected herself, saying this time that the web page for the tickets was being run by an ad agency, the name of which she couldn't remember off-hand. Then she left on vacation, too.

Later, Dallas Police Chief David Brown, whom I had not called, called me up to set me straight. The ad agency runs the web page where the names are collected. Once they have a list, the police department will vet that list against major terrorism watch lists. He said DPD will not be kicking anybody out because they belong to COPA. But, of course, nobody in COPA will be on the list if the mystery ad agency has already barred them from even applying.

I'm trying to think what the name could be for that ad agency. Hoover, McCone, Hunt, Castro, Trafficante and Dallas? Ah, just kidding, Big D. Keep your shirt on.

Judge tells me the groups being shut out will sue the city to get in. But even in federal court here, the local powers-that-be have a major home-fried advantage in the courts, so it's unlikely a judge of any stripe will mess with the mossbacks on the 50th committee before November 22.

Does that mean it's over and the mossbacks get their way? Oh, no, it means hell-to-pay on November 22. The people who have devoted a half century to solving this mystery are not going to allow Dallas to push them out of a public place that had become near-sacred to them.

People in trees could happen. And more. Now back to the regular news stream: Guy who took picture of JFK at Love Field, now 112 years old, will address audience at Sixth Floor Museum on topic, "Has Anyone Seen My Wallet?"

In news terms, this just gets better.

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The only danger I can see is the possibility that some pedestrian will be run over by a car on Elm Street. This danger can be remedied simply by closing Elm Street ......SOMETHING THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE IN 1963!!


"Out damned spot..." Dallas keeps trying obsessively to wash its hands clean when it cannot be done. Otherwise why be so threatened by peaceful people holding a moment of silence? If there was nothing to hide there would be nothing to fear.


part two:If security is an issue after Boston, then do what is done in Washington, DC, use fences to create choke points of entry and check bags or have a metal detector and sniff dogs, but let people in. The Mayor's ticket website is banning blankets, chairs, umbrellas, knapsacks, large bags or purses even to those who have been vetted in advance. He is also banning "signs, banners, megaphones and bullhorns". But he doesn't list guns. In Texas, free speech is apparently more dangerous than guns when you deal with "security".

This is the most over the top security plan I have ever seen, and it infringes directly on Constitutional rights as well as common sense. We have now approached City Administrator Mary Suhm, put in charge of overseeing the event by the Mayor, who seems to be our last hope. Silence so far. Failing all else, we may have to go to court to assert our rights. Two recent Dallas City and County and Federal District Court decisions have upheld related First Amendment rights at Dealey Plaza and in the city.

We appeal to the people of Dallas to approach your Mayor, this planning committee and Ms. Suhm to let them know you want them to move their event time/place and open the Plaza to the public and allow our annual traditional Moment of Silence to take place at 12:30 pm. To do otherwise creates a Moment of Silencing. For more on who we are see www.politicalassassinations.com. To sign an online petition to Mayor Rawlings vist https://www.change.org/petitions/mayor-mike-rawlings-dallas-tx-open-dealey-plaza-to-the-public-on-november-22-2013. Then join us in Dealey Plaza on the 50th anniversary and at our national conference that weekend at the  Aloft hotel.

John Judge, COPA, Washington, DC


"Conspiracists want to own the moment of silence but they can't." That's Laura Peat talking, from Peat Associates, the "mystery" Dallas ad firm Paula Blackmon could not recall, though she was in the early planning meeting when it was said.

 From the first, the plan of the Sixth Floor Museum, the Mayor's office and the 50th planning committee has been to keep "conspiracy theory" off the Grassy Knoll on November 22 this year. Why? Nicola Longford, director of the Sixth Floor Museum gave us the clue in an email long ago, after she was "proactive" on behalf of the Mayor in getting an improperly issued permit exclusive for all of Dealey Plaza for a whole week (later withdrawn November 19 last year). She wrote that they "suggest simply that you set aside the national and international press attention to [JFK's] death for another moment." They know the press and the eyes of the world will be focused on Dealey Plaza on the 50th anniversary and they want to control the message.

Never mind that some of the Coalition on Political Assassinations members have been coming to the Grassy Knoll to hold a Moment of Silence every year for the last 49 years at 12:30 pm on November 22 and to speak the truth about the assassination of President Kennedy and its impact on the world we have lived in since. We have been trying to get a permit since 2010 for this year. We are quiet, we hold banners; we don't even use a sound system. Our permits in the past decade have never been exclusive of other events.

We filed a permit application on November 23, within the one year limit. The response was a letter from the Dallas City Attorney saying no park in Dallas was available for permit that day besides City Plaza, and that has since been "reserved for dignitaries".

The Mayor wants to celebrate the life and legacy of President Kennedy without mentioning his death. He chooses the one time and place where that makes no sense, since his event could take place any day of the year at any location.

The Mayor's office says they are worried about "security" since "tens of thousands" of people are coming to Dallas for November 22. If so, guess where they are going? Yet they will come from across America and the world to find police barricades and be routed to Jumbotron live images of the Mayor's "Dallas Loves Kennedy" event. Unless they have applied for a ticket online by July 31 (5,000 available but half reserved for Dallas residents), given up many pieces of their personal identity and are willing to wait for a lottery drawing in October and to pick up the tickets from 7-10 am, the morning of November 22 at the American Airlines Center. Can any of you imagine 2,500 Dallasites willing to do this to watch the Mayor, the Navy Glee Club and a Blue Angels flyover in Dealey Plaza?

The Mayor is creating the security issue when people arrive to visit the site and are turned away in the thousands, not the "conspiracists". We don't climb trees and howl like monkeys. We are not potential terrorists. We are forensic, ballistics, medical and scientific experts, academics and authors and serious researchers who happen to believe the best compiled and released evidence of the last five decades clearly shows that the Warren Commission was wrong and that a conspiracy was involved in the still unsolved homicide of President Kennedy, along with 85% of the American public in recent polls. We are the majority, the mainstream.

We met with the Mayor in February. We asked to be put on the planning committee or to at least be able to address them at a meeting with our plans and concerns. We wrote to the chairwoman and to the members repeatedly. We proposed alternatives to move the time or the place of their event to accommodate all of us and the public. We have been met to date with promises followed by silences.

We are not seeking a confrontation, we are asserting our First Amendment rights to assembly free speech, which are clearly being denied because of the content of our message, nothing else. Dealey Plaza is not only a public park, it is an officially designated historical site (Department of Interior). Dealey Plaza on November 22 this year belongs to the American people, the world and to history. It needs to be open to the public and to free speech.






Instead of trusting people to be respectful, they are just going to piss people off and create the very drama that they are trying to avoid.  Big D Dumb.

I think people could have been trusted to be reverent and respectful but the fascists in charge - the ancestors of the ones that ran the nasty ads that day and who hated Kennedy and still endorse Republicans exclusively - still don't get it.  So much for learning from your mistakes.


Hey 6th Floor Museum,

    Please be sure to turn OFF the 24/7 cam viewing Dealey Plaza from the alleged sniper's nest.  You wouldn't want a subversive viewing the glee club singing Power To The People. 

     Dallas will not get any of my tourist money ever.   I'll not step foot in the City of Hate.   I'll bet you if the group the Mayor was trying to keep out were a racial minority, sexual preference minority (not that there is anything wrong with that) or similar group, the President Obama would be on his soap box, reading from the teleprompter asking Eric Holder and the Justice Department to investigate.  You would see all the city leaders vacation cancelled and answers to the JD questions post haste.


We have more than our share of stupid Fascists here in Dallas. It is inimical to the rotting core that was once a great democratic Republic. Fear not. These idiots are going to lose out and big time. They forget that they work for us. Never forget that, fools, lest you eat cake shoved up your asses. ~ / ~ OM 

everlastingphelps topcommenter


Bob Grodin beats the city like a drum in the eventual lawsuit

Bob ends up making more money overall from book sales than the lawsuit (and it's not like he's selling books to get rich.)


Just another Dallas putting its best foot forward into its own nuts.  World crass for sure.

who is writing this, Orwell, Kafka, Carroll.... no, Hiaasen!


For a former CEO of an ad agency, not only does Mike suck as a mayor, he sucks as an ad agency CEO. What a PR disaster.  Paula is just pitiful on her own.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

I went to the "official website".  You are asked for 3 forms of ID, two of which must be supplied.  They are asking for driver's license number and state, passport number; and, social security number.  They are serious about the background checks.

Somehow, I feel that there is probably a "super double secret invitation list" that has already been filled out and this "ticket lottery" is just a Texas Two Step around the 1st Amendment.

Personally, after I stop by briefly at Lemmon Ave. and the DNT, I plan to mosey on down to Dealy Plaza anyway.

"Tickets, we don't need no stinking tickets."

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Do yourselves a favor, and read Stephen King's 11/22/63, if you haven't already.  You will love it.


Mystery Ad Agency - You have admire the Dallas ability to turn the 'nobody is responsible' bit into an art form.  It is practically a requirement for any activity involving Dallas.

holmantx topcommenter

I'm not kidding.  An assessment of threat is being made by Homeland Security.  The air space over DT Dallas will be restricted during the "celebration".  Why?

No cameras.

There will be snipers assigned to the rooftops however, it would be bad form to mount one in the critical window.

Most people don't know that the DPD SWAT members carry two business cards - one indicating they are Dallas SWAT and another identifying them as Homeland Security.

HS has drafted and can mobilize every city SWAT section in the country.


@conwayd Debra:  are you willing to protest this or just tiptoe around?  Will you ask Lancer attendees to get out in the street to make an issue of this?  Or do you intend to allow yourself and your organization to be "Silenced".? 

From Dallas News "  link below

Among those supporting the museum’s takeover of the ceremonies — perhaps surprisingly — is Debra Conway, president of JFK Lancer, the organization that for most of the past two decades has held the speaking permit for the plaza on the anniversary.

“I’m kind of glad,” she said of the museum’s plans. “I don’t think a lot of those things that have happened will happen when the museum takes over. I think they’ll have a ceremony that won’t get out of hand.”"



@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul I was turned off by the requests for information that could be used in identity theft, with no assurance the information was being held in a secure manner, etc.

I think that, especially when nobody knows for sure who is running the site, nobody should really trust their information to it.


@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul [Somehow, I feel that there is probably a "super double secret invitation list" that has already been filled out and this "ticket lottery" is just a Texas Two Step around the 1st Amendment.]

Agreed.  Not only is there the "secret invitation list," I suspect the organizers are kicking out some of the applicants before they ever make it to DPD screening.

JimSX topcommenter


Next time Code tickets me for an illegal trash can rack in the alley, I'm going to say, "An ad agency did that."


If only security was this tight 50 years ago...

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