Now a National Historic Landmark, this rectangular park is south of the former Book Depository. Dealey Plaza was named in 1935 for George Bannerman Dealey, a longtime Dallas journalist, historian and philanthropist. Just steps from here, John Kennedy was assassinated in September 1963.
The grassy knoll is the hillock that rises from the north side of Elm St to the edge of the picket fence separating Dealey Plaza from the railroad yards. While some witnesses to the assassination claim shots came from this area, investigators found only cigarette butts and footprints on the knoll after the shooting. The House Select Committee on Assassinations, investigating from 1976 to 1978, concluded via acoustical analysis that a sniper did fire from behind the picket fence but missed. That bolstered the belief that Kennedy’s assassination was part of a conspiracy. We may never know the truth.