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November 22, 1963

At approximately 12:38 p.m. on November 22, 1963, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy entered Trauma Room I at Parkland Memorial Hospital. By 2 p.m., his young widow was escorting his remains to Air Force One. The events in that brief time and in the following days forever engraved Parkland Memorial Hospital in a pivotal moment of United States history.

A letter from hospital administrator C. Jack Price outlines the events that unfolded at Parkland in the later days of November, 1963:

At 12:38 p.m., Friday, November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally were brought to the Emergency Room of Parkland Memorial Hospital after being struck down by the bullets of an assassin.

At 1:07 p.m., Sunday, November 24, 1963, Lee H. Oswald, accused assassin of the late president, died in an operating room of Parkland Memorial Hospital after being shot by a bystander in the basement of Dallas' City Hall. In the intervening 48 hours and 31 minutes Parkland Memorial Hospital had:

  1. Become the temporary seat of the government of the United States.
  2. Become the temporary seat of the government of the State of Texas
  3. Become the site of the death of the 35th President
  4. Become the site of the ascendancy of the 36th President
  5. Become the site of the death of President Kennedy's accused assassin.
  6. Twice become the center of the attention of the world.
  7. Continued to function at close to normal pace as a large charity hospital.

What is it that enables an institution to take in stride such a series of history jolting events? Spirit? Dedication? Preparedness? Certainly, all of these are important, but the underlying factor is people. People whose education and training is sound. People whose judgment is calm and perceptive. People whose actions are deliberate and definitive. Our pride is not that we were swept up by the whirlwind of tragic history, but that when we were, we were not found wanting.

The following documents and photos commemorate the legacy of the events surrounding November 22, 1963.

Documents

Chapter five of "1894 into the Future," a special edition of Hospital Highlights, recounts in detail the moments before and after President John F. Kennedy arrived at Parkland.

Parkland's Dec. 9, 1963 issue of Hospital Highlights features a letter to Parkland by Governor John Connally, the letter from hospital administrator C. Jack Price, historical photos and more.

Stories from individuals who were there - Daniel Foster, MD served as professor and chairman of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Yvonne Clark served as an executive secretary in Parkland's Pathology laboratories.

Photos

Trauma Room 1 | (highRes) - This is the room where Parkland physicians worked to save the life of the President.

Trauma Room 1 Plaque | (highRes) This plaque marks the exact spot of the Trauma Room I operating table, now located in the Radiology Department. Here's a closer view of this plaque. | (highRes)

Seal of the President of the United States replica | (highRes) - The White House supplied this cast of the Presidential Seal in 1989. Parkland enlisted the help of the medical illustrators at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to paint the cast.

President John F. Kennedy bust | (highRes) - This bust was sculpted by Felix De Weldon and donated to Parkland in 2012.

For more details and all other media requests,
please call Corporate Communications 214.590.8054.

 

 

 

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