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As seen in the Wall Street Journal’s Mansion section:
I recently read Gus Russo’s riveting book, Where Were You? America Remembers the JFK Assassination. I also saw the equally spellbinding movie, Parkland. It was emotional, to say the least. Memories came flooding back from that day in 1963.
I vividly recall my 5th grade teacher at St. Mark’s School, Gerald Hacker, giving us a pop quiz so that he could go to the office to watch the President’s cavalcade. A few minutes later he ran in to our classroom red-faced and crying after hearing the news of President Kennedy’s shooting downtown. Mr. Hacker had been in the crowd at Love Field greeting the president’s plane earlier that morning. “And now this…here in our own hometown?” we thought.
A few months later our family took a trip to New York City. A curious taxi driver asked where we were from. When we said, “Dallas, Texas,” he immediately pulled to the curb and ordered us out of his cab. On a trip to Europe, I remember my father telling a waiter we were from Dallas, as he reached for his wallet to pay a check. The waiter flinched, thinking my dad was reaching for a gun. It was painfully apparent …the realization that people outside of Dallas held it against the city, and held something against the people of Dallas because the president had been assassinated here.
Dallas was different then. The radical John Burch Society thrived. I remember a rising young black tennis star Arthur Ashe not being allowed to play at the Dallas Country Club. There was much brewing in a place known to some as “the city of hate.”
Kennedy’s murder changed so much. But to the credit of city leadership such as Texas Instruments’ Erik Jonsson and others, Dallas confronted its difficult past, and courageously moved forward.
No one will ever forget what happened or where they were that day the nation cried in 1963. However, I am proud to say that 50 years later Dallas is a much different place.
And for that we should all be grateful.
Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is Dallas’ luxury real estate leader, with more than 200 agents in five offices located throughout Dallas-Fort Worth and access to the global Sotheby’s network, including more than 11,000 agents in 600 offices worldwide. CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. For more information on escapes and second homes, ranch and land, and luxury homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth region and beyond, go to briggsfreeman.com.