Baylor University Poage Library

Standing Committee Report 21

John F. Kennedy
His Life - His Presidency - His Legacy

In remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Poage Library transformed the W. R. Poage Exhibit Gallery to honor JFK's life and legacy. The exhibit features a life-size cutout of President Kennedy next to a Kennedy Rocker replica where visitors can sit and have their photos taken. The main exhibit gallery also includes a vintage-style record player playing Kennedy speeches; an original Teletype machine with both AP and UPI Teletype printouts; an "eternal" flame; and a Wall of Remembrance where visitors can post their memories of Nov. 22, 1963. There are also two iPad stands with a selection of short videos about President Kennedy's life and death.

The library foyer and book vault contain exhibits related to assassination research dating back to Nov. 22, 1963. There are dozens of 3" glass slides from the papers of John Nichols, M.D. illustrating the wounds of Texas Gov. John Connally who was sitting in front of President Kennedy. In the book vault is a display of 12 cameras like those used along the route of the motorcade near the Texas Book Depository. Each camera is identified with the name of the person who used that type camera along with a photograph taken by that camera.

Since 2004, Poage Library has become a central repository for JFK assassination research materials. While many of the collections begin with an in-depth study of the assassination, much of the research branches out examining the life of the President. Additionally, a number of our congressional collections compliment the Kennedy era allowing us to explore the policies and presidency of JFK. On Nov. 22 we held a daylong commemoration with speakers sharing their memories of that fateful day. Other events included a visit by 55 members of COPA, the Coalition on Political Assassinations, and tours by several education classes, honors college students and University 1000 classes.

Bob Bullock Archivist Debbie Davendonis-Todd [back left, facing group] addresses Dr. Rebecca Flavin's University1000 group.This was the first trip to Poage Library for many of these freshmen.