What: “50 Years Since the Assassination of John F. Kennedy” — The 2013 Texas History Symposium presented by the University of North Texas Department of History. Featuring former Dallas Police Department detective James Leavelle and James Giglio, distinguished professor emeritus of history at Southwest Missouri State University, as guest speakers.
When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. April 20 (Saturday)
Where: Room 122 of UNT’s Wooten Hall, which is located one block west of Welch and Highland Streets (1121 Union Circle)
Cost: $25 regular registration; $15 high school and middle school student registration; and $10 UNT faculty and staff member registration. UNT students will register for free. Registration is online. The registration deadline is 5 p.m. April 15 (Monday).
Contact: Marie Watkins in the UNT Department of History at 940-565-3197 and HistoryEvents@unt.edu.
DENTON (UNT), Texas — James Leavelle, the Dallas Police Department detective who was escorting alleged presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald out of the police headquarters when Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby, will be one of the two speakers at “50 Years Since the Assassination of John F. Kennedy,” the 2013 Texas History Symposium presented by the University of North Texas Department of History.
The symposium will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. April 20 (Saturday) in Room 122 of UNT’s Wooten Hall, which is located at 1121 Union Circle, one block west of Welch and Highland Streets.
Registration, which includes lunch, is available online through 5 p.m. April 15 (Monday). The regular registration fee is $25. High school and middle school students will register for $15 and UNT faculty and staff members will register for $10. UNT students will register for free.
Leavelle’s question-and-answer session at the Texas History Symposium, “Just Doing My Job: JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald,” will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Following the session, Leavelle will autograph photos for $10 each, with all proceeds benefitting the Dallas Police Department.
Leavelle became famous in a Dallas Times Herald photo that captured Oswald grimacing after Ruby shot him with his .38-caliber pistol in the basement of the Dallas police headquarters. In the photo, Leavelle, who handcuffed himself to Oswald before stepping into a crowd of reporters, stands out in his tan suit and matching cowboy hat. He leans back, stunned, as Oswald grimaces. Ruby can be seen in the right side of the photo, still pointing his gun.
In a 2010 story on KXAS-TV/Channel 5, Leavelle, who joined the Dallas Police Department in 1950, recalled that he didn’t even have an assignment on Nov. 22, 1963, the day of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. That changed when Leavelle heard about the president being shot, and went to the Texas School Book Depository to collect statements. Soon after arriving, however, he volunteered to investigate the fatal shooting of Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit. After Oswald was arrested for Tippit’s murder, Leavelle was the first to interrogate him. Two days later, on Nov. 24, he was escorting Oswald out of police headquarters to be driven to the county jail when Ruby killed Oswald.
James Giglio, distinguished professor emeritus of history at Southwest Missouri State University, will be the Texas History Symposium’s other speaker. The author of “The Presidency of John F. Kennedy” and “John F. Kennedy: A Bibliography,” Giglio will discuss “My Odyssey with John F. Kennedy” in a question-and-answer session from 10-11:30 a.m. He will also sign copies of his books from 2:30 to 3 p.m.
For more information on the Texas History Symposium, contact Marie Watkins in the UNT Department of History at 940-565-3197 and HistoryEvents@unt.edu.
Note to reporters and editors: Members of the media may attend the symposium for free. To arrange to attend, contact Nancy Kolsti in the UNT News Service at 940-565-3509 or firstname.lastname@example.org.