After the shots were fired at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, president John F. Kennedy was rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital, only four miles from were the incident occurred. The severely wounded president of the United States was brought into trauma room number one, were the doctors pretty soon came to the conclusion that his live couldn’t be saved. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was pronounced dead at 1 pm.
by STAN BOS
Harry Hines Boulevard
The original hospital was opened in 1894 – the name Parkland came from the land on which the hospital was built. In 1954, nine years prior to the Kennedy assassination, Parkland moved to its current location at Harry Hines Boulevard in Dallas. Almost 50 years after the assassination Parkland Memorial Hospital still is best known for the events on November 22, 1963.
Parkland Memorial Hospital was in the midst of attention when president Kennedy was brought in. In a compelling part in his book Mrs. Kennedy and Me, Secret Service agent Clint Hill, who was assigned as personal bodyguard to the First Lady, wrote about the arrival at Parkland. Jackie Kennedy was holding the president in the limousine, his head still in her lap. At first, she refused to let go. Hill in his book:
“Please Mrs. Kennedy, let us help the president”, I said. She was in shock. Here eyes were looking but not seeing. And then I understood. She doesn’t want anyone to see him like this. Nobody should see the president like this. I took of my suit coat and placed it over his head and upper torso. As soon as my coat was covering the president, she released her grip. Together, agents Win Lawson, Roy Kellerman, Dave Powers en and I lifted the president’s lifeless body on to the gurney.
President Kennedy was brought in to trauma room number one, while Texas governor John Connally was rushed to trauma room number two. He survived, but Kennedy was administered the last rights and died moments after. Two days after the assassination, alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was rushed to Parkland after he was gunned down by nightclub owner Jack Ruby. He died after surgery. In 1967 Ruby died at Parkland as well, in the same operation room as Oswald, from a pulmonary embolism associated with lung cancer.
The hospital today
Today, Parkland Memorial Hospital still exists. The area were Kennedy, Oswald and Ruby died, now serves as the hospital’s Emergency Radiology department. A plaque commemorates their deaths. In one of the other halls are also showcases on the events in the sixties. Today, the emergency entrance at Parkland almost looks the same as in November 1963.