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Three cities hold prominent places in the history of JFK

In this photo taken on Jan. 25, a visitor looks out onto Dealey Plaza from the Sixth Floor Museum in the former Texas School Book Depository building in Dallas.
In this photo taken on Jan. 25, a visitor looks out onto Dealey Plaza from the Sixth Floor Museum in the former Texas School Book Depository building in Dallas.
Published Nov. 5, 2013

Three cities loom large in the life and death of John F. Kennedy: Washington, D.C., where he was president and senator; Dallas, where he died; and Boston, where he was born.

With the 50th anniversary of his Nov. 22, 1963, assassination at hand, all three offer places where you can learn more about him or honor his legacy. Here's a list of museums, monuments, historic sites and events in those cities.

Boston area

Tour: A walking tour of downtown Boston looks at JFK as an emerging politician in the context of his Irish immigrant ancestors and family political connections, with stops at the JFK statue on the Boston State House lawn; the Union Oyster House, where he often dined in an upstairs booth; the Parker House hotel, where he proposed to Jacqueline Bouvier; and Faneuil Hall, where he gave his last speech in the 1960 campaign. The $12 tour meets at 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays at Boston Common Visitor Center, 139 Tremont St.;

Presidential Library and Museum: The I.M. Pei-designed museum houses permanent displays on the campaign trail, Kennedy's family and the first lady, along with special exhibits on the Cuban missile crisis and Jackie's White House years.

Birthplace: Kennedy, one of nine children, was born at 83 Beals St. in Brookline, a Boston suburb, in 1917. The house is a National Park site.

Hyannis: In the 1920s, JFK's father, Joseph, bought a waterfront vacation home for his family in Hyannis Port on Cape Cod, about 75 miles from Boston. Other family members including JFK bought property nearby. The hours of the privately operated JFK Hyannis Museum vary by season and it is mostly closed in December and all of January.

Dallas area

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza: Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, fired at the president's motorcade from a window on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. The site is now the Sixth Floor Museum. The privately operated museum has exhibits about the assassination and is hosting a series of talks by individuals connected to the events of that day, including authors of several new books. It's at 411 Elm St.

Memorial ceremony: On Nov. 22, church bells will toll citywide at 12:25 p.m., followed by a moment of silence at 12:30, the time of the shooting. Events in Dealey Plaza will include Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough reading JFK speeches, a performance by the U.S. Naval Academy Men's Glee Club, a military flyover and prayers. Public viewing screens will be set up around the city to broadcast the event for those who were not among the 5,000 to get tickets. 50thhonoringjohnf

Other local sites connected to the assassination: Love Field airport (where JFK landed in Dallas and where Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as president to replace him); Parkland Hospital (where Kennedy was taken and where Oswald died after being shot by Jack Ruby); and a marker in the Oak Cliff neighborhood at 10th and Patton streets where Oswald shot police Officer J.D. Tippit.

Dallas LOVE Project: Dallas was branded the "City of Hate" after the killing. Some 30,000 works of art reflecting on Dallas as a city of love are going up around town this fall to mark the anniversary.

JFK Tribute: This sculpture of Kennedy in Fort Worth marks the spot where JFK spoke the morning of Nov. 22 to crowds gathered outside his hotel, now the Fort Worth Hilton.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art: Through Jan. 12, the museum hosts "Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy," which includes a Picasso and other works of art that were originally loaned by local collectors for a display in the hotel suite where the Kennedys spent the night before his assassination.

Washington, D.C., area

Arlington National Cemetery (Virginia): Kennedy's grave site is marked with an eternal flame, in accordance with his widow's wishes.

Newseum: Through Jan. 5, this privately operated museum hosts three exhibits related to JFK: "Creating Camelot," family photos; "Three Shots Were Fired," including artifacts such as the Zapruder movie camera, which captured the shooting on film; and A Thousand Days, a short documentary about JFK's 1,000-day administration.

Smithsonian National Museum of American History: Items related to the Kennedys can be found in exhibits on presidential elections and first ladies' inaugural gowns.