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JFK 50: Remembering the Kennedy Assassination

JFK 50: Remembering the Kennedy Assassination

JFK 50: Remembering the Kennedy Assassination

Parkland Hospital

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    Parkland Hospital

    After an assassin targeted President John F. Kennedy in Dallas' Dealey Plaza, the presidential motorcade sped north on Stemmons Freeway toward Parkland Memorial Hospital with the president in grave condition.

    According to the Warren Report, "the radio log of the Dallas Police Department shows that at 12:30 p.m. on November 22 Chief Curry radioed, 'Go to the hospital--Parkland Hospital. Have them stand by.' A moment later Curry added, 'Looks like the President has been hit.  Have Parkland stand by.'"

    Though estimable actions were undertaken to save the life of President Kennedy, his injuries ultimately proved to be too severe and, just before 1 p.m., Last Rites of the Church were administered by Father Oscar L. Huber of Dallas' Holy Trinity Church.

    Shortly after 1 p.m., President Kennedy was declared dead by Parkland's Dr. William Kemp Clark, after which the hospital would forever be linked to JFK and the tragic day in the City of Dallas.

    Just two days after the death of the president, the hospital would once again be thrust into the international spotlight when his accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was rushed to the hospital after being shot in the basement of Dallas police headquarters. 

    Oswald too succumbed to his injuries and died in the emergency room, in Trauma Room 2, across the hall from where Kennedy was declared dead.

    In a letter to hospital staff on Nov. 27, 1963, administrator C.J. Price recalled the incredible events that had unfolded over 48 hours where the hospital had "become a temporary seat of the government of the United States, become a temporary seat of the government of the State of Texas, become a site of the death of the 35th President, become the site of the ascendency [sic] of the 36th President, become the site of the death of President Kennedy's accused assassin, twice become the center of the attention of the world" while continuing to "function at close to normal pace as a large charity hospital."

    Hospital officials also recounted that when the wounded president and Texas Gov. John Connally where admitted, the hospital was treating 23 other patients in the emergency room  and that seven others were admitted between the arrival of the president and governor and the removal of the president's body. On average, in 1963, Parkland treated 272 patients a day, or one every five minutes.

    Source: Parkland Hospital