Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, a small suburban home in Irving, Texas, and those living there were caught up in the whirlwind surrounding the tragedy. Half a century later, the historic home has been restored to its 1963 look and opened as a multimedia museum to tell the story of the events that occurred there.
|Ruth Paine, circa 1961, with her children.|
President John F. Kennedy was killed by a bullet from a sniper’s rifle Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. An endeavor to find the responsible party for this tragic event in American history brought the FBI and local law enforcement officials to a small home in Irving, Texas. The home belonged to Ruth Paine, a suburban housewife.
Ruth Paine’s house is where alleged JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald spent the night before shots rang out at Dallas’ Dealey Plaza ― claiming the life of President Kennedy. The story of the events surrounding the assassination has engrossed historians, scholars and everyday Americans for decades.
In 2009, the City of Irving purchased the Ruth Paine House to preserve its historical integrity; in 2013, it created a museum within so that visitors from near and far can have a rare encounter with history.
Through the generous cooperation of Ruth Paine, the use of Paine family photos, Warren Commission photos and other available material, the 1,250-square-foot home has been restored to how it looked in 1963.
From the old-fashioned television set that sits in the living room playing rare 1960s media coverage of President Kennedy’s visit to Dallas to the iconic couch replica where Ruth Paine was interviewed by countless journalists, the museum gives visitors a sense of the time and place where the historic events occurred.
To enhance the visitors’ feel of being in the house in 1963, the story of the events that unfolded there is told through projected vignettes in which actors play the roles of Ruth and Michael Paine, and Marina and Lee Harvey Oswald. Through words from the historical record, the actors bring the story to life.Guests in the Ruth Paine home also will learn about her involvement in local civic and social justice movements during the 1960s.
Ideal for everyone ― individuals, groups, students, adults, families ― tours of the Ruth Paine House Museum are available to the public. The interactive, docent-led tours will last approximately 90 minutes and are limited to 12 persons.
For more information on group tours, call (972) 721-3729.