John F. Kennedy Exhibit Unveiled At University of Nevada
The 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy is coming up, and the University of Nevada is highlighting that in a new exhibit.
Wednesday, November 20th 2013, 12:30 AM PST
Monday, November 25th 2013, 1:07 PM PST
Friday, November 22nd, 1963 is a date that is stuck in the minds of many, it was the day President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated.
"I was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania," said Paul Mitchell, Professor and Recruitment and Retention Coordinator at the Reynolds School of Journalism (University of Nevada). "I remember we were sent home when that happened, and I remember sitting at my dining room table with the rest of my family, basically, crying because of what had happened."
"I was coming out of a class in the old Ross Hall," said Larry Struve of Reno. "I noticed a huge stream of people rushing over to the Jot Travis Student Union, and I wondered what was going on out there. I asked, and they said the President has been shot, and the shock was unbelievable."
The 50th anniversary is coming up this Friday, and the University of Nevada is highlighting that in a new exhibit that was unveiled Tuesday. It has a number of items, including works from the late Travis Linn, who was a radio reporter for WFAA in Dallas. He covered the arrival of President Kennedy before the assassination.
The items from the exhibit were given to the University of Nevada's History Department by his wife, Sheila, who was a student there when the assassination happened.
"Sheila fell into our laps," said Anita Watson, Coordinator of the university's Shared History Initiative. "She had this material that she and Travis collected. With the anniversary coming up, it was really important to her."
"This project was really interesting because Sheila Linn and I talked about it in a nonchalant kind of manner," said Anne-Elizabeth Northan, a student who worked on the exhibit. "I brought it up to the chair of the history department, and we just jumped on this project because it's so exciting, and such an interesting primary source of documents."
The exhibit also features the northern Nevada coverage of the assassination which include interviews with locals who talked about where they were when JFK was shot and killed.
"People had stories," Watson said. "Everybody remembers it. Everybody's got something that they remember that was so traumatic in our public consciences that they'll never forget where they were, where they were standing."
After his work in Dallas, Travis Linn later became the first dean of the journalism school at the University of Nevada.
"Travis was one of the first people who helped the Reynolds School of Journalism become a separate school," Mitchell said. "Without Travis, none of that would've been possible at all."
Linn continues to leave a legacy there.
"Travis was a good friend of mine," Mitchell said. "As a matter of fact, in my office, I have a picture of his eyes that his son drew and gave to all the faculty. So, I always have Travis with me, every day."
Sheila Linn told me why the university was a great spot to have this exhibit.
"I just thought that the coincidence of us having ended up in Reno, and the coincidence of my having been a student, and he being the dean of the journalism school, that this would be a perfect story because I thought it was important for the university to have a history of the students who were here at the time and to use Travis' materials."
I then asked her what Travis would think if he were to see this exhibit today.
"I think he would be very pleased. He would have been so modest that he wouldn't have thought to share it."
If you'd like to see the exhibit, it's inside the Mack Social Sciences building, near room 109. Officials say it's going to be set up through spring.
Written by Adam Varahachaikol