"Single Bullet: Arlen Specter & the Warren Commission Investigation of the JFK Assassination," the first exhibition of The Arlen Specter Center for Public Policy at Philadelphia University, examines critical events from Nov. 22, 1963
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Single Bullet: Arlen Specter & the Warren Commission Investigation of the JFK Assassination," the inaugural exhibition of The Arlen Specter Center for Public Policy at Philadelphia University, re-examines critical evidence in an innovative new exhibit that coincides with the 50th anniversary of the assassination.
"Single Bullet" reflects a tumultuous time in U.S. history that still evokes controversy over the Warren Commission finding that one shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald, was responsible for the assassination. While presenting the evidence, the exhibit also addresses conflicting theories and allows visitors to come to their own conclusions.
The exhibition transports visitors back in time to the scene of the assassination on Nov. 22, 1963. One highlight is a life-size model of the limousine President John F. Kennedy was riding in when he was hit by two bullets during a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza in Dallas.
When sitting in the rear seat of the model, where Kennedy was sitting at the time of the assassination, visitors can observe from several computer monitors where the bullets struck the president and the view from other key vantage points, including the grassy knoll and from the Texas School Book Depository window where Oswald was perched when he fired the shots.
The Warren Commission's exhaustive investigation and final report hinged in large part on former Sen. Specter's still-controversial conclusion that one single bullet hit both Kennedy and then-Texas Gov. John Connally, who was sitting in front of the president and was wounded during the assassination.
In the exhibit's limousine model, a manikin representing Connally brings the historic scene to life, showing clearly how one bullet could have traveled through the president's neck and struck Connally in several places.
Howard P. Willens, former Warren Commission assistant counsel and last surviving member of the Commission, spoke at a special preview about his new book, History Will Prove Us Right: Inside the Warren Commission Investigation into the Assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Despite the many conspiracy theories that have emerged over the years, Willens unequivocally defends the Commission's finding that Oswald was the lone shooter responsible for Kennedy's assassination. "I have no reservation whatsoever in reaffirming on a daily basis the conclusion of the Warren Commission," Willens said.
The exhibition was supported with a $100,000 grant from PNC Foundation and runs through April 11, 2014. It is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. To schedule individual or group tours, call 215-951-0489 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"This is a dynamic, participatory exhibit," said Stephen Spinelli Jr., president of Philadelphia University. "`Single Bullet' represents a unique multidisciplinary collaboration of students, faculty and staff. It sheds light on the Warren Commission's findings and addresses some of the controversies that still surround this major event in history by putting the viewer into the experience. It is intellectually stimulating and emotionally gripping. We are proud to present 'Single Bullet' as the first major exhibition of The Arlen Specter Center for Public Policy at Philadelphia University."
In addition to the limousine model, cameras and a detailed timeline of the day's events in the exhibit's Assassination Room, the Investigation Room includes a model of Dealey Plaza that shows the trajectories of the three shots Oswald fired from the Depository window, and such artifacts as copies of the 1964 Philadelphia Inquirer and Evening Bulletin announcing the findings of the Warren Commission; selected volumes from Specter's personal set of hearing transcripts; and a signed letter by former CIA director Allen Dulles to former U.S. Pennsylvania Sen. Hugh Scott recommending Specter's work on the Warren Commission.
A transdisciplinary team of students and faculty from the College of Architecture and the Built Environment; Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce; and the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts, as well as staff of The Arlen Specter Center, the Paul J. Gutman Library and The Design Center at Philadelphia University contributed to the exhibit.
Specter passed away in 2012 after representing the Commonwealth for 30 years as its longest-serving U.S. Senator and one of the most influential of his time. In December 2010, he donated his extensive archive, encompassing 50 years of public service, to Philadelphia University to establish The Arlen Specter Center for Public Policy. The Center's mission is to foster greater understanding of political science, government and history through research, educational programming and exhibitions inspired by Specter's career as reflected in his extensive archive. The Specter Center will be housed in the historic Roxboro House at Philadelphia University, which is currently undergoing renovations.
Philadelphia University, founded in 1884, is a private university with 3,600 students enrolled in more than 60 undergraduate and graduate programs. As the model for professional university education, the University prepares students to be leaders in their professions in an active, collaborative and real-world learning environment infused with the liberal arts. Philadelphia University includes the innovative Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce; the College of Architecture and the Built Environment; and the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts. For more information, go to www.PhilaU.edu.
SOURCE Philadelphia University