Sunday, April 2, 2017

J.D. Tippit

If you are familiar with the circumstances around the JFK assassination you're probably aware of the role that DPD police officer J.D. Tippit played.  Unfortunately he was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald as the assassin was fleeing.

It took almost fifty years but this unsung hero was finally awarded a Texas Historical Marker to his honor.  It was placed at the location of his death and is easily missed if you're not looking for it:

The loss of Officer Tippit came at a time of national mourning for the country so his sacrifice is too often overlooked.  Thankfully, the marker had been refurbished and still looks like it's brand new.  Here's the close up:

 It reads:

     "On November 22, 1963, at this intersection, Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit was murdered by Lee Harvey Oswald, 45 minutes after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza. After the assassination, Oswald fled to his rooming house in Oak Cliff, in a neighborhood where Officer Tippit was assigned. While on patrol and traveling east on 10th St., having just crossed Patton St., Tippit stopped Oswald, who was walking on the sidewalk. After a brief conversation with him through the passenger window, Tippit exited his police car, at which time Oswald fired three shots across the hood, striking Tippit as he pulled his gun. Oswald then came around the rear of the car and fired a fourth shot. Oswald left the area. Temple Bowley, a citizen, stopped and used Tippit's radio to call for help. Officer Tippit was taken to Methodist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. 
     Oswald appeared at Hardy's Shoe Store shortly after manager Johnny C. Brewer heard a radio broadcast that a police officer had been shot and killed nearby. Brewer followed Oswald to the Texas Theater, where employee Julia Postal called police due to Brewer's suspicion. There, Oswald attempted to shoot arresting officer M.N. McDonald. 
     Tippit, who left behind a wife and three children, is buried at Laurel Land Memorial Park. In 1964, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Valor from the National Police Hall of Fame, the Police Medal of Honor, the Police Cross, and the Citizens Traffic Commission Award of Heroism. Although the intersection of 10th and Patton Streets has changed, Officer Tippit's actions and subsequent murder at this site are remembered for setting into motion a series of events that led directly to Oswald's arrest."

Due to grandparents with a great sense of historical preservation, I'm happy to own the 11/23/63 issue of the Dallas Times Herald.  Here's a look at the article/obituary for Tippit that was published that day after his death:

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