From Julius Caesar to JFK: Visit the top assassination tourist sites
Tourists still flock to see the building JFK was shot from but he’s not the only assassination victim to draw a crowd:
JFK Dallas, Texas
November 22, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK. Visitors to Dallas can find out more about President John F Kennedy – and his untimely death – in a number of ways. The somewhat inappropriately named Big D Fun Tours’ JFK Assassination Tour takes in key locations, while The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is on the site of the former book depository from which Lee Harvey Oswald is believed to have fired the fatal shot. The 50 sq ft John F Kennedy Memorial, on Main, Elm and Market Streets, is also worth checking out.
Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi Smriti, New Delhi
Gandhi Smriti is the Delhi museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi – it’s also where Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948. The museum houses a number of artefacts associated with Gandhi’s life, and there are tours of the building, including the room where Gandhi lived. It’s also possible to visit the spot on which he was shot while taking his nightly walk. Eerie. The exact location is marked by a Martyr’s Column, with a trail of concrete footprints acting as a reminder of the leaders’ last steps.
John Lennon, New York City
John Lennon was shot dead by Mark Chapman at the Dakota, an apartment building on the north-west corner of Central Park, on December 8, 1980. The park’s 2.5-acre (1ha) Strawberry Fields memorial in New York comprises a circular mosaic bearing the title of his most famous song, Imagine. ‘I saw roses, candles, works of art and even a hand-made Lennon doll placed on the Imagine memorial,’ says Kris, founder of http://www.theyellowbrickroadtrip.blogspot.co.uk. ‘These impromptu memorials are common and often attended by famous musicians and admirers of Lennon.’ Other locations for Beatles fans include 105 Bank Street in the West Village and The Plaza Hotel, where the group stayed before their famous first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.
Martin Luther King, Lorraine Motel, Memphis, Tennessee
Martin Luther King was assassinated by James Earl Ray, an escapee from Missouri State Penitentiary, on April 4, 1968. King was a regular at the Lorraine Motel – usually staying in room 306 – and it was while standing on the second-floor balcony that he was fatally shot. Visitors to Mulberry Street will now find the National Civil Rights Museum, a complex that incorporates not just a museum but several other important sites, including the Lorraine Motel and the Young and Morrow building on 422 Main Street, from which the fatal shot was thought to have been fired.
Julius Caesar, Theatre of Pompeii, Rome
Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in March 44BC by 60 Roman senators who called themselves the Liberators. The attack took place at the Theatre of Pompeii, one of Rome’s first permanent theatres. Its largest intact remains can be found at the spectacular Renaissance Palazzo della Cancelleria in the heart of the city. However, some buildings were constructed on top of the theatre’s original curved foundations. For this reason, visitors to modern-day Rome will be able to spot several curved buildings and streets. The Palazzo della Cancelleria itself is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture.
Yitzhak Rabin, Rabin Square, Tel Aviv
Yitzhak Rabin was the fifth prime minister of Israel, serving two terms. His second term ended with his assassination in 1995. On November 4, Rabin had attended a political rally held in support of the Oslo Accords, a peace agreement which gave Palestinians more control over the West Bank and Gaza. The rally took place in Tel Aviv’s Kikar Malkhei Yisrael (Kings of Israel) Square: Rabin was about to get into his car when Yigal Amir, a right-wing extremist, fired three shots at him. Two bullets hit Rabin, who was rushed to hospital but later died on the operating table from blood loss. Many of Israel’s streets were subsequently named after Rabin, including the square in which he died. Rabin Square is now also home to a monument dedicated to Rabin.