Dallas and Fort Worth have a host of good museums. The one we liked best was The Kennedy Museum, located in the former Book Depository Building in downtown Dallas. It was from the sixth floor of this building that Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 23, 1963. The entire sixth floor of the building has been turned into a museum detailing Kennedy’s career as President with a special emphasis on his fateful day in Dallas.
Fort Worth is home to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and one of only two places where the nation’s currency is printed, Washington, D.C. being the other. The next time you pull out a dollar bill, or any bill for that metter, look for a little FW in a corner on the front of the bill. It will look something like FWC2. If ypou see the FW, you can be sure the money you are holding was made in Fort Worth. Visitors are welcome at the facility and I heartily recommend it to anyone visting the Dallas area. In addition to giving 45 minute guided tours that show the whole printing processs, the facility has a terrific visitor center that includes some great exhibits, a theater that shows a documentary on how the currency is made and one of the best gift shops anywhere.
From the Bureau of Engraving and Printing we headed to the Stockyards District and got there just in time to see the famous cattle drive down Exchange Street. It was a little hokey, of course, since it consisted of only 18 or so Texas Longhorns, but it was still fun to see. After the cattle drive we went to nearby Billy Bob’s for lunch. Billy Bob’s claims to be the world’s largest honky-tonk and is something of a landmark in the city. I can’t recommend Billy Bob’s for lunch though. First off, they charge an admission to enter their mostly-empty restaurant, and, secondly, the food wasn’t very good. The best part of Billy Bob’s is their Wall of Fame, where hundreds of entertainers have their handprints hanging on the wall.
We finished our visit to Fort Worth in the city’s Cultural District, home to five excellent museums. We only had time for one museum so we chose to go the highly regarded Kimbell Art Museum. Admission to museum was free and there was plenty of free parking nearby. The museum was relatively small, but the permanent collection was extraordinary containing works from many of the European masters including Michaelangelo’s first known painting.