With the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination fast approaching, a host of films, television shows and books related to that historic event are emerging. On Wednesday, the house where Lee Harvey Oswald spent his last night before allegedly assassinating President John F. Kennedy is set to open as a museum.
According to the press release, the house once belonged to Ruth Paine, a woman who was friends with Oswald’s wife, Marina. Paine let Marina and her two daughters stay at her home in neaby Irving, Texas, while Lee Harvey Oswald lived and worked in Dallas during the week at the Texas School Book Depository at Dealey Plaza.
“The whole story is now kind of larger than life,” Kevin Kendro, archives coordinator for the city of Irving, which runs the Ruth Paine House Museum, told the Associated Press. “It started here in a little house where average stuff was going on.”
On the night of Nov. 21, 1963, Oswald made a surprise visit to Paine’s home. When he left the morning of Nov. 22, government investigators say he took his 6.5 mm Carcano bolt-action rifle with him, which had been stored in the garage of the house.
That morning, Paine and Marina did laundry, watched the children and viewed news coverage of the presidential visit to Dallas. Hours after the assassination, "the police were knocking on their door and their lives were changed forever after that," Kendro told the AP.
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Now, Paine’s home has been recreated exactly as it looked on Nov. 22, 1963. As visitors walk through the house, they are treated to video projections with actors recreating the events that took place there.
According to the Associated Press, Paine met the Oswalds at a party in February 1963 through a mutual friend, George de Mohrenschildt, himself a mysterious figure with reported ties to the CIA and FBI.
Paine lived in the house until 1966, and it passed through several owners before the city of Irving bought it in 2009.
In 2011, restoration began, which included replacing the garage door, windows and various other parts of the home. As the AP reports, city workers painstakingly poured over personal photographs from Paine, as well as photos from the Warren Commission and Life Magazine in order to make the house as authentic as possible to the period of November 1963.
Click here to book a visit to the Ruth Paine House Museum.
Paine, now 81, lives in California. She has been featured in a number of documentaries discussing her involvement with the Oswald family, the press release said.