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SURVEYORS ROLE IN HISTORY
"The Assassination of John F. Kennedy:
The Trial of Clay Shaw"

A Special Video Presentation by Cyn Rene' Whitfield
Marketing Coordinator for Terrametrix

 
On March 1, 1967, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested and charged New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw with conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy, with the help of Lee Harvey Oswald. The Clay Shaw trial testimony of Robert West is to date, the only trial to be brought for the assassination of President Kennedy.  A jury took less than an hour to find Clay Shaw not guilty.

Robert West, a surveyor in Dallas County, Dallas Texas, was brought in to testify as an expert on the as-built conditions of Dealey Plaza at 12:30 PM CT, November 22, 1963 when the 35th President of the United States was shot and killed. His detailed knowledge of the conditions of the plaza combined with his timely presence at the site during the assassination would make a powerful statement to surveyors as they approach their profession as documentation experts of existing conditions.

The role that surveyors have played in history began hundreds of years ago with the exploration of America and the need for navigational maps. The profession requires a unique ability in observation and documentation which advances the profession beyond more than filling a basic need to define boundaries. Surveyors are historians and detectives and the profession has proven to be more than the establishment and maintenance of boundaries as it is both a science and an art.

Technology is constantly changing and so has the surveyor’s tools. The advancement from rods and chains to AutoCAD, satellites and 3D laser scanners are contributors to the growth of the profession in the way data is collected and stored. The end product is only as good as the original field data gathered but what remains is the keen ability of the surveyor in spatial recognition.

It is not the intention of the following presentation to promote or perpetuate the many dozens of theories that surround the events of the assassination of our 35th President of the United States. This piece is intended to show only the importance of accurate documentation presented with surveyor technology tools of the trade and the role of a surveyor in American history.

 


 
 
   
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© Cyn Rene Whitfield 2010
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