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New Kennedy Footage Now Available on Museum Website
DALLAS/November 4, 2008—It has been nearly 45 years since the Kennedy assassination. Yet, rarely seen amateur home movies of the thirty-fifth president continue to surface and make their way into the public eye. Three such films are now available online at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza's website. The movies range from powerful footage of President Kennedy's funeral procession to ordinary moments of the president-elect leaving his Georgetown home.
The recent acquisitions demonstrate the importance of home movie filming as it pertains to history. Curator Gary Mack explains "Even the pros don't always get the best view of historic events. Sometimes, the amateur home movie maker captures moments missed by everyone else." More home movies are expected to appear in the future.
The first shows Senator Kennedy campaigning in1960 in the parking lot of what was the Crestwood Plaza Shopping Center near St. Louis, Missouri. The color film was shot by a German immigrant named Schmidt in October of that year and shows an interesting cross-section of Americana. The Museum acquired this film through an eBay auction. The seller obtained it from a Schmidt estate sale in St. Louis earlier this year. The Museum is in the process of trying to locate Schmidt family members in order to find out more information about the photographer and his film.
The second home movie shows president-elect Kennedy leaving his Georgetown townhouse while a crowd of reporters, photographers, and Secret Service men stand outside. This 8mm color film is followed by scenes of Kennedy's inaugural ceremonies filmed from a television set. A sculptor and photography artist named Adam Peiperl captured the images and donated the home movie.
The third home movie provides a unique look of the president's funeral procession through Washington D.C. on November 25, 1963. Dr. George Christian's 8mm color film includes various shots of President Kennedy's casket, Black Jack—the symbolic riderless horse—followed by the limousine carrying Jacqueline Kennedy, her children John and Caroline, Robert Kennedy, Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson and others along the route. Similar scenes were shown on live TV, but only in black & white.
To view all home movies currently in our online collections database, click here.
About the Museum
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; interprets and supports the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza; and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history. Located at 411 Elm in the West End Historic District of downtown Dallas, the Museum is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday and 12 to 6 p.m. Monday. Audio guides for the permanent exhibit are available in seven languages, and a youth version is available in English. For more information, visit www.jfk.org or call 214-747-6660.
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