Filming Kennedy: Home Movies from Dallas

All Exhibits

Introduction

Home movies have played an important role in American culture since the early 20th century. From personal mementos of family occasions, to historic records of national tragedy, to instant entertainment viewed by millions online, home movies continue to shape our culture in unpredictable—and sometimes profound—ways.

On November 22, 1963, the amateur filmmakers who captured images of President John F. Kennedy’s arrival in Dallas and his motorcade through the city's downtown sought to preserve exciting moments for themselves and their friends and family. Their footage of President Kennedy was added to reels already containing family events such as ball games, barbecues, and birthday parties. These enthusiastic spectators—among them a mail carrier, a dress manufacturer, a psychologist, and an air conditioning mechanic—created a significant film record of President Kennedy’s final moments, a visual account that endures more than four decades later.

On display through October 19, 2008, Filming Kennedy: Home Movies from Dallas showcases silent moving images of President John F. Kennedy, from his 1960 presidential campaign through his funeral on November 25, 1963. Featuring home movies from the collections of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the exhibition is highlighted by 11 amateur films presented in their entirety, some for the first time. Through a compilation video narrated by Museum curator Gary Mack, profiles of the men and women behind the home movie cameras, and an interactive education area, the exhibition vividly demonstrates the importance of film preservation.