JFK assassination artifacts at Newseum
(AP/ABC7) - Some never-before-seen artifacts from the minutes and hours following President John F. Kennedy's assassination are going on display in Washington.
The Newseum, a museum devoted to journalism and the First Amendment, is marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination with a yearlong commemoration including two new exhibitions and a new film about Kennedy.
One exhibit, entitled "Three Shots Were Fired," follows the events and news coverage that unfolded after Kennedy was shot in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. It opens to the public Friday, along with an extensive exhibition of photographs by Kennedy's personal photographer, entitled "Creating Camelot."
For the first time, the museum is showing items from assassin Lee Harvey Oswald at the time of his arrest. The display includes Oswald's clothing, a jacket that police believe he discarded, his wallet and a blanket used to hide his rifle in a friend's garage. The objects are on loan from the National Archives.
More than 100 rarely seen objects will be on display, including the 8 mm movie camera used by Abraham Zapruder, who was the only eyewitness to capture the entire assassination on film.
The photography exhibition features 70 images that were nearly lost in the 9/11 attacks. Kennedy photographer Jacques Lowe kept the negatives of more than 40,000 Kennedy photographs in a bank vault at the World Trade Center. While the negatives were lost in the attack, the Newseum worked with Lowe's estate to recover and digitally restore images from Lowe's contact sheets and prints that were kept in another New York City facility.
“I was 6 when he was assassinated and you never forget where you were at that moment,” says Kathy Jones, who was visiting from Richmond.
Lowe was 28 when he met the Kennedys and was hired as the family's personal photographer. His photos span from Kennedy's 1958 Senate re-election campaign through his early White House years, helping to create the public image of "Camelot."
The Newseum's new film, "A Thousand Days," exploring Kennedy's presidency and family life in the White House, also will be shown at the museum beginning Friday.
“It changed the country forever,” says Cathy Trost, Newseum vice president of exhibits. “It changed the media forever.”