WASHINGTON, April 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Newseum opens two new exhibits and an original documentary as part of a year-long exploration of President John F. Kennedy in the 50th anniversary year of his assassination. The JFK exhibits chronicle the presidency, family life and death of America's 35th president through rarely seen artifacts, photos and video, and explore how journalists covered one of the darkest days in American history.
"JFK," which opens today at the Newseum, features two exhibits and a film:
- "Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe" features intimate images of Kennedy and his family taken by Jacques Lowe, Kennedy's personal photographer.
- "Three Shots Were Fired" tells the dramatic story of the news media's reporting of Kennedy's assassination through powerful images and artifacts, including some items on loan from the National Archives, which have never been publicly displayed, that were with Lee Harvey Oswald at the time of his arrest on Nov. 22, 1963.
- "A Thousand Days," a Newseum-produced film shown on a 100-foot-wide video screen, uses original footage and interviews to examine Kennedy's presidency and family life in the White House.
For its "Creating Camelot" exhibit, the Newseum restored more than 70 images reproduced from original prints and contact sheets after more than 40,000 original Jacques Lowe negatives of Kennedy photos, stored in a World Trade Center bank vault, were lost on 9/11.
"Creating Camelot" features intimate, behind-the-scenes images of Kennedy, his wife, Jacqueline, and their children, Caroline and John. Lowe was 28 when he met the Kennedys in 1958 and was hired as the family's personal photographer. Over the next three years, he shot more than 40,000 images of the couple and their children. Lowe's photos span from Kennedy's 1958 U.S. Senate re-election campaign through his early years in the White House. The iconic images helped create the mythology about the Kennedy years that later became known as Camelot.
"Three Shots Were Fired" examines the events that began with Kennedy's assassination in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. A United Press International bulletin broke the news that the president had been shot, and minutes later, CBS anchor Walter Cronkite began four days of unprecedented television coverage, including the unforgettable moment he reported to the nation that Kennedy had died. The exhibit features never before publicly displayed artifacts on loan from the National Archives including the long-sleeve shirt Lee Harvey Oswald was wearing when he was arrested, the wallet Oswald was carrying at the time of his arrest and its contents, a jacket investigators believe Oswald discarded as he was fleeing police, and the blanket Oswald used to hide his rifle in the garage of a family friend near Dallas.
The Newseum's original film "A Thousand Days" recounts the youthful glamour the Kennedy family brought to the White House and the newsworthy moments of a presidency cut short. The 16-minute film is shown in the Newseum's Smith Big Screen Theater, a 120-seat theater featuring a 100-foot-wide screen.
In conjunction with the exhibits, the Newseum has launched "JFK Online: From the Newseum Archives," a web-based interactive exhibit featuring images and video interviews with journalists who covered the assassination, including Walter Cronkite and Ike Pappas.
In partnership with American University School of Communication, the Newseum will host "JFK Remembered," a special program with Tom Brokaw of NBC News and veteran journalist Nick Clooney. The evening program on May 1 commemorates the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's famous speech "A Strategy of Peace," which was delivered at American University. Clooney and Brokaw will share their memories of the Kennedy presidency in the program, which will also feature archival footage of the 1963 speech. For ticket information, visit newseum.org. The program is free for Newseum members, but reservations are required.
About the Newseum
The mission of the Newseum is to champion the five freedoms of the First Amendment through education, information and entertainment. One of the top attractions in Washington, D.C., the Newseum's 250,000-square-foot news museum offers visitors a state-of-the-art experience that blends news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits. The Newseum is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded, in part, by the Freedom Forum. The First Amendment Center at the Newseum and in Nashville and the Diversity Institute serve as forums for the study and exploration of the First Amendment. For more information visit newseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the National Archives
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and online at www.archives.gov. National Archives holdings include the JFK Assassination Records Collection that consists of more than five million pages of assassination-related records, photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings and artifacts (approximately 2,000 cubic feet of records). Online at http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/.