Year-long exploration marking 50th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination reveals the dramatic story behind news coverage of his family, presidency and death
WASHINGTON, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Next year, the Newseum will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy with two new exhibits and an original documentary chronicling the presidency, family life and death of America's 35th president. The JFK exhibits will feature rarely seen artifacts and photos, and will explore journalists' words and images that are so powerful they still resonate with us.
"JFK" will open at the Newseum April 12, 2013, featuring 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 the tragedy through powerful artifacts, images and historic headlines.
- "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.
"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.
The Newseum restored more than 70 images reproduced from original prints and contact sheets kept in the Lowe estate's storage facility in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York. Lowe died in May 2001, and his original negatives, which were stored in a World Trade Center bank vault, were lost during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Only 10 negatives, which were out on loan at the time, have survived.
"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 was dead.
"It was tough to get those words out that the president had died," said Cronkite in a 1996 Newseum interview. "I knew that moment was coming, but I wasn't consciously thinking about what would happen when the moment came."
"Three Shots Were Fired" will showcase rarely seen JFK artifacts, including:
- The first UPI bulletin reporting that "three shots were fired" at the president's motorcade.
- The service revolver carried by Clint Hill, the Secret Service agent who leapt aboard the presidential limousine after the shots were fired.
- News cameras, notebooks and press passes used by reporters to cover the story.
- A typewriter, stopwatch and pipe used by Cronkite.
- Jacqueline Kennedy's personal schedule for Nov. 21–22, 1963, marked in red pen with her handwritten notes.
- A drum used in Kennedy's funeral procession in Washington.
- Historic newspaper front pages and original magazines that chronicled the story of the Kennedy presidency.
The Newseum's original film "A Thousand Days" will recount the youthful glamour the Kennedy family brought to the White House and will highlight newsworthy moments of a presidency cut short. The 16-minute film will run in the Newseum's Robert H. and Clarice Smith Big Screen Theater, a 120-seat theater featuring a 100-foot-wide screen.
"JFK Online: From the Newseum Archives" will be an interactive Web-based exhibit that draws from the Newseum's collection of video interviews with journalists who covered Kennedy. A visually stunning timeline presents key moments in Kennedy's life, with rare photographs and personal recollections from the leading journalists of the day.
Public programs and special events about the Kennedys will take place throughout 2013 at the Newseum. The exhibits and film will be on display through Jan. 5, 2014.
Premier sponsorship support for "Three Shots Were Fired" has been provided by Altria Group.
About the Newseum
The Newseum — a 250,000-square-foot museum of news and history — offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits. Within its seven levels of galleries and theaters, the Newseum offers a unique environment that takes museum-goers behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made. The Newseum ranks as one of the top attractions in Washington, D.C., and more than 3 million people have visited since it opened in 2008. For more information visit newseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.