JFK 1963: A Bystander’s View of History

Nov 18, 2013 7:00am

When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, professional photojournalists took many of the iconic photos from that tragic day.  Supplementing the images burned into the memories of most were snapshots taken by unsuspecting witnesses to history.

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Gov. John Connally, Nellie Connally, President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy in presidential limousine, Dallas, Nov. 22, 1963. (Unidentified photographer/International Center of Photography Museum Purchase, 2013)

An exhibition at New York’s International Center of Photography includes news photos along with snapshots from bystanders and stills from Abraham Zapruder’s famous footage of the death of the 35th president of the United States.

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John F. Kennedy reaching into a crowd of supporters, North Hollywood, Calif., 1960. (The Robert Capa and Cornell Capa Archive, Gift of Cornell and Edith Capa, 1994/© Magnum Photos/International Center of Photography)

Not all are from that day in Dallas, but each adds to our collective memory of the president whose youth and charm captivated a nation.

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John F. Kennedy, ca. 1963. (Unidentified photographer/International Center of Photography, Museum Purchase, 2013)

 

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Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Dallas, Nov. 22, 1963. (© Mary Moorman/International Center of Photography, museum purchase, 2013)

 

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Lee Harvey Oswald, Dallas, Nov. 22 or 23, 1963. (Unidentified photographer/International Center of Photography, museum purchase, 2013)

 

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Television image of Lyndon B. Johnson’s swearing-in ceremony aboard Air Force One, Nov. 22, 1963. (Unidentified photographer/International Center of Photography, museum purchase, 2013)

 

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Television image of Jacqueline Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy during John F. Kennedy’s funeral proceedings, Nov. 24, 1963. (Unidentified photographer/International Center of Photography, museum purchase, 2013)

Organized by ICP Chief Curator Brian Wallis on the 50th anniversary of the tragedy, these visual artifacts demonstrate the active role of photography in negotiating trauma and facilitating mourning.

JFK November 22, 1963: A Bystander’s View of History runs through Jan. 19, 2014, at the International Center of Photography.

See more featured photography curated by ABC News’ photo editors, and at Picture This, the ABC News photography blog.

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