12:25 p.m. As tens of thousands of people greeted President Kennedy in downtown Dallas, Abraham Zapruder filmed two of his employees waiting near a grassy knoll just a block from Jennifer Juniors, Zapruder’s clothing company. Receptionist Marilyn Sitzman waved to the camera as payroll clerk Beatrice Hester sat with her husband, Charles, on a nearby bench. “Mr. Z” then climbed atop a concrete abutment and waited. Sitzman supported him in case Zapruder became dizzy. He stood 65 feet from the center of Elm Street.
12:30 p.m. Zapruder filmed the Kennedy limousine after it turned onto Elm Street and captured the entire assassination—the only photographer to do so. He used a Bell & Howell Model 414PD Zoomatic Director Series camera with a Varamat 9-27mm f1.8 zoom lens, set for full close-up. Its 8mm Kodachrome II color film moved through the camera at an average speed of 18.3 frames per second, as determined by later tests.
Zapruder continued filmed after the shooting, which took less than 10 seconds. He and Sitzman jumped down and walked into the shelter of a nearby pergola as the Hesters crouched on the grass. Zapruder and Sitzman soon became separated.
"One exposure on a roll of 36 exposures," Stan Stearns marveled decades later. The young news photographer, in one instinctive click, captured one of the most poignant and reproduced images of the past half-century: little John F. Kennedy Jr., grief-stricken, saluting his father’s coffin as it rolled by on a caisson. (WaPo)
Swearing in of Lyndon B. Johnson as President, Love Field, Dallas, Texas, 11/23/1963
This is one of a sequence of images taken aboard Air Force One — not the most famous with LBJ’s hand on the Bible taking the oath of office. To see all the photos, go here and enter the keyword Dallas.
After 36 years, Jim Lehrer will leave the anchor chair of PBS’s NewsHour program next month. Below, a bit of his early history in journalism:
Jim Lehrer began his coverage of President Kennedy’s visit to Dallas at Love Field, as a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald. He was to file a report on the president’s arrival and departure from the airport. Lehrer watched as the president broke protocol and went to the fence to shake hands with the excited crowd. “Everything about it struck me as extraordinary,” he recalled. In less than an hour his assignment changed. Instead of a report on Love Field, Lehrer wrote a front-page story on the valiant efforts of the Secret Service. Later, he went to the police station where he remained all night. “I was there when they brought in Lee Harvey Oswald. I was there when they brought him into this news conference in the middle of the night.” Standing near Lehrer was Jack Ruby. (via Covering Chaos | The Sixth Floor Museum)
(Photo: Jim Leherer, covering the JFK assassination for the Dallas Times Herald/KRLD-TV, KDFW Collection)