Online Collection

Robert Hughes film

Object Number: 2002.026.0001
Category: Films
Photographer: Robert J. E. Hughes
Type of Object: Film, 8mm
Dimensions: Gauge: 8mm; Camera Speed: 18 fps
Medium: Film
Original 8mm color home movie filmed by Robert Hughes, showing the presidential motorcade in Dealey Plaza before shots were fired and the aftermath immediately following the shooting. Hughes filmed the presidential motorcade until just a few seconds before the first shot, then captured some of the aftermath of the assassination, including police searching for suspects in a railroad yard and outside the Book Depository building.

Hughes’ film is the only home movie known to include a view of the assassin's window of the Texas School Book Depository taken while President Kennedy was in Dealey Plaza. There is a moving shape visible in the window but unfortunately, because Hughes filmed from a block away, it cannot be identified.

Curator's Notes

Robert Hughes' widow, Maureen Hughes-Thompson, participated in an oral history with The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza on April 27, 2002. - Stephen Fagin, Curator

The night of the assassination, Hughes wrote a letter to his parents saying, "About five seconds after I quit taking pictures we heard the shots...". 

Earlier scenes in the film show Hughes, his wife, Maureen, and others in family scenes in Dallas.  Unfortunately, that section of film was removed at some point before the film was donated to the Museum and is now considered lost.  It was not found with the other Hughes family home movie reels.  The only known copy of those family scenes was an 8mm print made by the FBI soon after the assassination; that reel is now at the National Archives. - Gary Mack, Curator

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